Are you planning to set up a home office but don’t want to spend too much money on it? Setting up a home office means most probably you’re starting a new business and you must try to save as much money as possible. First of all you will need to make a list of things you will need in order to set up a fully functional home office. You will most probably require:
- A computer or a laptop
- Internet connection
Purchasing a computer or a laptop
Initially there is no need to go for expensive hardware because you can always upgrade as your business expands and grows. I would advise go for a computer instead of a laptop because there is greater wear and tear in the case of a laptop and it is very easy to upgrade a computer. Talking of upgrading a computer, it is preferable to go for an assembled computer rather than going for a branded one because when you assemble a computer it becomes really easy to replace parts and pick and choose. For instance, if you don’t require a DVD writer then why have it? In the same manner if you can use some old hard disk why purchase a new hard disk? If you already have an old monitor you don’t even have to purchase a new one. This flexibility is not available when you go for a branded computer.
Whether you purchase a computer or laptop you can easily find cheap hardware on websites like eBay.
Similarly you can get cheap furniture. But make sure you get comfortable furniture because it is very important that you don’t exhaust yourself while working in your home office. When you work from home you normally, contrary to popular perception, end up working more, and this means lots of sedentary time.
Happily you don’t have to purchase a single piece of software for your home office. Right from the operating system to word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database management, image editing and accounting, whatever you may ever need for your home office you can get it for free.
For your operating system I would highly recommend Ubuntu; some find it better than Windows. It is a full-fledged GUI but it is Linux based. When you install Ubuntu it automatically comes with OpenOffice.org which is a free source alternative for Microsoft Office.
You can also use Google Docs for your basic wordprocessing and spreadsheets requirements. Google also provides you great interface, as you must have already experienced, when it comes to managing your e-mail. Do you know that you can have a personal e-mail (something like firstname.lastname@example.org) using Google apps? Read How to use Google Apps to manage your business email.
Internet connection and telephone
Companies providing telephone connections and Internet connections are very competitive these days and they can offer you some really great combinations to reduce your cost. Go for a combo because it will cost you less.
For your international calls you don’t even have to use your telephone. You can simply use Skype or Google voice to make your calls at a marginal rate. And if your clients and customers are okay with using PC to PC calls you don’t even have to spend small amounts of money on international calls.
Setting up a home office doesn’t require lots of money if you are ready to learn a few things and do some research before going ahead with your office setup.