Ways to save money on business printing

By Liam Roberts

Printing can be a large but necessary cost factor for businesses with high requirements. Ink and toner are infamously expensive, printers themselves can be costly, and on top of that is the cost of paper and maintenance.

It’s important to assess your requirements alongside your budget and, if necessary, implement company best practices regarding how the printer should be used. Once you’ve selected the perfect printer for your business requirements, finding ways to optimize the printing costs you incur is one of the best ways to make the most of your new printer.

Here are some of the top ways you can keep printing costs down.

Save on hardware

Buying the hardware itself is the biggest up-front cost for businesses when it comes to printing, but there are ways to avoid spending more in the long run. When you buy a printer, make sure that it comes with a warranty that will cover faults or damage. Whether it’s a broken internal element or a paper jam, printers can malfunction, so cover your back with a warranty that will help you in the worst-case scenario.

Assess your company’s behavior when it comes to printing and make a note of what you require. For example, if you only print in monochrome, you can save money by buying a monochrome printer rather than a more expensive color model.

Multi-function printers can replace scanners and copiers in the office, saving you money on additional hardware. This also saves space, meaning you can have a multi-function printer at the edge of a desk rather than a printer, copier and scanner taking up a whole corner of the work area. A multi-function printer is the perfect choice for a small business or start-up that has printing, scanning, and copying requirements.

Minimize printing

Once you’ve selected the printer that’s perfect for your company, the next step is to assess how printing is used in your business. When you minimize waste, you can also minimize costs. Consider training staff on how to use cloud-based collaborative platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive within their teams. These programs allow for document sharing and collaboration in real time, without incurring the costs of printing or using up paper.

When there is no alternative but to print out documents, for internal reports, HR documents and drafts of work, for example, ask staff members to print on both sides of the paper. You could even keep a box of scrap paper close to the printer, for use on unimportant internal documents.

Minimizing printing can have wide reaching benefits for your business. Less ink used means less paper printed on, which in turn means less paper to recycle. You can make real cost savings and, in the process, do your part for the environment.

Consider ink/toner saving tips

By using ink and toner wisely, you can ensure that you’re making the most of your printer consumables. It may seem simple, but ensuring that you buy the correct ink in the first place can save money and effort. Buy the ink or toner that’s recommended by your printer manufacturer for your model to be sure of its quality.

Once the cartridges have been delivered, store them as recommended in the instructions on the box – facing upwards in a stationery cupboard should suffice. This will keep them in top condition for when they need to be used.

Printing in color is only truly necessary when you produce a final product such as a brochure or a paper copy of a pitch. To avoid accidentally printing documents in full colour, ensure that the default setting on your printer is set to monochrome. You could even consider buying a separate color printer and clearly labelling them both on the network to avoid mistakes.

If you produce a lot of documents for external use, you will already have a default font for the company. If it’s Times New Roman, you’re in luck; it has been discovered to be one of the most cost-effective typefaces. Choosing a small font size can save paper as well as ink – remember to use bold font sparingly, or not at all.

Regular maintenance

Once your printer is set up and ready to go, all that’s left to do is keep your printer working at its best and most efficient.

Be sure to keep your printer’s software and drivers up to date for maximum efficiency. Just like your computer, if the software needs to be updated, it’s often for a good reason.

Inkjet printers also often need the printer heads to be cleaned to keep the nozzles clear. This is a simple task that can be done on a Monday morning to ensure smooth running for the week ahead. This process ensures that dried and excess ink or toner are removed – helping to preserve the color.

Avoid paper jams by refraining from overfilling paper trays. Fill the printer with paper only to the line and keep spare paper on hand so it’s easy to find should colleagues need to top it up. This will help to keep your printer safe from any mechanical issues as well as saving ink. Should any error codes display on your printer’s screen, be sure to look them up correctly in the manual or online.

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Liam Roberts is a digital copywriter of trending business topics within the IT industry. When he isn’t at his computer, he enjoys his free time travelling overseas and expanding his professional network by attending international technology events, trade fairs and conferences.

 

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