Don't forget toner for that printer.
The necessary office supplies to get you started: $200 to $400.
There are a lot options when it comes to what kind of phone to buy. Do you use your cell
phone as your office phone? Do you get a phone system? VoIP, hard line, cell tower, argh!
A great argument can be made for using a cell phone as the business phone, especially in
the beginning. Chances are you already have a cell phone. I find, however, that keeping my
cell phone for private use suits my lifestyle better and keeps me sane when it comes to my
cell phone ringing. For example, you might be closed for business at 5:00 p.m., but your
cell phone rings at 6:00 p.m. when you're out to dinner. You answer the call only to realize
that it's a customer who wants to know more about your business, place an order, check on
the status of a repair order, and so forth. Taking a business call while on personal time can
So let's move on to a “professional” solution. There have been many advances in phone
systems and the way businesses use telephone service these days. Within the last five years,
I have personally moved all of my business phone services over to VoIP (Voice over In-
ternet Protocol) service, and it's a perfect solution. We will talk a little more about VoIP
later, but a new business owner can have a professional handset with auto-attendants, call
queues, and all the features of a “big business” system for a simple monthly fee per phone.
You'll just plug it into your Internet connection or local network and like magic you're
conducting business over the Internet.
Typical price for a single VoIP phone with service: $50 to $75 per month.
With all this talk of computers, phones, and websites, you will have to have Internet service
where your office is. This can be a simple cable modem to a broadband T1 line, but for
now you will find that DSL or cable Internet service will provide you all of the bandwidth
you'll need to get the ball rolling.
You will find that when you move into a commercial location from your home office, there
can be a vast difference in Internet capabilities. Specifically, commercial locations typic-
ally have faster options. For now, you can thrive on home-based services.
Typical price for Internet service (varies by region): $50 to $110 per month.