office equipment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12072/all en-US The 5 Best Scanners http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-scanners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-scanners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/desk-5307963-small.jpg" alt="man at desk" title="man at desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, many office appliances perform multiple tasks, and multifunction printers can typically serve the scanning needs of most. Nonetheless, dedicated scanners are still necessary for those who scan frequently. There's a lot to consider when choosing a new scanner, so we've compiled a list of best scanners to help you with your choice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h2>What Is a Scanner?</h2> <p>A scanner is an electronic device that converts text, drawings, and photographs into a digital form that can be viewed and manipulated on a computer. Flatbed scanners are the traditional scanners where the object to be scanned is placed on top of a glass window. Document scanners are useful for scanning a large number of pages (relatively) quickly. Handheld scanners require you to do most of the arm work, but are often portable in case you need to scan on-the-go.</p> <h2>Best 5 Scanners</h2> <h3>Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EZY19W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000EZY19W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="300" height="215" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/scan-epsonperf.jpg" alt="" /></a>For those looking to scan photographs, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EZY19W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000EZY19W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner</a> is the scanner to beat. This scanner produces high quality photo and film scans at a resolution of 6,400 dpi. Users claim that both the software package as well as the scanner itself are easy to use. The scanner is also capable of fixing dust, scratches, and other physical defects from photos, making your old photos look brand new. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EZY19W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000EZY19W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $629.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50 Document Scanner</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OATBEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001OATBEQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="220" height="257" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/scan-epsonwork.jpg" alt="" /></a>Great for small- to medium-sized offices, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OATBEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001OATBEQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Epson WorkForce Pro</a> scanner is great for handling your document-scanning needs. The scanner is capable of scanning 25 pages per minute and has a 75-page automatic document feeder. Its duplex-scanning capabilities also means it can scan both sides of a page at once, making it truly easy for people who need to scan through multiple pages of documents. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OATBEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001OATBEQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $341.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Canon CanoScan LiDE 110</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VQR1UC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VQR1UC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="300" height="178" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/scan-canonLiDE.jpg" alt="" /></a>For those who want a simple, inexpensive scanner that gets the job done, look no further. The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VQR1UC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VQR1UC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Canon CanoScan LiDE</a> is perfect for scanning the occasional document or photo. Simple to use, all you need to do is plug the scanner into your computer via a USB port, and you're ready to go. With a resolution of 2,400 dpi, it produces great document scans and reasonably high quality photo scans. The scanner even has a rudimentary &ldquo;photo restore&rdquo; feature to bring color back to old photos. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VQR1UC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VQR1UC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $49.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII Color Image Scanner</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AGV7TQG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AGV7TQG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="300" height="179" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/scan-canon9000F.jpg" alt="" /></a>The best combination of performance, versatility, and price, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AGV7TQG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AGV7TQG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">this version of the Canon CanoScan</a> is a very well-reviewed multipurpose scanner. With a maximum resolution of 9,600 dpi, this scanner produces excellent document and photo scans, but is not the best at handling film. Also, while faster than other flatbed scanners, it may not be the best choice for those that need to scan large volumes. Finally, the sweeten the deal, it comes with two software programs for image editing. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AGV7TQG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AGV7TQG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $149.