Despite the continuous move into digital and storage in the cloud, many businesses still need a reliable copying machine. It is still important to replicate reports, scan in account information, and handle admin work using paper.
A multi-function printer-copier-scanner-fax can offer smaller businesses an affordable and viable method to do these tasks and scale up their business. By choosing the right copier for your small or medium sized business, you can increase productivity and cut costs. Another option is outsourcing your printing installation and maintenance to a third party printing company, which is known as managed print services (MPS).
This article will help you to get the best photocopier deal for your small business, or home office needs.
|Jump to||Choosing The Right Features||Small Office MFPs||Mono vs Colour||Small Copier vs Mid-Large||Canon imageRUNNERs|
Photocopiers For Smaller Budgets
A common issue small businesses face is restricted cash flow. This limits the budget for everyday office supplies. However, a lack of funds does not have to mean a compromise on productivity.
Some of the office photocopiers designed for small businesses still have great functionality and can actually work out as being more cost-effective. You will just need to carefully consider the features your office will use most.
Choosing The Right Photocopier Features
One of the biggest features to affect price is the speed of a copier. This feature is less important when there are only a few people who need to access the facilities. Your business could forego the cost of a high speed machine for other functionalities, such as higher volume or higher quality printing resolution.
You need to be practical when shopping for small business office equipment. Think about the top three or four functionalities that you need and then aim to find the machine that offers top performance in these few areas.
Working on a budget, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to sacrifice all of the features you want. Bottom-of-the-range photocopiers that may cost just £300-£400 can still offer great printing speeds.
For instance, the Canon iR1020 is a black and white laser photocopier that can also print and scan. It can produce 20 pages per minute (ppm) at A4 size, making it great value at under £450.
Small and Home Office Multifunctional Copiers
No longer the preserve of large, floor standing photocopiers, even small office photocopiers now boast multi-functionality. These machines are versatile and powerful allies. They are known as MFPs and offer the ability to copy, print, scan and, in most cases, fax too.
There is a fine line between MFPs’ classification as a printer and that of a copier. Most companies will market them within the copier range because that is one of the main tasks they perform. But you can be confident that any MFP you buy will have the fundamental ability to both copy and print.
The cross-functionality means they are the usually the best solution for small businesses. A common additional benefit of MFPs is network capability. This means that staff can access the machine remotely- saving time, space and money.
Mono vs Colour Photocopiers
A large number of budget-friendly, low volume copiers tend to print in monochrome (black and white). This can also be true of the more expensive mid-range machines available.
However, this isn’t to say a monochrome copier is your only option.
Some SMEs buy a separate copier solely for colour prints and limit its usage. However, there are a wide range of purchase and leasing deals available. It could make more sense to lease or buy a machine that can provide both colour and monochrome options. It is also possible to buy a desktop MFP that prints in colour & monochrome on a small budget.
For example, the Canon multifunctional imageRUNNER C1021i/ C1021iF is able to print and copy full colour documents. It also has the added functionality of scanning and faxing. It can be purchased for under £1,200 or leased from around £25 pcm.
For tighter budgets, the Ricoh SPC 231SF offers a slower print speed but it is still able to to scan, fax, print, and photocopy. As an A4 desktop laser multifunction printer, it is currently priced at less than £550.
If colour prints are not a major concern for your business, there are a wide range of black-and-white multi-function copiers to choose from at affordable prices.
The RICOH Aficio SP 3410SF black-and-white desktop device, incorporates laser printing technology, duplex functionality and a speed of 28ppm. Currently priced at under £430, this desktop can also fax and scan.
Small Office Copiers vs Mid-Large Office Copiers
As well as greater speed, larger copiers can work more closely with an office IT system. They offer a wider range of control when printing and scanning documents. The network can be accessed through the copier’s interface, with cost centres to allow for smart budgeting.
These copiers also offer the flexibility of copying double sided sheets up to A3 sizes. Furthermore they can make administrative tasks much simpler with their ability to:
- punch holes
- sort and collate
Small businesses should consider a more expensive mid to large range machine if they think anticipate significant growth, which will make these features necessary.
▶ Find out more: Hire or lease an A3 laser printer
Generally, these photocopier models will start at prices of £2,500 but may cost up to £9,000. This is likely to be well outside a small business’ purchasing budget but not necessarily their monthly leasing budget.
Canon imageRUNNER Series
If your business works with larger paper sizes, requires excellent network connectivity and double-sided copying capabilities, consider the Canon imageRUNNER 2520i.
It can be accessed remotely and print directly from a range of file types including PDF, TIFF and JPEG through an Ethernet interface.
It is also able to scan (in colour) as well as copy at speeds of up to 20 pages per minute.
Classified as a small to mid office machine, the machine retails at over £4,000 but can currently be purchased for under £1,600.
If you are interested in hearing more about prices to buy or lease a photocopier for your business, you can complete our form for free tailored quotes.