This article is addressed at those that only need an office to start being self employed so all those that are accountants, book-keepers, marketing and all those office based people this is for you.
What do you need?
This is sometimes the hardest question; many people I encounter don’t know and start spending out on everything that they could possible need in any situation. Its time to apply the anchors fast.
You need to ask the question do you need extra expense when the spare room or a corner of a bedroom would work just fine. If it’s just you working, in my opinion an office is just an extra overhead that you don’t need. Of course there are some exceptions to this like your home is to noisy to do any work from. Other considerations are business rates this is calculated on how much of your property is used for non domestic use.
If your working from home one of your main assets needs to be a computer but it doesn’t have to set you back an arm and a leg to get your SOHO* set up. One thing you should think about is second hand equipment a respectable second hand computer with monitor from one of the online auction sites should cost you no more then £150 and even new you can pick up a PC for less then £350.
Now everybody knows about Microsoft office and most people think this is the only option for an office suite. No its not the only option, you don’t need to spend out on Microsoft office when there’s a great free alternative (did I mention its FREE) openoffice.org makes OpenOffice a great Microsoft office alternative that can save you hundreds of pounds/dollars. Not to forget another alternative Google docs which is wholly online via your web browser and again free.
Most PC’s you will buy come with Windows preinstalled, but sometimes you may pick up a cheap computer without an operating system and this, at first glance may be a bit problematic.
Don’t despair its Linux to the rescue. Linux is an open source alternative to windows there a many variations of Linux called distros, but for ease of use I’m going to recommend you take a look at Ubuntu over at umbutu.com. This comes preinstalled with open office and the install is straightforward so (depending on your computer specifications) you could have a complete working computer system up and running in a matter of a few hours.
We all do a little printing in our day to day business but how much will dictate how much we need to spend on a printer. If you’re like me and try to limit the amount you print to the minimum then you can get buy quite happily with a standard home printer. But what about if your business office print needs are high then we need to look at a more expensive laser printer that will save money in the long run over a standard ink jet printer.
Desks chairs and cabinets
This is the basics you need for a home office, people survive for years working from home with the aid of the kitchen table and chairs, if you have the budget buy new if not you can pick up some great bargains on places like eBay. Remember if its only you seeing it, it doesn’t have to be fantastic looking , function above form
I hope this has given you some idea’s about setting up a home office
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