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Business, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Management, Organization, Productivity, Technology, Work at Home

Don Gayhardt Shares Tools You Need to Start a Home Business

Starting your own home business isn’t just exciting; thanks to services and technology that weren’t available just a few years ago, it’s easier than ever. After all, most small business owners start out on a budget. Odds are good you don’t have the money to hire a large staff or invest in expensive office equipment.

With the following recommendations, you don’t need to. While these services won’t guarantee success, they do make it much easier to run a small home business when you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend right away.

 

PayPal

paypallogoAlthough there are many online payments services available for sending and receiving money, PayPal is one of the best ones for business owners. That’s because it’s simply one of the oldest. As such, PayPal has a larger number of users than many of its competitors. On top of that, PayPal lets you send invoices to clients. Many other payment apps aren’t quite as business-friendly, devoted less to invoicing and more to sending small amounts of money to family or friends.

It’s also worth noting that PayPal recently released PayPal Here, a response to the popular Square device. Like Square, PayPal Here essentially serves as a portable cash register, which may be ideal if your small business takes you outside the home to trade shows or similar events.

 

Squarespace

squarespacelogoIt’s not easy to run a successful business these days without a website. Luckily, you don’t need substantial coding experience to develop one. Squarespace allows users to create professional-quality websites with ease, thanks to its pre-generated templates. You can alter the templates to ensure the site’s visual identity matches your brand, and you can incorporate important features like a blog, store, or contact form.

Best of all, Squarespace’s pricing is substantially lower than a web developer’s. Because you can edit the site whenever you like, you don’t need to contact your developer and wait for them to respond. You can make any necessary adjustments yourself as soon as you decide you need to.

 

Canva

canvalogoQuality graphic design is a must for any business. Your website, social media accounts, and promotional materials should all feature professional, brand-appropriate visuals because, unfortunately, most people do judge a book by its cover. Even if you deliver reliable service to your clients, you’ll find it difficult to attract more business if your branded visuals look like the work of an amateur.

That doesn’t mean you have to hire a graphic design specialist, however. Canva is a free graphic-design platform (although the paid business version offers additional features) that makes it incredibly easy to create impressive posters, social media posts, banners, and other materials, all featuring high-quality images. Though the site makes it very easy to get the hang of basic graphic design, it also provides templates for each type of document you wish to create, allowing you to simply insert your own images and text without altering the layout.

 

RescueTime

rescuetimeThose starting a small business from home likely have a day job on the side that eats up most of their time. Even if that isn’t the case, it’s easy to get distracted without a supervisor to keep them on task.

That’s why it helps to use an app like RescueTime. It works by tracking the amount of time you spend using various applications or websites, and then provides reports that help you better understand where you’ve been wasting time, so you can make adjustments in the future.

 

QuickBooks

quickbookslogoWith QuickBooks, you have everything you need to track your small business’ finances, an important tool to have, no matter what type of business you’re starting. The fact is, there’s a good chance you’ll spend some money to maintain and grow your business. With QuickBooks, you can compare expenses to earnings. Using this tool consistently ensures you won’t make the mistake of limiting your potential revenue by overlooking areas where expenses could be reduced.

If you run a business that involves working with multiple clients, you can also use QuickBooks to track your invoices. You may be surprised how easy it is to forget about unpaid invoices when you have to focus so much on other aspects of running the business. You need a tool that will help you stay on top of all payments, both those you’ve made and those that should have been made to you.

Although you’ll probably need to implement other products and services as your business grows, those recommended here will be very helpful at the start. Often, too many of us fail to create the small businesses they want to because they feel they don’t have the resources they need. Thanks to these products, you no longer have that excuse.

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Business, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Organization, Success, Work at Home

3 Ways to Fund Your Home Business

If you’re planning on starting your own home business, the odds are good that you’re not planning on it being a side gig forever. While you may need to hold on to your day job during the initial stages, the end goal for many people is to turn their home-based side business into a full-fledged enterprise.

Due to technology such as the Internet, smartphones, and fintech solutions, it’s easier than ever to grow your own company, even if you do not have access to substantial resources. That being said, depending on the nature of your business, you may need some funding if you’re going to expand it to its full potential. Without the necessary capital, some businesses will always remain small.

This could discourage many aspiring entrepreneurs from starting their own companies. They may believe that if they don’t have access to the necessary funding, then perhaps they should give up before they’ve even begun.

