This is an excerpt from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Homebased Business Handbook by James Stephenson and Rich Mintzer available from Entrepreneur Press .
Getting the Communication Devices You Need
The proliferation of high-tech communication devices in recent years makes it very easy to spend a whole lot of money in a very short time. But, once again, if you can get by with just the basic communication devices at first, you can always upgrade to new and better communication devices when your business is generating profits. For basic communication, you will need all or some of the following.
If you are going to have a workspace, you’ll want to install a separate telephone line or multiline system, depending on the volume of calls you anticipate. Ideally this phone will have business features and functions such as conferencing, redial, speakerphone, call waiting, caller ID, and so on. Get what you need if it’s not included. The payments can be added to your telephone bill.
Although fax transmissions have greatly declined in popularity in the last few years as e-mail use has increased, many businesses will still need a fax machine. Most contracts and agreements that must be signed are legal when faxed if both parties agree and it is so stipulated in the contract. If you do not want to purchase a separate fax machine, you can get fax software for your computer.
It seems that everyone has a cell phone now. They’re convenient for anyone who wants to stay in touch and necessary for anyone who needs to do business while away from home.
Shop around for a good rate. Although the newer models have more features, you will primarily need only the basics for communication purposes. You may, however, consider purchasing a cell phone with internet features, as it is very convenient to be able to check e-mail when you are away from your computer. In fact, cell phones have become so popular and the services and features so varied that many home business owners are also using simple and inexpensive cell phones as their main phone. It’s always advisable to have a landline, however, since cell phones drop calls and cell phone batteries tend to need recharging when you need your phone the most. Therefore, have both.
A telephone headset will be a definite need if your business keeps you working at a computer all day or if you use a phone in your car. It enables you to use your phone and leaves your hands free to work on the computer or, when you are out of the office and on your cell phone, to drive your car, walk down the street, or work in your garden. Headsets, both wired and wireless, are available for both desktop phones and cellular phones. Count on spending $30 to $90 for either type.
You will need an internet connection. A good internet service provider is a must for anyone in business today. Most internet service providers (ISPs) charge about $20 to $30 per month for broadband, meaning cable or DSL hookup, and give you unlimited web and e-mail access. Dial-up access will cost less, but tie up a phone line, so it can end up costing you more–as well as being too slow for business purposes. Therefore, you need to sign up for cable or DSL.
The full article here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207306