The Evolution of Printers: A Look At Printers for Every Small Business Need

As offices have increasingly steered toward achieving paper-free status, one thing has become glaringly apparent. We’ll always have a need for printing. In fact, many offices have sought printers that will take care of tasks normally outsourced to professional printing companies, while also adding printers that can perform in other capacities, such as faxing, scanning, and copying.

For a small business weighing its equipment options, there’s no shortage of choices. Whatever need your small business has, there’s likely a printer to match it. Here are some printing-related small business needs and the equipment that can best fulfill those needs.

Large Format Printers

Does your small business print newsletters, brochures, and other marketing materials? A large format printer can save you trips to FedEx Office. The HP DesignJet T120 provides colorful, high-quality graphics that make it a hit with graphic designers and business owners, according to consumer and corporate technology company Porter Novelli. But one of the best features of the T120 is its ability to print in large format, taking businesses beyond the legal size limitations of many desktop printers. Despite its ability to handle large page sizes, the T120 is the smallest in its class, allowing traveling workers to pack it in a bag to keep on hand in a hotel or conference center.

Cloud-Based Printers

“The mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015,” a spokesperson for Xerox states. “With 37.2 percent of the total global workforce on the move, it is essential for small businesses to purchase a printer that not only does the basics, but also supports BYOD policies – offering mobile print options and access to cloud services.” As businesses look toward the future, it’s important they place high priority on options such as the ability to print from mobile devices securely and with no software installation required.

Speedy Printers

Today’s busy professional has no time to wait for print jobs to slowly spit out. The HP OfficeJet Pro X series boasts the fastest printer speeds available at 70 pages per minute. It’s a speed that even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. According to a Porter Novelli representative, the OfficeJet Pro accomplishes this by using a revolutionary new technology called Pagewide. “The new PageWide prints with a single speedy pass of the page, rather than the traditional ink printer that moves back and forth repeatedly across the page,” she tells us.

Multi-Function Printers

Thanks to multi-function printers, business owners can free up desk space by getting rid of fax machines, copiers, and scanners. A small business can add all workers to one handy device that does it all at a fraction of the price. Some popular MFPs include the HP OfficeJet Pro X576dw, the Epson Workforce Pro WP-4590, and the Canon Pixma MG5320.

Postage Printers

Office workers have enjoyed the ease of printing labels using Dymo label printers for years. Now the printing company provides interactivity with Endicia postal printing software, saving you a trip to the post office. Since time is money, that can add money to the small business owner’s bottom line. “We both know that mobile technology has reduced our need to print documents, but some businesses still rely on printing for their livelihood,” a spokesperson says. “So if you’re an e-commerce professional selling goods online, or a small brick-and-mortar offering select product shipping, the DYMO LabelWriter is a must-have.”

As you assess your printing needs, knowing the many options available to small businesses today can help ensure you’re prepared for the future. Technology will likely continue to change in the coming years, so be sure your business is prepared to handle those changes by choosing a printer that will grow with your business.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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