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How To Set Up Your Home Office - From One Entrepreneurial Mother To Another

May 3, 2008
If you are pursuing your business dreams and working at home, congratulations! You have the courage to pursue your ideas while others sit on the sidelines. But before you move forward, it's essential to get organized in order to start and grow a successful business.

As a fellow entrepreneur, let me share some of the things that I've learned in my startup journey. Here are three key tips to help you avoid potential problems in the future and set up a home office that works well for you!

1. Keep Good Records.

Before you place the "open for business" sign on your door, develop a good record-keeping system. Whether you use the latest computer software-program, a simple spreadsheet or a notebook for written entries, it's essential to write down important purchases, sales and invoices. Figure out what will work best for you to stay organized and prepare for year-end taxes in advance.

Personally, I have a small notebook next to my computer. And whenever I get a bill or have new business expenses, I write it down. This way, I don't have to stop what I'm doing. But when I do have time to input all the data into my record-keeping software, it's handy and all of the information is right in front of me.

2. Pay Bills When You Get Them.

This should be an ingrained habit because it will help you balance your budget and avoid overdue fees.

Try to keep everything you'll need to pay the bills in one place such as stamps, envelopes and address labels. This will simplify the process. And try not to get distracted. Paying invoices on time is an important part of running a business that you can't let slide. And best of all, if you do it immediately, you won't have to worry, "have I paid that bill yet?"

3. Research Before Purchasing.

If you need to buy equipment and supplies, take the time to conduct the appropriate research first. There are many choices available, and you need to plan for both your current and future needs.

For example, if you want to buy a computer, figure out how you will use it for your business. Check reviews on various consumer reports and ask other people what they use (I use an iMac G5 and a Dell XPS 210).

Also look at the software and hardware you'll require to accomplish tasks. And ask yourself some questions such as:

* Do you want a program for keeping records or paying taxes?
* Will you do a lot of word processing or have unique publishing and printing needs?
* Will a scanner and fax machine help your business?
* What options do you have for Internet connections?
* What speed, cost and features are most important to you?

Your responses will help you choose the right products for your specific needs. If you take the time to conduct research and avoid purchasing last-minute items, you will save yourself a lot of time, money and hassle.

Start and Don't Stop.

These are just three of the key tips I learned along my entrepreneurial way. Many times in life the trick is just to get started. And you've already made that giant, first step to pursuing your business dreams.

Now, don't be afraid to take risks and keep moving forward. As a fellow mother who had a big startup idea, I made my business a reality. Today, I help self-published authors sell their books online cost-effectively. Remember, plenty other people out there have done it and so can you.
About the Author
Jill Exler is a mother and entrepreneur who gives self-published authors the opportunity to market their books cost-effectively via her business, jexbo (TM) at http://www.jexbo.com. jexbo also offers readers unique works and direct communications with authors. More details at http://www.jexbo.com.
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