Don’t let this happen to you. In this day and age, there are many different ways you can raise funds for your project. Here are some that you may not have considered.

home business

 

  1. Online Lending Services

If you want to start a business, then you will generally go to the bank to obtain a loan. This has been common practice for decades.

The problem is that banks don’t always approve loans. They need to evaluate potential borrowers to determine if they are a safe bet. However, a bank might not be willing to provide the funds that you need unless it’s able to confirm that you’re a low-risk candidate for a loan.

Nevertheless, in recent years, online lending companies have been more willing to loan money to entrepreneurs who have previously been turned down by banks.

Of course, it’s important to be honest with yourself when pursuing a loan. You should not go this route unless you are serious about focusing on your home business and growing it. You don’t want to find yourself in debt because you overestimated your own abilities. That’s why you should develop some sort of business plan before taking this step.

That said, once you have a plan, online lending companies can be very useful if you need to raise funds.

 

  1. Kickstarter and Other Crowdfunding Platforms

Due to the Internet, entrepreneurs can easily find individual investors for their projects.

Sites such as Kickstarter allow users to raise money by offering rewards to those who invest in their ideas. Granted, not all business ideas are successful on Kickstarter, but there are other crowdfunding platforms available.

You could even build your own crowdfunding platform. While this may take some work, it’s a low-cost way to attract investors. For example, if you have an idea for a business, you might want to include funding goals in your initial plan. Set milestones you want to reach by deciding how much money you want to raise by a certain date and for what purpose.

Once you know what your financial goals are, you can launch a crowdfunding campaign in the form of a blog, video series, or social media account. It doesn’t matter which method you choose, as long as you allow potential investors to follow your progress. Updating people on your progress will generate enthusiasm for your business. Once people know that you’re close to reaching one of your financial goals, they may be eager to provide you with the funds you need.

You’ll likely have to start by letting family and friends know about your crowdfunding campaign. As they share it with others, you’ll attract more investors.

 

  1. Partner Up

These days, it’s easy to find potential business partners. The Internet is full of communities and platforms devoted to helping likeminded entrepreneurs to meet and collaborate. Working with a partner reduces your initial startup costs, as you’ll have someone with whom to split expenses.

If you already know someone, be it a friend or family member, with whom can work with to fund and grow your business, you may want to collaborate with them. However, if you don’t, you’re not necessarily out of luck. Due to the Internet, it’s no longer necessary to rely on people you know if none of them would make suitable business partners.

These are merely a few ways to raise money for your home business. Again, it’s important to plan carefully before pursuing them. Otherwise, you could find yourself in dire financial straits. That said, if you’re serious about turning your side gig into a full-time job, you might need some capital to achieve that goal. These methods will help.

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Business, Entrepreneurship, Improvement, Organization, Productivity, Success, Work at Home

8 Tips to Fight Loneliness When Working from Home

For many entrepreneurs, running a business out of their home is a dream come true. The choice to operate a home-based company comes with perks like a flexible schedule, lower operating costs, and the ability to quickly scale the enterprise up or down, but the opportunity also comes with challenges.

One of the biggest challenges faced by professionals who have a home-based business (or anyone who primarily works from home) is the feeling of loneliness that can come from working in solitude. The lack of social interaction that often accompanies working from home or operating a home-based business can negatively impact your productivity and reduce your job satisfaction. To combat the effects of loneliness, consider the following helpful tips for keeping your spirits up when you’re working from home:

 

  1. Schedule breaks into your day.

alarm clock

Split up your day with breaks to clear your mind and keep yourself feeling positive about your work. Getting out of your home office and staying away from your computer and phone during these breaks is a great way to recharge and come back to your work fresh after working inside alone for a prolonged period of time. It can also be a good idea during your breaks to chat with any neighbors or family that may be around at the time to give yourself some socialization. Some professionals recommend a small break every hour and a half or so, while others suggest taking smaller breaks with one hour-long or two-hour-long break midday.

 

  1. Establish an exercise routine.

Getting into the habit of daily exercise can elevate your mood and offer another way to break up solitary periods during your workday, especially if you participate in regular group exercise classes or just work out on a machine at the gym. While exercise represents a time commitment, it both helps combat the effects of working a sedentary job while also providing an opportunity to socialize.

