Your home office probably already has what you need to work for BFC. Our requirements are listed below:
YOUR "WORK" COMPUTER WILL NEED:
• Windows-based machine (not MAC or UNIX);
• Operating system: Windows XP, Service Pack 2 preferred; Windows 2000 Pro is also acceptable;
• Windows VISTA acceptable, but NOT recommended (compatibility issues with some software we use);
• 1+GB RAM; 1.4+ GHZ CPU; 30+GB hard disk space;
• 10/100 Ethernet card or equivalent;
• Color-capable printer (inkjet or laser);
• 17" monitor or larger;
• Optional: 56K voice/data modem (you work more efficiently when your computer dials your phone).
• Flatbed scanner, and/or digital copier;
("all-in-one" printer/scanner/copier units are OK)
• Hard-wired telephone with headset; clear connection with either a dedicated land line or a reliable VOIP connection; must have unlimited local and nationwide long distance calling plan, with voice mail;
• Broadband internet connection (cable or DSL are preferred – satellite connection OK for most purposes if reliable BUT absolutely unacceptable for use with VOIP phone systems due to 6-second time delays while the sound of your voice bounces off a satellite);
NOTE ON CELL PHONES: Acceptable for occasional emergency business usage, cell phones are generally a poor choice for business usage, due to fluctuations in clarity of connection and variable sound quality.
Similarly, CORDLESS PHONES (including BLUETOOTH) are generally not acceptable for business usage UNLESS you remain very near to the phone's base unit – we don't "prohibit" using them, but it's a judgment call that you and your manager will have to make.
REQUIRED SOFTWARE YOU WILL NEED:
• Microsoft WORD, Version 2000 or higher; or the Microsoft Office Suite, which includes WORD;
(Works, WordPerfect, and other similar alternative word processors are NOT acceptable.)
• WinZip or a similar archival software that can handle Windows-based zipfiles [http://www.winzip.com];
• Adobe Acrobat, or the Adobe Reader, which you can download FREE at Adobe's website;
• Reliable REAL e-mail software, NOT web-based
(i.e., NOT one of the online e-mail services like hotmail or yahoomail).
• For many years, we have used and recommended EUDORA as probably the best e-mail software in the known world. Eudora is also FREE and it works extremely well.
• We provide a business mailbox on our system.
RECOMMENDED SOFTWARE YOU MAY WANT:
• Suitable contact management (or CRM) software for keeping track of your calls and sales contacts. Many good programs are out there, ranging in price from FREE to hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. If you're not familiar with contact managers, try a Google search on "contact management software" or "CRM software" (customer relationship management) and read up on the various programs available, then pick one you think will work best for you.
Alternatively, you could also use 4X6 index cards in a file box, as many people in sales did for years before contact management software was invented. Although not as efficient, the index card method works well, and may be easier for those with minimal computer skills.
ABOUT COMPUTERS AND INTERNET SECURITY:
If you're online on a regular basis, whether or not you are working for us, you need to protect yourself.
At minimum, you should have the following:
• ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE, with virus definitions updated at least weekly;
• A reliable software FIREWALL (and if your computer is networked, your router should also have a good hardware-based firewall); and
• Reliable ANTI-SPYWARE software.
To learn more about internet security and available protection for your computer system, visit our SECURITY SECTION to access recommendations from several of the world's foremost security experts. Today, many security software options are available FREE or at low-cost.