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Setting Up Your First Home Office

The essentials of leaving your corporate job and setting up your own home based business
July 14, 2003

Transitioning from corporate office to home office is not as tough as you may think. While each homebased business has different needs, every home office must provide the same basic functionality:

Since most homebased businesses are service businesses, not retailers, manufacturers or wholesalers, it's rarely necessary for a home office to be large enough to store inventory or component parts. And since most homebased business owners travel to their clients' offices for meetings, you probably won't need a conference room, a white board or a projector.

How much should you expect to pay to equip a home office? The good news is that the price of computers, fax machines and other office automation equipment has come down dramatically over the past 10 years. Prices for phone service vary from place to place, but new all-inclusive packages from providers like AT&T, MCI and Verizon provide unlimited local, regional and long-distance calls for less than $60 a month. Likewise, high-speed Internet access (broadband or DSL) is available for $50 to $100 per month. Here's a sample budget for setting up a home office from scratch:

Rosalind Resnick is the founder and CEO of Axxess Business Centers Inc. , a storefront consulting firm for start-ups and small businesses. She is a former business and computer journalist who built her Internet marketing company, NetCreations Inc. , from a two-person homebased start-up to a public company that generated $58 million in annual sales.