Get Your Laptop Startup Ready
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There are so many things to think about when you’re starting your own organizing business! I’ve previously blogged about training, setting your fees, naming your business, planning your website, and many other considerations, but I’ve never touched on choosing a laptop. Whether you’re in the market for a new computer or trying to decide if your existing system will meet your needs, this article by Chelsy Ranard will answer many of your questions.
There’s hardly a better way to get organized and work efficiently and productively in your startup venture than with the proper laptop setup. For many people starting small businesses, laptops are more convenient than a desktop due to their added perks, including mobility, utilizing less energy, and minimal need for space. It can double as both your personal and work computer while still in the startup stage.
There are a few attributes your computer will need to keep up with your new business endeavor. Even though your small business could be completely different from the next one, there are still some basic functions that all startups need, regardless of the niche.
What you’ll need for your laptop storage-wise depends a lot on what type of business you are running. However, having more storage is always better than not having enough. For some, an external hard drive is a great way to have a lot of storage without buying a new laptop with high storage capacity or paying extra by opting for the laptop with a bigger hard drive. Photographers, for instance, need a ton of storage capacity but are probably better off utilizing a hard drive instead of a laptop with the same capacity due to the added protection.
As a general rule, your laptop should have at least 4GB of RAM, but 8GB will help your computer run more smoothly with multiple applications going. As for hard drives, you’ll have the option between the original disk-type hard drive with magnetic disks that spin or the solid-state drives (SSD) that uses technology like a flash drive instead of the spinning disks. The SSD’s are better but more expensive. When deciding on a hard drive size, remember the use of an external hard drive, but most laptops are between 500GB and 1TB. Meeting in the middle at around 750GB would probably be the best for your startup.
Connectivity is a major asset that your laptop needs in a small business setting. For your laptop that is designed to go with you anywhere, it’s best to settle on wireless capabilities. This is less of an issue with your laptop’s ability to connect and more to do with which type of wireless service that suits you, unless you have an older laptop. Most modern laptops all have wireless capabilities, but it’s best to make sure you have that capability if you do have an older laptop. If it doesn’t, you can either upgrade or get a wireless card.
Connectivity is so important because it enables you to connect to your customers via social media, your company’s website, or other ordering/communication platforms. Without your customer’s ability to find and communicate with you, you don’t have a customer base. Being connected to the internet helps in virtually every other aspect of business ownership. Making sure your laptop has the ability to connect to the internet and having a wireless router are definite startup necessities.
The type of software you’ll need for your laptop really depends on the type of business you are running. Some basic software programs to have are accounting, human resources, and scheduling programs. These types of software programs will help you on the financial and employee side of business ownership a great deal. Other types of software will be applicable for some types of startups but not others, such as retail applications, inventory management, or organizational software. Your laptop can basically be your sales system, financial organizer, and management tool. Research which types of software you’ll need for your business niche and your laptop will be able to do the rest. With modern tech advances, these programs are super user friendly and a common tool for many businesses both large and small.
Your laptop has amazing capabilities. The storage, connectivity, and software are necessities that your startup will need to aid in your business growth and success. There are also some extras that aren’t necessities but will also aid in your business productivity. If you’ve decided to purchase a new laptop, consider all of the different varieties to help out your business; not only RAM and the size of your hard drive, but also the usability. The Yoga series, for instance, allows your laptop to double easily as your point of sales system for customers as well. A webcam or internal camera would allow you to easily have video chats with clients; there are a ton of design programs that allow you to create a blueprint of any product you’re creating; or download a calendar app to help keep track of your meetings and deadlines.
For the small business owner, their relationship with their startup is one that cannot be matched. Entrepreneurs pour their heart and soul into their projects and will do anything to help their business grow and succeed. With these few tips it’s one step closer to watching your startup flourish and your relationship with it grow. It can be a stressful thing managing your own business, so let your laptop do some of the leg work for you by implementing these guidelines to get your laptop startup ready.
Chelsy is a writer/blogger from Montana who now lives in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012.