SCORE Small Business Blog

Technology: Must-Have Equipment to Run My Solo Business

AT&T 993 Corded 2-Line SpeakerphoneI was recently interviewed by a national magazine and the reporter asked me about some of the must-have equipment I use to run my solo enterprise. Here is what I listed.

Feature-rich telephone. You might think that finding the perfect desk phone is easy, but it wasn’t for me. I finally found everything I needed in one unit that was also priced right. My AT&T 993 phone is a corded, 2-line phone.

In addition to the standard features that come with most phones such as speed dial, mute, auto redial, etc., I also wanted the following:

- Speakerphone to use when I’m on hold.
- Headset connector for hands-free operation.
- Volume control to use for callers who talk too loudly or too softly.
- Voicemail indicator to remind me of messages waiting.
- Call waiting/Caller ID capable so I can see who’s calling when I’m on the phone.

Dymo LabelWriter. I can print my own stamps in any denomination, and also use my LabelWriter to print shipping labels. It’s much simpler for me to do this than to go to the US Postal Service’s Web site, complete all the information, pay for the postage, print the label, then affix. Every time I use the LabelWriter, I feel cool, empowered, efficient, a woman about town.

Business card scanner. I can’t remember what I did back in the old days when I’d have a collection of business cards I wanted to add to my database. My CardScan is at my fingertips. I’ll slide a card in and it starts automatically. With one click, I can transfer the data to Outlook.

Dual monitor setup. In a previous post, I talked about how I love using a second monitor. It’s easy to set up and you’ll increase your productivity by expanding your desktop. Visit the link for more details.

All-in-One Printer/Fax/Scanner/Copier. It amazes people when I tell them that I ran my business for a year without a printer. It was easy because I rarely print anything. I got a free printer when I bought a new computer, and I hardly use it. But it’s nice to know it’s here when I need it. So far, I’ve only printed boarding passes and CD labels.

BlackBerry. I travel a lot and I always have my laptop and BlackBerry with me. I use the BlackBerry for the phone and for monitoring email. Here is a post I wrote on my company’s blog, Changes I Made to My BlackBerry to Make it Easier to Use (I make a point of learning tips and tricks in software I use and gadgets and gizmos that I buy). And here is a post I wrote on how to tether your BlackBerry to a laptop and use it as a modem.

What about your must-haves? Let us know what and why.

Peggy Duncan, SCORE Atlanta
View more posts by Peggy

I’m a productivity and technology speaker, trainer, author, and consultant. I own The Digital Breakthroughs Institute in Atlanta GA.
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Discussion (4) Comment

  1. I am thankful for the new things I learned reading your post. I have been reading a lot on here and have picked up some great ideas.. I’m currently working on Fishbone Diagram project.

  2. Great article

  3. KimVisitor

    I have been a sales consultant for over 8 years now and I always found it impossible to sort through he hundreds of business cards I collected through my work – I then found a great business card scanning solution from CSSN which not only scans the card but also provides you with both the card’s image, as well as the text information arranged in appropriate text fields.It has changed my life and has made my consulting a lot easier and more organised – Go check it out at CSSN

  4. Alvin Lee BlockVisitor

    I’m trying to purchase equipment that does the following: Acts as a conventional message machine that provides a recorded message to the caller, allows the caller’s incoming message to be heard on a speaker system, but also records the incoming message from the caller if nobody is available to receive the incoming call.


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