June 24, 2020

Coming from a Real Estate sales background, I was required to have a home office setup to have the option to perform work from home or the office.

The office setup running an Affiliate Marketing business is not much different but there are items that were slowly added over the years.

The items listed below can change your home work experience for the better by allowing you to be more productive and tackle any challenge that comes your way.

100%
Cost

Cost

The total cost of your home office setup will vary. I will base this rating on the cost of my own office setup and the percentage each item takes of the total cost.

100%
Space

Space

I will base this again on my own office setup which is roughly 193,500 cubic inches (4 ft D X 7 ft W X 4 ft H)

100%
Impact

Impact

This is a subjective rating on how I feel each item impacts my own work experience and improvement to productivity on a daily basis.

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1. Laptop or Desktop Computer

2.5%
Cost
0.1%
Space
50%
Impact

If you are serious about starting an Affiliate Marketing business or any online business, the single most important piece of equipment for the best home office setup is a laptop or a computer.

I consider this essential hardware and it truly impacts productivity.

A laptop is my preferred hardware due to it's portability and comparable computing power to a desktop.

Smartphones have definitely come a long way in processing power and overall multi-functionality; however, there's still no replacement for a bigger screen display and a full-sized keyboard.

The bigger display and keyboard allow for easier creation of websites, typing and using blog creation or content management tools like WordPress.

As I discuss in my other post Buying a Used Laptop, you can save hundreds of dollars buying a used or almost new laptop from reseller sights like eBay.

If you are wary of used or second-hand equipment, Amazon has a great selection of new laptops for any budget.

2. Monitor

4.4%
Cost
1.9%
Space
5%
Impact

A small but powerful improvement that I made was to have my home office setup with a laptop and monitor.

Having a bigger display can have a huge beneficial impact on your work in a number of ways:

  • By showing more data on software like spreadsheets 
  • When previewing files like images you can see better detail or detect defects.
  • Using split screen functions allow you to open 2 or more windows so you can view and work with more information.

I use the LG 34KW650, 34 inch Ultrawide IPS Monitor for my home office setup.

The setup shown here allows you to have programs like WordPress open with a full browser view plus the control panel open on the side. 

3. Mouse

0.8%
Cost
0%
Space
2%
Impact

Whether it is a cordless, corded or trackball mouse this computer peripheral just makes it easier to complete certain operations on a computer or laptop.

I find that I am more comfortable using a mouse than a trackpad on a laptop.

4. Smartphone

8.6%
Cost
0%
Space
3%
Impact

Since the birth of the iPhone, smartphone manufacturers have used it as a model to meet or beat its features.

Every year, smartphones are constantly mimicking operations that we can do on a computer or laptop through the use of apps.

The power of today's smartphones makes it possible to run a mobile office.

Recommended Apps

Graphic Design

Canva

If you outsource your graphic design for print materials or social media, you may want to check out what Canva can do for you.

With this online software you can design anything from your own menus, invitations,  and business cards to Facebook  and Instagram covers and posts.


Note-Taking

Microsoft OneNote

I found that this app was wonderful for taking handwritten notes with my Samsung Note 9 and syncing them to my laptop.

This is great for using as a whiteboard for webinars or online courses.

Email Marketing

AWeber 

This is a great app to monitor your email marketing stats while on the go.

You can quickly view subscribes and unsubscribes to your lists, as well as get stats on message performance in terms of Opens and link Clicks.

5. High Speed Internet

25.3%
Cost
0.1%
Space
4%
Impact

Although high speed mobile data has come close to beating wired high speed internet, there is still no substitute.

Whether it's streaming video, downloading programs or uploading files, high speed internet makes waiting less frequent and lessens the occurrences of buffering.

The top high speed internet technologies currently available are:

  • Fibre Optic
  • Cable
  • DSL
  • Fixed Wireless

6. Fast Wireless Smartphone Charger

0.3%
Cost
0%
Space
0.5%
Impact

Since the advent of wireless charging, it was immediately attractive for me to free myself of charging cords...they just annoyed me.

Fast wireless smartphone charging stations are a great substitute for corded fast chargers.

7. Desk

2.6%
Cost
36.4%
Space
4%
Impact

Desks can be anything - your dinner table, a fold-able table, counter or stand-up desk.

However, if you truly want to setup a dedicated office area you will need a desk to set up your tools and organize the things you need to make work more effective. 

