Power Up

Telecommunications

At a minimum, you'll need two separate phone lines for phone and fax/data needs. Ideally, three phone lines work best if you can afford them. That way, two lines are dedicated to voice communications for use by an extra employee and to avoid missing incoming calls. "Basically, get enough lines to avoid stopping the momentum among your fax, e-mail and phone interactions," Bredin says.

You also should give some extra thought to the type of local and long-distance plans you'll choose as well. Sprint Sense Home Office (http://www.sprint.com/homeoffice), for instance, combines several telecommunications services into a single bill for easier administration. The complete communications package includes a toll-free 800 number, long-distance service and calling card service--all at 10 cents per minute.

Additional telecommunications services that may be worth the extra cost include call waiting, voice mail, call forwarding and three-way calling.

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This article was originally published in the June 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Power Up.

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