Once you have your home office set up and you have the main items in order such as your desk, your ergonomically correct office chair and of course your computer system you may think that you are ready to go. But wait! What about all of the little details that keep your office running smoothly? You will need to hit the closest office supply store and load up on all of the necessary office supplies to keep your home office running.
Before you get carried away at your office supply store, sit down and make a list of the things that you need. A lot of home offices, particularly start ups, operate on a shoestring budget, so do not go crazy at the supply store. It is very easy to blow a couple of hundred dollars on unnecessary supplies. Sit down and look around your office. What do you need to function? What would be nice to have? And what is just frivolous? Make three lists, and take them all to the store with you.
On the first list, you will likely have things such as computer paper, pens, envelopes, a stapler and filing system. On the nice to have list you might have things like colored sticky notes, desk calculators etc. Of course it depends on what type of home business you have. Obviously if you have a book-keeping business you will need a desk top calculator. Everyone’s lists will look different depending on each individual business so don’t expect to have a “standard” shopping list of items.
When you go to the store be sure to take all of your lists with you because you never know when you will run into a sale and be able to get some items from your nice to have list at a discount.
Remember about some of the little things that you will need. You will want envelopes, and mailing labels to send off invoices and estimates and other correspondence. Be sure to get labels that will fit in your printer. Hi-lighters, erasers, a hole-punch and other small items will become invaluable in the future. You will also want to invest in a filing cabinet and a file system. Folders and hanging files will help keep you organized and more efficient. If you are the type of person that thrives on organization, using an in-out basket will also be a time saver for you.
Bigger items that you will need for your business is a good quality printer (inkjet or laser), a photocopier and a fax machine. You can save money and space by purchasing an all in one unit that offers all of these technologies in one machine. This will likely be your most valuable office supply because you will be able to do so much with it.