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Get It Together

Start up without breaking the bank. You can get all of these 3 tools for less than $1,000.


A Capable Assistant: Inkjet printers may tempt you with their low prices, but you'll save on long-term operating costs when you invest in a multifunction laser printer like the $599 Canon imageCLASS MF8180c. It shoots out black-and-white prints and copies at 20 ppm and includes built-in faxing and convenient flatbed scanning.

The 4 ppm color capabilities of this printer will come in handy if you want to print your own brochures or marketing materials. It features a USB 2.0 connection and an Ethernet port that lets you share a network with more than one computer. This versatile machine also has an attractive design; you won't mind having it sit in your office as it handles all your printing, scanning, copying and faxing needs.

Account On It:
When you're starting out, you don't necessarily need the biggest and most powerful software on the block. A solid starter program like Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2008 can handle your startup's accounting needs and still give it room to grow. A Startup Wizard eases you into the program, while demos and step-by-step guides help you along the way. The program handles invoices, quotes, receipts, expense tracking, employee time sheets and reconciling of online bank accounts. If you're already a Microsoft Office user, you'll be comfortable with the Accounting Express interface. And your budget will appreciate that the software is available as a free download.

Smarty-Pants:
A qwerty keyboard always sweetens the deal when you're shopping for a smartphone. It makes messaging, e-mail and minor document editing a lot easier to handle. The Verizon Wireless SMT5800 features a slide-out keyboard, Windows Mobile 6, a 2-megapixel camera and Bluetooth with stereo support. With a decent-size 2.4-inch display, it still weighs in at a compact 4.2 ounces. The Windows Mobile OS means you can edit Word and Excel files and view PDFs and PowerPoint files. The SMT5800 costs about $250 with a Verizon contract. It's a svelte and capable smartphone with a familiar Windows interface that makes for a work-friendly travel companion.

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This article was originally published in the May 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Get It Together.

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