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Businesses are always looking for ways to save money and one of the most effective ways a business can easily save themselves some cash is by investing in a postage meter. When using a postage meter, you get to enjoy many discounts and additional benefits. Read on to discover what postage meters are, how they could benefit you and some of the best postage meters for small businesses on the market.
What are postage meters?
A postage meter is a facility that is seen on some franking machines, they are ideal for small businesses who want to streamline their mailing process and save a lot of money too. By franking mail instead of using stamps it saves you and your employees hours of queueing time and saves you money thanks to the discounted rates of sending franked mail. The meter rates offer fantastic discounts to businesses who use franking machines to sort their mail.
Where to buy postage meters
Postage meters are most commonly rented and are available from one of four of the UK Royal Mail approved manufacturers: Pitney Bowes, Frama, Neopost or FP Mailing. A franking machine must be licensed by the Royal Mail before it can be used, it is very important to make sure you only use approved suppliers.
Postage Meter Benefits
The main benefit of a postage meter is the financial savings, research suggests that an average business that uses a postage meter will save approximately 20% of their mailing expenditure. For businesses of all sizes a 20% save is huge! However, there is more to postage meters than just the cost savings.
Various services are available at a discounted rate through the business rate cards, the discounts offered depend on a few factors. Firstly, your mail must conform to the letter and large letter format dimensions and each item must weigh no more than 750g. As well as this; the amount of mail you are sending, the way the letters are addressed: using OCR or Barcode and whether or not the mail is sorted can impact the discounted services offered so you can experience discounts most beneficial and relevant to your postal habits.
When using a postage meter your team can save time as there will be no more searching for stamps or queuing at the post office and no more sitting manually sticking stamps to envelopes. The mailing process is simplified and streamlined when you use a postage meter, this means your mail will be franked and ready to go in no time at all. This allows staff to put their focus into more important affairs, helping the business run smoothly and efficiently.
Accurate postage costs – all mail is weighed and the price is calculated according to the size, weight and postal class. This means that when you use a postage meter you will pay the correct amount every time, finally no more overpaying or putting on extra postage ‘just in case’.
The metering system helps to closely monitor your postal accounts which can be very helpful for saving money and increasing efficiency. Even the end of year tax return will be made easier! By using the postage meter to send your mail you are also helping to make accounting tasks such as VAT claims easier. Especially if your franking machine has SMART-technology, it essentially keeps track of your accounts for you and makes them available to you whenever you want to view them.
Postage Meters for Small Businesses
Postage meters are available to suit any and all businesses, there are some very high quality and efficient low volume postage meters that are perfectly suited to the needs of small businesses. We will review a few of the best meters on the market to help you find the one that is best suited to the needs of your business.
Pitney Bowes Mailstation 2
This compact and efficient postage meter packs a punch with its power and is perfect for a home office or start up business. The small size means it can sit comfortably on any desk without intruding or disrupting the aesthetics of the office. You can easily frank 18 letters per minute and the Mailstation allows you to add a promotional message on the envelope too. Full report printing makes keeping track of postal expenditures and usage quick and simple.
- Energy Star compliant – this means that as a result of the Mailstation 2’s low power usage the model boasts lower operating costs and is better for the environment.
- Clear, professional prints – The mark is crisp, easy to read and gives a much more professional image than a standard stamp would.
- Can handle around 100 pieces of mail each month – The small size, low running cost and efficiency of this model make it perfect for a start up business.
The Mailstation 2 is an excellent first postage meter for any small business, if you are running your business from home or have a small office this postage meter is ideal for you and at only £25 per month to rent it is very affordable. The savings made when using a postage meter means before long it should have covered its own cost.
Pitney Bowes is one of the world franking machine frontrunners, creating a vast range of high quality products to suit a wide range of businesses. Pitney Bowes have many excellent low volume postage meters on the market, another example is the DM125:
The DM125 is fractionally bigger than the Mailstation 2 but runs quickly and is incredibly efficient. This model can handle up to 1,000 letters per month, making it an excellent choice for growing businesses in need of mail support. You can also choose which size scale is best suited to your needs. The set-up of this machine is very simple, the controls are user friendly and the ongoing maintenance is minimal making the DM125 an excellent desk-mate for any small business.
FP Postbase Mini
This is a high quality entry level postage meter made by innovative manufactures, FP Mailing. A new or small business that sends relatively little mail each month will experience the most benefits when using this model. The Postbase Mini is able to process up to 17 letters per minute and has an integrated weighing scale to help make franking your mail as efficient and accurate as possible. We like the high-tech touchscreen display seen on this model as most users are familiar with the use and layout of many touchscreen interfaces.
- PIN protected for security – by the postage meter being PIN protected you can make sure your details and accounts are always safe and the meter is never misused.
- Optional extras – for example you can get additional accounting software to make analysing the reports and usage available at the touch of a button.
The Postbase Mini costs slightly more to rent at £30 per month but comes with some great features that fit right in to any office environment.
A faster processing speed of 45 letters per minute and a recommended 200 print rate per day already indicates to us that this postage meter is more geared towards growing small businesses. The IN-360 has been created to be user friendly and discreet, it’s modern appearance and quiet operating noise mean it is perfect for any office. The weighing platform and assisted postal rate calculation make franking your mail easier than ever.
- Alerts you when top ups are needed – we all forget to check the ink levels until we are left with lots to print and no ink to print it. Luckily, this postage meter will alert you when ink levels are low so you’ll never get caught short.
- PIN protected – as an additional security measure, you have to give a PIN to those you have authorised to use the postage meter this means no one can just turn it on and use it.
- Option to personalise the envelope – you can add promotional messages onto the envelope using the IN-360, this gives your outgoing mail a professional feel which will help strengthen your brand and your message.
The Neopost IN-360 is an excellent postage meter for small and growing businesses. It can be rented for around £35 per month.
As you can see, there are many benefits to using a postage meter. By utilising the discounts and offers available to those who opt to use franking machines, businesses can save hundreds of pounds without losing out on anything. A postage meter allows you to cut costs, increase efficiency and send out a more professional image to the world. If your small business is in need of a postal solution, contact us today and we’ll help you find the right postage meter for your needs.