Question What supplies do you Absolutely Need to Start?

Amy Kay

Member
I'm in the process of getting my business started and wanted to know if there are things you found that you absolutely need or wished you had? Besides the obvious computer, phone, etc. of course!
 

LeeDrozak

Community Leader
Besides the obvious I would say some great business books are essential. Being from a remote area I would also say a battery back-up devise and alternative internet connection.

Everyone had different needs and "comfort" items so I am really curious to see what people add to the list.
 

Beatrice

New Member
I'm in the process of getting my business started and wanted to know if there are things you found that you absolutely need or wished you had? Besides the obvious computer, phone, etc. of course!
I was overwhelmed with all the 'to do's' and suggestions I researched so I started using notepads, then Evernote. Finally what worked for me was creating lists on index cards and tacking them to a huge bulletin board in my office. This way it's in my face every time I walk into my home office. For example one index card is a list of sites to get pics from, another card is a list of project management programs other VA's have suggested, another is a list of VA sites I love, and so on. So get a huge bulletin or whiteboard for ideas you'd like to keep track of or remember. :)
 

chuckles

New Member
What a great idea. I feel so overwhelmed with all to to do' lists that nothing is getting done. Chasing my tail so to speak!!!
 

vrsi-office

New Member
If we are talking physical equipment, mine would be:

  • Multiple Monitors (I have 4 now)
  • NeatDesk Scanner (I finally got one)
  • File Cabinets
  • External Hard Drive for Backups
  • Physical Phone for VoIP Line (Have one now)
  • Good Web Camera
  • Good Headset
  • High Quality Color Copier/Laser Printer/Scanner
  • Good Shredder (Never toss out client materials in the trash...could compromise client.)
  • Laptop for on-the-go work (Use PC for main work)
  • 3G /4G Mobile Internet Card for use as back-up internet and Laptop internet when away from office. (Mine is a USB drive)
Then of course there is the software list, which is a whole other topic.

Julie
:sunny:
 

Amy Kay

Member
Besides the obvious I would say some great business books are essential. Being from a remote area I would also say a battery back-up devise and alternative internet connection.

Everyone had different needs and "comfort" items so I am really curious to see what people add to the list.
Are there any business books in particular you reccomend?
 

LuzDonahue

VAF Community Leader
A good place to sit. I don't mean a whole office deal but a place where you can sit for a long time comfortable and undisturbed. Think about ergonomics a little. I learned the hard way that my kitchen table made my neck hurt after a while. Just need to try different spots to see what is more comfortable. That, and the obvious computer, internet connection...
 

brassring

New Member
Julie identified a terrific list, and Luz hit the nail on the head with a comfortable place to sit. I sooooo need a new chair!

Like Beatrice, I started gathering data on paper (like the notecards) until it got too overwhelming. So I gathered it all up and created a MS OneNote notebook and created a different tab for each subject (website, SEO, marketing, rfp ideas, etc.). You can copy url's directly to the notebook for future reference. I find I refer to it often, and eventually I will get to all the cool things I discovered.
 
Cynthia,
I forgot all about OneNote! I currently have everything in Excel. It's hard to see those tabs at the bottom after a while! I may move some things over.
 

Beatrice

New Member
Are there any business books in particular you reccomend?
If you haven't done so already, the VAF e-books are super helpful, as well as the VA Jumpstart class. I took it and it goes into the legalities of starting your biz, as well as your website, home office, your services, rates, etc. etc., lots of good stuff!
 

dburtaine

New Member
I am also using Evernote also to keep track of things. I am in the planning stages of my business and have found keeping lists on Evernote very beneficial. It helps me keep track of all those ideas that pop into my head throughout the day.
 

Amanda

New Member
Wow! Such great ideas! I have multiple website bookmarks sorted into different folders: books, resources for VA, etc. Then I started jotting notes in a simple notebook. There's so much to keep track of and try to remember.
 

alicespencer

New Member
I second Beatrice about the VAF e-books and Jumpstart course. I'm taking Michelle Mangen's course right now and it's amazing.

Other must have's
A word processing program. I use Open Office, it's free, and just as good (in my opinion) than MSWord. Time tracking software, there are free and paid options GetHarvest and Freshbooks are free for the first few clients. Some sort of external backup (or two or three LOL) I use Google Drive, DropBox and an external hard drive depending on what needs to be backed up. Oh, and backup softward, Carbonite is fantastic, but not free. I only mention that as a must have because my computer crashed about 10 days into my getting started, fortunately all my documents were backed up so I didn't loose anything.

I also love using notebooks and note cards. Evernote and Skitch are useful also but as gadget oriented as I am I think it's the writer in my that loves the feel of actually writing stuff (however I can never find it, or read it, my handwriting sucks LOL).

Also being social media savvy is really a must have. A FB business page, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts are wonderful resources.
 

Amy Kay

Member
I second Beatrice about the VAF e-books and Jumpstart course. I'm taking Michelle Mangen's course right now and it's amazing.

Other must have's
A word processing program. I use Open Office, it's free, and just as good (in my opinion) than MSWord. Time tracking software, there are free and paid options GetHarvest and Freshbooks are free for the first few clients. Some sort of external backup (or two or three LOL) I use Google Drive, DropBox and an external hard drive depending on what needs to be backed up. Oh, and backup softward, Carbonite is fantastic, but not free. I only mention that as a must have because my computer crashed about 10 days into my getting started, fortunately all my documents were backed up so I didn't loose anything.


I also love using notebooks and note cards. Evernote and Skitch are useful also but as gadget oriented as I am I think it's the writer in my that loves the feel of actually writing stuff (however I can never find it, or read it, my handwriting sucks LOL).

Also being social media savvy is really a must have. A FB business page, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts are wonderful resources.
Wow Alice! Thank you for all the great tips!:) I too kind of like writing things....I'm kind of a "pen junkie" lol I love using different kinds of pens to write. I know about Google Drive and Drop Box, but what kind of external hard drive do you have? Are they expensive?
 

alicespencer

New Member
Ahh, another pen junkie. My husband thinks I'm strange, especially since my handwriting is awful, but I gotta have my pens.

I've got a Seagate 1TB external hard drive. If I remember correctly, it was about $100. So not cheap, but not horrible either. If money really is a factor and you just need to back up documents and want them in a physical location, a USB thumb drive is a good intermediate solution. Watch for sales too, it's one of those things that if you can wait a month or two, you can usually find a fantastic deal.
 

Beatrice

New Member
Luz reminds me that I should now get a new chair. I am guilty of complaining about my work place. :eek:
I'm with you, I need a chair too! BUT ever since I read that sitting down for long periods of time is the worse thing for your health, I get up and walk around when I get uncomfortable in my wooden kitchen chair (yes that's my office chair right now)
I would love to get one of those treadmill desks :)
 

Susankelly

New Member
Good Morning. I'm new here and reading as many threads as I can and trying to take it all in. I'm just exploring being a VA, in a way I already am... I've been doing certain kinds of work for a few "friends" that have businesses (for a few years now) and am beginning to explore the in's and out's of having an actual business.

Where do I find the Jumpstart guide? I Googled it and it seems like there are a few of them?

Anyhow I just wanted to say I'm enjoying the forum and it's giving me a great view of being a VA.

Susan
 
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