8. Comfortable Office Chair

2.1%
Cost
12.8%
Space
4%
Impact

The choices of office chairs are numerous and for me, it all comes down to comfort then price.

My rule is if I'm unable to sit on a chair for more than 30 minutes then it's not the chair for me.

9. Router

2.3%
Cost
0%
Space
1%
Impact

With a high speed internet service you might need a separate router to distribute both wired and wireless internet to your office and home.

With Wireless N and AC standards, wireless internet speeds are coming close to wired connections.

10. Printer or Multi-Function Printer

2.2%
Cost
2.2%
Space
0.1%
Impact

Near the end of my 10 year real estate career, the advent of digital signatures made it less and less necessary for me to print most documents for clients.

However, a printer definitely came in handy when marketing materials were needed at a moments notice.  Or if a client felt more comfortable dealing with documents that they could touch with their hands. 

These days, it's my kids that do most of the printing of their homework assignments.

Printers (both black and white, and color) for home office use range in prices according to features and functionality.

If you want a unit that has everything you need in an office, another option is the multi-function printer/fax machine/copier/scanner combination machine.

11. Surge Protector Power Bar

0.5%
Cost
0%
Space
1%
Impact

Electronics like desktop computers and laptops are quite sensitive to electrical surges from power outages.

Surge protected power bars keep those sensitive electronics safe and often provide further protection with connected equipment warranties.

12. USB 3.0 Hub

0.7%
Cost
0%
Space
1%
Impact

Computers have a limited number of USB 3.0 plugs and this is even more the case with laptops.

USB 3.0 hubs allow you to expand the number of devices that you can plug into your computer or laptop.

13. Speakers

0.5%
Cost
0.1%
Space
0.1%
Impact

When sound reproduction is important, a set of computer speakers is a good peripheral to have in your setup.

Speakers vary in size and specifications so it's important to determine your needs and find a set that meets your particular requirements.

14. Headphones

1.1%
Cost
0.1%
Space
1%
Impact

Using a quality set of headphones is good for a few reasons:

  1. 1
    They provide accurate sound reproduction
  2. 2
    Playing music loudly doesn't disturb your family or neighbors
  3. 3
    Are typically more comfortable to wear than ear buds

15. Webcam

3.3%
Cost
0%
Space
0.5%
Impact

When showing your face is required through video chatting via platforms like Skype and Zoom, a webcam is an important piece of hardware.

The laptop webcam on my Lenovo T430s is not very clear so I use a Logitech HD Pro C922 webcam for a clear 1080p image.

There are quite a few inexpensive units available on Amazon.

16. Microphone

0.2%
Cost
0.3%
Space
0.5%
Impact

Quality microphones give that extra touch of professionalism to video chats, webinars, YouTube videos and other platforms where the clarity of speech is important.

The specifications and prices vary alot for this type of hardware.

The closer you get to radio broadcast quality or music studio quality, the higher the price it is for a unit. 

17. USB Audio/Midi Interface

1.9%
Cost
0%
Space
1%
Impact

This hardware is usually required if you use a condenser microphone.

Condenser microphones require phantom power for the transducer component of the unit.

A USB audio/midi interface also helps when the audio sound card on a desktop computer or laptop doesn't have sufficient volume output.

18. External USB 3.0 Harddrive

2.6%
Cost
0%
Space
1%
Impact

An external USB hard drive is typically required when you've used up all the hard drive slots in your desktop computer or when you need extra hard drive storage for your laptop.

The prices for solid state drives (SSD's) and hard disk drives (HDD's) have really come down over the last several years so if you are in the market for a unit, now is a good time to buy.

19. Google Nest or Amazon Alexa

0.5%
Cost
0%
Space
2%
Impact

With the advent of smart home technology over the last few years, Amazon Alexa and Google Nest assistant hubs have become commonplace in homes all over the world.

The number of helpful functions that I use our Google Nest hubs for in my own home include:

  • Turning on lights and appliances in various areas of the home
  • Creating voice-activated alarms and timers.
  • Activating streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus remote-free on different televisions around our home.
  • Playing music on one or several speakers around the home.

And, these are only a few of the functions that I know of.

It's exciting to see what other functions will emerge in the years to come.

