Sticking with the bootstrapping theme, for small business software, get only what you need when you need it. To start, an essential software that most, if not all, businesses will need include an productivity suite such as Microsoft's Office XP or Sun's StarOffice. These suites provide you with the fundamentals: word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing applications. Other essentials include security, accounting, contact management, and file back up applications. The following sections describes important software considerations.
You must protect your PC and network from various threats, including viruses, Trojans, worms, and other menaces. Well-known security applications, such as Symantec and McAfee, include firewalls to protect from unwanted intrusions, and virus scanning.
If you prefer to do your accounting on computer, which I highly recommend for its efficiency and effectiveness, get an accounting program that lets you manage your books, bills, invoices, taxes, and bank accounts. Popular programs include Intuit's Quickbooks and Peachtree Accounting.
A word processing program is essential for your documents including proposals, customer letters, reports, etc. Good software programs in this category include Microsoft Word, Corel's WordPerfect, and Sun's Star Office Writer.
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