When you're starting a business, you have to buy home office equipment. If you want to make a profit, you have to keep costs down by buying only must-have items. Here's a list to start with:
1. A Computer
The most important home office equipment you'll need is a desktop or laptop computer. Working from home without a computer is like trying to drive a car with no engine. You need a computer to be effective whether you're starting a business offline or online.
First, you'll need it for internet access. This will allow you to put up and maintain your website and/or blog, communicate with customers and take their orders, find sales leads, watch industry trends, listen to podcasts about improving your business, find jobs and other business opportunities, grow your network, drive traffic to your store to increase sales, and even publish your work. You can also use your computer for important business tasks such as recordkeeping, word processing, project management, and desktop publishing.
You don't need to spend lots of money on a computer today. Check Craigslist and Freecycle.org. Let your friends and family members know that you need one. You might land one as a gift.
2. One All-in-one Printer/Fax/Copier/Scanner
A printer is necessary for any business. You can use it to print shipping labels, client and customer letters, contracts, sales letters, and proposals. A printer is also handy for research and writing. You can print articles, email correspondence, and "works in progress" to read while you're away from your computer.
If you need to buy a printer, buy one that comes with a fax and copier built in. You'll need it to fax signed documents, orders, and press releases. A copier can save you time and a trip to the print shop for small copy jobs. You can scan and send documents or save them to your computer. Storing documents electronically instead of in files can help keep your home office free of clutter.
3. A Telephone
You need a telephone to communicate with customers, vendors, and suppliers. While you can make calls over the internet by using Skype and other technologies, not everyone will have the capability to receive your internet-based phone calls. You have to make a decision as to whether to add an additional phone line in your office. This depends on how much you use your telephone for personal calls. To save money, you might consider keeping the same telephone line, but add a second telephone number with a distinctive ring.
Consider using a cell phone for business and keeping your land line telephone for personal use. If you only use a cell phone, consider getting another one for your business.
4. Basic Office Supplies
You'll also need basic supplies to do your work. Some are:
- Pens, pencils, markers, and highlighter pens
- Scotch tape, duct tape, and glue
- Scissors, rulers, and a tape measure
- Stapler, staples, and paper clips (all sizes)
- Paper, and ink replacements
With the right home office equipment, you can enjoy working from home while serving clients globally. If you can't buy everything you need at once, start with the most important equipment, and add to it over time.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.