Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.

How many pieces of paper do you find yourself crumpling up and throwing in the circular file in the course of an average workday? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, it’s probably in the double digits (or more). Even in situations where printing documents out isn’t really necessary, it can be a hard habit to break.

If you recycle waste paper, you don’t have to feel quite as guilty about destroying trees. But you’re also throwing away part of your profits. Some 15 percent of the average small and midsized business’s IT costs are spent on printing. Unnecessary printing wastes time, paper and ink—all of which translate into money. If you’re ready to take charge of your printing costs, here are six things can do to ensure your business’s printers aren’t “money pits.”

  1. Buy the right kind of printer.
    Purchasing cost-effective, environmentally friendly printers in the first place will get you off on the right foot. Xerox® multifunction (MFP) printers use environmentally responsible ColorQube Solid Ink instead of ink cartridges to save your business money. You can cut costs even more by keeping an eye out for sales, deals and rebates on Xerox printers before you buy.
  2. Reduce paper use.
    For those times when nothing but a print copy will do, there are still ways to cut costs. For example, have your employees make it a practice to print on both sides of paper whenever possible. (Xerox® printers’ default setting is two-sided printing, so you automatically save money.)
  3. Use printer ink judiciously.
    Whenever possible, try to print in black-and-white instead of color. You can also pinch pennies by using fonts that require less ink. For instance, LifeHacker reports, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Calibri all use less ink than Arial, which is the default font on many computers. For papers that don’t need to look perfect, choosing lower resolution or draft-mode printing will also help to reduce ink usage.
  4. Download free business templates.Go pro.
    Are you and your team creating or approving layouts for marketing materials, PowerPoint presentations or graphic design projects? Instead of printing and discarding dozens of concepts, use professionally designed templates as the foundation of your projects.

    Xerox® offers a full range of templates, including marketing brochures, direct mail flyers and more, that will get you started on just about any kind of business project.

  5. Print preview.
    How often have you printed a document only to find (after it’s printed) that it’s in portrait instead of landscape setting, or the font is too tiny for anyone to read? What a waste of paper (and money). Even if you’re in a hurry, get in the habit of always previewing your print jobs before committing them to paper. You’ll be able to spot easily fixable errors like these and save some trees in the process.
  6. Get onto the cloud.
    Of course, the best way to eliminate paper, ink and printer waste is to move your documents and data into cloud storage so employees can access them digitally. If your business records are still primarily paper-based, scanning all of those documents might sound impossibly daunting.

    It doesn’t have to be if you have Xerox® multifunction printers enabled with ConnectKey®. Using ConnectKey®, you can set up workflows to scan documents into the Xerox® MFP printer and send the resulting digital files directly to the cloud, to someone’s email, or to anywhere you want to share and store them.

For more cost saving tips and advice on boosting productivity for your business, subscribe to the Small Business Solutions blog using the box below.

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