Postage meters are an essential and common piece of equipment in many office environments across the United States, but they’re seen less frequently in the home office. Why? Because many home business owners who are working to a tight budget tend to automatically think that the cost of renting a postage meter would far outweigh the benefits of owning such a device.
In fact, in many cases, it’s actually the other way around. Just like in large national and international corporations, a postage meter can benefit home businesses in many ways, and while a top of the range, state of the art machine may not be a necessity, there are an abundance of options that are perfectly suited to a smaller home environment with even the most minimal of mailing requirements.
Mailing Issues Faced by a Home Business
Many home businesses are run and managed by a single entrepreneur, but even in cases where they do hire employees, these workers are often home based themselves, or work off-site. This means that, in general, there is but a single person managing the physical day to day operations of the business.
This person then not only has standard duties to take care of, but will also be required to stuff, seal and stamp envelopes, or take them to the post office counter, and keep track of the monthly financial outgoings of the mail.
Estimating isn’t an option as the high price of standard delivery means even a small inaccuracy can have huge effects on the budget. So it’s fair to say the mailing process, from start to finish, is time consuming, subject to human error and not an efficient use of time.
Furthermore, a big problem many home businesses face, especially those that are starting out and are trying to make a name for themselves, is that they need to be taken seriously. They need to show that they’re legitimate, that they’re experienced and that they’re the best in the industry.
There is no excuse for portraying an amateur face; a business needs to act professional from the word go. However, with local competition, strict budgets and perhaps limited contacts initially, some home businesses do struggle to create a well known brand.
How a Postage Meter Can Help
A postage meter may not seem like the most obvious solution to making a business more professional, but it really can boost the way customers and potential customers view the business as a whole. Using customizable features like those available on many postage meters on the current market, home businesses can print their personal logo, address, or any other information they wish, onto a postage label or directly onto the envelope.
This not only shows a commitment to the business, it shows a commitment to customer satisfaction and care.
In terms of creating a more efficient use of valuable time and making huge savings on costly deliveries, if a business is spending more than 50 dollars per month on postage, which is not a massive amount considering today’s high USPS costs, then a postage meter is well worth the investment.
Not only do postage meter users benefit from discounted postage rates, the almost futuristic qualities of even the most basic postage meter available today can minimize the need for manual involvement. These features allow for envelopes to be moistened, sealed and stamped automatically while owners get on with other tasks.
What to Look For in a Postage Meter for a Home Business
When looking to rent a postage meter specifically for a home business, there are a few particular features to look out for that will make the device convenient and easy to use. The first is that the postage meter has an automatic feed, and, if it’s deemed necessary, a built in envelope sealer.
Pitney Bowes and Neopost are two brands that are well worth considering. This feature is available on all models in Neopost’s mid and high volume range which start at $160 per month for rental and maintenance. In terms of Pitney Bowes, consider renting the budget friendly DM200 Digital Mailing System which is available from $65 per month.
If budget is a primary concern, then there are plenty of low cost options available that won’t break the bank. Pitney Bowes DM100 Digital Mailing System, the smaller sibling to the DM200, costs from as little as $35 per month, so there really is no massive upfront cost when incorporating this type of equipment into your business operations. Alternatively, consider Neopost’s IS-350 which is available for between $25 and $45 per month.
Finally, a big consideration when it comes to renting a postage meter for your home business is size. Unless the home office is exceedingly roomy, a compact model is most likely going to fit in better than a super-sized version. Neopost’s IJ-25, FP’s MyMail Max and Hasler’s IM280 iMeter all have small dimensions but big features, making them the perfect fit for even the smallest of home offices.