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 Mobile Scanner</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ISGG7Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004ISGG7Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="300" height="197" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/scan-fujitsu.jpg" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ISGG7Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004ISGG7Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100</a> is perfect for those who need to scan on-the-go. Weighing less than a pound, it easily fits into a laptop bag and is powered through the use of a single USB cable. With a resolution of 600 dpi, it won't reproduce the best photos, but for scanning short documents, business cards, and receipts, it is exceptional. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ISGG7Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004ISGG7Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $187.23 on Amazon.</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-scanners">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-stylish-shoes-that-last-for-years-try-frye">Want Stylish Shoes That Last for Years? Try Frye</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-for-your-co-workers">20 Gift Ideas for Your Co-Workers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guide office equipment product reviews scanners Tue, 24 Sep 2013 09:36:08 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 986771 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Keys to Making Smart Technology Purchases http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-keys-to-making-smart-technology-purchases <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/3-keys-to-making-smart-technology-purchases-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/3-keys-to-making-sma...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/3-keys-to-making-smart-technology-purchases" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004469030Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Business runs on technology. Even if your office only needs the minimum &mdash; perhaps a computer and a printer &mdash; you still have to decide what to buy and when to replace it. Most offices have a lot more than just one computer and an accompanying printer these days, though. There are scanners, copiers, laptops, mobile phones, and a slew of industry specific gadgets that can make your business more efficient.</p> <p>As a small business owner, it's up to you to sort through the options and make sure the equipment you want and need doesn't break the budget. It can be a delicate balancing act, but, done properly, it can ensure that your business has the tools it needs to grow.</p> <p><b>What Features Are Important to You?</b></p> <p>Even if you're a one-person operation, you probably have critical technology needs. Take printers, for example. There are hundreds of different models available and they certainly are not all the same. That means taking the time to read up on what you're buying and make an informed decision. That's what Jennifer Chiongbian, of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.buyandsellmanhattan.com/">Buy and Sell Manhattan</a> did: &ldquo;I recently purchased a high end printer. It was not the cheapest, but I took into consideration the lifespan of the cartridge and cost per page. My average output for black and white and what I normally did for color. I did my number crunching as far as my usage. It would eventually be cheaper for me in the long run; especially since I had just switched companies that used to print my stuff for free.&quot;</p> <p>Exactly what factors you need to consider depends on your business and your goals. Purchase price is usually a key factor, but efficiency and quality count, too. Other factors such as the gadget's environmental footprint may be important to you, as well. Whatever those important factors are, focus on them first and foremost. Chiongbian continues, &quot;I always consider my typical usage, output and history with a product before switching brands or purchasing some office equipment that is vital to my business. I also ask myself the question, 'Do I really need it, or do I just want it to look cool?'&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Get the Information You Need</b></p> <p>Many websites, notably Amazon, feature in-depth product reviews from real customers that can help you get a better idea of the usefulness of a particular item.&nbsp;It's also easy to simply start with Google, as Lisa Kanarek of&nbsp;<a target="_blank href=" com=" _fcksavedurl=" href="http://www.workingnaked.com/">WorkingNaked.com</a>&nbsp;does. She says, &ldquo;When I'm evaluating technology purchases, I start with Google and type in the type of product I want (printer, Web cam, etc.) and then I start reading reviews from techie Web sites. I also go to the Web sites of online retailers and read the customer reviews. If something has low ratings, I move on to the next product.&rdquo;</p> <p>For larger items, it may be useful to see them in action before you make a final decision. If you know someone who uses a piece of equipment you're interested in, arrange a visit and see it in action. You'll also be able to ask about typical maintenance items and refillables and so on. If you can find a registered dealer or a local sales representative, you can often also arrange to see a demonstration.