Finding a truly niche market is hard these days. With remarkably few barriers to entry, especially when considering internet retailing, there has been an exponential rise in competition.
Whether you’re selling ink cartridges (as I do) or cuddly toys, there will be companies out there offering the same products at a similar price. As such, a company’s attempts at differentiation now commonly focus on customer service and “going that extra mile”. And new printer technology can play a big role here, by creating good first impressions with your marketing literature.
The printer’s part
As you all know, in addition to internal document printing, your business printer can be used for customer documents, ranging from invoices to promotional brochures. This is a crucial part of your service and poor quality documents with low-resolution prints or dull colours can really affect attitudes towards your business.
Historically, the options were to outsource such printing requirements to a professional printer, or to foot the bill for a (previously) very expensive colour laser.
LED laser printers
However, many manufacturers are now following Oki and moving into LED printing technology for their colour laser machines, and start-ups with high volume printing requirements can cheer at this.
The benefits are many:
- High-resolution prints
- No moving parts (quieter and fewer hardware issues)
- Lower maintenance costs (highlighted by longer free warranties)
- Single-pass printing (less chance of a paper jam)
- Faster print speeds.
And best of all, their initial price (from £180) is accessible for any start-up. Plus, very little can go wrong with the machines, the quality is brilliant and the costs (both in consumables and maintenance) are affordable.
The only real weakness behind the technology is the limited horizontal resolution, as there are only so many LEDs you can physically fit in a row. For the vast majority of small businesses, however, this is not an issue, because it only becomes a problem where you’re doing a lot of image printing. And in that case it would be better to purchase a dedicated image printer anyway.
Perfecting the customer-facing side of your company is just one of the many factors a start-up has to get right to survive. LED printers are a great way to achieve affordable and professional quality printing, and thus immediately put your business level with the competition. And avoiding the need to outsource printing means costs can be kept to a minimum and forecast easily – a real bonus in the start-up world, where every penny counts.