The average home office worker spent $1,830 on a computer system,
according to Link Resources (NY). Peter H. Lewis of the NY Times
decided to see what he could buy for that. He recommended the
$1,798 Dell 316SX with modem from Dell Computer Corp. (Austin, TX;
(800) 626-4294), or the $1,495 Mac Classic 2/40. [SJ Mercury,
7/28.] (Dell had good press last year, but Northgate is also
an excellent discount supplier.)
I've also heard that the average home-office start-up spends
about $3,300 on furniture and equipment. Start cheap, then get
what you really want after you've experimented and can afford it.
(Exception: pay whatever is necessary for a good chair.) A desk
is necessary, but can be any horizontal surface. A door blank on
top of 24" filing cabinets works well for those who don't need
drawers and pull-out shelves. Buy other equipment only when you
really need it. Buy used if you can; it's a rare home business
that has to maintain a prosperous image for office visitors.
(You can take clients to restaurants if you have to, or meet at
their offices.) Save your cash for a computer, printer, software,
supplies, and perhaps a FAX, hands-free phone (handy when you're
put on hold), stationery, legal and accounting help, incorporation
fees, mailing lists, brochure design and printing, etc.