However, one of the groups hardest hit by the current recession has been small businesses. Getting a small business off the ground and running it in a sustainable manner has always been difficult, but with banks tightening their belts and reducing the amount they are lending, securing funding for a venture is as hard as ever.
For many businesses this has meant making serious cuts to their overall budget. Cost-cutting measures are being implemented across the board, with unfortunate consequences such as job losses and reduced profits. However, there's one area most businesses can make savings on without necessarily compromising how well the business operates - printing.
Printing is an essential part of most office based businesses yet a lot of money is wasted on misprints or unnecessary printing. This isn't something that has gone amiss among business owners, as printing is often one of the first areas targeting by cost-cutting. However, many business owners approach cutting their printing costs in the wrong manner, implementing overly prohibitive measures that lead to disillusionment among employees and can actually be detrimental to the overall business.
Rather than implementing draconian measures such as banning printing outright or limiting the amount of printing an employee can perform each day (which can lead to tasks having to be put back a day to allow for limits), business owners should instead seek to optimise their employees' current printing habits.
For example, encourage your employees to preview their documents before hitting print. A lot of mistakes that lead to reprinting can be caught just by implementing this simple measure into the printing routine.
Set your office printer's default setting to duplex mode - should it have this capability. Duplex is basically a technical term for double-sided printing, and you'll be amazed by how much paper - and of course money - you'll save just by taking this step.
Also educate your employees on the joys of 'draft mode'. Draft mode produces documents that aren't the best quality but should still suffice for internal memos and documents such as rotas and notices.
Getting your employees to think smarter about what they are printing too. The first question that comes to mind before they hit print should be 'do I need to print this?' There are a wealth of digital distribution methods, such as PDF's and email, that are a lot friendlier to your budget and the wider environment.
The final step is one you need to take yourself as the overseer of the budget - changing your print cartridges. Print cartridges represent the single biggest expense when it comes to printing and this is largely down to people relying on original manufacturer cartridges, which cost an awful lot of money. Remanufactured ink cartridges from a reputable supplier represent a much more cost effective option that will produce prints of near-equal quality!
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