Let’s face it—small and medium business owners have better things to worry about than what to do when their ink cartridge runs out or how the cost of printing supplies impacts their bottom line. Not only are they focused on managing every aspect of their business from paying the rent to keeping coffee flowing in the breakroom, they’re also fighting for survival in a rapidly growing business sector.
The start-up scene is booming—28 million small businesses account for 54 percent of all sales and provide 55 percent of all jobs in America.[i] Talk about some competition. When SMB owners are busy running their businesses, printing is often far from mind until something goes wrong. SMBs don’t want to think about it—and honestly, they don’t have to with the smart printing solutions on the market today.
In partnership with HP, I’m happy to share a few suggested “print hacks” that can help take the stress out of printing and put the focus back on growing your business:
Print Hack #1: Choose your printer wisely
One of the traps many SMBs fall into is selecting a printing product that is difficult to integrate into their existing print environments, or simply doesn’t align with their needs. SMBs may think their choice of printer has a minimal impact on their bottom line, but investing in the wrong product effectively silos your printing environment and derails the efficiency of your IT operations. It can also come with hidden costs that are sure to cause headaches down the road, such as high energy consumption, expensive downtime and servicing costs, messy ongoing maintenance and costly supplies.
It’s important for SMBs to research the products on the market today and invest in printing solutions that address broader IT concerns like ongoing cost savings, security, management and mobility. To make smarter, better-informed decisions about their printers, SMBs need to closely evaluate their printing requirements and assess how this will positively (or negatively) affect their business’ specific needs and budget. Solutions like HP’s OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X series give SMBs several options to optimize their print environments by reducing energy consumption, increasing print speed and lowering supplies costs.
Print Hack #2: Never run out of ink
One day, you’re printing pages and pages of reports without a hitch. The next, you hit “Print” on the major proposal you’re about to present to new business prospects and discover you’ve run out of ink. It’s an unfortunate scenario all too familiar for many SMBs and one that simply doesn’t have to happen.
Ink replacement services such as HP Instant Ink make it easy for SMBs to eliminate ink anxiety, ensuring they will never run out of ink while also saving up to 50 percent. HP Instant Ink uses the Internet of Things to make many HP printers “smart” so they know to order ink when they are running low and have it shipped directly to your home or business. Not only does this make buying ink more convenient, but services like HP Instant Ink also help SMBs manage printing costs and avoid overpaying for supplies they’ll never use.
Print Hack #3: Use original hardware and supplies
This last “print hack” may not seem like a hack at all, but trust me—there’s a time and a place to cut corners, but not when it comes to printing supplies. Purchasing original ink and toner ensures quality printing.
At first, it may seem appealing to purchase cheaper ink cartridges from a third party manufacturer. But over time, these cartridges can end up clogging or damaging the device’s print heads. Third party inks are generally lower-quality than original products, and won’t yield the same color or clarity. One of the benefits of using original inks is that it’s reliable. For instance, 72 percent of refilled ink cartridges failed during use or right out of the box, while original cartridges like Original HP ink and toner cartridges work every time. Additionally, original ink and supplies can help SMBs reduce reprints (which saves paper, toner and energy costs), and they also deliver more consistent, high-quality prints. [ii] So when it comes to ink supplies, it’s best for SMBs to pay the nominal premium for quality, original products to avoid the potential for greater costs down the road.