Buying a copier outright is a waste of your resources.
As a business owner, you are faced with hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions that directly impact your bottom line. Capital equipment expenses is a category with more options and questions than almost any other.
One of the biggest decisions you will make will be whether to buy your copier or digital printer outright, or to lease it. Buying does have certain advantages, such as equity in the equipment, depreciation at tax time, or the ability to resell the equipment. However, the advantages of a copier lease far outweigh these considerations. They include:
- 100% Financing
- Alternative availability of your funds
- Cheaper, easier sources of financing
- Use and control over assets
- Freedom from restrictive covenants and conditions
- Faster and simpler documentation
- Tax concessions
- No risk of obsolescence
Leasing equipment can be a good option for business owners who have limited capital or who need equipment that must be upgraded every few years. This definitely includes copiers and digital printers, whose technology improves yearly.
As a baseline, five years seems to be a generally accepted average lifespan for a typical floor-standing copier used regularly, according to photocopier manufacturer Canon. However, the website Technology and Society states that due to constant innovations in digital printer technology, your copier may only be “state-of-the-art” for two to three years.
So, let us take a closer look at some of the reasons leasing a copier offers more for your dollar than buying outright.
1. Financial Flexibility
Starting and maintaining a business is expensive, it is imperative that you make the most of every dollar you spend, and that you retain every dollar you do not have to spend. The lease vs. buy decision more often than not is influenced by your company’s financial situation, which itself can also change over time. Flexibility is key.
Copier leasing has several financial advantages over the outright purchase of a copier or digital printer including, but not limited to:
- You pay for the asset in fixed amounts, over a fixed period of time, which allows budgeting
- Significantly lower up-front costs, no sales tax
- No loan approval required
- Deducting the full cost of lease payments from taxable income
- Fixed interest rates make cash flow forecasting easier
- Zero impact on your debt-to-equity ratio
- Maintenance is usually included, saving many thousands over the working lifespan of the copier
- When it is time to upgrade, you can significantly improve the print device without significant new costs
- Installation is usually provided at no additional costs
One form of digital copier lease is the buyout lease, which allows you to purchase the asset outright at the completion of the lease, if that is what you want to do. Some lessees buyout the lease on the existing copier and then upgrade to a new digital printer with a new lease, doubling their print capacity for short money.
2. Meeting Your Business Needs
Every business is different, with unique needs and challenges. As we discussed previously there is no one-size-fits-all solution. To lease or to buy is a decision every business manager and owner must face, there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
Ultimately, the decision depends on what is best for your company at any point in time, so it’s crucial to base your choice on current needs and weigh the pros and cons accordingly.
- How often do you tend to (or estimate having to) replace your digital copier?
- Does your business rely in any way on the latest digital print technologies? Is having leading-edge tech beneficial to your branding, or company image?
- Does your business require flexibility in asset management?
- Will the copier be operated casually, by multiple users, or used primarily by a dedicated user or team?
- Does your company have the staff and resources on hand to maintain and service the copier(s)?
“The printer is down!”
How many times have those four words brought that day’s business to a halt?
Digital printers and copiers are incredibly complex, highly-engineered devices that perform amazing feats of mechanics and physics, multiple times a minute. When something fails, as it inevitably does, getting the device up and running again is sometimes simple and straightforward, but is more often impossible for those without specific training and expertise.
Paper jams are one thing, but things like mechanical issues, charging issues, or the electrostatic interior environment, require highly specialized correction. Sounds expensive, right? Well, it can be.
But a leased digital printer has a fleet of dedicated professionals who have the training required, the specialized tools, and access to replacement parts that can help you get back to business as quickly as possible.
4. A Higher Standard of Equipment
When purchasing a capital item for your business, you are limited by what you can afford at the time.
The item you buy may or may not be top of the line, with the newest features, accessories, or technologies available. However, the technology in these devices improves very rapidly, often leapfrogging over one cool new feature with another. Yet your purchased copier will remain static, forever.
Does your business require after-print devices, such as bindery equipment? Do you need extra paper feed drawers, or stackers, sorter, folders, etc.? When purchasing outright, these additional items must also be purchased outright, but leasing allows you to bundle multiple pieces of equipment from the same manufacturer, or those certified by them to be compatible, immediately, and all covered under the same terms, maintenance agreements, and service plans.
You get more bang for your buck, and so you may be able to obtain all of the print devices your company needs, instead of only those it can afford.
5. You Don’t Own It.
As your business grows, so do your business needs.
If you aren’t sure which type of copier would work best in your office, leasing is a great way to try a model and see how it fits. Having one specific model in the office allows you to see how often it is being used and which features your employees are using. It may be that you need one that has more capabilities than the one you tried, or you may be able to get by with a simpler one and save money each month on the copier lease.
6. The Copier Lease Industry is Strong and Stable
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index showed their new business volume for October 2020 was $9.2 billion. Overall, the equipment leasing industry stands at about $900 billion.
No matter where your company lands on the purchased versus leased copier debate, it is important that you find a company that understands your business, works with you to determine how best to serve your business, and is committed to keeping your business running at full capacity for as long as possible.
Copier Lease Solutions from Commons Sense Business Solutions
Common Sense Business Solutions offers leasing options for customers in California. If you are unsure of whether or not you should buy or lease a copier, take a look at our copier lease vs buy analysis.
For other inquiries about a copier lease for your business, contact us directly by clicking the button below.