Your home office doesn’t have to break the bank. Know what you need and apply the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep it simple.
Office Technology Business Needs Analysis
You have a home based business, sometimes referred to as your “Plan B”. What technology do you really need to operate?
Think through your day. Where will you spend most of your time and what will you need to do? If 80% of your day is out on the road, can you function on a smartphone or should you consider a laptop or tablet for the road? If you use a tablet, will there be a need to transfer data to your computer? Once you decide on the hardware, what software do you need and how do you keep the cost down? I’m getting tired just setting up the scenario!
I have to admit to a bias on phones. I believe they are mostly for phone calls and simple messaging; text, email or social media. Short and sweet. This means that as long as you can dial a number and send email, any phone will do. If it’s for demonstration purposes like running a video demonstration for a prospect, you need a tablet or laptop. An iPad would be nice but are they really worth the cost? If you are on a limited budget, visit a place like Best Buy or Canada Computers and you can find very affordable tablets that you can either access the Internet (Gotta love most coffee shops and free Wi-Fi these days!) and Youtube or load video files directly for when there is no Internet connection. Laptops are less convenient for situations like running a presentation in a coffee shop but you could get by without a tablet if you use a laptop. This would also give you the flexibility to connect to a projector for full fledged demonstrations if that is likely to happen in your world. If your budget allows, I would also keep a desktop in the home office because of their greater storage capacity. This would allow you to keep a backup copy of critical files in case of emergency.
An office productivity suite will cover most of your needs. Cost has come down a lot from when I was in the computer solutions business. I remember selling the Microsoft Office Professional for approximately $900. In those days, I preferred Corel WordPerfect because it was a better product for half the price. These days you can get Open Office for nothing and it does everything most people need. You might consider something like QuickBooks to track your business financials
Office Technology Solution Sample
Dell OptiPlex 775:
- Pentium Core 2 Duo 2.33Mhz
- 4GB DDR2
- 80GB Hard Drive
- DVD ROM
- Windows 7 Home Premium (free upgrade to Windows 10)
Pure Leverage Suite
- Web Site and development software
- Online Conference Room
- Video Producer
- Auto Responder Email System
- Elite Coaching program
I installed a free anti-virus program, a free malware program and the free Open Office productivity suite. You can buy a printer under $50 these days or just email to Staples and have your documents printed there!
One of the easiest things to overlook is a backup solution. Typically, the cost is frightening. External drives are $100 or more and they can be stolen or fail. Tape drives can run into multiple hundreds of dollars. The challenge is that if you don’t have a backup and your computer is damaged in a fire or stolen, how do you get all your files back? Chances are your business is gone with your hardware and files.
In these days of precarious employment, many find it necessary to find ways to supplement their income. Don’t let the cost of setting up your home office scare you. The cost can be quite manageable if you are willing to do a little research and work. I hope this blog helps you get started.
Make it a great day!
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for informational blogs. I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for every new beginning.
What are you thankful for today?