One of the challenges to being a ‘trep is that no one sets up your office for you–there is no computer, copier or phone system for you to jump on. There is no software already installed. And the scariest thing (for me)–no technical support person waiting in the wings when stuff doesn’t work.
As small business owners, we choose our own equipment. We purchase our own supplies and manage our own technical support. It is just part of the deal.
I have a few things I’ve brought into my business that have paid for themselves hundreds of times over—and I thought I’d share these with you all. These are the tools I use daily and am grateful for.
1.) Zebra 2844 Thermal Label Printer. I bought it refurbished from Hippodeals.com. It was around $200. I debated this purchase for quite a while–and hesitated for a few months, but I am SO happy with this label printer. I cannot imagine going back to cutting labels out with scissors like I used to. The folks at Hippodeals were super responsive and very patient as I set this printer up.
2.) Ship Rush for Stamps.com. This service is $30 per month and worth it’s weight in gold if you are shipping more than a few packages each day or if you have different websites to ship from. It integrates easily with eBay and Amazon. The support is decent. I’ve had a few hiccups with them, but everything is always resolved.
3.) Smart phone. Get one now! I debated this purchase for a while, but I cannot imagine not having one now. Life is better–especially if you want to do any scouting. One good find each month pays for the phone. I’ve had the iphone and the droid and they are both awesome.
5.) USPS package pick-up. They come to my house 6 days per week and pick up packages. I have a large plastic box in my driveway and they know to check the box each day. I keep post office trips to a minimum this way. I also order all my free supplies (priority boxes and envelopes) at usps.com and have them delivered.
6.) White project board for backdrop for eBay pictures. I use a three sided board I bought at an educations store–it works fine for photos and is easy to set up and take down. Cheaper than a cup of good coffee—I bought one in black as well (although I don’t use that color so much)
Anyhow, as soon as you can, invest in your business. Tools are designed to make your life easier so you can concentrate on the more important things (like making more money or hiding those Easter Eggs!)