If you run a small business, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees have absolutely everything that they need in order to complete their roles to the best of their ability. Part of this entails always maintaining a well-stocked office. Without office supplies, your workers won’t be able to do what you ask of them and you’ll end up wasting a whole lot of time and money. So, keep on top of things and ensure that anything that runs out is replaced as soon as it starts running low or runs out. Here are a few office basics that you should always keep an eye on and a few different ways to get the most for your money when investing in them!
There have been so many developments in technology that we can now carry out many tasks in the office on our laptops, tablets, and even smartphones. This has resulted in many businesses claiming that their offices are going to go “paperless” in the near future. Instead of printing and scanning documents or photocopying, for example, there are now apps that scan original paper files into PDF format for us, meaning that we can cut out the printing and scanning or photocopying process. This is generally cheaper for you as a business owner and is much better for the environment too, as we’re not wasting as much paper. However, there are still plenty of uses for the printing process in the standard office and they’re not something that we should consider ridding ourselves of entirely quite yet. Many workers prefer the immediacy of being able to print a document and have a tangible copy in their hands that they can hold onto. This rids them of the worry that their computer files or copies may be lost or hacked into. So, let’s take a look at some printing basics that every office could do with!
Choosing an office printer can be pretty difficult. There are so many different things to bear in mind when opting for one model over another. Try to look for a printer that has low ink costs. Ink can be notoriously expensive and by opting for a printer that has cheaper ink, you’ll find that you won’t have to fork out quite so much each time the tank or cartridge empties. Then you should consider printing speed. Traditionally, this was measured by CPM or “characters per minute”, but as word processing has developed, we have more font styles and sizes available to us, so this unit of measurement has become a little outdated. Instead, look for print speed measurement in pages per minute. This should give you a more general idea of how long you’ll be waiting for longer documents to come hot off the press. A final thing that you should draw into your consideration is the paper capacity of each given printer you’re considering. Most businesses only require standard A4 printing, which the majority of printers will cater to. However, if you are regularly going to be printing A3 sheets, you’ll need to look at printers which can process this larger paper size. The same goes for different paper weights. The weight of any given paper is measured in GSM, or “grams per square meter”. The heavier the paper stock, the higher the GSM, so make sure that your printer is capable of taking heavier GSM if you intend to print onto card.
When your ink tank empties and you need a new cartridge, many people will head straight to the manufacturer that supplied them with the printer that they have. However, these cartridges will come at a higher cost, purely for the reason that you’re grabbing them from the original manufacturer who will charge premium prices. The good news is that you have alternatives. There are suppliers out there who offer the same cartridges at a lower price. So look around for cheap printer ink and cartridges rather than purchasing the first ones you see.
We have already looked into GSM earlier, however, if you’re looking for a standard paper for everyday printing needs, opt for A4, white paper with between 80 and 120gsm. Printing paper is relatively easy to come by, however, we’d recommend actively searching for more environmentally friendly options. Look for the winners of awards from the FSC (or “Forest Stewardship Council), as this will guarantee that your paper is sourced from a forest that is responsibly managed. Alternatively, use recycled papers. This means that you are printing on something that has been used before and (if you dispose of it responsibly) will be used again in the future.
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