As businesses everywhere make a move towards a paperless office, the reality remains that most of them, big or small, still need to print and copy documents on a regular basis. And the only way to become truly paper-free is to scan older materials.
Even though they can come in handy at times, the best small business copiers aren’t usually the ones you pick up online or at the office supply store. It takes a more sophisticated machine to create a work environment that’s more efficient and productive.
Multifunction printers combine the functions of printing, copying, scanning, and faxing into a single machine that the entire office can share. Leasing or buying an MFP for your business can be a convenient solution to otherwise outsourcing many of your print needs. Figuring out what those needs are before you buy will help you choose the equipment that’s best for your small business.
It isn’t just how much you pay for the machine itself. It’s important when looking at the cost to consider the ongoing expenses of toner, ink, maintenance, and service. Unless you do an exceptionally low volume of copying and printing, going with one or more bargain models will likely have a bigger impact on your bottom line than choosing a reliable MFP.
Volume and speed
They both have a significant impact on your overall cost. Print speeds of less than 20 pages per minute tend to be too slow for most busy office environments. Forty ppm is adequate for many businesses, and speeds over 40 ppm are the best choice for high-volume use.
Once you determine how many copies your business prints per month, be sure to check that the copier you’re considering supports your copy/print volume. Many, if not most, of the Konica Minolta bizhub equipped MFPs we offer have a monthly copy/print volume of 100,000 or more.
It’s one of the least talked about but most highly desirable functions. Not only does duplexing save paper (and money), it’s a must if you want to print professional looking brochures or booklets in-house.
It used to be that all networked MFPs were connected via USB. Today, most come with wireless networking capabilities. This is an extremely cost-effective benefit for businesses that have remote workers and need to print from the cloud or mobile devices.
Color or black and white?
Not everyone needs a color copier/printer. If your MFP needs are more about scanning documents into the cloud or printing simple business documents and less about producing promotional materials, black and white may be all you need. Occasional color print jobs can then be left to a professional print shop. Otherwise, the higher ongoing costs of a color copier may still be your best bet.
Today there’s simply no reason to be constantly refilling a single 100 page paper tray or feeding single sheets into a copier! Most models come with trays that have a minimum 250-sheet capacity, many come with multiple trays, and all should have a document feeder that holds at least 30 sheets. Our Konica Minolta bizhub models also have manual bypass trays that handle all sorts of specialized papers.
Best copiers for a small business
After weighing the pros and cons, networked MFPs generally win out over multiple pieces of stand-alone equipment. They offer faster printing speeds, advanced finishing options, state-of-the-art technology, and better overall handling. To learn more about what we believe are the best copiers for small businesses, contact Common Sense Business Solutions today.