When it comes to buying new printers for your small- or medium-sized business (SMB), there are a few mistakes that you want to avoid. If you’re not careful, you could end up spending more money than you need to or getting a printer that doesn’t suit your needs.
To make sure you get the best deal and the right business printer for your SMB, watch out for these seven common pitfalls.
1. Not doing your research
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new printer, but take some time to research different models and brands before you purchase one. Read user reviews, compare specs and prices, and get a feel for which printer would be best for your business.
It's at this stage that you should think about the types of printing jobs you’ll need to do, the speed and quality you want, and any other special features you may require. Having a clear picture of what you need from your printer will make the research process much easier.
2. Waiting until your old printer breaks down
While it may seem like a prudent idea to wait until your old printer completely stops working before replacing it, this can leave you without access to printing when you need it most. You should start researching your new printer well before you need one so that if your current machine does break down, you’ll be prepared.
3. Failing to consider the cost of ownership
A printer’s purchase price is only the start — you also need to factor in its running costs. Toner, ink cartridges, and maintenance contracts all add up over time and can make a cheap printer more expensive to own in the long run.
When researching printers, try to look for models that use low-cost ink or toner or have longer-lasting cartridges. It's also worth considering energy-saving features, as these can help reduce your electricity expenses. Finally, think about the cost of repairs and spare parts since some printers may be more expensive to maintain than others.
4. Failing to check for compatibility with your existing hardware and software
Before you buy a new printer, make sure it works with your existing computers and other devices or equipment. Check whether the printer supports wireless or wired connections, as well as any specific connection requirements it may have.
You’ll also want to check that the printer is compatible with your current operating system and any software applications you use. If you’re using older programs, some newer printers may not be able to handle them. If you’re running a more up-to-date system, you may need to invest in compatible drivers or updates to ensure your printer works correctly.
5. Not considering the printer’s security
The security of printers is often overlooked, but they can be a weak link in your IT setup if you don’t take precautions. Check that any new business printers you purchase have robust security features such as encryption and password protection.
You should also think about how you can limit access to your printers. For example, you may want to set up user authentication, restrict certain users from accessing particular features, or look into using software that tracks printing activity.
6. Not testing out the printer before you make a decision
If possible, take the time to test out any printers you’re considering purchasing. Many stores will have demo units available, or you may be able to borrow a model from a friend or colleague. Testing out the printer before you buy will give you a better idea of its print quality, speed, and ease of use.
7. Not getting an expert opinion
It’s always wise to get an outside opinion if you’re unsure about the type of printer you need. Ask people in your industry or network for their recommendations or consult a printer expert who can advise on the best model for you. They’ll also be able to help you weigh the various options in terms of cost, efficiency, and suitability for your business.
Complete Document Solutions can provide unbiased advice on the best printers for your SMB and help you get the most from your printing setup. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.