You would be surprised (and inspired) if you knew just how many corporate giants started out with a small at-home office, and if you are planning to launch your own business time clock software empire from your spare room, here is a list of essential IT hardware you will need.
- Desktop PC – This isn’t essential; you could manage with a single laptop, as that can hook up to any peripheral, but when the times comes to employ someone, you will need a workstation, so invest in a basic desktop PC. It doesn’t have to have an Intel core i7 or a huge amount of RAM, but it does need to be able to handle Microsoft applications and surf the web.
- Laptop or Tablet – If money is tight, you could manage with a laptop and do away with the office Desktop PC and use your laptop instead. It is necessary to have either a laptop or tablet, as you will need to work on the move, and invest in a high spec machine, which will cost you more, yet will be good for at least 5 years.
- Colour Printer – You might be thinking that in this digital age, you won’t need a printer, yet we still send letters, invoices and receipts via the mail, and while you have your Ppt presentations on your hard drive, you will need paper copies and handouts, not to mention printing flyers and other promotional handouts. Yes, you could use a printing company, but doing it yourself will save a lot of money. You can buy printer toner online and get a spare, as you never know when you will run out. There are laser printers for high quality colour printing, but most businesses would not have the use for such a printer, and they are costly.
- Scanner/Photocopier – You can buy a combination device that allows hi-res scanning and will also copy any documents, and this device is plug and play; simply plug it in and your computer will recognise it; begin to install the software, then you’re good to go. This device will prove to be invaluable in many ways, and you can obtain copier cartridges from the supplier of printer toner.
- Phone/Fax – You could go down the traditional phone/fax device road, but frankly, today you are better off having a basic landline phone and use your computer to send and receive faxes. Indeed, many people don’t even have a landline, as they hotspot their Internet from their smartphone, which gives you everything you need.
There are several factors to consider when setting up a home office; obviously, you will need a Broadband Internet connection, buy everything else would be determined by your budget and your actual needs. You might be planning on being out in the field for most of the time, and will use the office to send and answer emails and your daily accounting tasks, and with all of the above hardware, you’ll be equipped to do most things.