 

  1. Change your environment.

Boredom and monotony may contribute to feelings of increased loneliness, but these feelings can be reduced if you change up your office or workspace every once in a while. This can mean moving your laptop to another area of your home some days, such as the patio, or by taking your work to a public place where you can access WiFi, such as a coffee shop, library, or restaurant. Even if you don’t interact directly with many people when you work in public, just being around others can make you feel less lonely. Overall, changing your location can add novelty to your days and stave off feelings of boredom and disconnection.

 

  1. Communicate digitally.

digital communication

While you shouldn’t make a habit of spending excessive time on social media during the workday, taking time over the course of the day to have small, thoughtful online interactions with friends and family can help you feel more connected. Have a chat with a friend during the day when you begin to feel lonely, but make sure you set parameters ahead of time for how long and how often you can chat without slowing your productivity. When it’s time to get off social media and concentrate, you should be able to train all of your focus on your work.

 

  1. Add audio to your office.

Just because you operate a business alone from home doesn’t mean that you need to spend your day in total silence. Consider playing music softly in the background while you work; if you’re easily distracted, try classical or any other genre of music without lyrics, or songs with lyrics in a language you don’t understand. You might also turn on an upbeat TV show in another room to create a backdrop of white noise. Having some kind of sound in the background while you work can make you feel less lonely and less bored while you complete different tasks.

 

  1. Have a routine meet-up with other entrepreneurs.

Even if you’re the sole employee of your business, there are bound to be other entrepreneurs in your city who work within your industry and are interested in making professional connections. You can locate groups for professionals using sites like Meetup.com, LinkedIn, or even Facebook. If you can’t find a group that you’re interested in joining or if no one has created a group for entrepreneurs in your area, you can start one yourself. Incorporating weekly meet-ups of this nature into your schedule will provide the professional social interactions you need to reduce loneliness and give you something to look forward to as your week progresses.

 

  1. Engage in volunteer work.

conversation

One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is that you become your own boss, which allows you to set your own schedule. You can make use of this flexibility in your workday by incorporating activities like volunteer work into your schedule. Volunteering will not only provide an outlet for connecting with other people and combating loneliness, but it will also allow you to give back to those in need and may help you feel an overall greater sense of fulfillment in your life.

 

  1. Look into shared workspaces.

If you’ve tried and failed to overcome intense feelings of loneliness as a home-based entrepreneur, you do have other options. While it can save you a significant amount of money to exclusively work at home, there are affordable alternatives to this arrangement. For example, look into renting a desk at a local shared workspace. Shared workspaces give professionals the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs working in a wide range of industries. Relocating from your home to a shared workspace can give you the freedom of working on a solitary entrepreneurial venture with the social benefits of working in a traditional office.

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Business, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Improvement, Marketing, Organization, Productivity, Success, Work at Home

3 Ways to Ensure That Potential Clients Know about Your Home Business

Many people who have been stuck in dead-end jobs for years dream about becoming their own boss at some point. That’s why so many try to start their own home business. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to do so. Due to the Internet, you can create a legitimate, thriving business without having to rent out office space or hire a marketing team.

A large number of online businesses involve some form of freelance or consulting work. If you have a valuable skill or specialized knowledge and experience, you can easily sell your services to clients. This strategy is popular because it doesn’t involve creating anything. You don’t need to worry about finding space to manufacture goods and store inventory. You can perform all the work right at your own desk.

It’s one thing to create a business, but ensuring that people know about it is something else entirely. That’s why you should keep the following tips in mind. They’ll help you to attract clients so you can quit your day job and do what you love full time.

 

  1. Create a Website

graphic design

Every single business needs a website. It’s also smart to maintain a social media profile. Quite simply, online searches are how many people find companies these days. They don’t look up anything in the Yellow Pages anymore. They use Google to find people who offer the services they need.

A website allows you to promote your business and gives potential clients an easy way to contact you.

In order to make your web presence even more effective, you should consider maintaining a blog on your site that you update regularly. If this seems like more work than it’s worth, you can hire freelancers to write the content for you. In fact, if you’re not comfortable with your skills as a writer, you may want to hire a freelancer to write all of your site’s content. You want to make the right impression on clients. This means ensuring that you sound professional.

Quality freelancers also understand how to optimize content so a site is more likely to appear in online searches. Hiring one is a smart investment.

 

  1. Reach Out to Potential Clients Directly

meeting

While a website is crucial, you don’t want to passively wait for people to discover your business. Instead, you must be proactive about finding clients.

Begin by creating a spreadsheet filled out with the names and contact information of prospective clients. You can typically find them via a Google search.

