It is a well-known fact that millions of people in the United Kingdom run their own businesses from home.

Such an arrangement offers entrepreneurs the ‘best of both worlds’, because it enables these people to keep their costs down by not having to pay out for expenses such as office leases, transport costs, and employee-related costs such as employers’ liability insurance.

Photo via Flickr

But if you are considering setting up your own home-based business, what sort of equipment would you need? Some people think that all they need is a landline, pen and paper, but anyone who runs a business in this technological age that we live in will tell you that you are going to need a lot more than that!

So, on that note, here are the top 5 things that you need for your home office!

1. Workstation

Photo credit: Lasse Havelund.

Unless you are planning to work in a traditional Japanese house environment, you are going to need a desk and a chair that you can work from.

The style of the desk and chair that you buy will depend on your own personal taste and budget, but you should consider these key points before buying anything:

  • The desk needs to be big enough for you to work at;
  • The desk needs to fit in the desired location for your workstation;
  • The chair needs to be extremely comfortable if you plan to sit at your desk for long periods of time.

2. Computer

Photo credit: Bill Weiss.

Virtually all businesses in Britain use computers for a myriad of tasks, whether it is for something simple as emailing and browsing the World Wide Web, or using a number of specialist software applications relating to the line of work that you are in.

There are three main types of computer that you can buy:

  • Desktop – these are fixed computers but offer benefits such as full upgradability;
  • Laptop – great for taking out to client visits, but can sometimes be cumbersome;
  • Tablet – devices such as the Apple iPad are extremely lightweight and portable, but lack optical drive capabilities.

3. Printer

Photo credit: Cheon Fong Liew.

Let’s face it; if you’ve got a computer, there are times where you are going to have to print stuff out! Whilst the idea of a paperless office is a great one for several different reasons, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon, I’m afraid.

Generally, your options for printing will either be down to one of two types of printer – inkjet and laser. Should you have a need to print lots of colour documents and images out, I’d recommend getting an inkjet printer.

Otherwise, if monochrome is your thing, laser printers are more cost-effective and are of higher quality. Firms such as Ricoh London will be able to help you decide what’s best for your business.

4. Landline

Photo credit: Tom Page.

You are going to need a way for people to be able to contact you, and vice-versa, so the obvious answer is to have a dedicated landline for your business.

I wouldn’t advise using your home landline, because you won’t know which calls you receive are personal or business – and it’s also not very professional to answer with “hello?” when you’ve got an important client calling you!

5. Broadband

Photo credit: African Commons Project.

In order for you and your computer to access the wonderful world of the Internet, you will need to have a broadband connection. There are three main types of broadband Internet that you can get:

  • ADSL broadband – up to 21Mbps;
  • Fibre broadband – up to 100Mbps;
  • Mobile broadband – up to 21Mbps.