Nine months into business - technically speaking

It's nearly Christmas and Jason is reflecting on the year gone by.

Jason Slater

Well, we are now well and truly into the ninth month, and first Christmas, of our first year in business and what an interesting time we have had of it.

Personally, I have two aims for the first year of business, beyond the obvious ones (such as trying to break even), and they are to learn, and experience, the basic mechanics of how to run a limited company and secondly to succeed in seeing the business through its first year. There have been some ups and downs so far as things haven't gone quite to plan, as the initial optimistic elevator pitch would have imagined, but we are still here and that has to be a good sign.

Giving up the security of a day job, with fixed monthly salary, to branch out on my own feels somewhat, I imagine, like being stranded on a desert island. One day, you are a happy go lucky sea farer on-board a very pleasant ocean liner with an all-inclusive, all you can eat buffet in the restaurant whilst thinking about maybe taking a walk out onto the deck, then the next minute you are hunting around for coconuts whilst trying to assemble a rudimentary signalling device to let people know where you are.

In this case the desert island is our business surrounded by a sea of possibility whilst the signalling device is social media. Twitter has been a lifeline, putting me in touch with others, for those water cooler chats, whilst LinkedIn allows me to stay in touch with those seven word (or more) job titles that are popular in big enterprises.

Developments in information technology are helping a great deal too and I am finding that I am forming a new work ethos in keeping a work/home balance (at least for some of the time) as, for many years, the two overlapped significantly - although it often wasn't a 50/50 overlap.

Having worked in the corporate sphere for a number of years I kitted out our new office with the essentials of what I thought a typical busy office would need but working in the online space, as I do now, I have found that many of those things simply aren't require. Helping myself to pens out of my own stationery cupboard doesn't garner quite the same excitable feeling...

[/pb]There has been one big development so far. Now that the kids are a bit older they are off at school for most of the day so I am finding that I am working from the home office again, which, for quite some time, had devolved into a children's toy store room and rummaging ground for eager young minds. I am slowly reclaiming this space. Heading into the home office to quickly print something out only to discover the paper tray empty and the reams of blank paper gone then staring into the saintly, though slightly blushed, faces of the little ones is quite amusing though.

I have seen, and bought, a lot of tech this year so I will briefly mention the key pieces of kit that I feel have really helped me along the business road over the last nine months: Google Apps, Twitter, LinkedIn, Packard Bell OneTwo All-In-One with Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, HP Probook Laptop, Adobe Web Premium CS5, Apple MacBook Air running OS X, Nokia N95 8GB Smart phone, Motorola Milestone smart phone, HP OfficeJet Pro Wireless, Roland Edirol MP3 Recorder, Buffalo LinkStation Duo, APC Back-UPS, Canon EOS 550D Camera, Canon Digital IXUS 200, BlueChip Portable USB Charger, Dymo Label Maker (for all those cables and adaptors), and of course, my trusty (though looking decidedly tired now) Braun Tassimo coffee maker.

What outstanding pieces of tech equipment have gotten you through the year?

Jason Slater is a columnist for IT PRO and has just set up his own company.

Comments? Questions? You can have your say below or follow Jason on Twitter here.

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