Establishing your own office (equipment, software, hardware, accounting, and insurance)
Carolyn, As You Like It Consulting
Pros: I love being the master of my own fate. I have a brand new Dell computer with Windows and Office XP, a new Olympus digital camera, a combination printer, scanner, fax (Lexmark), and a paper fax machine which shares my phone line. I have only one line into my house which is my business line. I use my cell phone for personal stuff. I connect to the Internet through a cable modem which I purchased at the time Charter installed my connection.
Cons: Cable Internet connections are so fast that it’s impossible to return to a dial up connection. However, the rates keep rising and because there’s only one provider in town, Charter, you’re at their complete mercy.
Greatest challenges: Keeping everything up and running without spending a lot of money on service. This means learning how to do a lot of things yourself.
Approaches to meet the challenges: I use tech support and help extensively.
Mike, On The Same Page Technical Communications
Pros: You can have the “toys” you want (that is, if you can afford them), and if you have a “dedicated” office, space to breath a little better.
Cons: Expense; realizing repair, troubleshooting, upgrading, and other “housekeeping” aspects of having your own business is up to you.
Greatest challenges: Staying up and running; having the right tools for the right job; purchasing ONLY what you need.
Approaches to meet the challenges: Have a fully equipped office with resources for publishing hard copy and on-line manuals, presentations (such as view foils, PowerPoint slides, schedules, spreadsheets, etc.); exchanging information via DSL, MODEM, FAX, FTP, or file attachments; maintaining timely communication with clients; know a reputable service business for sales, service, and repairs.