</p> <p><b>Don't Be Afraid to Spend Money for the Right Tools</b></p> <p>Last year, Brian Searl's team at&nbsp;<a target="_blank href=" com=" _fcksavedurl=" href="http://www.insiderperks.com/">Insider Perks</a>&nbsp;all got iPads. &quot;We use them to edit our website, upload files, troubleshoot, collaborate, edit video and photos and about a dozen other things. For an average price of $700 dollars each, they basically replace a desktop computer and allow our employees much more freedom.&rdquo;</p> <p>Such a purchase may seem extravagant, but Searl's philosophy is simple. &quot;How much can we get accomplished using the tech and does that make it worth the price either now or in the future. I've seen quite a few businesses shrug off more expensive purchases in favor of saving money now. Two years later they are making another purchase while we're still satisfied and have no need.&quot;</p> <p>Ultimately the decision boils down to your budget and your needs. Maybe the advanced model with extra features really is right for your business but maybe you really don't need the latest and greatest. Budgets have to be balanced with the potential improvement of your bottom line. It's never wise to spend frivously, but don't be afraid to budget big when it matters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-keys-to-making-smart-technology-purchases">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-jobs-that-wont-be-lost-to-technology">7 Great Jobs That Won&#039;t Be Lost to Technology</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-waterproof-laptop-cases">The 5 Best Waterproof Laptop Cases</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business tools office equipment purchasing equipment small business technology Fri, 25 Mar 2011 20:18:32 +0000 Thursday Bram 503058 at http://www.wisebread.com Renting Computers for Higher Profits http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/renting-computers-for-higher-profits <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/renting-computers-for-higher-profits-scott-allen" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/renting-computers-for-hig...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/renting-computers-for-higher-profits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012684969XSmall.jpg" alt="Employees on computers" title="Employees on computers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know how it starts. You had a computer when you started your company, so you just used it (did you remember to count it as part of your capitalization?). Your partners had computers too, so they just used theirs. And that first VP of Sales already had her own laptop. When you finally started hiring office help, you did what everybody else does and looked for the best deal on an &ldquo;adequate&rdquo; computer. And then another. And another.</p> <p>Next thing you know, you have a mish-mash of brands, different versions of operating systems, software, etc. Equipment is getting out of date and hard to maintain. It&rsquo;s difficult to bring on new employees or even temporary help because that means buying a new computer. You&rsquo;ve outrun the ability to manage IT yourself, so you&rsquo;re looking at outsourcing it or maybe even having to hire someone full-time.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s an alternative that many business owners never consider or aren&rsquo;t even aware of: renting your computers.</p> <p>Many profitable reasons exist for renting computers rather than buying them for your small business. Just because you operate on a smaller scale than larger conglomerates doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s actually better for you to buy your office equipment. The simple truth is that, when you consider the total cost of ownership, it may very well be cheaper for you if you rent all of your office computers. In fact, once you realize how many reasons there are for you to rent your office computers, you will wonder why you didn&rsquo;t do so from the very beginning.</p> <p><strong>15 Practical and Profitable Reasons for Renting Versus Buying Computers</strong></p> <ol> <li>Renting avoids large capital expenditures and makes more cash available now for other opportunities.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your IT expenses become steadier and more predictable, making cash flow planning easier.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can bring on temporary staff or meet other short-term needs without purchasing expensive equipment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Technical support is included with your computer rental. Not only does this take away the headaches that usually accompany computer problems, but it also takes away the headaches that sometimes accompany installation and de-installation of office computers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can hire people remotely or even abroad and still provide them local technical support.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can immediately replace a broken or stolen computer with a rental computer so you don&rsquo;t have to do without one while yours is being repaired.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can supply business visitors from out of town with rental computers to work on in your office.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can easily run training sessions or trade shows in which everyone has a computer, without the cost of purchasing and maintaining equipment that is only going to be used occasionally.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Custom configurations and upgrades to meet the needs of your business are simple with computer rentals, allowing you to ensure that you have the right resources for your needs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you rent your computers, you are not locked into your current operating system platform going forward. And you can easily experiment with other platforms without a significant investment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You save on installation time. Your rental provider can set up standard software configurations and deliver your computers ready-to-use.