Nothing breaks a small business budget like an oversized printing bill. In fact, a survey conducted by printing firm Laserfast1 in March 2013 found that printing costs account for 1 to 6 per cent of an organisation's total revenue. If you're attempting to take charge of your printing expenses, a little caution goes a long way. Here are our five steps for mastering wallet-friendly business printing.
Change your font
It is common knowledge that the mounting prince of ink and toner can put a serious strain on your bank balance. However, it's less obvious that swapping your regular fonts for thinner typefaces might be the best thing you can do to keep your printing costs under control. According to a March article in The Economist2, trading in Arial for Century Gothic could save businesses as much as $80 per printer per year - if you operate multiple printers, this minor change could have a major impact on your bottom line.
Printing more than one page per sheet is a fuss-free way to scale down printing costs while minimising the piles of paper that regularly clutter your desk. Make sure you choose the Handouts option in the print section and allocate the amount of pages you would like to appear on each sheet. If you want to supercharge your efforts, make it a habit to print only on greyscale. This low-pixel setting retains readability while going easy on the ink.
If you regularly print business correspondence, reports and presentations, why not swap hard copies with PDFs? PDF files can be effortlessly emailed to your team members without compromising your bank balance or the environment. Although Mac computers have the functionality built in, downloading programs such as doPDF allow you to conduct this process in seconds. Relying on digital files rather than paper can save you time and effort while streamlining your printing costs.
Invest in a laser printer
If you're a small enterprise that rarely prints paper documents, it is more economical to rely on an ink-jet printer. According to a March 2013 article in The Guardian3, laser printers are a more cost-effective option for a business owner who prints over 2000 pages a year.
Incorporate printing restrictions into your IT policy
Interestingly, the biggest impact you can have on your printing costs can involve spending time training your staff. For instance, educating your team about draft print modes for everyday documents can cut down your ink volumes while seriously accelerating print output. It's also worth instructing your staff to think twice before printing a document that could be read on a screen. If you enforce the importance of being frugal with printing, employees are likely to follow suit.
Although printing can comprise a major chunk of your budget, a few cost-saving measures can bring your spending back on track. Do you suffer from hefty printing bills? What measures do you take to minimise them?
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Neha Kale is a freelance writer and editor with over six years’ experience in the media and finance industries. She has held senior editorial positions at various business and technology publications and specialises in online strategy, innovation, creativity and management best practices.