Are you thinking of starting your own business? Or maybe you already have a start-up that you’ve poured your life and soul into. Whether it’s already up and running, or an endeavour you’re planning, it’s worth putting some thought into how you can maximise the efficiency of working from home so you can get the most out of your work time. Read on to find out how.
Why You Need a Computer
While you might think that you can get everything you need done on a trusty phone or tablet, there are some things which just aren’t as effective without a PC. Apple products are excellent for some things, including editing photographs and using social media, however, when it comes to selecting programmes for making your business effective and more customer friendly, such as help desk software, a computer is what you need. Excel is painstaking to use on a tablet without the right interface, although Word is increasingly more user-friendly, and there are now few advantages of word processing on a PC rather than a tablet.
Depending on the nature of your business, video and audio editing are also easier on a traditional computer. These might not be things you think you need now but, as marketing progresses and the need for human faces behind brands increases, you might find that you want to do some introductory videos which will be infinitely easier on a PC.
It’s worth investing in a home computer for your business but ensure you do some research to find out which one will suit you and your needs the best.
This is often something that gets pushed further and further down the priority list as budgets, funding applications and marketing feel more pressing. But increasing your own productivity by having a workspace that encourages you to do your best is actually an industrious thing to do to enhance your business and workflow.
First, think about where you work. Is it somewhere you can set up an efficient workspace or somewhere you’re likely to be distracted? Another important consideration is separating your work and your life. However appealing working from the sofa is – and the jealousy it might provoke from everyone else facing the daily commute – it might not actually be the most beneficial place for you to work. It’s important for your emotional and physical health that you separate your work and personal life so you can attend to the needs of both.
Establishing boundaries is a vital part of this, and having a separate workspace that you can (preferably) close the door on at the end of the day is an excellent first step in drawing lines in the sand. For the same reason, it is definitely worth thinking about getting a work phone, especially if you game and use your own social media on your mobile when you’re having downtime. If you’re trying to relax and constantly getting email or other notifications from your business, you’ll never be able to truly switch off.
Not high on many home-office lists, but an integral piece of kit when it comes to protecting your equipment. A surge protector is an appliance designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. It will limit the voltage supplied to your electrical devices by either blocking or shorting to ground voltages about a certain threshold. This could ultimately avoid costly repairs in the long run, particularly if you have an office with a lot of technology.
Even if you, like so many of us, are trying to avoid printing and try to work in a paperless way wherever possible, the advantages of having a readily accessible scanner are numerous. Whilst you can sometimes get away with taking a picture on your phone and sending a document that way, there are other instances where you do just need to print and sign a form before scanning to send it back. As long as you ensure you shred and then recycle any paper you use, your environmental impact should be minimal. If you consistently find that you are taking valuable time from your day in order to head to a print shop and get your documents there, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
Data BackupSmall businesses are more likely than larger ones to fall victim to hackers and other cyber attacks as they often don’t have adequate protection. Ensure you have sufficient backup for all your files and look into your options for how to protect your business online in terms of virus and malware protection.