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>No more operating system upgrade headaches. When a new version of Windows comes out, just get new computers and transfer the data.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rentals allow businesses to stay up-to-date with the latest technology with none of the headaches of setting the equipment up each time they upgrade. Once you begin renting computers for your business, you will never have to deal with ancient computers again.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rental companies will deliver the rental computer right to your business door or if you go away for a week, even to your vacation spot.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With desktop computers, the rental comes with the monitor and other peripherals. Sometimes printers, faxes, or projectors are included with either laptop or desktop rentals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can run a more successful business with efficient equipment. How much time have you lost because of computers that were slow or crash-prone? Rentals are guaranteed to be efficient. Replacement for temperamental computers is easy, and it&rsquo;s typically included in your rental agreement.</li> </ol> <p>Computer rental service providers may be local, national or even international. Local providers may give a little more personalized service, besides the usual benefits of supporting local small businesses like yourself.&nbsp; However, if you have multiple locations across the country or around the world, working with a larger supplier will most likely serve your needs better than working with multiple local businesses.</p> <p>Most importantly, be sure that you choose a vendor that specializes in long-term rentals as well as short-term. Many focus primarily on events and may not have competitive pricing and service plans for long-term rentals. Also, be sure to find out their policies regarding upgrading or swapping out computers on long-term rentals.</p> <p>Does renting computers make sense for your business? It really depends on your level of computing needs and the growth plan for your business. Many companies get by for five, seven, or even ten years or more using the same computers and software. But if computers are an essential tool for your business, and if your company is growing quickly, renting may very well save you money, reduce your stress, and increase your staff&rsquo;s productivity.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/scott-allen">Scott Allen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/renting-computers-for-higher-profits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center computers office equipment renting small business Thu, 23 Dec 2010 21:42:35 +0000 Scott Allen 374932 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Energy-Efficient Equipment Make a Difference in Operating Costs? http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/does-energy-efficient-equipment-make-a-difference-in-operating-costs <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/does-energy-efficient-equipment-make-a-difference-in-operating-costs-thursday-bram?cid=email_articlefeed_articletitlelink" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/does-energy-efficient-equ...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/does-energy-efficient-equipment-make-a-difference-in-operating-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006154801XSmall.jpg" alt="businessman with cfl" title="businessman with cfl" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Energy-efficient light bulbs are promoted as a way to save money, both on how long they last before you need to buy replacements and on how much power they save your business. In reality, when you run the numbers, an office that has converted fifteen light sockets to compact fluorescent light bulbs will save about $100 a year. When you're used to thinking in terms of thousands of dollars in your business, that number doesn't sound like a lot. It makes you wonder if the money saved by using energy-efficient equipment is making a noticeable difference in your operating costs.</p> <h3>The Cost of Energy Efficiency</h3> <p>When you jump into the numbers, you'll quickly find that buying energy-efficient office equipment of any kind comes with a higher price tag than less efficient options. Each piece of equipment promises to save you money in the long run by requiring less energy. Going green can be an important choice for a business, but it's also important to remember that there are other types of green involved. Knowing how much money your business is actually spending is crucial, even if you're willing to spend extra to be environmentally friendly without there being a financial upside.</p> <p>The right equipment will certainly bring down your utility bills at the office, but it's important to consider what that number really means. If you're in a business where you're handling accounts worth thousands of dollars, it just may not make financial sense to invest time on pricing and acquiring energy-efficient equipment just for a bill lowered by a hundred dollars a month. It's a question of the value of your time and that of your employees.</p> <p>However, depending on the type of equipment you need to use on a regular basis and the amount of time it will take to swap out your current technology, the difference in your operating costs over a year may more than cover the cost of your time.