Taking your business ideas to new dimensions

As the current global market continues to create uncertainty for jobs across almost every industry, self-employment has become a growing trend, with more than 10 percent of workers being self-employed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After all, if you’re your own boss, what better job security could there be?

But in order to succeed, you have to have the right tools for the job. Here are some tips to make sure your home office is set up properly and conducive to getting your work done.

* Have a dedicated workspace. Setting up shop on a kitchen or dining room table is not an easy way to work. Make sure you have a comfortable desk and chair in a distraction-free room, and don’t forget to make sure the lighting is bright enough to keep you alert and focused.

* Find the best technology for what you do. No matter what kind of work you are doing from your home, you won’t get very far if you don’t have the proper technology to meet your needs. For example, while computer needs are relatively easy to determine for home-based businesses, printers often get overlooked. For a small-business owner like Kim Bright, a graphic artist and owner of Graphics in Bloom, a printer is one of her most important tools.

“I have to design pieces for clients that convey their message with a certain tone or feeling, so I need a wide range of tools to do this effectively,” she says. “This sometimes requires photo-realistic graphical elements or actual product images.”

One printer that accomplishes this is the HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275, which can scan documents and 3D objects by taking six images from different angles and lighting, and automatically combining them into a single high-resolution, seamless image that pops off the page. Plus, editing of the scan can be done on the printer’s LCD touch screen and uploaded in one step using HP’s web-connected apps. Learn more at www.hp.com.

“HP TopShot has saved me a significant amount of time by allowing me to utilize the built-in technology to easily capture images of 3D objects and send them to my clients quickly,” Bright says. “The quality images I’m able to capture ensure a high standard for the work I deliver to my clients. And I can now have extra time to spend on my creativity.”

* Have the flexibility to work on the go. Most self-employed workers don’t get the benefit of working exclusively from their home office. With today’s sophisticated mobile devices, self-employed workers have the power to communicate and compute from virtually anywhere their business takes them. Combined with HP ePrint, they can remain productive and stay connected to their business even when they’re on the road or at a client’s office. Using HP ePrint, they can print contracts, or other documents to any HP ePrint-enabled printer, and send the signed contracts to print immediately so they are ready when they return.