There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize that everything you have been working on for the last month is gone! It has happened to many home business owners – maybe even you. You bootup your computer one day and you realize that your computer has been hit by a virus and all your data has been wiped out! Because a lot of your home business operations are likely to be conducted and stored on your computer, setting yourself up with the proper office computer software, including virus protection is essential.
Of course before you start choosing software for your home office computer you will need to asses exactly what you need. You will need to select software customized to what you do. For example, if you are entering data reports, you will need to install spreadsheet software. Likewise, if you are writing for a living, you will need a solid word-processing software program. Photographers will require photo editing software, while a book-keeper will not.
Beside the specialized programs there will be a few other software programs that every home business should have. You will need a way to keep track of your expenses, invoices and all of the money in your business. There are a number of really good finance software programs on the market that will help you do this. Quickbooks and Quicken offer a few options depending on the size of your business and whether or not you have employees and inventory to track as well. You will also require tax preparation software; however this needs to be purchased every year. Although if you have a separate accountant or book-keeper, you will not need this.
You will also want a word-processing program that will handle basic letters, label printing, estimates and other daily business needs.
There are a number of choices here. You could try the Microsoft Works package which has an integrated word-processor. If that doesn’t quite meet your needs then Microsoft Word offers all the features that you could ever need. If your budget is really tight then make sure and check out the Open Office software package – it’s totally free and gives you a complete home office suite of programs.
Of course if you are using the Internet, you will need an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape in order to access the internet. Firefox is an especially good web browser and doesn’t suffer from nearly as many “issues” as Internet Explorer. Some of these programs also come with an email program to keep your email filed properly and allow you to compose new messages as you need to.
Of course, the most important software that you will get for your computer is virus protection software that will keep your computer safe. A firewall is also a good idea to protect your investment. Be sure to set up a backup system for your computer as well. By backing up your work, every day, once a week or at least once a month, it will not be quite such a disaster if your computer suffers a virus as you’ll be able to get all your info back and continue working.
There is a wide variety of computer software available on the market today and you may need to look around for the programs that are going to work the best for you. Remember to keep to the basics however and do not overload your computer with a bunch of programs that you will not use.