By choosing the right copier for your small or medium-sized business, you can increase productivity and cut costs. Here are some tips to help you.

Speed

One of the biggest features that affect price is the speed of a copier. This feature is less important when there are only a few people who need to access the facilities. Your business could forego the cost of a high-speed machine for other functionalities, such as higher volume or higher quality printing resolution.

For a small office, the top speed that can realistically be expected within a £2,000 budget is 30 ppm (pages per minute).

Multifunctional copiers

Multifunctional copiers also known as MFPs, offer the ability to copy, print, scan and, in most cases, fax too.

The cross-functionality means they are the usually the best solution for small businesses. A common additional benefit of MFPs is network capability. This means that staff can access the machine remotely – saving time, space and money.

Mono vs colour photocopiers

Some SMEs buy a separate copier solely for colour prints and limit its usage. It could make more sense to lease or buy a machine that can provide both colour and monochrome options. It is also possible to buy a desktop MFP that prints in colour and monochrome on a small budget.

If colour prints are not a major concern for your business, there is a wide range of black-and-white multi-function copiers to choose from at affordable prices.

Small office copiers vs mid-large office copiers

As well as greater speed, larger copiers can work more closely with an office IT system. They offer a wider range of control when printing and scanning documents. The network can be accessed through the copier’s interface, with cost centres to allow for smart budgeting.

These copiers also offer the flexibility of copying double-sided sheets up to A3 sizes. Furthermore they can make administrative tasks much simpler with their ability to:

  • punch holes
  • staple
  • sort and collate
  • bind
  • fold

Small businesses should consider a more expensive mid to large range machine if they think anticipate significant growth, which will make these features necessary.

New vs. used

One of the main questions many business owners confront is whether it will be more cost-effective to purchase a new or used copier. But with the reduction in cost of new technology, the marked improvements in performance mentioned above, and the increasing difficulty associated with finding parts and toner for older machines, a used copier will probably not be the best way to go for most businesses.

Add in repairs and maintenance and the fact that most of these printers will not be covered by a service plan or warranty, and you’re looking at some hefty costs when something goes wrong – not to mention the cost of downtime to your business.

That said, if you only plan on using it for the occasional copy here and there, a used model may work just fine. And it will definitely save you quite a bit of money up front.

Next steps

If you are interested in hearing more about prices to buy or lease a photocopier for your small business, companies like Leeds-based Copyform can help.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups, Contributor @Entrepreneur, Columnist @Inc. Magazine and Curator at Postanly (his free weekly digest of the best life and career improvement posts on the web. Subscribe for free.

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