How to control print costs to save your business money

As a small business, keeping overheads down is key to growth. Follow these 10 tips to keep costs down without compromising on quality

Printing, copying, scanning and faxing make up many of the small, niggly overheads of running a small business. Whilst replacement paper and cartridges may not be huge investments on par with cutting edge computers, every penny counts for small and growing businesses so it’s vital that these are tightly controlled.

So, here we plough through 10 simple tips to help you control print overheads without compromising the quality of the output.

1. Invest in a workhorse

Buying two printers may seem counter-productive to the money-saving efforts, but a dedicated workhorse machine could help significantly cut overheads. Sending high-volume, low-quality jobs through a top quality printer could be more costly than through a workhorse machine. So save specific jobs for specific printers.

2. Do the CMYK

Again, it may seem more cost-effective to invest in a printer which simply requires a black cartridge and a colour cartridge, rather than a selection of different colours and tones. However, if just one colour runs out in the multicolour cartridge, a replacement may be necessary – wasting the unused stocks of the other colours. Following the CMYK colour scale can help you get every drop out of the ink.

3. Have some font control

Controlling the font used by every member of the team may seem like overkill, but it can help cut overheads. Professional fonts such as Century Gothic are more ink-conservative than the standard Arial – meaning that less ink will be used. Following this guide, you can set the default font when setting up every computer in the office.

4. Encourage a careful workforce

All the good work you put into controlling your print overheads will be completely undone if your team don’t follow the new standards. Instil a careful printing culture in the office, stressing the importance of following the rules on this list and carefully proofing everything before it gets sent to the printer.

5. Fade out

Most internal printed documents don’t have to be printed using the deepest, darkest blacks. Lowering the print quality can help save a bit of ink and allow the cartridges to go further.

6. Use high yield cartridges

Investing in cheaper cartridges offers false economy 99% of the time – with the reduced number of pages undoing any savings made. Invest in high yield cartridges to ensure your money goes further. Printer specialists, Printerland, concur: “High-yield cartridges produced especially for your machine by the same manufacturer often provides the greater economy and quality of print.”

7. Buy in bulk

Additionally, the long shelf life of quality ink and toner cartridges accommodates stocking up in bulk. If you can secure a deal on a bulk order, or snap up a short-time deal – then an initial larger investment could save you great sums in the long term.

8. Double up

If your print has a duplex (double-sided) printing option, turn it on immediately. Helping to halve your paper costs without compromising the quality of the prints, double-sided printing should be used whenever possible – only reverting to single-sided when a task specifically requires you to do so.

9. Go green

As well as helping to save the planet, eco-friendly and energy saving functions built into your printer can also help cut running costs. Check your printer manual for any eco-friendly functions and get them turned on immediately.

10. Never print from the web

Hitting print when surfing the web can open up a whole Pandora’s Box of potential printing problems. Committing to printing a website could lead you to printing everything on the webpage, from all the links to high-definition images – potentially wasting loads of ink. This is particularly pertinent when on parallax websites – as there’s plenty more on the page than the screen will display.

So if you want to print anything from a web page, it’s always advisable to copy and paste it to a word document and then hit the print button. Again, this is part of the culture you should aim to instil in the workplace for well-controlled print overheads.

While worrying about your printing costs is probably not your most pressing concern, the more your business – and your team – grows, the more these costs and other office and administrative expenses will increase. So, by creating a company culture that encourages your staff to be frugal in all areas of your business, you’ll help to maximise potential profits.


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