For instance, perhaps you’re starting your own graphic design business. Maybe you want to focus on book covers. This is a fast-growing market due to the rise of online self-publishing. Plenty of authors who felt reluctant to follow the traditional publishing route are now selling their books directly to customers online. And while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, it’s no secret that a professional cover design tends to result in a more successful book.

You could search for self-published authors by browsing Facebook groups and reading writers’ blogs. Find authors for whom you could create effective designs, look up their contact information (the odds are good they’ll have their own websites listing that information), and let them know you have a graphic design business and would love to create covers for their books.

Most people you contact won’t reply. Others will say they’re not interested. However, some will want to hire you. With just a little bit of effort, you can build a substantial client list.

 

  1. Submit Guest Posts

entrepreneur-593357_1280

Find bloggers who cover the industry you work in, but who don’t qualify as direct competitors. To use the graphic design example again, if you want to design book covers, find bloggers who work in the self-publishing niche. Reach out to them and ask if they would like you to contribute a guest post or interview on the topic of “why a professional book cover is important.”

Maintaining a website and regularly updating your blog will eventually result in more web traffic, although it can be difficult to build a following during these early stages. Instead, contribute posts to blogs and sites that already have a substantial following. That’s how you’ll get the word out about your own business.

It’s worth noting that none of this is very difficult. While you will absolutely need to put in some work at first to get your home business off the ground, once you have enough clients to keep you busy, you’ll realize that your dream of working from home has become a reality. Don’t quit early on because no one knows your company exists yet. Follow these tips, and pretty soon you’ll be busier than you ever thought possible.

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Business, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Management, Productivity, Technology, Work at Home

This Is How You Can Come Up with a Home Business Idea

Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to start and run your own business from home. Whether you plan on turning your business into a full-time enterprise or you simply want to make some extra money on the side, with just a few tools, you can indulge your entrepreneurial ambitions.

Of course, having the tools to start a business is not the same as having an idea for one. You may know you’d love to be your own boss and work from home, but you might have no idea how to get started.

Don’t get discouraged. Coming up with an idea will take some time, but if you put in the effort, you can generate a plan that may turn into a legitimate business. To start, keep these tips in mind.

idea

Assess Your Abilities and Experience

You’re probably not going to succeed in your goals of running a home business if you start one that requires a skillset you don’t possess. Thus, if you’re struggling to come up with an idea, you should start the brainstorming process by listing all the skills you have that may be valuable. While doing so, review all of your previous work experience and try to determine if you’ve acquired expertise in a particular area.

For instance, if you have a reputation as a strong writer, you could start a freelance business. If you have artistic talent, you may be able to provide clients with freelance graphic design services.

It’s important to incorporate hobbies into your list. Many people who enjoy creating arts and crafts projects in their spare time eventually discover that people want to buy their creations. Although not all hobbies can generate business ideas, you may be surprised by how many can.

The most important point to keep in mind during this exercise is simple: spend more time on it than you think you should. People often find it difficult to list their skills at first. They think they don’t have much experience or expertise they can leverage into a money-making enterprise. However, if you spend a decent amount of time trying to grow your list, you’ll likely find you actually have more valuable skills than you initially assumed.

abilities

Determine What Resources You Have at Your Disposal

Some people who start home businesses choose to take out loans to fund them. Of course, this involves some degree of risk. You need to decide whether or not you’re confident enough in your idea to take that kind of chance.

If you’re not, you likely won’t have a lot of money for equipment, employees, and other resources. You’ll need to take stock of what resources are already available to you.

Luckily, you can start plenty of home businesses on a limited budget. If you’re starting a freelance writing, graphic design, or even consulting business, it may be possible to do so with nothing more than a computer and a fast internet connection. As your enterprise grows, you can hire others to work for you or invest in additional equipment.

Either way, it’s very important to be honest with yourself at first. Don’t take financial risks for which you are unprepared. Once you know what resources you currently have at your disposal, you can more easily determine what type of business to create.

resources

Write Down 10 Ideas a Day

This is a tip from serial entrepreneur James Altucher. It’s also a surprisingly effective exercise.

Each day, set aside a little bit of time to list 10 different business ideas. Don’t stop until you’ve reached 10, but don’t censor yourself because you assume an idea isn’t strong enough to be worth putting on your list.

