If you have decided to start a home business, you must also give a thought or two about how to set up your office. It’s important to have a home office, not only for the tax benefits (you can only deduct business expenses if you have a designated office), but also to allow you to work efficiently.
Here is a list of the equipment you absolutely must have if you work from home:
A reliable computer. You don’t need something with all the bells and whistles, but you do need a computer that is used only for your business. Don’t let anyone use your business computer for any other purposes. That will eliminate the chances that something important is deleted, as well as reduce the chances someone will download a virus.
A backup computer and/or smart phone. The last thing you need when you run a home business is to be without access to your e-mail and other vital information—even for a day. Having a smartphone or a netbook can keep you in business when your main computer is down.
A fax/copier/printer. Even though most information is passed on electronically these days, you will need printer or fax often enough to justify the cost.
A comfortable chair. You’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting at your computer, and you don’t want to develop back problems because you decided to skimp in this area. Make certain, especially if your office is small, that the chair you select fits in your space.
Flash drives, CDs—You need to back up everything on your computer just in case your computer crashes. And don’t think it won’t happen, because it will. Even the best computers are not infallible to viruses or other technical problems.
A designated phone. Have a cell phone or a house line that is specifically for your business—and don’t let anyone answer that phone when you’re not there. You don’t want an important customer calling only to find themselves trying to relay a message to a toddler.
Make your home office comfortable and, whenever possible, don’t skimp on equipment.