As a business owner, it’s important you do as much as you can to save costs. Small businesses can easily pay out far more than they take in, causing them to easily go out of business. When you think about some of your business expenses, one of the things most businesses struggle with is should you buy or lease a copier?
Every business needs a copier. But how much do you use it? What key functions are necessary for you? Depending on your business needs you should be able to determine if you should buy or lease a copier.
This post will help to put “should you buy or lease a copier” in perspective to give your business the economic edge it deserves as it grows. We’ll look at the pros and cons of both and determine the type of questions you need to ask to make the best decision for your business.
First of all, you should know that copiers don’t just simply copy anymore. Most copiers today are at least a 3-in-1, meaning at a minimum, they can copy, print, and scan. But there are so many other functions that copiers are also able to do. Depending on the functionality you need, costs for either buying or leasing a copier could vary widely.
But let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of doing either.
Below are the pros and cons of leasing a copier.
- Your equipment will always be up to date. After a couple of years, your equipment becomes obsolete with upgrades and new versions of the copier. When you lease a copier, it means you also get upgraded when the manufacturer upgrades the equipment and copier repairs. That keeps you from never having old, broken down, or outdated equipment.
- Consistent expense. With leasing comes a monthly expense to lease. This could be anywhere from $50 to $500 monthly, but regardless of what it is, every month you always know how to budget for your copier with no surprises.
- No overwhelming initial expense. Copiers can be costly, thousands of dollars even. However, when you lease a copier, you won’t have to put up an outrageous out-of-pocket expense to lease it.
- Meet business needs. The best thing about leasing is as long as you know you can afford the monthly payment, you will always have the equipment you need to handle your business needs.
- It could cost more over time. Even though you don’t have an initial big expense when you lease a copier, over time you could end up spending more because of the monthly payments. How long will you be leasing? For the remainder of the life of your business? That could be a long time. While initially, it may look like you’re saving money, it’s likely you’re not.
- Leasing never ends. Depending on your lease agreement, you may have to continue making the monthly lease payments even after you no longer need the copier. The only reason you would no longer need to lease is if you buy because your business will need to have the capacity to perform some of the functions a copier does. And if you don’t buy, you’ll need to renew or sign a new lease, which means your leasing never ends. This is a monthly payment that may never go away.
- Simple to do. Buying equipment is easy. Once you’ve found the copier that meets your business needs with the functionality you desire, you price it and buy it. There’s no paperwork (other than your receipt), no lease agreement, and no long, drawn-out process.
- The equipment is yours to do whatever you want. Sometimes with leasing agreements comes the standard for copier maintenance. You have to maintain the copier according to what and how the leasing company wants you to. That in itself can get expensive. When you buy the equipment yourself, you can maintain it as you want.
- May not be able to afford the purchase. The cost to buy a copier can be as little as $200 or as high as $60,000 (industrial copiers can be more than that). Would you have the money to invest in a copier or would you need a line of credit? Would you be able to get a line of credit based on your business credit? These questions are not always the answer you want. And in the end, you have to do what’s best for your business finances.
- Stuck with outdated equipment. When you buy equipment, you may be stuck with it for a lot longer than you want. You may not be able to upgrade as you need to in order to keep up with the latest technology. In some instances, if your equipment is not sufficiently updated, it won’t function as it should, and you’re just stuck with it.
Deciding to buy or lease a copier is not always a simple answer. Again, your business needs will determine how sophisticated a copier you need, which in itself will determine the price point for the copier if you buy it.
Should you decide to lease though, here are some questions to ask the leasing company:
- How long will the lease term be? Usually, the longer you lease, the less the payment. But, just as with a mortgage, the longer the term, the more you eventually end up paying out over time.
- Is there a buyout option? Some lease companies may allow you to purchase the copier at the end of the lease term. That may help you to acquire a copier you can call your own that you couldn’t afford to buy at the time.
- Does the copier have to be insured? Depending on who you lease from, insurance may be required. If so, know that will drive up the monthly payment.
- Can you add additional equipment? So, if you lease one piece of equipment, will the same company allow you to add additional equipment down the road? That would be easier than doing another lease for each piece of equipment you get. And if you lease multiple pieces of equipment from the same company, will that be cheaper for you?
- What if I end the lease early? Some companies require you to continue to pay monthly even if you no longer need the equipment.
Hopefully, this post provides you with what you need to make the best decision on whether you should buy or lease a copier. Should you decide to buy a copier, Docutrend is able to meet the major demands businesses deal with daily with our line of Canon and Kyocera copiers. Contact us so we can discuss your business needs.