Though many of the software applications your new small business will use are probably already on your computer, there may be a few extra programs you’ll want to add to your collection over your months and years of small business ownership.
The basic essential that most people need is a good word processing program. Your computer probably came equipped with something functional. Usually Microsoft Works and/or WordPerfect are available.
The most popular and most widely accepted word processing program is Microsoft Word. Many printers insist that all files be submitted to them in word.doc or word.docx format. It is an industry standard. If you can’t afford Word when you first start your business you can get by with Open Office, a free word processing program that comes bundled with many of the same types of programs Microsoft Word offers: a spreadsheet program, Power Point presentation software, and others.
The professional version of Microsoft Word includes a very helpful organizational tool called Outlook, perfect for keeping notes and maintaining a calendaring system. There’s also a publishing program called Publisher.
If your new small business includes a need for graphics software you can use Microsoft Photoshop or Adobe’s Creative Suite. There’s a free program called Gimp. I’ve gotten along for eight years now with Paint Shop Pro v.8, from before Jasc Software sold PaintShopPro to Corel. You might be able to get a copy of that at a reasonable price through eBay.
Will you need tax software, or accounting software? Peachtree accounting software has emerged as a favorite over some other brands due to pricing of extra features and ease of use. I use it for my own small business.
If you would rather talk than write, you might like using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I’ve been using it, and find this an easy way to build up an enormous word count!