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Judgment Recovery: Setting Up Your Home Office.

Operating a judgment recovery business from home can be a joy or a real pain. 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 bath robe.

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 up your home office correctly and establish 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 work space
Make your workstation as comfortable as possible -- you may be spending a lot of time there!
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 consider include:

A 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 printer.

A fax machine if you will need to fax paper documents often. There is also the option of online faxing services such as E-Fax.
A 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.
A CD writer 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.

A DVD writer if you need to provide clients with extremely large files, such as video.
A modem for accessing the Internet, faxing electronically, and e-mail. This can be either 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.
A 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 PDA, Palm Pilot, Handspring, etc.). These are quite handy if you travel and need access to contact information, e-mail, or the web.

All the best,

Mike O'Connor
(Try some more free online judgment recovery training... Take our free judgment recovery training course, or, when you're ready for serious judgment recovery instruction, try How To Make Real Money In The Judgment recovery Business.)

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