Selling online is getting easier and easier every day, from a technical point of view, because the technology to handle online transactions (like online shopping cart builders) is fast, easy to use, and cheap.
Top 10 genuinely useful desktop gadgets for your home office
If you are starting or running a work from home business then this list of the top 10 most useful desktop gadgets will definitely make your work life more productive.
I'm not a particularly tech gadget type person, and my work-space is a little on the bland side - but after researching office gadgets for this article, I'm definitely going to be investing in a few that will make my life easier.
So, whether you are running an eCommerce store from your garage, or blogging up a storm from a local coffee shop, this list should help you discover some cool, but practical, tech stuff.
Top 10 desktop gadgets
I've tried to keep this list quiet broad and you'll hopefully find a decent balance between high tech electronics, and practical gadgets to suit the nerd, entrepreneur, and hard worker in you.
1. Multi-purpose shredder
Shredding stuff can be a lot of fun - but only if you can shred more than paper. Fortunately, the Cross-Cut Paper/CD/Credit Card Shredder can shred a whole range of satisfyingly crunchy office stuff.
And, at only $43, it's pretty much the cheapest way to destroy stuff properly.
Remember that shredding stuff is also a necessity for some businesses.
It's important that you shred documents that contain potentially sensitive information, or financial data - especially if its client data.
In fact, some documents must be shredded by law, and failure to protect client and employee data by shredding certain documents could, potentially, land you in hot water.
So important is shredding, that this particular gadget is one of the best sellers on Amazon.
2. Fancy wireless all-in-one color printer
So I don't tend to opt for super flashy stuff, but there's a lot to be said for buying something that does everything really fast and really well.
The aptly named Epson WorkForce color printer is just a such as gadget.
It does and has the following things:
- Color inkjet printing
- Wireless connections
- Print & scan from anywhere
An impressive item given that it's asking price is only around $89.
3. Free land line calls
Honestly, there is very little need to pay for phone calls anymore. However, if it just so happens that you are not in a position to use a virtual phone system and be done with land-lines altogether, then the OBi100 VoIP telephone adapter can help.
To quote, "The OBi100 is perfect for customers who do not have a traditional telco phone service and want the savings and simplicity of using a VoIP service for all their calls.".
So if you're looking for a way to save on monthly bills then this VoIP gadget will only set you back a once-off cost of about $37, and you should be able to reduce your phone bills to virtually zero.
4. Stylish and slick projector
Most businesses, even home based ones, inevitably need to communicate their ideas, products and services to range of different people.
So whether you need to gather up a handful of employees for a presentation, or take a presentation to a potential client, the BenQ home theater projector has everything you need to do a great job.
Ok, so it's also an awesome home theater that will allow you to kick back and watch your favorite movies in style. Just don't let it get in the way of real work...
As a dual purpose (leisure and work) item, it's going to set you back a little more than the other items so far. On a good day you're looking at about $869.
5. Serious external hard drive
I have personally had my PC hard drive crash three times in the last five years. I don't know what the guys at my local computer store are up to, but there you have it.
If I wasn't in the practice of keeping offline backups, things might have gone a lot worse for me (with expensive development projects being lost).
Knowing that, at only $130, the WD My Passport portable hard drive should give you some peace of mind.
Of course, you should already be using cloud based storage and sharing for your business, but it's also useful to have an external hard drive to physically take with you.
With 2TB of data, there's room to haul your movie and music collection wherever you go - useful if you are caught without access to the Internet and cloud.
6. Super serious flash drive
Talking of storage, if you're thinking of buying a flash drive, why not do things properly?
The Patriot Supersonic Rage has super fast read and write speeds and comes with 64GB of storage.
In order to protect this super high performance, it comes coated in rubber with a retractable head, making it pretty durable and immune to most forms of daily abuse.
Weighing in at $45, it's likely to be the only flash drive you need to invest in for some time to come.
7. USB mini air conditioner
If, like me, you live in a part of the world where summer gets a bit too hot for comfort - making work a little unpleasant.
And, if like me, you would rather not purchase a huge air conditioner that sucks a lot of juice, cooling the entire room or office, then the Handy Cooler fan and air-conditioner is a perfect compromise.
It uses a wet sponge to cool down air (via evaporation), and will also use much less power since you can focus the cool air only on you - and not the entire office space.
At $60 its cheap enough to prevent you from getting too hot under the collar.
8. USB solar charger
Hands up everyone who loves that moment when your wireless mouse (or any other device that uses batteries or USB charging) dies, and you realize that there is no way to charge it?
The days of having devices fail on you just before submitting an important business document are behind you. The PowerFilm USB+AA solar charger allows you to charge two AA batteries, and will also charge most USB devices for the very reasonable sum of $76.
Perfect for any modern home office.
Let's face it, we all have devices to charge on a regular basis, so why not do it the eco-friendly, cheap, and convenient way?
9. Electronic whiteboard
Ok, so the Panasonic electronic color whiteboard is going to set you back about $1500, so it has to be something you find really useful before you can consider buying it.
It's such a shame because I could really, really use this in my day to day work.
Part of my job is to figure out complex problems (or elegant solutions to simple problems) and I spend a lot of time scribbling things down - not quite flow diagrams, not quite text.
The long and short of it is that an electronic whiteboard is the perfect companion for any type of work that involves brainstorming, spit-balling, strategy, and planning.
If you have a spare one, please ship it out to me.
10. Sanity preserving USB cable clips
I can't begin to explain how enraging it is to have loose USB cables lying around all over the show. Why I haven't sorted out this mess earlier, I don't know.
But, I have finally resolved to sort out the problem using super cheap (around $10) cable clips like CableDrop.
If you are sick and tired of plugging in the wrong USB cables, dropping USB cables, and generally wasting your life around USB cables, then take the plunge and get a bunch for yourself.
I look at it as an investment in my mental health.
So that's my list of the top 10 coolest desktop gadgets for the home or small business office. What are your favorite gadgets?
Share your tech, geek, and gizmo tips and advice in the comments.
I love finding new motivational quotes from successful entrepreneurs and other personalities and find that reading an inspirational saying each morning, before starting work, makes a big difference to my day.
There's something encouraging about knowing that these people made it big and are sharing a bit of their wisdom with us. And, luckily, there is one fantastic site called Strange Fox that specialises in turning inspirational and motivational quotes into fantastic phone wallpapers and desktop backgrounds for women... absolutely free.
Bookkeeping, taxes, accounting, and a host of other financial and administrative tasks are vital to keep your small business running smoothly and profitably - even if you hate having to spend countless hours doing it.
In order to stay competitive, companies (in particular, home businesses or small businesses without the resources to hire a dedicated accountant) need to make use of cutting-edge online accounting systems (i.e. cloud based) that offer huge potential for integrations that can save a lot of man-hours.
Starting and running a small business almost inevitably means that money is going to be tight at some stage - often for a prolonged length of time - until the business can start generating a decent stream of revenue.
I'm a strong believer in growing earnings above every other strategy. Saving money doesn't put money on the table, so it is more important to earn faster than to save. But, without efficient use of your financial resources it may be that your startup never makes it to profitability, and that's where money saving tips can be useful.
Life as an entrepreneur can be extremely tough, which is why it is important to sometimes pause and listen to inspiring quotes that keep you going.
But it's one thing to read a quote, it's another to see it brought to life by an artist's interpretation. Often, the imagery combined with the quote can have a far more profound effect than the words by themselves.
And, in the world of small business, finding the right words at the right time could mean the difference between success and failure - especially if you're at the point where you really need something uplifting.