The printer you choose for your business might not seem like a big deal—after all, much of our business is now conducted online—but investing in the right one up front can save you from a lot of heartache down the road. Sooner or later something important will depend on that printer, and you want to be 100% sure it can do what you need.
Here are the 4 most popular questions asked before buying the business printers:
Question 1: Inkjet or laser/LED?
Most businesses opt for a laser or LED printer because they produce consistent results at a high speed. Toner is also quite affordable when compared to ink, so it’s easy to recover the extra money you’ll spend up front.
Inkjet printers are more commonly used in homes and home offices because they’re more affordable up front. They’re also better for printing images, especially photographs, and as such are great for printing your own brochures and flyers. They do print slower than laser printers, and don’t always have consistent quality when printing things in large batches.
If your business is highly specialized and requires a lot of colour printing, you may also want to check out solid-ink and dye-sublimation printers. We won’t get into those here because the vast majority of businesses are fine with a laser/LED or inkjet printer, but they’re worth knowing about.
Question 2: Wired or wireless?
A wired connection will always give faster, more consistent results, but being able to print remotely is extremely useful in a business environment. You can even sync some wireless printers with an app on your phone, allowing you to print over significant distances.
The vast majority of modern printers are capable of doing both wired and wireless printing, but many low-end models don’t have an excellent wireless connection. Some are also specifically designed to optimize communication with the web.
If wireless or mobile printing are important to the way you do business, be sure to verify the wireless capabilities of any printers you’re considering.
Question 3: How well can it connect to networked devices?
Sharing a printer between as many employees as possible makes both logistical and financial sense, and that means connecting it to your office network so it’s accessible from all devices. Unfortunately not all printers work well with networked devices, and some only work with small networks.
You can connect a regular printer to a network by creating a print server, but this requires a fair amount of technical knowledge and effort. If you don’t already have a print server set up, you’re likely better off paying the extra money for a printer with built in networking settings.
Some printers designed specifically for networking come with a set up package, but it’s often relatively easy for you or your IT team to set up. During this process you can also restrict access to certain employees, and it’s possible to put multiple printers on the same network as your business grows.
Question 4: Buy or lease?
Leasing a printer may sound silly, and you certainly wouldn’t lease a $200 inkjet printer, but if you’re looking for something that can print in extremely high quality or volume the price rises quickly. Many business printers cost thousands of dollars, so leasing them is more practical for small businesses. Most companies offer leases ranging from 12 to 60 months.
Of course, leasing can also be more expensive in the long run due to financing fees, so it’s worth doing the comparative math. Depending on the rental companies near you, a small business loan to buy your own high quality printer might be a better choice.