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Select your software carefully. One easy way to do that is to purchase
SHAREWARE and FREEWARE before investing the big bucks. WordPerfect software
for instance retails for around $300, but you can purchase PC Write, a
shareware word processing software for $5 from S Software (800) 243-1515.
There are some disadvantages when purchasing shareware and freeware though.
Some of them are really good while some of them are really lousy. That's why
it's important to rely on a good shareware distributor (a company that only
deals with selling shareware) that is very selective in the programs they
include in their catalog. One such company is The American Shareware Network,
250 Arlington St, Marshfield MA 02050, phone (617) 834-9208.
The American Shareware Network carefully installs and operates the software
program before it is listed in their catalog for sell. They only choose
top-of-the-line programs that are popular and worth the money. They also are
honest in making sure the diskettes they send the programs on are full. Some
rip-off shareware distributors will take a program that will fit on 1 or 2
disks and split them up into 4 or 5 different one. Then they'll charge you
99c per disk and make you think you are getting a bargain. But in actuality
you would have been better off purchasing from the shareware distributor that advertises at a price of $3.49 per disk.
Also, don't make the mistake of going crazy ordering lots of shareware.
You don't want to have 100 different software programs on your computer that
do 100 different things. This would make life too confusing and you'd have to
learn them all. You'd never know any of them well enough _ just a little bit
about each one. The whole idea here is to try out several different shareware
programs in the particular software category you need before you invest money
into the commercial software programs.
You should streamline your needs and the functions you want your computer to
perform. Most of us will be buying a computer for our home-based business.
Therefore, you need to find a good software program that will do the job you
need for your particular situation. If you're going to be a typesetter, try
out a variety of desktop publishing software until you find the one that does
everything you want it to do and more. One fantastic look-alike of the
popular PageMaker software (retails: $549) is a program called PagePlus. In
1993, the price is only $60 _ a 90% savings over its counterpart. (Purchase
from Serif, Inc, PO Box 803, Nashua NH 03061 (800) 869-8909.)
In addition, if you will be selling mailing lists, concentrate on a good
database software. If you will be writing and selling reports, concentrate
on finding a good word processing software. If you plan to draw and create
art, find a good CAD or drawing software program.
After locating the right software for your particular business, go through
the same procedure in finding a good business accounting software you feel
comfortable with so you can keep accurate records of your daily business
Do your best to narrow the different software programs on your computer down
to as few as possible. This way, you can really learn each one of them and
become an expert much quicker than trying to learn a whole bunch at once -
thus, creating confusion rather than knowledge.