James Altucher himself admits that when he started doing this, many of his ideas were bad. The goal isn’t simply to come up with 10 business ideas you can develop into profitable enterprises. Ideally, this exercise will yield a strong idea at some point, but that probably won’t happen right away. Instead, this exercise will help you train your mind to start looking for business ideas in your daily life. The longer you practice it, the easier it will be to start seeing the world the way an entrepreneur sees the world.

These tips are primarily useful because they help you overcome the hurdle that prevents so many people from succeeding in their goal of working from home. Too many people give up early because they assume they simply don’t have any ideas. If you actually spend the time to brainstorm, this won’t be a problem.

 

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Business, Entrepreneurship, Management, Organization, Productivity, Success, Work at Home

5 of the Best Time Management Tips for Home Business Owners

Time – it’s one commodity that all professionals want to have more of, and yet always seem to be chasing. For the home-based business owner, time can be doubly elusive. While home-based business owners actually have many opportunities to recoup time in a way that traditional workers may not, it can be easy to manage time poorly and allow the day to get away from you.

If you want to be a successful home-based business owner, time management is one of the most important skills that you will need to cultivate. Listed below are five useful tips to help you develop the time management skills that will allow you maintain control over your schedule.

 

  1. Be a list-maker.

to do list

To-do lists can help you manage your work tasks on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, but it’s important to use them correctly. Don’t overload yourself by making long lists of tasks that you cannot feasibly accomplish in the time you’ve set for them.

Professionals suggest keeping to-do lists as simple as possible, and some even promote the idea that there should be no more than three things on your list each day. However you choose to organize your list, set aside a few minutes to write the next day’s list out the night before. This will help you streamline the next workday before it even begins.

Similarly, when you sit down to tackle your to-do list, do not attempt to multitask. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can actually waste more time than it saves by requiring you to switch mental gears more often, which breaks concentration. Putting your focus on one task until you’ve seen it through can increase your performance level as well as your productivity, saving you more time overall.

 

  1. Don’t co-mingle your home and work life.

Establish a daily routine and set work schedule to keep your home and work life separate when they occupy the same space. During your workday, make a concentrated effort to keep your mind focused on professional tasks. Save your personal responsibilities for after work hours. Failing to keep personal projects out of your workday can lead to serious time loss and leave you struggling to get important tasks accomplished.

 

  1. Take up time-logging.

notes

Identify the areas where you might be wasting time during the workday by recording a daily log of your professional activities. The log should be recorded for at least one day, but the longer the period of time you record your activities, the greater point of reference you will have.

Go about your daily schedule and write down everything that you do on paper or in a spreadsheet. Once you’ve logged your activities for a designated period of at least one day, review your log in order to determine where you’re spending time unnecessarily.

Areas where entrepreneurs may find themselves wasting valuable hours include running errands, taking calls, holding meetings, personal breaks, or responding to emails. Reduce these activities where possible in order to engage in better time management and a more efficient workday.

 

  1. Engage in popular time management techniques.

If you’ve already cut the major time-draining activities from your day, you may benefit from looking into popular management techniques that can help you conduct your necessary, day-to-day tasks more effectively. One such method is the Pomodoro technique, in which you accomplish tasks in 25-minute bursts of concentration, followed by five-minute breaks.

This can be especially helpful for people who struggle with focus, and can be an efficient unit of measurement when it comes to devoting time to long-term projects. For example, you could set a goal of spending 8 “Pomodoros” on your social media marketing campaign each week.

Another useful time management technique is “blocking” your time. Sitting down with your monthly calendar and dividing it into blocks of time devoted to specific tasks can help you stick to a schedule and leave you with few unallocated hours. This helps some entrepreneurs maintain a tidy, efficient agenda.

For example, you can block out the same hours each week for working on making sales calls, updating your website, or taking meetings. This keeps you in a routine that can help you to regularly accomplish tasks each month. Whichever time management methods you use to get more things done, make sure to remember that methods should be modified to meet your personal business needs.

 

  1. Work with a mentor.

employees

Sometimes, applying time management best practices is easier to conceptualize than to actually do for yourself. If you find yourself trying to practice good time management but are unable to do so effectively, consider enlisting the help of a mentor to set you on the right path. A professional mentor may be able to provide an objective eye and identify the areas in which you can up your productivity at work without pushing yourself too far.

As an added bonus, an effective mentor will have personal experience with many of the same struggles that you experience as a home-based entrepreneur. He or she may offer a wide range of advice to make you a more efficient business leader all around.

