Skip to content

How Can You Calculate Your Printing Costs?

Printing is often the largest overlooked expenditure for any business, 90% of businesses in fact. However, printing costs within a business usually add up to the equivalent of 3% of your total revenue, and that is a great expense that is largely ignored without even an ounce of consideration.

It is estimated that the average cost of printing per employee is £456 per year, and about 20% of those printed documents will just be thrown into the bin without even being looked at – that’s £91.20 per employee per year going to waste. But is it possible to accurately calculate your organisation’s total print costs?

Having said that, it’s more important to find the right printer for your needs. So start by deciding what features you need, and forget about limiting costs for now. You have to meet your office requirements, so you might as well address those first.

Printer running costs, ink, and toner

Once you’ve determined your printer requirements and have some models in mind, you can start investigating printing costs. Begin by checking the cost of ink or toner cartridges. Manufacturers make their profits on these, so cheaper printers often have higher running costs.

To roughly calculate the cost per page, divide the price of an ink or toner cartridge by the number of pages the manufacturer says it should cover. However, these figures can be unrealistic. Printer manufacturers base their figures on 5% of each printed page being covered in ink. In reality, a full page of text is usually closer to 10%.

Accurately forecast the cost per page

If you know the format and layout of pages you will be printing (such as a company letterhead or marketing brochure), you can use page coverage software like APFill to predict the cost per page for printing in your company.

This will help you find the best value printer for your business’ needs – no matter whether you need to do lots of colour printing or need standalone, high-volume black cartridges for more general printing. Combine the running cost with the initial printer purchase price to build a clearer picture of how much the printer will cost your business overall.

Monitor your printing costs

Once you’ve bought your new printer, see if it comes with printer maintenance or counting software to monitor how many pages you get from each ink or toner cartridge. With time, this will allow you to predict when you need to buy replacement cartridges.