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If there ever was an area of dealing with computers that gave you instant heartburn, it would be this one. What to buy for your computer? There are literally hundreds (actually thousands) of different types of software that do everything including fixing the kitchen sink. It's totally mind-boggling, not to mention the fact that even if you do buy a new program, chances are it is obsolete before you even get it out of the package.

So, where do you start? Well, first thing is, choose the software that fits YOUR needs, not the stuff the guy in the store says you will totally LOVE, dude. Since you are likely in business for yourself, let us start there.

Any type of software that helps you run your business will benefit you. Just remember you only need software to perform the functions YOU need. So ask yourself this question before you go shopping. There is no point in buying accounting software if you hire that out to an accountant. On the other hand, if you want to save money, then get the software and do it yourself.

In general, for an office here are some of the software programs you would likely need at your fingertips. You would definitely need Accounting/Financial Software to keep your own business accounts. See what is included in this package. You may have extras like tools for tax preparation, online banking, and emailing invoices. Nice bonuses!

Every small business (or larger one) can use Business Plan/business software. Its major rasion d'etre is to help create standard business plans and legal forms. Of course, you can personalize them to suit your needs.

Want to stay organized right? Then you could likely use Contact Manager/Organizers software. It does what it says it does, organizes your contacts and schedule.

If you want to have a paperless office, or at least try to have one, then consider Optical Character Recognition Applications. This means turning paper forms into electronic documents. Good management tool as well.

You will of course be doing all sorts of things in your home office – like word processing, spreadsheets and the like. You will definitely need some type of Office Suite software. It should combine word processing/spreadsheet/presentation/email programs under one umbrella package.

Do not take your computer for granted. You will need a decent Desktop Operating System. It will let your programs run and work together.

You will want to keep you finger on the pulse of your business, and that means using a Spreadsheet program. It will track monthly sales, annual budgets, or the weekly football pool. Then you can see how much you won!

You will obviously need some type of Email software. It is the best way to keep in touch with clients at any time of the day. And you might also want to check into Fax software, to send faxes from your desktop. Talk about saving time.

Also consider something called GroupWare. This means teams of people/employees at different locations can work together on the same project by sharing documents and information.

This of course is just the tip of the iceberg for software selections for your office. You can find out more by surfing on the Net and by asking questions of those in the know. Yes, it is overwhelming, but if you take the time to assess what you actually need for YOUR office, then you will come out ahead of the communications game.

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