Small business smarts buy copier, lease copier or rent copier
Buy copier, Lease copier or rent copier? For any small business owner who has been on this same trail from being a mom & pop shop and into a real business, we graduate from printers to a copy machine, and then to a multifunction copier that was leased and not purchased.
All of us go looking with excitement for an office in a commercial building to actually be a full-fledged business once we've outgrown the home-grown business. Then comes all the additional expenses we didn't see coming. Networking, furniture, the cost of commercial phones and phone line costs rather than residential, etc. One of the biggest unplanned expenses is the need for a copy machine, or at least that is where it starts. "We don't need a copier, we'll just use the printers we've had for the past few years" many people think. What we haven't learned yet is that printer costs are more expensive than copier costs.
A copier can make copies for pennies, but a printer costs six to twenty (.06 to.20) cents per page. Once we start creating marketing pieces, printing invoices, accounting, inventory, etc, we find ourselves wishing we had bought stock in the printer cartridge industry. Then we wake up and realize we needed a copier.
After a year or three, should we buy copier, we next learn we shouldn't have bought that small copier, because now we need a huge one, and one that staples, collates, faxes, scans, acts like a printer and 25 other bells and whistles. So we do our homework and learn all about a multifunction copier. We see it is the exact answer for all our business needs. In fact, we can let go of all the printers and those expensive cartridges. We think we've found business nirvana with this new tool that does everything, until we see the price tag to buy copier. Then our heart skips a beat and we realize the price of this machine that we can't live without, costs as much capital as we have in the bank, and payroll is next week. Finally we learn we can keep all our precious capital for our business, and still have our new business toy, a fully multifunction copier, simply by leasing it.
After using our new toy for just 2 months, we found out we can sell a garage sale:
• Printer cartridges
• Fax machines
• Fax machine toner cartridges
• Copy machine
• Copy machine cartridges
Then we don't even need an accountant to realize how much money we were spending on all those machines, buying new ones every few years, stocking up on all the cartridges, keeping it all organized, hoping nothing breaks so we don't have to make another capital investment. We realize we've started saving ourselves a ton of money, and we have one machine, networked so the whole office can use it, and it is 5-8 machines all rolled up into one. This new genius black box (or white) prints in black and white and 50-100 pages a minute. It prints in color, it scans, faxes, staples, collates and more. Our lease comes with a service contract and a service tech shows up once a month or so (depending on our copier lease), and they maintain it and it never breaks down. If it does, one phone call and they hop on over to fix it; no fear, no loss of more capital, no running down to kinko's to send a fax, nothing; all our business printing functions are handled. We wish we'd have known about this gem of a machine a long time ago. We realized once our business grew out of our home-office or garage, we should have leased this great invention. We reminisce about all the money spent on all those machines cartridges, toners, supplies, shaking our head at how stupid we were. We weren't stupid, we just didn't know.
Buy Copier Solves Many Issues
In a few more years we realize just how smart we were to lease and not buy. Why? Because now we simply adjust our lease, and the copier company brings in a new larger multifunction copier for us and takes away the older one, all with no out of pocket cash. They even gave us credit for any unused cartridges; this is when we really pat ourselves on the back. This is the day we learned that leasing this critical piece of equipment is the best investment we've ever made, and that leasing it is the only way to have one.