a judgment recovery business from home can be a
joy or a terror. You may love the idea of the
freedom, the flexibility, and the relaxed
atmosphere your home office will have. You may
relish the idea of working in your slippers and
Note that I said the "idea" of. In reality,
working from home can be great, but it
can also be just as frustrating as working in a
traditional office and commuting. You have to
set it up right and set some rules for yourself.
The rules you set must be based on your
situation, what works for you personally, and
the type of work you are doing. Here are some
guidelines that will get you started:
Set aside a special space for your
office, especially if you hope to claim a
home-office deduction on your taxes!
Try to minimize the number of
distractions that are in your immediate
Make your workstation as comfortable
as possible -- you may be spending a lot of
Get organized. This means buying file
cabinets, file folders, labels, and then
putting them to use.
Try to set a work schedule that suits
your own high productivity cycles. Everyone
has a time of day that they work at their
best. Find yours and make that your prime
working time. (Assuming, of course, you have
control over your schedule.)
Set some rules for yourself like... a
break every hour, a set time every day that
you leave your home (even if it's
just to walk around the block), no surfing
the net except for business-related surfing
(and then don't cheat!). Your rules should
address your own weaknesses. If you know
you'll have a problem with the refrigerator
always calling your name then make a "no
food at the computer" rule.
Set a limit to your after-hours work.
While you may have clients that call you at
9 pm, that doesn't mean you have to "always"
be available then. Let your answering
machine pick up calls unless you know there
is a tight deadline and are willing to do
it. On the other hand, additional hours of
availability may be just the advantage you
need to give your business (or job-security)
a boost. Just keep in mind that workaholism
is high among those who work from home.
Working from home can also be very
isolating. Make a point to pick up the phone
and call someone, or visit a neighbor, or
something just to make contact with a
live person occasionally. If you find
yourself working for 10 hours straight
without speaking a word, you may not last
long in your new home office.
With that said, let's move on to the hardware
you'll need to set up your home office. We're
starting with hardware rather than furniture
because it's quite possible you don't need a
desk or designated office area.
What Hardware do You Need?
Other equipment and hardware options you might
black and white 600-1200 dpi laser
printer if your final documents require
crisp, high quality black and white output.
Laser printers also provide the fastest
output, so if you know your volume will be
high you should also consider a laser
fax machine if you will need to fax paper
documents often. There is also the option of
online faxing services such as E-Fax.
scanner if you will need to scan
documents or photos. You can also use a
scanner along with e-mail or fax software in
place of a regular fax machine.
CD burner if you need to provide
clients with large files electronically, or
if you want to back up your files on CD.
There are many business uses for a CD
burner, not to mention the ability to make
your own music CDs.
DVD writer (DVD-RAM) if you need to
provide clients with extremely large files,
such as video.
modem for accessing the Internet,
faxing electronically, and e-mail. This can
be either a standard modem that you use with
your existing phone lines for dial up
access, a DSL modem that also uses your
phone line but does not tie up your line, or
a cable modem that uses the same cable your
cable television is hooked up to. DSL and
cable modems are for broadband Internet
access and require special connections.
multi-purpose scanner, fax machine,
copier, printer if your space is limited and
quality not as critical. Keep in mind with
this type of equipment, however, if one part
of it stops working you'll be without the
other functions until it can be repaired!
You may also need a personal digital assistant (aka
IPad, Laptop, etc.). These are
quite handy if you travel and need access to
contact information, e-mail, or the web.
All the best,
Judgment Recovery Training
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