My MBA is in electronic media, so naturally the office setup you choose is of interest to me. In fact, I would argue that your computer hub is the most important setup for you and your entrepreneurial adventure.
But here’s the stark reality: many self-help business people go cheap. They cut corners when they invest in their computer and the applications they use to grow their business. Friend, your computer hub is NOT something to blow off.
Allow me to pull together three fundamentals that I am so glad I got straight early on in my business adventures. The specific solutions that I share may or may not fit with you; the business you run or the level of involvement you have will vary too greatly. But the principles, I believe, are still very important. Keep these three fundamentals in mind when setting up your home business:
1. Invest in the proper computer.
A big ticket item you should get is the right computer device. For me, it is a 13″ Macbook Air. I love this computer. It’s one of the lightest, thinnest, coolest laptops on the market. It gives me the flexibility to move easily, communicate with my coaches swiftly, and keep my home business rumbling along. My work and family life would be much different if I didn’t have my Macbook 13″ Air.
I spent about $1700 on this computer. I’ve had other businesspeople or parents balk at that price. They remain content (or maybe envious) with their $300 laptop or tablet, not nearly as versatile or efficient as my Air, but focused on the monetary savings of the asset. The computer is a product to them, not an asset.
And there’s the key: invest in your computer because it is an asset. The computer returns value to you, your business, and your work. It fits many needs you have: productivity, flexibility, mobility, efficiency, etc. You can’t afford not getting it.
2. Explore free apps.
The app market is in its infancy. The advantage is that most everything is free, the disadvantage is that most everything is underdeveloped. To me, I see this as exciting and fun. I love trying new apps out, reviewing what other people are using, and getting the apps to work with my environment. Here are some of my favorites:
- Evernote: This is my notetaker. Whenever I need to brainstorm a new idea, I click on Evernote and start.
- Workflowy: Task management is something every small business needed. This program allows me to manage EVERYTHING, even my kids’ chore list.
- Google: Communications management. Gmail, Drive, Cal, Maps, Voice, etc. There are so many free apps with Google that overshadow other proprietary apps.
- Skype: Easy and free way to communicated nationally and internationally. I like to move to Skype whenever I have a long-distance client to keep communication open.
I have many more apps than these. The idea is this: get used to exploring the usefulness of new and innovative apps. They make business run smoothly and efficiently.
WARNING: Exploring apps is sometimes frustrating to people. They expect these apps to run perfectly and without any hitch. Remember, the app market is in its infancy. You have to remain adaptable to the growing and changing market. For example, I am in between Dropbox and Drive at the moment. I like them both, but am slowly-but-surely migrating to Drive’s more flexible features. I’ll likely post on what I’ve learned about this migration, which is my final point…
3. Keep learning.
I may have gotten my MBA in 2005, but the things I’ve learned then are archaic to what is known today. I haven’t stopped learning. This is probably the key essential for home computing. Always be searching for the technological advantage to your home and home business.
Again, this can be frustrating for some people. “Why can’t they just release a product that works?” Such a response is nearsighted. It misunderstands the nature of the market, and it expects perfection.
I’m quite certain. If you keep these three fundamentals in mind when choosing your setup, your business kickoff will be much more enjoyable.