Which Photocopier Is Best For Your Small Business
Despite the continuous move into digital and storage in the cloud, many businesses still have a great need a of a reliable copying machine. Whether it is replicating reports, accounts or administrative work, a multi-function printer-copier-scanner-fax can offer smaller businesses an affordable and viable method to scale up their business. By choosing the right copier for your small or medium sized business, you can increase productivity and cut costs.
This article will help you to get the best photocopier deal for your small business.
Photocopiers For Smaller Budgets
One of the biggest struggles small businesses face is coping with a restricted cash-flow. This not only defines and determines growth, but also makes it harder to fit everyday office space and supplies into your limited budgets, which in turn makes it difficult to secure the best office equipment for your small business.
This often means that the smaller business has to make compromises on what they can justifiably use, and some of the features designed to make administrative tasks faster and simpler may not be available for the smaller budget.
However, this compromise can be minimised by carefully considering the features your office will most commonly use. Some of the office photocopiers designed for small businesses still have great functionality and can actually work out as being more cost-effective.
One of the biggest features to affect price is the speed of a copier. This feature is thankfully less important where there are only a few personnel requiring access to the copier facilities. Your small business may be able to compromise on speed in favour of other functionalities, such as higher volume or better quality printing resolution.
Below, you’ll find a breakdown of our top 20 photocopiers for small businesses, which should give you an idea of the sort of machines and prices on offer.
Choosing The Right Photocopier Speed
When shopping small business office equipment, you’ll need to be practical in the approach that you take. Think about the top three or four functionalities that you need – e.g. volume of paper, print speed, cost of toner - and then aim to find the best value machine that offers top performance in these areas.
Remember, just because you are working on a budget, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to sacrifice all of the features you want. Case in point are bottom-of-the-range photocopiers that may cost just £300-£400, but 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 at A4 size, making it great value at under £450.
For a small office the top speed that can realistically be expected within a £2,000 budget is 30 pages per minute.
Small 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, offering the ability to copy, print, scan and, in most cases, fax too.
These machines are known as multifunction printers (MFPs), although there is a fine line between their classification as a printer and that of a copier. Either way, you can be confident that any MFP you buy will at least have the fundamental ability to both copy and print.
Most companies will market them within the copier range because that is one of the main tasks that they are able to perform. This cross-functionality means that for a small business, a multifunction copier/printer is the most cost-effective solution available.
MFP's remove the need for several different office items, banishing separate fax, scanner, and printer needs. Additional benefits include network capabilities, which means that any and all staff can access the machine remotely to print and copy any documents they need, saving time, space and money.
Mono vs Colour Photocopiers
Sometimes when working on a tighter budget, you’ll find your options are a bit more limited as 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. If your company needs to print a lot of content in colour, then it may be worth looking around for a slightly more expensive machine that prints in both colour and black & white. Some SMEs choose to buy a separate copier solely for colour prints and limit its usage. However, with the wide range of purchase and leasing deals available, it is often much more cost-effective to lease or buy a machine that can provide both colour and monochrome options.
It is actually 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 whilst providing full colour documents, and 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 fulfil the options of scanning and faxing alongside those of printing and photocopying. As an A4 desktop laser multifunction printer, it is currently priced at less than £550.
If colour documents are not a major concern for your business, there are a wide range of black-and-white multi-function copiers to choose from at incredibly affordable prices.
The RICOH Aficio SP 3410SF is able to perform as a black-and-white device, incorporating laser printing technology, duplex functionality and a speed of 28 pages per minute. Currently priced at under £430, this desktop can also fax and scan.
Small Office Copiers vs Mid-Large Office Copiers
Aside from the capabilities of speed, mentioned above, large copiers tend to be able to work much more closely with the IT capabilities of an office. They offer a wider range of control when printing and scanning documents through the network - accessible through the copier’s interface - and can be set with cost centres to allow budgeting for departments and individuals.
It is worth small businesses considering a more expensive machine, such as those found within the mid to large range, if they think they will be a wise investment and expect their growth to match.
These copiers can offer the flexibility of copying double sided sheets up to A3 sizes, and make administrative tasks much simpler by punching holes, stapling, sorting and collating, binding and folding.
Generally, these photocopier models will start at prices of £2,500 and may cost up to £9,000, which is likely to be well outside a small business’ purchasing budget but not necessarily their monthly leasing budget.
Cannon imageRUNNER Series
If your business works with larger paper sizes, requires excellent network connectively and double-sided copying capabilities, then consider the Canon imageRUNNER 2520i. It has the ability to print on both sides of an A3 page, be accessed remotely and can print directly from a range of file types including PDF, TIFF and JPEG through an Ethernet interface.
It is 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, then complete the form at the top of this page and a select group of excellent suppliers will get in touch with you.