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Buying a second computer can solve critical business problems, translating into money in the bank. For example, with her new PC, Krywosa now has enough power and speed to run Lacerte Software for Taxes, which she uses to process tax returns for clients.

But more than just working in the fast lane, Krywosa can now perform tasks that she couldn't before. For instance, her Vectra 500 series computer came with a speedy modem that she uses for researching tax information on the Internet, downloading tax forms, and accessing services that she previously couldn't. Her new computer also has enough power and memory to run Print Shop Deluxe, a desktop publishing program she purchased to create her own business cards and stationery as well as design advertisements. All this, she says, gives her complete control over the marketing and advertising aspects of her homebased business at an affordable price.

You'll probably notice having a second PC also fosters collaboration between you and your employees. If there's a rush job, you can work on one portion of the task while an employee tackles another. Having a second PC also gives you the opportunity to split up business functions. For instance, one computer can be used just for communication purposes, such as faxing, sending e-mail or surfing the Internet. Or, you can use one machine to store critical documents while the second one serves as the "slave," where all of the word-processing and daily tasks get done.

If you feel there's a lot to consider before you buy, you're right. But it's important to think through all your options carefully. Analyze all the new hardware and software available and investigate several different methods of buying. By doing your homework, you'll likely be more satisfied with your second PC purchase than you were with your first.

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