I’m sure you’ve noticed, even before we’re done with Halloween (and we certainly can’t get past Thanksgiving any longer) before we’re bombarded with announcement after announcement announcing the upcoming holiday.
This year, take the advice of an attendee who has been there and has. Here are 5 items any attendee will LOVE!
1. Dymo Label Printer Sounds silly, right? Why is a label printer different from a normal printer? Think about it: paper is sticky on one side, which can lead to jams and even damage a normal printer; formatting can be complicated and labels expensive. Suffice it to say that labels printed through a normal printer can be a really tricky thing to do. Enter Dymo, a small label-only printer that connects via USB and can be accessed from the most popular software with a click of the mouse.
2. CardScan: tiny, like the Dymo, but instead of getting the information easily, you enter. The CardScan is extremely effective at putting all those business cards into a contact database QUICKLY. An ultimate cure for the holiday mailing list frenzy / heartbreak most companies feel this time of year!
3. A scanner / all-in-one with a sheet feeder that holds at least 20 pages. If you can scan double-sided and have a flat bed, so much the better. As with any printer, toner is more expensive to buy, but it lasts much longer than ink. Expect to pay around $ 400 for a solid machine and make sure it’s TWAIN or comes with Adobe Professional at no additional cost. You can keep an eye out for deals at places like Tiger Direct and MicroCenter and some of the major chain stores have even been known to offer good deals from time to time. Last weekend, Office Max sold the Brother MFC 7420 for just $ 99. So if $ 400 sounds like a lot, look for deals and remember that you’re taking away the copier, printer, and fax machine with all their cartridges, toners. and related maintenance, while at the same time getting items like mail, file copies, and scanned and digital receipts.
4. The right technology so you can work from home 1-2 days a week (and you too)! Really, wouldn’t you both like at least the option? For less than $ 10.00 a month, you can collaborate safely in your own private web space thanks to services like 37Signal’s BackPackIt. A free option is to transfer the files through secure web services like SendThiFile. Other web-based technology allows you to work from any phone and your assistant from any computer connected to the Internet.
5. Up-to-date equipment / software / training. If the computer your assistant works on is more than 3 years old or uses software with more than two versions of the most current, it is time to update. You don’t want to wait for the machine or software to crash before doing so.
Plan a January 1 start date to advance updated hardware and software. This gives you plenty of time to research and buy what you need, as well as to train everyone involved before the end of the year. These days, the software is not intuitive. This makes training a must if you want to experience a smooth transition.