So you've decided your business needs one or more of the software program types described in our sidebar. Before heading over to your local software store, take the time to figure out exactly what it is you need your computer to do. What are you planning to use your computer for? What kinds of business challenges do you need its help in solving? What can it do to save you time and make your workday more productive?
Once you've come up with satisfying answers to these important questions, ask yourself one or two more. Are you planning to use your computer for business only, or must it double for personal use? If you or your family members will be using it for personal purposes, will this generate additional software needs? Also, are you planning on taking part in the World Wide Web anytime soon? If so, you will want to purchase the newest, most advanced software programs that you can afford.