Microsoft makes a wonderful bundle called Microsoft Office that should be purchased and
is available for Windows or Mac operating systems. This software bundle typically comes
with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Each program serves a
different purpose, is compatible with other programs in the suite, and is one of the most
common forms of software known today.
n Microsoft Word is a word processor that is basically the main program in the Office suite.
When you create a Word document, its extension will be .doc or .docx, which are con-
sidered to be the industry standard format of wordprocessing documents.
n Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that will allow a user to create spreadsheets
with intricate formulas to give calculated results. It's also an easy way to collate and organ-
ize data, such as price lists and customer account lists, and it's easy to organize these long
lists and find necessary data.
n Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program that will allow a user to create
professional-looking slide shows and presentations, which will come in handy when
presenting to a new client.
Now let's hit the Adobe storefront. You're going to need a copy of Adobe Acrobat. A free
download from the Adobe website, it's a program that allows you to create, manipulate,
print, and manage files in the portable document format (otherwise known as PDF files).
This will be important because PDF files, when created by the owner and sent out to others,
are for view only and cannot be modified. This will come in handy when e-mailing sensit-
ive documents or contracts.
Since you're most likely going to be creating and implementing your own website, you're
going to need a copy of Adobe Photoshop as well. The latest version of Photoshop will
allow you to create, develop, save, and use your very own graphics. Just like copies of soft-
ware, you want your graphics to be your own creation. Why will you need graphics? No
one will buy anything from your website without them. Your website will be a combina-
tion of text and graphics to appeal to your customers in the simplest way possible. When I
started my first business, I didn't know a thing about Photoshop. I asked a friend for some
advice and when I was able to do so, I hired my first graphics designer to help in this de-
partment. I had the software, so I put my new graphics designer to good use. My website
never looked so good.
Whether you're using a Mac or a PC, you'll find that there are built-in applications that
will also be necessary. You will certainly need to use the Internet, so you'll be using your
web browser software constantly. You'll need e-mail, so your e-mail program should get a