</p> <h3>Calculating the Costs</h3> <p>It could be that simply sitting down and running the numbers may not seem to be worthwhile in terms of finding out how a new piece of equipment could change your operating costs &mdash; if you find that the difference isn't enough to matter, the time spent may have no return. Nonetheless, it's useful to do at least a basic energy audit on your business. Professionals will come in, looking over the equipment you use and the space where you operate it. They'll put together a report pointing to where you can save energy and, depending on who you work with, lay out what equipment you can swap out for energy-efficient models, perhaps even pointing to the best models. A professional energy audit may be the fastest way to get an idea of what you may need.</p> <p>However, an outside energy audit may be unnecessary. There are numerous online tools to help business owners conduct an energy audit, such as that offered by <a href="http://www.greenyour.com/">GreenYour.com</a>. In most cases, you'll need to collect information about your business, from your operating habits to the physical layout of your office to your energy bills. The factors that play into just how energy efficient your business is can be complicated, making it worthwhile to follow an existing questionnaire.</p> <h3>Implementing Changes</h3> <p>For many businesses, the limiting factor in how much energy efficiency can change your monthly utility bill comes down to whether you rent office space (or other work space) or you own. The upgrades that can be added to a property you or your business own can make for a dramatic difference where simply switching to more energy efficient computers or copiers won't move the needle. Furthermore, there are tax incentives in place for many such improvements, dropping the actual costs and speeding up the point when your energy savings will have paid for the change. If, however, your business rents space, making such modifications may be significantly harder. Many landlords are willing to negotiate about improvements to their property, but they may ask for you to cover a significant portion of the cost &mdash; not necessarily worth your while if you don't expect to stay in the space long-term.</p> <p>When it comes to replacing equipment, there are decisions that have to be made beyond just picking out the new model. One of the most important is deciding when to purchase an energy-efficient model and replace what you currently have in your office. It makes sense to get as much use out of an old model as possible, although there is a question of sunk costs. Just because you paid more for an older model at some point, it may not be worth holding on to it when you could immediately start saving money on energy. The sensible choice depends heavily on what you're swapping out and the age of your equipment. It may also depend on whether you can sell an older model and recoup any of your costs.</p> <p>It seems like there is a new, more energy-efficient model of every type of office equipment coming out each week, making the choice more complicated. When you buy a new printer or copier, you could easily find that there's an even more efficient model out the next week. With that consideration in mind, it may make sense to simply plan on replacing existing equipment with energy-efficient models when you need to replace anyhow. Such an approach also allows you to budget for them more easily. You may not get the full savings you could get, but it can be the easiest way to get the greatest overall benefit for your business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/does-energy-efficient-equipment-make-a-difference-in-operating-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings">3 Ways to Fund Your Business Without Touching Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center energy costs energy efficient equipment office equipment small business Thu, 14 Oct 2010 17:21:23 +0000 Thursday Bram 233473 at http://www.wisebread.com Energy Star Office Equipment for Your Small Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/energy-star-office-equipm...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006184314XSmall.jpg" alt="Energy efficient equipment" title="Energy efficient equipment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Energy Star-rated appliances are popular for homes because they can offer significantly more energy efficiency than the alternatives. You can get similar benefits for the office by choosing office equipment that has earned approval from Energy Star. Energy Star options are available for many common pieces of office equipment, from computers to copiers.</p> <h3>What the Energy Star Rating Means</h3> <p>While purchasing energy efficient office equipment sounds like a good idea on the surface, you can run into a dilemma when you actually start shopping: many companies describe their products as energy efficient, especially when they're marketed to offices. The Energy Star rating is intended to eliminate confusion about just how efficient printers, scanners, and other office equipment actually are. In order to receive an Energy Star rating, a piece of office equipment must use at least 30 percent less electricity than standard equipment. That includes accessories, such as power adapters.</p> <p>The Energy Star system is not perfect and relies on manufacturers to offer up information of their own accord; however, it remains one of the most reliable labeling systems used for products in the U.S. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the European Union have also adopted the system. Some European-manufactured products may alternatively bear a TCO Certification, which is a combined energy usage and ergonomics rating.