When you’re ready to set up an online business, you need to have the right equipment. But if you’ve never run a business before on your own, what exact equipment this is might be a bit of a mystery. Instead of trying out a few things that might work, you may want to follow this list of the four things you absolute must have in your office to make your online business work.
Computer with High Speed Internet
It should go without saying that if you are trying to run an online business, you need to have a computer that works well. When you’re looking at your website, your traffic totals, and your money transactions, you need to be able to access this information easily and without any interruptions. This is why you also need to invest in a high speed internet connection (not dial up) to help you with these tasks. When you have this faster connection, you can instantly pull up the windows you need on your computer as well as address any customer concerns and emails when they come in, rather than when the internet line is available for you. You will also not have to worry about external phone calls jamming or interrupting your internet connection.
While most tasks can be done online these days, there are still things that you will need to do with the ‘real’ phone line. Most people still want certain documents and order forms sent via fax, so it’s best that you have this available to use, with its own phone line so as not to interrupt any other tasks you have with the home phone. There are ways to set up your fax to handle transmissions over the internet as well, but you will need a newer fax machine in order to do this.
Phone and Cell Phone
Needless to say, email can only go so far in terms of allowing you to communicate with your customers and with your vendors. You will want to have at least two phone lines where you can be reached, in addition to several email addresses. A landline phone is always a good option when your cell phone doesn’t work – and vice versa. You might want to keep one of these lines as your emergency line and then have the other line as your main business contact number.
With all of the information you are storing on your computer and in your filing cabinets, it will help if you have several backup systems you can utilize. For your computer, you will want to have an APS power system that allows you to get surge protection for your electronic equipment, but it will also help you continue to use your equipment, even if the power goes off at your home. Though the battery pack is not a long life battery in most cases, it can help you to send out messages about your problems to those who might need to contact you over phone instead of email.
You will also want backup hard drives that will backup your hard drive at night to protect you from crashes and viruses. These can be installed easily and with a good backup program, you won’t even have to think about whether or not you’ve backed up your hard drive as much as you should have.
Though it seems like a lot of equipment to have on hand at first, running an online business requires it. You need to have multiple access points for your website and for contact in order to be readily available when your customers and your vendors need you.