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Printing Your Programs -- Printers

We’ve talked about designing funeral programs and how to creatively use photographs to add interest. With the proper equipment, you can print these programs for clients in your own home office. Let’s talk now about what kind of printers work best for printing funeral programs. Here is some basic information about each type.

Laser Printers

A laser printer produces crisp, clean documents because the toner fuses to the paper, just like a copier. The average black and white laser printer can be purchased for less than one hundred dollars, but you’ll want to be able to print in color if you’re planning to use photographs and clipart in your designs. Laser printers that print in color can cost more than three hundred dollars at the low end.

Toner cartridges for these printers will probably cost in excess of one hundred dollars, however, they are generally high yield, meaning that they print thousands of copies each. You will find, as you begin to shop, that some laser printers also serve as fax machines, scanners and copiers (all-in-one machines.) One more plus for laser printers, they don’t require drying time between pages if you’re printing on both sides.

Take a look at your business start-up funds and decide if investing in a laser printer is the right move for your business.

Inkjet Printers

An inkjet printer prints by spraying ink on a page in a pattern. Inkjet printers are less expensive to purchase than laser printers and their cartridges average between fifteen and thirty dollars each.
Keep in mind that inkjet cartridges have a much lower yield (number of pages it will print) than laser jet toner cartridges, as you’re making your comparison.

For both color laser and color inkjet printers, you’ll need at least three different color cartridges in addition to black in order to produce a full range of colors. As with laser printers, some inkjets can serve more
than one function, such as scanning and faxing for your office.

Here are a few more questions to ask yourself as you begin shopping:

  1. Will your computer remain stationary and be connected to your printer most of the time, or is it important for the printer to have wireless capability?
  2. Do you plan to offer various weights of paper for funeral program printing? Laser printers tend to be limited in the type of paper that will print successfully, i.e., most of them won’t print on card stock.
  3. Which features will best help streamline your funeral program printing business? Will you, for example, want to have a printer with automatic duplexing (printing on both sides of the paper)? Will it be important, in your business model, to be able to print quickly? If so, you’ll want to pay attention to ppm (pages per minute) stats as you shop.
  4. Will it actually be more economical for you at this time to save your funeral program designs to a removable drive (or as an email attachment) for printing by a print or copy shop, rather than owning your own printer? You should be able to obtain average cost per copy statistics from the store where you’re shopping. Compare that number to the cost per copy of outsourcing your print jobs to a shop.

Your computer system components—computer, apps and printer—will be one of the keys to your success. It will either make it easy for your business to grow or soon become an obstacle.

As you begin to purchase components for your system, you’ll need to weigh start-up and on-going costs against convenience and flexibility. Use these tips to shop with confidence for printing equipment for your business.

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