Building your home office

Now that you have all that business stuff out of the way, it’s time for you to create the space for which your million dollar deals will be made. Again, you don’t need to rent a fancy, fancy space in a luxury building to have a top-notch technologically efficient workspace. Plus, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create your new home workspace. You may be surprised, but many of the items on our list can be found at wholesale stores, pawn shops, garage sales, swaps, and commercial sites like Craigslist and eBay. Don’t fall into the trap like many who start a business and get shiny new items. Because people today throw away and get rid of things so quickly for the newest and hottest items, there is a plethora of ready-to-use repairable equipment for your home-based business.

Here’s a list of twenty-one items you absolutely need to create an efficient home office space that works. I call these items the OFFICE TOOLS FOR SUCCESS:

OFFICE TOOLS FOR SUCCESS:

computer equipment
telephone
laser printer
Fax machine
Internet connection
File cabinet
Desk
Meat
stapler
Stationery and Supplies
Clock
Calendar
stackable trays
email address account
Home business license (if applicable)
Identify where to get help
business letters
paper clips
Shredder
surge protector
Standard stationery

computer equipment

Today, you can get an affordable functional computer that will allow you to access the Internet and create Word-based documents for less than $300.00. It doesn’t matter if it’s a desktop or laptop, as long as it’s a computer. Again, you don’t have to spend a ton to do it. So if you don’t have a computer, don’t make that big of an investment right now. If you can’t afford to buy a computer right now, there are several local and national retail rental chains that will rent a computer to you for a nominal weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly fee. Now, some people may have trouble renting from these places because the overtime charges can be outrageous. However, you are in business now. This means your expenses can be written off on your taxes. If you need a computer, consider this as a viable option.

Internet connection

You cannot do any type of business today without access to the Internet. Anyone who tells you otherwise is absolutely crazy. If it’s happening today, it’s happening online. Therefore, you’ll want to add an Internet connection to that computer of yours. Now there are a variety of ways to get an Internet connection today. So depending on whether you opt for a laptop or a traditional desktop, the type of Internet connection will be determined by the equipment you choose. Believe it or not, there are some places that still use dial-up. I strongly suggest you look for an option other than dial-up as it is simply impossible to do anything these days on the net with it. You’ll need to do some research in your area and, based on availability, make some decisions about which Internet connection is right for you.

Email account

If you don’t already have an email account with your own personal email address and online inbox, shame on you! If you’re going to do business of any kind on the web, you’ll need an email address. Therefore, we recommend visiting one of the many online sites that offer free email addresses and setting up an account.

Desk

Now, if you’re going to have a computer with the Internet, you’re going to need something to set up that computer. Therefore, you will need to place some kind of desk in your workspace. Again, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a desktop. A great source for a computer desk is definitely Craigslist. You may also consider checking out your local goodwill, Salvation Army, or thrift store. If you have the resources to buy a computer desk, my only advice would be to buy one that is ergonomically correct; one that fits your specific height.

Meat

In that same palette, you’ll also want to locate a comfortable chair to use in your work space. I realize that I cannot function at my best when I feel uncomfortable. Later, if my rump is unhappy, it is reflected in my work. Now that a good chair is important, I would recommend purchasing one from one of the local or national office chain stores. You can get a very comfortable (self-assembled) office chair for about $50.00.

File cabinet

Now that we have our desk and chair in place, we’re going to need a filing cabinet. Now you’re probably saying, why do I need a filing cabinet? Well, even though most people these days store files on a computer, there are some files you want to store the old-fashioned way. For example, tax documents that you must keep for seven years. Your corporate documents, client applications and other records, you don’t necessarily want to host them on your computer. Having a lockable file cabinet means you have ensured the safety of these records, making sure they are available when needed.

telephone

Now that the computer, the desk, the chair and the file cabinet are installed. It’s time we added additional hardware to the mix. The first piece of hardware we want to add to the mix is ​​the phone. If you’re creating an office space in your home, you’ll definitely want to install a separate dedicated phone line specifically for conducting business. I recommend doing this for a couple of reasons. Number one, it eliminates the confusion of business calls that are missed because someone else is using the main phone in the house. Number two and probably the most important reason, you are now in business. So at tax time, you want to be able to write off as many business expenses as possible. When the phone is listed in your business name, there is no difficulty in getting this information reported to the IRS. I would also recommend this same course of action for your cell phone bill.

Fax machine

If you are going to have a business line installed in your home, all you need to do is have a dedicated fax line installed. Although many computers now have fax software, there are many computers that do not. Therefore, having a fax machine ensures that you can get information to anyone and at any time, regardless of the device you are using. Finally, this is an article that I would like for new. You can buy an inexpensive fax machine for less than $80.00.

laser printer

This is another item I would buy new. You can usually get a base model for less than $140.00. If you are just starting out in the business, I would go straight to the base model laser printer and stay away from the color printer models. I recommend this because color cartridges are expensive and not a smart expense to incur when starting a new business. If you need color copies, visit one of your local photocopy stores and request copies of your documents.

time management devices

Much business is won and lost as a result of poor time management. Time management is the act or process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity. Time management can be aided by a variety of skills, tools, and techniques that are used to manage time when completing specific tasks, projects, and goals. This set covers a wide range of activities, and these include planning, assigning, setting goals, delegating, analyzing time spent, tracking, organizing, scheduling, and prioritizing. A time management system is a designed combination of processes, tools, techniques, and methods. In general, time management is a necessity in the development of any project, since it determines the time and scope of completion of the project.

Clock (wall or desk)

Your investment in a good wall clock and/or desk clock will help you meet time-sensitive benchmarks and deadlines that are often critical to your business.

Calendar (wall or desk)

Also, a calendar is a necessary tool in your time management system. A calendar allows you to visually keep track of various important dates and times that are critical to your business. Today, cell phones are sold with software applications that allow you to enter important dates and times into your cell phone’s calendar. However, if you don’t have this app on your cell phone or if you don’t have a cell phone, a good pocket calendar from the dollar store will work just fine.

surge protector

Now that the basics of our home office are in place, it’s time to top it off with some essential equipment and support materials, the first of which is a quality surge protector. A surge protector (or surge suppressor) is a device designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A surge protector attempts to regulate the voltage supplied to an electrical device by blocking or shorting to ground voltages above a safe threshold. If you don’t currently own a surge protector, THIS IS ONE TOOL YOU CAN’T BE WITHOUT. Your investment in your computer, fax machine, laser printer and other electrical devices is at risk without it. You can usually find an inexpensive surge protector at your local office supply store for less than $40.00.

Paper crusher

A paper shredder is a mechanical device used to cut paper into strips or fine particles. Government organizations, businesses, and individuals use shredders to destroy private, confidential, or sensitive documents. Privacy experts often recommend that people shred bills, tax documents, credit card and bank account statements, and other items that thieves could use to commit fraud or identity theft. Like the surge protector, you can find an inexpensive paper shredder at your local office supply store for less than $40.00.

Standard stationery

The remaining items that complete our list of essential support materials and equipment are self-explanatory:

business letters
Stationary business letterhead
document highlighters
ink pens
paper clips
pencils
Paper (laser, copy and fax)
Stamps and envelopes for sending invoices
stapler
Stationery and supplies – envelopes
stackable trays

If you’re thinking of becoming CEO of your own business, make sure your business has all the necessary tools of the trade.

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