Here are some tips to set up your office to provide home-based secretarial, word processing, or typing services.
Designate a work area for your secretarial services. A separate room with a door you can close is ideal to minimize interruptions and distractions from children and family members. However, many people work in a small corner of a living room, dining room, kitchen, or bedroom.
Get a desk that has room for your monitor and a slide-out shelf for your keyboard.
Keep supplies and resources you are using when working on a word processing project within reach. Those may include a pen, note pad, dictionary, and software manuals. Because secretarial, word processing, and data entry services must provide accurate work, the computer spellchecker is often not enough to verify your work and a dictionary is essential. Keep a filing cabinet close to pull up resources and organize your paperwork.
Purchase a comfortable typing chair because you'll spend a lot of time in it when performing typing work. Some chairs are specifically designed for secretaries and data entry processors who are typing for long periods of time. Prices of chairs range from a few dollars at a garage sale to several hundred at an ergonomic store.
To provide typing and word processing services, you'll need a computer and word processing software. As you'll be doing a lot of typing, consider an ergonomic keyboard. An email account is essential to deliver finished typing work to your client.
Keep your printer close. A laser printer will give you the best quality and the fastest speed while an inkjet will enable you to print in color.
I recommend a dedicated phone line for your secretarial business. Use either voicemail or an answering machine to get messages from clients while you're away from your desk. An answering machine allows you to screen your calls.
Keep start-up costs low when starting a secretarial service business. Start with the essentials such as a computer and printer. You can buy new and used equipment at low cost at eBay and classified ad sites such as Craigslist. You can add additional equipment and supplies later when you are getting regular typing and word processing work.