The daily administrative demands of any business varies wildly from one organization to another. Even two businesses with the same number of employees and management staff might have significantly different document printing and copying needs.
And this is why no one copy machine can be said to be a good fit for any and all businesses.
Avoiding Copier Overkill
Oftentimes, when business owners or their office managers are looking to purchase a new copier, they can become overwhelmed by the choices and options. With offerings ranging from small, black and white copy machines to massive multi-functional “data management” units, trying to decide which machine will be sufficient can be challenging.
Questions of capacity, printing speed, image quality, features and added functions, as well as size, footprint, ease of use, and so on can make the buying (or leasing) decision daunting for many people.
Even the decisions of whether to buy new or used, to purchase or lease, to have simply a copier or opt for a multi-function “all-in-one” unit can lead to analysis paralysis!
And, because so many businesses must remain within a limited purchasing budget, there is always the risk of “over-buying”, or opting for more copy machine than the business really needs. This is a common mistake and one that can leave a business owner feeling a bit resentful towards the vendor.
However, a knowledgeable and conscientious vendor, like the folks at Common Sense Business Solutions, will work with a customer to ensure that their current and realistic projected copier needs are met without trying to “upsell” for the sake of a few more dollars.
And choosing a small copy machine for your business doesn’t always mean doing without some of the features found on larger, more complex units.
SMEs, or small businesses, make up more than 98% of all businesses in the United States. And, at Common Sense Business Solutions, we understand that each company will have different needs now and in their future as they achieve their growth goals.
The good news is that many of the best copiers for small business include many high-tech features such as employee access codes or biometric recognition for ensuring security.
How Small is Too Small?
The reality is probably that even a “business of one”, a sole professional working from a home office, for example, likely needs a bit more than a basic copier. In fact, it’s fair to assume that just about any small business of any kind will have a need for color copies on occasion, two-sided or duplex copying, and a machine that functions as a printer for computers and laptops.
Which can then mean a need for networking capabilities.
So, how do you go about deciding what’s needed? (And what isn’t?)
When deciding on the best small copy machine for your small business, you should start with your daily, weekly and monthly real-world tasks. From there, you can determine a rough estimate of your growing copier needs over the next three to five years.
Now you can work with your vendor to assess the features and capabilities that are most important to you. For example:
- A color or B&W copier
- Copy/print speed in ppm (pages per minute)
- Print quality in dpi (dots per inch)
- Paper types (card stock, legal, ledger, etc.)
- Duplex printing (automatic two-sided printing)
- Sorting, folding, and stapling
- Network printing
- OCR scanning (optical character recognition)
- Fax capability
While this is not an exhaustive list of possible features, they do represent the more common functions and requirements for most office copiers.
We’ve noted that it is important to avoid paying for more machine and features than your organization really needs, but it’s just as important to avoid “underbuying” and ending up with a machine that fails to provide all the capabilities you find you actually needed.
There is not much that’s more frustrating than making a significant purchase of equipment only to find that you need to upgrade far sooner than you had planned.
Ultimately, the best copier for a small business is going to be a small copy machine that takes up little space, yet speeds up your productivity and helps your business grow. And one of the best recent developments with office copiers is the introduction of affordable, smaller, yet robust, “all in one” machines.
A great choice for many small businesses, for example, is the Konica Minolta Bizhub 558 Black and White Copier-Printer-Scanner.
New or Used Small Copy Machine?
Lastly, it is possible to save money while still providing your office or place of business with a somewhat large or more robust copy machine than you might think. At Common Sense Business Solutions we offer a wide range of both new and previously owned equipment.
In fact we maintain an extensive inventory of refurbished and fully guaranteed pre-owned Konica Minolta models. And we’re not talking about 10-year old units that have outlived their usefulness! These pre-owned copy machines are the same models as those that we offer brand new. However, they are available at a significantly reduced price.
Despite the best planning and projections, many businesses find themselves outgrowing their buildings and, many times, their office equipment. We regularly obtain “like new” copy machines that are ready to take your business through a number of highly productive years.
And one last consideration: Should you buy or lease your next small copy machine?
While we can work with you to make this decision, ultimately it’s up to you. And there are certainly some advantages to both options. For example, if you don’t make a lot of copies and you have a small budget, then choosing to lease a machine can be your best option.
On the other hand, if you purchase a small copy machine means that you’ll have fewer restrictions, but you will likely spend more money.