Running your own business is a tricky thing. There are loads of considerations to balance. Costs that need to be accounted for. Practicalities that must be planned. Sales that need to be driven and budgets that need to be met. It is a constant tightrope that needs to be walked – and if you get it right it is both fun and challenging. Printing needs are one of the areas that need to be factored in; they are increasingly important from a cost perspective as well as from an environmental one. Is it time to move to a paperless office yet? The answer is probably ‘no’, but here are a few things you might want to consider as you weigh up your options.
Do we need all that paper?
Being aware of the amount of paper that you use is the first step in decreasing your printing load. The nature of the business that you are in will probably go a long way towards dictating how easy it is to cut down the printing load. It probably goes without saying that old-school businesses will move slower and be more dependent on printers and papers than online or digital companies. But even so, it is almost impossible to survive without printing a few items at least a few times a day. So maybe don’t buy your own printer but instead, engage with one of the many multifunction print providers for companies. Lease the machine that best suits your requirements and go from there. If you own a fancy printer you will be more inclined to use it for the purpose that it was intended.
Scanning is good
Modern printers are so much more than just printers. In the same way that mobile phones are now cameras and computers and voice recorders and torches, so modern printers can scan, fax, copy and print. And in many instances even more than that. Make sure that the printing solution that you settle on allows you to print (obviously), but, at the same time, that it helps usher you towards a paperless era by means of scanning solutions.
The ability to become paperless is about collective consciousness. You might want to be paperless, which is great, but the reality is that it is a dream that can only be achieved if your partners and suppliers are also willing to move with the times. So, talk to them about the situation. If your partner requires that each item sent to them must be accompanied by a printed waybill, then it is hard to be paperless. Explain your goals and objectives and how they will impact both on your operations costs and the environment, and hopefully, they will relent and help you move towards a paperless future.
Tablets for the win
One of the main reasons people like to print material is because it is easy to read. Convenience. Laptops and computers are not quite the same, but tablets are. So, look to supply your staff with tablets – which are surprisingly cheap these days. It means that the inconvenience of not being able to read printed material will be minimised. Plus, it will leave your staff feeling invested in and tech savvy. A win for everyone.