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With so many business printers to choose from, it’s essential to take some time to evaluate your needs and learn about the different available options. It’s easy to get lost in the buying process, so you might need a guide to help you with your next purchase. Read on to learn more before you make your next business printer purchase or lease.

Determine the Type of Business Printer You Need

Laser or LED Business Printers: These are the most popular machines for offices. They are fast, reliable, and produce high-quality results. They also have hard drive and memory capabilities that are perfect for networking. Ongoing costs can be reasonable because the toner and other consumables are typically affordable. However, these printers aren’t ideal for photo printing and can be expensive upfront.

Inkjet Printers: These are more common for home offices but can also be used for small businesses. It’s possible to find one that has networking capabilities, but they’re less common. They can also be slower and include a higher cost of replacing ink and other consumables.

Other Printer Options: Laser and inkjet business printers are the most common, but there are others. Solid ink printers are comparable to laser printers in black and white printing but are better for color printing. However, these pages can be prone to smudging. Dye sublimation printers are best for photograph quality, but the cost per page can be high.

Wireless vs. Wired: Wireless connections are convenient, but wired connections are much faster and more reliable. They are also more secure, which is essential in a business environment. Wireless setups are less expensive to deploy, are more flexible, and can be compatible with tablets and smartphones. With today’s mobile technology, many businesses are installing applications that allow for mobile printing, but not every printer is compatible with this type of technology. If you have a mobile-reliant workforce, you’ll need to consider choosing which type of printer suits your needs best.

Monochrome vs. Color: Making a choice between color and black and white printing can be difficult. If your business printing is done in plain text, then a monochrome printer is an excellent choice. If you need to print documents with charges, custom logos, or graphics, you should choose a color printer.

Networking: Sharing a business printer with as many employees as possible makes sense financially. The printer needs to be connected to the office network. There are two ways to connect a laser printer to the office network. Either attach the printer to a dedicated print server or choose one with built-in networking capabilities. You will have to rely on your IT staff to do this or hire an outside vendor for managed IT services. Many offices usually need more than one printer since only a certain number of employees can be on the printer without running into issues. Separate printers can also be connected to the same network.

When you are shopping for business printers, you need to consider your budget, as well as your needs. Identify how the printer is going to be used and make a top list of features and priorities. Also, consider how many people will be using it and how much speed you need. How much are you willing to spend? The cheapest model may not be the best option, but you also don’t want to exceed your budget and regret it later. Working with a dedicated office equipment provider can help you navigate your needs and your budget.

Decide Whether to Buy or Lease Your Next Business Printer

Once you determine what type of printer suits your business needs, you need to decide whether it makes sense to lease or buy.

Buying: When you buy, the overall cost will be lower since paying a lump sum allows you to avoid interest. A printer can be a tax-deductible purchase, and because you own it, you can also sell it to recoup some of the cost. It does require large payment upfront, and some printers will depreciate and become obsolete within a few years. Also, when you own the printer, you will be responsible for all maintenance and repairs.

Leasing: For many businesses, leasing a printer can lead to a more manageable payment. It also allows you to get access to technology that you may otherwise not have access to. When you lease a printer, the maintenance is covered, so you don’t have to worry about finding a technician or paying extra for repairs. At the end of the lease, you can return it, purchase it, or upgrade for a newer model, and you don’t have to worry about obsolete equipment. Leasing can be complicated since choosing the right terms can be hard, depending on your needs.

Contact a Vendor Who Will Facilitate Your Needs

An office equipment provider can help you determine whether to lease or buy your next business printer and help you decide which business printer suits your needs. Some vendors will sell multiple brands, while others will only work with a single manufacturer. Be sure to choose a seller that takes time to recognize your needs. Pay attention to common sales tactics and be on the lookout for the salespeople who take the time to educate you about available options. The salespeople shouldn’t be pushy and should listen to your needs, even when suggesting other options. Since a printer is expensive, you want to evaluate the machine to make sure it’s the right fit and functionality for your business, and onsite trials are an option. Compare the quality of service, prices, and references of your vendor before making a commitment. Beyond the price, you can find a vendor that will stand out by meeting them in person. Working with a vendor can allow you to have a service agreement to cover maintenance as well. Before you sign, make sure you read the fine print to know what the agreement includes.

While business printers can be an investment, it’s a necessary expense for running a successful company. For help with purchasing or leasing a printer for your Houston-based business, contact On Demand today.