There is a whirlwind of classic debates that people just can’t resist chatting about. Pizza with or without pineapple? Is it pronounced “gif” or “jif?” Star Wars or Star Trek?
In the business world, the long-standing debate is whether your small business should lease or buy a printer. It’s no secret that small businesses have to work within tighter budget constraints than larger corporations. However, when it comes to printers, we’re here to finally put this argument to rest.
Without a doubt, purchasing a printer is a much more valuable investment for your business. Why? Let’s take a look now.
Advantages of Buying a Printer
#1. More Cost-Effective in the Long-Term
While outright purchasing a printer may require higher upfront costs, you’ll save money in the long-term because you won’t be obligated to make monthly lease payments over the span of many years.
If your small business is strategic when it comes to decision-making, you’ll come to see how this is a long-term business investment. Not to mention, you will own the technology, meaning should you decide to upgrade or sell it in the future, you can recover some of your initial investment.
#2. Tax Benefits
Potential tax benefits are always a hot topic when it comes to how you operate your small business. Office equipment, or printers, in this case, falls under Section 179 of the IRS code.
This allows businesses to deduct the cost of any newly purchased assets within the first year. While Section 179 can be applied to both purchased and leased equipment, purchased equipment will typically yield a much bigger deduction.
Any amount of money makes a big difference to a small business.
#3. Flexible Maintenance
When you lease a printer, it’s not considered your property. Therefore, you’re at the mercy of the leasing company – which will typically bake in contractual obligations surrounding the maintenance of the machine.
Leasing contract stipulations typically err on the safe side, meaning your business will be required to service your leased printer much more frequently than it actually needs. And just like a car, servicing a printer comes with its own additional fees, which increases the total amount you spend on printer upkeep.
Should the equipment break, good luck waiting for the leasing company to come and resolve the issue quickly.
When you own the equipment, however, you have the power to hire a technician of your own choosing. This means you can service your company’s printers without the need for approval and at a moment’s notice.
This not only gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best rates, but it’ll ensure operations continue flowing seamlessly without interruption.
Disadvantages of Leasing a Printer
#1. Cost Accumulates Over Time
As with many types of leases, once you come to the conclusion of your lease term, you’ll likely dish out much more money than the actual value of the machine. Similarly, in a rent-to-own scenario, the lessee/eventual purchaser typically winds up paying a higher price than the market value of the printer.
To help paint a better picture here’s an example:
Let’s say you elect to go with a printer worth $5,000 today. You lease the equipment at a price of $175 per month over the course of three years. When you reach the end of your lease period, the total amount paid over the length of your contract is $6,300.
That’s $1,300 additional dollars that could’ve been invested elsewhere if you had originally purchased the printer outright.
#2. Contractual Obligations
This is where leasing a printer could really hurt your business. For one, you’ll be obligated to make on-time monthly payments over the lifetime of the contract.
If a newer, better model is released and you want to upgrade, selling isn’t an option. And let’s be honest: tech is forever evolving and advancing.
Should you want the latest machine to hit the market, you’d have to terminate your lease early – an incredibly expensive route to travel down. It’s also important to point out that a number of leases are set to auto-renew, so you should always be cognizant of all the details included in your contract.
#3. It’s More Complex
When you purchase a printer for your business, it’s a much simpler process than leasing one. To buy a printer, you perform a little research, select which machine best fits your needs, and then pull the trigger. If you’re going to lease a printer instead, we hope you love piles of paperwork.
On top of that, your legal team will have to spend time reviewing the lease contract before you get the green light and can schedule an official delivery date to your office. Not only is this a hassle, but it could interrupt productivity and keep your business from completing important tasks.
Only you can truly know what decision is right for your small business. However, after reading through this article, we hope you have a pretty clear picture of why purchasing a printer is a smart choice for your company.
Yes, it’s more expensive upfront. But in the end, you’ll own the printer, save money on expensive leasing maintenance plans, and have the opportunity to sell the printer when it’s time for an upgrade.
Questions? Get in touch with an Imaging Spectrum specialist at 214-342-9290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org