If you are a business owner, you have likely asked the question: what is the best copier for my small business? It can be overwhelming to go through tons of reviews and find the right fit for your budget and needs – so we are making it easier!
This guide will review what considerations you need to make when choosing the right copier, as well as what might be the right option for your company.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Copier
Before we get into the different types of copiers available, you should consider the different features that would benefit your business.
When you are choosing a copier, the print speed is one of the most crucial factors to look at. You can identify the print speed by looking at the pages per minute – or ppm – listed on the spec sheets.
If you know you have a heavy print volume, then you need to ensure the copier you choose can keep up with that workflow. The last thing that you want is for your employees to be slowed down because the copier is taking too long!
A general rule of thumb is to pick a machine that can do at least 25 to 30 pages per minute. For mid-size to larger businesses, consider a copier that prints 45 to 50 ppm.
Although almost every modern copier can perform basic scanning tasks, some will have more advanced features that may be useful for your organization.
For instance, if you need to scan two-sided documents or want an automatic document feeder, you will need to verify that the model you choose has those capabilities. Likewise, if you have to scan legal documents or high-quality images, look for a copier with at least 4800 pixels.
Like print speed, tray capacity is another important consideration. When you print a high volume of documents, you want a tray capacity that is large enough so that you do not need to refill it every hour!
We recommend a paper capacity of at least A3 or A4 since they can handle a wide range of paper. Also, make sure to think about the types and sizes of paper you need to print on.
Wireless printing features are a must-have in today's business environment. Confirm that the model you are considering can be connected wirelessly, so you and your employees can scan, copy, or print from any company device.
The graphics resolution is another spec that you must contemplate. 2400 x 2400 dpi is standard for production printers, but those that focus on just text documents can be much lower. The more vibrant colors and details you need, the higher the resolution you should consider.
While this is not typically the most vital factor, memory capabilities should also contribute to your decision. Many copiers have an internal memory drive that lets you store scans and documents.
Depending on the needs of your business, you may want to choose a machine with higher RAM storage. The RAM and standard memory will vary but it can range from 256 MB to even 1 TB.
Again, the higher the printing volume, the higher the memory capacity you will need. This will keep the processing speeds up!
How Many Employees do you Have?
Aside from the copier's specifications, the number of employees using the machine should also drive your choice.
If you have fewer than 10 employees in your office, a multifunction copy machine is likely your best option. These devices combine a printer, copier, fax, and scanner all in one. As long as you don’t need to constantly run the copy machine, you can spare it for a few minutes to complete those other tasks.
For a mid-sized business with 10 to 30 employees, you need a copier that is designed to be efficient and fast. Make sure that it has enough memory to handle multiple requests at one time while supporting a wide range of capabilities.
Businesses with more than 30 employees need a fast printer with a large tray capacity. It should also include advanced features like security authentication, automatic duplexing, and more.
Which is the Best Copier for You?
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a copier, let’s review some of the best copier brands for small business:
HP offers a wide variety of model functional copiers that can meet any small business needs. Their smaller printers range from $100 to $300, and some more robust models can cost you up to $7,000.
The lower end of the price range will get you a copier that can print up to 50 pages per minute, while the higher end can deliver an impressively fast 75 PPM. Their machines are known for their sleek design and functionality, but they are not necessarily the best model for production printing or higher volume requirements.
Ricoh is perhaps the most well-known copier manufacturer on the market. This brand has copiers that are ideal for established small businesses that need versatility, capacity, speed, and workflow solutions.
These copiers are not the cheapest, but it is worth the investment if you have a growing company that requires significant printing capabilities.
Small businesses with less than 10 employees, considered a Canon desktop MFP. These small copiers can fit right on your desktop, and do not compromise on quality in design. They start as low as $200, but you can also find a more robust copy machine priced at around $5,000.
Canon is also an ideal solution for businesses that need high-end printing done in-house.
Even though you probably know the Sharp brand when it comes to TVs, they also have a substantial copier product line. These machines are best used in offices that need a copier to boost workflow efficiency and manage a large volume of printing.