You have to have a computer. There is no question about that. So many standard business functions are computer based these days that a business without a computer is DOA.
Just some of the things that your computer will do include:
- Financial book keeping
- Incoming payment processing
- Paying your bills
- Creating invoices
- Making and maintaining your client data base
- Scanning and saving documents
- Social media marketing
- Competitive analysis and research
You need to answer two questions right off. Are you going to buy a MAC or a PC? Should you buy a laptop or a desktop?
Now, you may have already answered these basic questions. But for the record, the operating system on the PC is fairly universal. Almost all business software is available for the PC and you will be compatible with almost all the rest of the world.
These days, the same is almost true for the MAC. The MAC has a great reputation with creatives, with designers and artists and photographers. These folks swear by their MACs and would use nothing else. It should be noted that the MACs are more expensive than similar PC’s.
The best option for your new business is a desktop computer. The desktop computer is never going to be lost. Nor will it ever be damaged or stolen while travelling.
You still should regularly back up your data.
The desktop is more durable, has faster processing speeds and will hold much more data than does the laptop. Since it is not being banged around while carried, the desktop is also going to last longer.
- RAM: 4 GB+
- Hard drive: 1 TB
- Processor: 3GHz+ (dual Core)
- Price $600-$1200
A good starter desktop will run from $600 to $1,200 for the system. That includes the monitor, a mouse and keyboard.
There is a healthy debate surrounding what are the best technical specifications for your new computer. We suggest not less than 4 GB of RAM and certainly not less than 1 TB of hard drive storage space. The processor is the thinking brain of your system. Getting a dual core set up allows for thinking about more than one process at a time. You may want a quad core. You should look for at least 3 GHz of processing speed.
Higher numbers for all of these specifications are generally better. Higher numbers though cost more.
Webcam – When buying your desktop, make sure you get a webcam. You will need the web cam for online video conference meetings, or chatting with out of town family.
Mouse – Your mouse should be wireless. They are no longer needed be connected to your computer with a cable. If your job requires you to be at a desk all day, look into an ergonomic mouse.
Keyboard – Wireless Keyboards are nice too. They often have wireless keyboard and mouse combos for a good deal. The keyboard is definitely something to get ergonomic.
Monitor – You need at least one, ideally two. It’s night and day for productivity to have 2x monitors. The ability to view two screens of data will let you make side-by-side comparisons and work more efficiently. You will want a monitor that is at least 17”.
Speakers – How else will you hear your music…or rather online conferencing.
Laptops are really convenient. They are relatively light weight and portable. You can take them to client meetings and work on them while you are travelling.
The computer should last you from two to five years.
The technical specifications you should look for in your laptop are:
- RAM: 4 GB+
- Hard drive: 500 GB+
- Processor: 2.2 to 2.66 GHz
- Price $400-$900
Laptops are going Touchscreen! They are more expensive than standard laptops, but try one out to see if that would be beneficial for you.
There is a lot to be said for the laptop, but it does have it’s downside. The laptop is easy to lose, get damaged or to be stolen. You should regularly back up your device to lessen the impact of such an event.
Laptops also have smaller keyboards and monitors than do desktops. The later can make a real difference if you have weak eyes to begin with. You can get a docking station and attach both a large monitor and bigger keyboard to it.
Tablets – are for play. They are fun and lightweight and easy to carry around. They are stylish. However, it’s incredibly unproductive to get any work done on them. Yes, they have their place for point of sale devices, but for email, accounting and using other software is painfully prohibitive on a tablet.