How to Set Up a Home Office

Once you're ready to set up your business in your home, it's time to turn your little corner into a real corner office.  Your office...

1.  Establish a permanent space withing your home for your office.  A separate room is ideal providing you have the space to do as such.  You can also use a walk in closet that is not in use.  Look around your home or apartment and see what will work for you.

2.  Decide on an office arrangement.  The best is a U-shaped arrangement, which lets you use three surfaces to keep everything within reach.  It sort of boxes you in but still gives you the movable room.

3.  Choose an L-shaped arrangement that provides a secondary surface if space is limited.  A parallel arrangement can rpovide two full-sized working surfaces if they are placed opposite each other. 

4.  Consider a V-shaped arrangement, which consists of a small working area in front of you (generally used for a computer monitor) and two surfaces angled to your left and right if your office area is very small.  This is similary to a U-shaped, except the central working area is much smaller.

5.  Establish two business only phone lines (one for voice and one for fax and/or internet) for your office.  This is if you do a lot of faxing.  If you'll need to forward calls to other offices, ask your phone company about related services.

6.  Buy office furniture that suits the arrangement you've chosen.  Include desks and tables, chairs and desk lamps. 

7.  Buy a phone with a built-in answering machine and a hold button.  If you'll be transferring calls from with your home office, make sure your phone has a transfer button.  If not, you can use the answering service through the phone company and schedule yourself when you will check messages and return phone calls.  This way you are managing your time and not feel overwhelmed.

8.  Buy a computer system, including a printer.  Consider built-in fax software if you'll be sending and receiving files created on your PC or laptop.  eFax is a good one.  The fax comes right through your PC or laptop and you can forward to wherever you want without having to print it out and fax it out.

9.  Purchase a separate fax machine if you'll be sending and receiving photos or articles from newspapers or magazines by fax.  To save money, consider buying a fax machine that can also serve as a photocopier. 

10.Stock you home office with standard office supplies.  With being self-employed, it's time to budget the cost of these items in your monthly business expenses.  Print out only the documents that you really need and want.  This saves paper and ink.

Until Next Time,

Jeane' Elliott Bennett


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