Why your small business still needs a printer

When you consider the technology that your business needs to thrive, what pops into your mind? Cloud storage? Contact-management software? Social media pages? Tablets and smartphones for your salespeople and other staffers? What about printers? You may think that printers are becoming obsolete, going the way of fax machines before them. But you would be wrong. Sure, we are all looking forward to the time when business goes completely paperless. With e-mail, cloud storage systems, social networking sites and tablets that are as powerful as miniature computers, we’re closing in on that day. But we aren’t there yet.

Can’t turn away business

As writer Paul Mah with Small Business Computing.com says, business owners will frequently run into clients who demand real paper trails of their transactions. These customers are either unable or hesitant to move toward a paperless business model. Small business owners today are hardly ever in the position of turning away any customers, even those who won’t adjust to new technology. It’s important, then, for business owners to invest in the correct printer. Fortunately, Mah provides some choices.


First, you’ll want to determine whether you need a multi-function printer. Such printers, as their name suggests, do more than just print. They also scan, photocopy and fax. Such printers make sense for firms that perform these other functions. But these printers, because of their many functions, are often more expensive. If your company rarely faxes or makes photocopies, a unit dedicated solely to printing will make more sense.

Laser vs. Inkjet

The old debate has always centered on whether laser printers or inkjet printers make more sense for small businesses. The truth is, both kinds of printers come with downsides and upsides. Consider laser printers. As Mah writes, it’s widely acknowledged that laser printers produce cleaner, more vibrant copy than inkjet printers. On the down side? Laser printers can be more expensive. Then take a look at inkjet printers. These are usually less expensive and their technologies have improved so that the prints that come from them are clearer than ever before. But you will find downsides here, too. For one thing, you’ll need to replace those printer heads often if your business does a lot of printing. Secondly, the printer heads clog up on an inkjet printer in the event the printer is not used often enough. There are other considerations when buying a printer for your business. The more you print, the higher-end printer you’ll need. If you want to print in color, you’ll need to decide whether to use a printer containing both black and color cartridges or one that utilizes a single-cartridge system to produce all colors.