Procrastinator, I can hear you now: I don't need to prepare for Y2K. If I have a problem in January, I'll take care of it then.
Why should a homebased business owner bother with all this Y2K-ready madness? Oh, only for a handful of reasons:
- If your unprepared computer freaks out after Y2K, the probability is that so will millions of others. And what are your chances of finding a qualified Y2K repairer before the year 3000?
- Assuming your hardware is Y2K-OK, what about your software? If your accounting software reads the year 2000 as 1900, your 1999 bills may appear to the computer as not payable for 99-plus years. Not so great for cash flow.
- My HP inkjet cartridge says, "Made from domestic and foreign components in Singapore." Would you bet money that all the companies that make cartridge components are Y2K-ready? All their manufacturing equipment? Computers? Accounting software? How would your business be affected if you couldn't print? How many other office supplies does your business depend on?
Of course, no one knows how serious the impact of Y2K will actually be, but just as most people buy insurance to cover themselves against long-shot risks, it's wise for homebased business owners to prepare for Y2K. The good news: You can do a lot, even at this late date.
Marty Nemko is a SOHO and career consultant in Oakland, California. He also hosts Work with Marty Nemko on a National Public Radio affiliate in San Francisco. His column appears on the front page of the employment section of the Sunday Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle. With Paul & Sarah Edwards, he is co-author of Cool Careers for Dummies (IDG Books Worldwide).