</p> <h3>Purchasing Energy Star Office Equipment</h3> <p>Looking for the Energy Star label on office equipment can help you quickly narrow down your choices for servers, copiers and other equipment. The <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_find_es_products">Energy Star</a> website maintains information about purchasing a variety of types of office equipment, but you generally do not need to go through the Energy Star program to find specific products. Many online retailers allow you to easily search specifically for various types of office equipment with Energy Star ratings and if you're looking at stores, you can find labels right on the boxes of the products. Among the office equipment that can qualify for Energy Star ratings are the following:</p> <ul> <li>Computers</li> <li>Monitors</li> <li>Servers</li> <li>External power adapters</li> <li>Battery chargers</li> <li>Copiers</li> <li>Fax machines</li> <li>Printers</li> <li>Scanners</li> <li>All-in-one imaging devices</li> <li>Mailing machines</li> </ul> <p>The Energy Star program is also working on specifications that will allow them to rate a variety of products in the future, including data center storage, uninterruptable power supplies, and other equipment useful in an office setting.</p> <p>Equipment that stays on for long periods of time can provide the most significant change in your energy usage when you replace them. Copiers and computer monitors are just two examples that most workers prefer to leave on throughout the work day. Most of the energy savings for more efficient office products comes from the time that the equipment spends in a rest or low-power mode, between uses. Many monitors can power down over a timed period so that they don't waste power, but they also don't affect your ability to get back to work quickly.</p> <h3>Finding the Right Price</h3> <p>Depending on the office equipment you're purchasing, you may notice that prices are higher than their-less-efficient counterparts. The general assumption is that the reduced electricity bill that comes with making the switch to more efficient equipment covers the added expense. But since an Energy Star label simply states that a product is more efficient and does not necessarily guarantee that it will make a significant difference in your monthly bill, it is important that you carefully compare products before making a purchase.</p> <p><strong>1. Consider the reviews of the product's overall performance.</strong> Make sure that it meets your business needs</p> <p><strong>2. Look for estimates of the product's expected lifespan.</strong> A scanner might be expected to save you $7 per year in energy costs, but may only have an expected lifespan of a few years with heavy use. If the price of a particular scanner is more than the <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218395199;41474888;e?http://www.plumcard.com/?eep=17460">savings</a> you can expect over the course of its lifetime, it may not be the right scanner for your business.</p> <p><strong>3. Check what practices will get the best results with the equipment you're considering</strong>. Some are more efficient in sleep mode, but you may be required to turn some products off entirely to get the best results.</p> <p><strong>4. Consider benefits beyond efficiency. </strong>Products with Energy Star approvals tend to produce less heat, which reduces heat-related equipment failures as well as reducing air-conditioning costs in offices.</p> <p><strong>5. Check how new products will work with your current office equipment. </strong>For instance, if you use a Local Area Network (LAN), you may need to check that your new computer's power management feature is compatible with your existing network system.</p> <p><strong>6. Check the Energy Star website for information on the particular type of equipment you're purchasing.</strong> Energy Star lists details like how much money you can expect to save over the lifetime of a product, as well as the specs that a piece of equipment must meet to receive the Energy Star ratings, including details like power management features.</p> <p>Unlike some upgrades that you can make to increase energy efficiency, there is no tax incentive associated with purchasing office equipment that meets the standards of the Energy Star program. However, your purchase is still a business expense and that fact should be taken into account when choosing a product, especially if you're purchasing a large piece of equipment that you will depreciate.</p> <h3>Beyond Office Equipment</h3> <p>Depending on your business, you may be able to consider a wider variety of equipment that Energy Star has approved as particularly energy efficient. Such equipment includes a variety of commercial food service equipment, as well as materials for upgrading your office space as a whole. From windows to plumbing fixtures, you can make your office as energy efficient as possible. You don't even need to do major renovations to improve the energy efficiency of your office. Even changing out your light bulbs can make a major difference.</p> <p>You can even find vending machines and water coolers that have Energy Star ratings if you're ready to make your break room more energy efficient, along with changing out refrigerators and other appliances for more efficient models. Energy Star offers options far beyond new printers and computers.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "plum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/energy-star-office-equipment-for-your-small-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Green Living Small Business Resource Center energy star office equipment save energy small business Wed, 10 Mar 2010 20:05:45 +0000 Thursday Bram 5391 at http://www.wisebread.com