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20 Office Supplies That Businesses Should Have On Hand

20 Office Supplies That Businesses Should Have On Hand

Dec 8th 2021

office supplies businesses should have on handA small business cannot run without office supplies. It may surprise you how many essential items get overlooked when stocking the office space. Here are four general guidelines to keep in mind to ensure that you always have the supplies you'll need:

1. Keep a stock of supplies in storage. Buying extra supplies and keeping them stocked will save you plenty of time, especially if they're easy to reach and organized.

2. Maintain a master list of the supplies you have on hand. Keep an updated list of what you have in stock. When an item runs low, you'll be able to schedule a time to shop for it and replace it before it's gone rather than running out in the middle of whatever you're doing.

3. Hide supplies you don't use every day. If you don't, it can quickly become unsightly and distracting. Items that you use monthly should be on a shelf, and everything else can be kept in a closet or other storage space out of sight.

4. Buy in bulk when possible. If they're supplies that you need daily or frequently, you'll eventually use all the items, even if it seems like an unnecessary amount when shopping in bulk. But this will save you both time and money. Bulk items are often cheaper and they'll last longer so you won't have to spend as much time placing orders or going to the store.

These four tips will help you as you buy and maintain your office supplies. But you might not know which ones to get yet since there are so many options. This article will cover why office supplies matter, list 20 office supplies that you'll need and discuss the benefits of running a small business.

why office supplies matters

Why Office Supplies Matter

Office supplies are usually plentiful in any kind of business, and they can be taken for granted. All the pens, paper, staplers and tape that's used daily is simply expected to be there and ready for use. But it can be frustrating when one of those supplies is missing or needs to be replaced. There's more to office supplies than one would guess. Here are some of the ways that office supplies impact your business:

  • They make a first impression. Your potential customers and partners will make decisions about your company based on the papers you use for letters and billing. Something as simple as stationary could make or break your business.
  • They reflect your business. Choosing quality office supplies lets people know that you run a quality business. There's nothing pleasant about trying pen after pen that won't write.
  • They make the office more efficient. Quality products are more reliable and will keep things moving. You won't waste time unjamming the stapler constantly or hunting down an eraser for the whiteboard if the office supplies are maintained properly.
  • They can be environmentally friendly. You can purchase office supplies that not only benefit you and your business but also the environment. There are options for buying recycled paper or materials that were made sustainably. People will notice this, and it will register as you being responsible, which could result in them doing even more business with you.
  • They keep you organized. Supplies like Post-it notes, notebooks or dry-erase boards let you write down important reminders so you don't have to worry about remembering them. They become a visual reminder, making more space in your head and removing some stress at the same time.
  • They make you feel confident. Having the supplies you need on hand can feel empowering. It may seem small, but you ensured you were prepared.

These are only some of the reasons why it's important to have quality office supplies on hand for your business. They're needed to keep the place running. They're the backbone. Without standard office supplies, you wouldn't be able to work.

20 Office Supplies That Small Businesses Need

Office supplies might not be considered essential for every industry, but in reality, they're a necessity for any type of small business. There's a long list of supplies that you could and probably should have in your office. Here are 20 supplies that you need to keep on hand to run your small business smoothly:

1. Stationary

It doesn't matter what your business sells or what service it offers. You cannot work a day without stationary. Maybe you use it to take notes, to write thank-you notes, send bills, communicate with business partners, track sales or something else. Keeping paper on hand, and quality paper, is essential. Sticky notes are great to have for reminders.

Stationary your business will find useful:

  • Letterhead
  • Business cards
  • Legal pads
  • Notebooks
  • Planners
  • Calendars
  • Binders
  • Assorted Post-it notes
  • Photocopy/computer paper
  • Colored paper
  • Files
  • Color-coding labels

2. Mailing Supplies

Envelopes, boxes, mailers and stamps are needed to be able to ship the products that your business sells, or to send communication to customers, like a monthly newsletter. It also helps to have a scale to weigh packages to ensure you cover the correct shipping costs.

Mailing supplies you should have are:

  • Envelopes
  • Mailers (bubble/padded)
  • Boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Mailing labels
  • Postage stamps
  • Correction tape/fluid

3. Writing Utensils

You won't be able to get much work done if you need to take notes but can't find a working pen or only have dull pencils with no way to sharpen them. It's always better to have more than enough pens, pencils, highlighters and other writing utensils so you don't have to waste time finding a working one or one at all.

