Working from home is a dream for many people. What could be better? You're surrounded by everything that's important to you, and you don't even have to change out of your pajamas! But if you're planning to make the jump, here are five must-haves for your home business.
Running a business from home without a computer is like trying to swim without water. Many things should be considered before purchasing a computer: What will you use it for? Will you need to video conference? Do you want to be limited to one space, or do you want to be mobile? Would a tablet better suit your needs? Choose a device based on your answers.
A Solid Internet Connection
This one is obvious, but it's also the most important. A fast, reliable internet connection is essential to the survival of your business. In most cases, a cable connection will suffice, but for the ultimate connectivity, you should look into an ultra-high-speed connection. And because you're working from home, you're sometimes going to want to work from bed instead of getting up and going to your office. Subsequently, you should invest in a decent router as well.
One of the most convenient inventions in the last decade is the wireless printer. No longer are you bound by wires; instead, you're free to print as long as you're on the same Wi-Fi connection as your printer. In fact, some laser printers include an e-mail address, so no matter where you are -- when you take a picture with your BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, for example -- you can send it to the printer's e-mail address and it'll print it out.
For safety purposes, you should have some sort of method to save your work. External storage could come in the form of a thumb drive, or for more storage, you can invest in an external hard drive. External hard drives can run as small as several hundred GBs or as large as 4 TBs.
And if you don't want to invest in physical external storage, you could always invest in cloud storage. Cloud storage has many benefits, the most obvious being that you won't have all of your work bogging down your hard drive. Not only that, but since your work is saved remotely, you can access your work from any computer, anywhere, at any time.
Just as important as owning a computer, having a smartphone allows you to connect with other employees or people you're interested in working with. If your main computer goes down or is inaccessible for whatever reason, you should have a secondary device that's able to access the Internet and your email.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to get the opportunity to work from home, and some of those that do fail because they're either unprepared or aren't serious about it. As long as you have these five items, though, you should be able to handle whatever challenge comes your way.