20. USB 3.0 Multiple Harddrive Docking Station

1.2%
Cost
0.1%
Space
0.2%
Impact

This piece of hardware is an expansion of the external hard drive mentioned in #18 and typically for laptop users.

This type of unit allows you to plug in multiple hard drives as your data storage requirements grow.

21. Laptop Cooler

0.5%
Cost
0.1%
Space
0.2%
Impact

One drawback of owning a laptop is that cooling capacity is limited.   There is only so much cooling you can fit in the smaller form factor.

A solution to this is a cooler, or cooling pad, which sits underneath the laptop keeping all the internal components at an acceptable temperature.

22. Cables

0.5%
Cost
0%
Space
0.2%
Impact

Connecting different computer peripherals and equipment require various kinds of cables.

The cables used in my office setup include:

  • Mini DVI to HDMI
  • USB to USB-B 5 Pin
  • USB to USB-C
  • USB to USB-B
  • USB to USB MicroB 10 Pin

Fortunately, you can find decent cables on Amazon for reasonable prices if you do your research.

23. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

2.1%
Cost
0.4%
Space
1%
Impact

The piece of hardware is particularly useful during power outages when you need computer equipment running long enough to save sensitive files.

There's nothing more annoying than having the power go out in your home, your computer shutting off before saving that important report or file and then redoing the work lost.

24. Software

10.5%
Cost
0%
Space
10%
Impact

Software is just as important as the hardware you use.

Developers are continually making updates to operating systems, improving productivity software and creating other helpful programs that make your office work easier.

If the programs you use don't have free upgrades then purchasing new software versions is inevitable.

Some programs have monthly or yearly fees so spending money on software is a constant.

25. Lighting

0.3%
Cost
0.2%
Space
1%
Impact

Buying quality lighting is important if you plan to produce professional quality YouTube videos, webinars or online courses.

I find the best lighting mimics natural light.

Some equipment that I've purchased for my own photo and videography include:

Recommended Lighting Choices

Studio Lights

StudioFX 1600 WATT H9004S Softbox Lighting Studio Video Portrait Kit

This set of studio Softbox lights are great for photos and videos.  Theya re relatively light weight and are easy to transport with the included carry bag.

Selfie Light

8" Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Cell Phone Holder

I use this particular light during webcam meetings and Youtube videos.  It's adjustable enough to sit on your desk, has a smartphone holder and 3 lighting modes.

Camera Light

VILTROX LED On Camera Video Light, Mini Rechargeable 3000mAh Built-in Lithium Battery

I use this light with my DSLR camera to shoot both photos and video. The rechargeable 3000mAh allows for over 100 minutes of use at high intensity.

26. High Quality Camera

17.4%
Cost
0.1%
Space
4%
Impact

Smartphone cameras are improving every year but if you want consistent high quality photos and videos, a DSLR, Mirrorless camera or Full HD Camcorder are a must.

27. File Cabinet

2.6%
Cost
8.9%
Space
0.1%
Impact

If you produce sensitive client or personal files that you need to keep locked up, a file cabinet is a good piece of office furniture to have in your office setup.

28. Paper Shredder

1.3%
Cost
0.9%
Space
0.1%
Impact

A paper shredder is essential to destroy sensitive documents for recycling or disposal.

There are companies that service bigger offices for large volume shredding but for home or office use, shredders will do the job adequately.

29. Fire Safe Box

0.8%
Cost
0.5%
Space
0.5%
Impact

This piece of equipment is essential for any irreplaceable documents that you need to keep safe from fire.

These come in various sizes so you'll need to shop around for one that fits your needs.

30. Ventilating Fan

0.2%
Cost
0.1%
Space
1%
Impact

If you don't own central or zone air conditioning, a small compact ventilating fan is great to keep your work area cool on those warmer days.

These units can also provide additional ventilation for your computer or laptop.

Final Thoughts

As I stated from the start, a laptop is the most important tool and essential piece of equipment required to start an Affiliate Marketing business.

Having a complete home office setup makes it easier to perform your work effectively and efficiently but can be built over a matter of time.

Throughout my various careers in Manufacturing and Real Estate, I've found that you need the right tools (whether it's hardware, software, labor or materials) to complete a job to a high standard.

I'm not suggesting you need every single item on this list but you will definitely need some of them.

I hope you found the information on this post useful.

Please let us know what you think are essential items for a home office in the comments.

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About the author 

Glenn Malelang

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