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Business, Entrepreneurship, Improvement, Organization, Productivity, Success, Work at Home

The Best Tools That an Entrepreneur Can Have in a Home Office

For home-based business owners, having the right office setup is a crucial component of running a company efficiently. Not only should an office be organized, have ample storage space, and maintain adequate lighting, but it must also be equipped with tools that help you work more efficiently.

If you’re a home business owner who wants to create a workspace that makes it easy to run a productive operation, make sure you invest in the following basic, essential tools and equipment for your home office.

A suitable desk

Since you will be spending a lot of time working from your desk, it’s important to choose one that meets your personal and professional needs. Factors to consider when shopping for the right desk include comfort, size, and the amount of storage you would like incorporated into the design.

computer desk

It’s also important to consider the type of work that you primarily do. If you will accomplish the majority of your tasks on a computer, you may want to look at desks specifically designed for computer use, with elevated platforms for a monitor or wiring holes that allow you to keep cords organized. If you run a business that generates a significant amount of paperwork, look for a desk with a wider surface area or one that incorporates shelving into the design. If your work involves an even combination of computer work and paperwork, consider a desk in the shape of an “L” or a “U” to give yourself more space to compartmentalize the different aspects of your operations.

A comfortable chair

Though often overlooked, a good office chair can make a significant difference in the workday of the home-based entrepreneur. You will likely spend about as much time in your chair as you do at your desk, which makes it important to choose a model that is comfortable and ergonomic. Find a seat that has the right amount of cushioning and lumbar support, and has a back rest as well as adjustable arm rests so that you can recline in a position that naturally suits your posture.

A filing cabinet

filing cabinet

Even if you tend to conduct the majority of your business digitally, it’s still important to have a locking filing cabinet in your home office. Not only does this piece of equipment serve as a place to safely store important documents, but it also provides you with a useful tool for preventing clutter. Easy access to a filing cabinet may make it less likely that you’ll leave papers lying in stacks around your workspace, which can cause stress and make it difficult to focus. In addition, regularly using your filing cabinet to store documents allows you to know precisely where information is when you need it, cutting down on the time you would otherwise spend searching for specific papers.

A paper shredder

In order to keep your filing cabinet neat and organized, you should avoid filing any documents that don’t truly need to be saved. However, when discarded documents contain sensitive information about yourself, your clients, or your company, it is extremely useful to have a paper shredder on hand. Though you may not need to use it every day, a paper shredder is a small investment that can go a long way toward protecting you from many different forms of theft.

A computer

No matter what industry you work in, having a computer is a universal need for anyone who wants to have a successful business in the digital age. If you’re looking for a business computer on a budget, you may want to consider investing in a desktop PC. If you need a computer that offers a high degree of mobility so that you can work outside your home office, look into purchasing a laptop. You can pair either option with a second monitor to provide two screens to work on, which may increase your overall efficiency during the workday.

macbook

Whichever computer you choose to buy, make sure to also invest in a high-speed Internet connection. Having quality Internet service enables you to successfully run cloud-based programs and applications, provides a stable platform for online communications between clients and business partners, and reduces the likelihood that slow Internet speeds will hamper your productivity.

Multi-function printer

Purchasing a multi-function printer will do more than allow you to print documents. Several models can provide you with the ability to scan, fax, and copy papers without the need to invest in additional, expensive pieces of equipment. Laser printers are best suited for businesses that predominantly print text documents in black and white, while businesses that often print photos and graphics may benefit most from an inkjet printer.

Cost-effective computer applications

There are many online tools that are both economical and extremely useful for business operations. Dropbox, for example, gives you the ability to store and back-up files in the cloud, making them accessible from any device with an Internet connection and protecting them from deletion in the event that your hard drive is damaged. Google Docs is a great way for entrepreneurs to work on shared files with others over distance, and it can be used for free. It’s also a good idea to purchase the Microsoft Office Suite package to secure a top-quality word processor and spreadsheet program for your business. Additionally, business accounting software or software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a necessity for bookkeeping and tax preparation.

Basic desk supplies

For true efficiency, make sure to stock your office with must-haves like a stapler, paperclips, pens and pencils, spare notebooks, USB drives, stamps and envelopes, and a calendar. While these items may seem insignificant and not critical for running a small business, having them available at the moment you need them is a serious time-saver and will prevent you from having to disrupt your workflow with a trip to the office supply store.