You can not run a small business, or any business for that matter, without a computer or two. How many you will have depends on what type of business you are going to start, whether you run it from home, a retail location, or from both. There some software programs that are going to make everything so much easier for you and your employees, and as long as you set things up right on your small business computer, you should not have to worry too much about how the computers are affecting your business. Do it right from the start.
You want to have your own computer as the owner of a business. There you will keep all of the files you will have to have for your taxes, and also all of the information relevant to your business. This should be a rather powerful computer with a high speed Internet connection. Make sure you have more than one back up system for your small business computer. The information you have is stuff that you absolutely can not lose. Think of a few different ways to back up and make sure you back up often.
You want to have a small business computer for the person that is going to be doing your accounting for you. You may hire out to a firm, which is fine, but you may have someone in house doing it for you. It costs less that way in some cases, as long as your system is simple. If you are the one doing all of the accounting, you may want to have a machine that you use for that purpose only. As with your main computer, make sure you back up all of the time so you don't lose your info. The IRS is far from understanding when this happens.
You can also use computers for point of sale and inventory information. These can be out on the floor so your employees can access them. These also need backups. Employee error could be a problem. Choose an easy to use type of system and make sure all of these computers are networked with your small business computer. That way things can zip back and forth without worry and be where it needs to be instantly. If you do not know how to set this up, call in someone to set up and maintain your network for you. It'll be worth the cost.
Don't forget about the software you are going to use on your small business computer. Think about getting some accounting software that is user friendly. Most of it that is marketed towards the small business owner is set up to be easy to learn and use in the long term. You can also find software to help you with sales and keeping track of your inventory. Your computer system is going to be so much more powerful if you have all you need right at your fingertips the moment you need it. This saves you time and aggravation, as well as possible losses from simple mistakes.