Guest Post by Lisa Kanarek
Running a household can be more demanding than running a business. When your personal life and your business life are in the same place, technology is one of the best ways to manage all aspects of your life. Faster, better and easier-to-use technology is available and more affordable than before. The dilemma isn’t whether there’s technology available to help you be more productive, it’s knowing which technology to use.
Finding the right computer
Technology changes often and trying to keep up with the latest computer is challenging, but not impossible. When you’re shopping for a desktop computer or a laptop, decide what you want it to do. Will you use it mostly for sending and answering emails, for handling word processing, or for doing design and layout projects? When you know your business needs, find the right computer to handle each task. No matter what tasks you’ll be handling, buy more memory than you think you’ll need. Eventually you’ll use it. Also, whether you buy a computer online or through a retailer, make sure technical support is only a phone call or an immediate appointment away.
Picking a Printer
A good printer can make you look good to your clients and prospects, while an unreliable machine can affect your business image. When you’re looking for a printer, find out the paper capacity. The more paper a printer holds, the less time you’ll spend having to add more. Also, look at the “footprint,” or the amount of desktop space it needs, including the paper tray and make sure you have enough room for it. I really like the Brother MFC-J615W because it has a compact, modern design that doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it looks great in any home office.
A Reliable Backup System
If you damage your computer — I slipped and fell while holding my laptop — you can replace the hardware fairly easily. The data however, may not be as easy to replace. A good investment you can make is in a reliable backup system. You can choose between removable media drives (thumb drives) or external hard drives. Remember to test your backup system often to make sure you’ve actually saved your information. Also, keep two copies of your backed up data in different places, away from your home office.
Protecting Your Investment
You never know when your power may go out or when you may experience a power surge. Protect your equipment by using a surge protector. Go one step further by investing in an Uninterrupted Power Source (UPS). A UPS gives you at least five minutes to backup what you’re doing before the power goes out.
Whether you use your cell phone for business or install a separate business line, make sure you’re the only person who answers your phone (unless you have an assistant). Family members, especially teenagers, aren’t always the best at taking messages. Test your outgoing message to make sure there aren’t any noises in the background that you didn’t notice while you were recording your message.
Keeping up with the latest technology is challenging and at times, frustrating. By finding the right equipment to meet your needs, you’ll be able to keep up with technology and furnish your home office with equipment that will help you stay productive.
Have you designated a formal space in your home as a home office? Do you have the necessary technology for doing your work?
Disclosure: Affiliate links were used throughout this post.