Copytech icon

Copytech staff

Fri Jul 05 2019

Reading time: 0mins

Starting out

When starting your business venture there are plenty of things to consider and a printer may well be a long way down the list of priorities.

Maybe, like many new ventures, you will initially move in to a co- working space so someone else will have the responsibility of dealing with print facilities.

Once you have your own space though, you'll inevitably need to scan or print the occasional document. You'll likely start by purchasing an inkjet or baby laser device from the local IT store but as your business grows and you find that you have more documents to print or scan or even copy you will quickly discover why SOHO (Small Office + Home Office) printers are exactly that.

They are kind of fine for printing the occasional boarding pass or theatre ticket. Maybe even the menu for your next dinner party. But when there's heavy lifting to be done you will find that there are many drawbacks.

So what are the drawbacks of SOHO printers and at what point do you transition from one of these to a Managed Printer ("Business Class printer").

SOHO v Business Class

Well let's first look at the manufacturer's strategy when they make and sell a SOHO printer.

The manufacturer knows that they are going to have to pack this device full of features in order to compete, so it'll need, copying, faxing, scanning, printing, colour, wifi etc.. etc..

But thats a lot of tech when the market wants to pay £100 for a multifunction printer! So how do they square that particular circle?

Easy - build to a price not a quality

  1. Reduce the quality of components (and functions as a result) to avoid expensive RAM, Hard drives, LED arrays, gears, drive motors and the rest.

  2. Increase the consumables cost (ink, toner, drums) until the pips squeak.

So two things will happen when you want to use these devices to any useful extent in a Business setting.

It will be frustrating

It will be frustrating. Scanning will be painfully slow and inconvenient and probably involve installing a scanning application. Printing will take an age despite the fact that the manufacturer says it will print at 30 pages per minute.

With a SOHO Multifunctional printer (particularly inkjet) you will be left to fend for yourself. The manufacturer will have a "computer says no" call centre in some remote location and you will have to remember to purchase your extortionately priced inks from a stationery supplier (hopefully before you run out).

With a professional Managed Printer you are likely to get the whole array of services including automated toner supply, servicing, maintenance, parts, troubleshooting, advice, and installation. You'll probably pay half a penny or thereabouts to print a black and white page and in the region of 4p for a full colour page.

You won't receive any of these services with your SOHO device and will probably pay (you'll have to calculate your ink costs and how many pages you get printed) anywhere between 2p and 5p for a mono page and 15p-50p for a colour page.

If cost were your only criteria then it doesn't take much working out to realise that if you print any more than a couple of hundred pages per month you will be quids in with a professional printer.

But never forget to value time and convenience.

Whats the cost of your time when you have to scan back from your PC rather than simply stacking a document on the scanner and pressing Go?

Or waiting for a print job to finally come out of the printer?

Support, maintenance and troubleshooting?

What about the admin cost of dealing with invoices from ink suppliers?

In short

It's all about cost and convenience.

Work out how many pages you print per day/week/month.

Double and triple check your spend on printer inks and toners.

Don't underestimate the functional superiority (AKA - time saving) of a Managed Printer.

Once you have done your sums, if you still think your desktop SOHO printer is right for you - sit back relax and have a cup of tea.

If not, then perhaps its time to take action.

[email protected]

020 7237 4545

Talk to an expert

There are many possible options and decisions to make when it comes to print and document solutions. They can be hard to hard to navigate, particularly for the inexperienced.

If you need more advice or information, we can talk you through your options and help you make a better decision.

Call to talk with an advisor:

0207 237 4545

Send us an email to start a conversation

Required are fields marked with