Printing and copying can be one of those areas of “hidden overhead” that small businesses may overlook in budget planning. Over time, their costs (and the paper they use) can become a drag on the bottom line.

There are ways to slow down printing and copying costs. Whether you’re printing large orders or just some for small office needs, there are simple ways to save. Here are just a few.

letter press

Print more | If you constantly reprint materials like business cards, labels, stationery, and brochures several times a year, you may want to increase your volume of printing and decrease the number of times you print. . Chances are your printer will offer volume discounts. Printing has a set-up fee that makes the last piece off the press is the least expensive.

Print less | If, however, you own a company that rarely reprints large quantities of printed materials, you may be better off printing small batches of materials using digital printing techniques. Money saved on storage space or spoilage from re-printing because of a change in location or e-mail address can unnecessarily run up your printing costs. In some cases, on-demand printing can provide savings in storage and distribution costs.

Print any amount | The savings on typical office needs like business cards or simple forms may change at anytime — no matter what the quantity –thanks to ever changing technology and capabilities of printing. Talk to your printer about recent options or technology they offer.

Use grayscale or draft printing if color versions are not necessary | For the internal review of documents, try printing in black and white to cut down on usage of color ink.

Use two printers |Although it may sound counterintuitive, having two printers may actually save money. Use an efficient (and much less expensive) laser printer for everyday black and white printing, and save the quality inkjet printer for higher-end quality jobs only. This way, the more expensive inkjet cartridges are used less frequently.

Create a “screen-first” office culture | While memos and interesting articles left on a coworker’s desk can be an attention-grabber, these needs can be satisfied through the use of workplace texting and email. There are times when print-on-paper makes sense and is more effective. Work with you staff on determining what office communications and processes can be better served via print or digital.

Save on ink and toner cartridges | One of the most obvious costs of printing and copying is the high expense of toner and ink cartridges. By purchasing compatible cartridges with private lable brands, you can save money on supplies that are manufactured and engineered to meet the performance standards of the original manufacturers, but are priced less.

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