Some of the most useful writing utensils include:

  • Pens/pencils/markers
  • Ballpoint/roller tip/gel pens
  • Permanent markers
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Mechanical pencils (and lead to refill them)
  • Highlighters
  • Whiteboard markers

4. Technology

Whatever your business offers, you'll probably need a computer to complete your work. With that, you'll want to keep a mouse and a charger at the office. You don't want your laptop to die and not have a way to charge it, stopping you from fulfilling orders. Other technology like a printer and printer ink is especially important to have to print orders out.

Technology many businesses use daily:

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Wireless router
  • Printer
  • Copier
  • Scanner
  • Shredder
  • External hard drives
  • Thumb drives
  • Surge protectors
  • Phone system

5. Storage

A small business can quickly become disorganized if there aren't any storage options. You'll need a way to organize and sort your products for quick and easy access when fulfilling orders as well as all the office supplies that you keep on hand. Utilizing storage can make your business much more efficient and effective.

Some storage options for small businesses:

  • Filing cabinets
  • Files
  • Shelves
  • Bins
  • Drawer dividers

6. Bathroom Supplies

This one may seem a little odd to be on a list of office supplies, but they are a necessity nonetheless. If you're hard at work at your small business and need to run to the bathroom, you'll expect toilet paper, hand towels and hand soap to be available, as well as other tools like a plunger and toilet scrub brush. Without these items, you won't be able to use the restroom and if you can't do that, you can't continue to work.

Bathroom supplies every business needs include:

  • Toilet tissue
  • Paper towels
  • Hand soap
  • Air freshener

7. Kitchen or Kitchenette Supplies

While not every business maintains a kitchen area or break room, those that do will need to keep them stocked. Keeping a microwave, mini fridge, silverware, plates, napkins and other kitchen supplies on hand allow you to eat lunch at the office. You won't waste time running home or spend extra money always eating out. You don't need a lot of space to create a small, convenient food preparation area for yourself and your employees.

Kitchen supplies that are useful to keep at the office:

  • Coffeemaker
  • Microwave
  • Spoons/forks/knives
  • Coffee mugs
  • Drinking glasses
  • Plates
  • Towels/napkins
  • Teapot
  • Water cooler
  • Refrigerator

8. Desks

You'll need desks to complete work — that's a given. You could get a mix of seated level desks, adjustable desks or even standing desks, depending on your business needs. Sometimes it helps to have a space where you can continue to work while standing so you're not always sitting.

Desks you can choose from for your business:

  • Standard height desk
  • Meeting table
  • Standing desk
  • Adjustable height desk

ergonomic chair

9. Chairs

With the desk comes a chair. If you'll be seated a lot, investing in an ergonomic chair can help your comfort levels, which also helps productivity. A good office chair is a must, and there are plenty of styles and features to choose from:

  • Rolling chairs
  • Stationary chairs
  • Stackable chairs
  • Ergonomic chairs

10. Waste Management Supplies

This one is another easy to overlook group of supplies, but you'll need wastebaskets for each desk, recycling bins and a shredder. These will cut back on clutter and allow you to properly dispose of garbage. It will also keep your space looking clean and tidy, making it easier for you to complete your work and make a good impression on potential clients.

11. Safety Supplies

Safety is a must, so the supplies to ensure safety are also necessary. You don't want to cut yourself and not have any band-aids to cover the wound, or to have an emergency like a fire and not be able to put it out.

Safety supplies you should have are:

  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire blanket
  • Flashlights
  • Traffic cones
  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors

12. Cleaning Supplies

Like the waste supplies, cleaning supplies can be overlooked. You'll want a few things on hand to quickly deal with any daily messes. Productivity increases in a cleanlier place. Even if you have a team that cleans your space at night, you should still have these items.

Cleaning supplies helpful to have on hand include:

  • Trash bags
  • Hand soap
  • Broom/dustpan
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge/dishcloth
  • Dish rack
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Toilet paper
  • Trash cans
  • Recycling bins

13. Lighting

You won't be getting much work done if you can't see. Some spaces come with built-in overhead lighting and others do not. But for either of them, you'll still want lamps in your space for the best possible lighting. You don't want to strain your eyes or be unable to work because of something as simple as lighting.

Lighting options for your office space include:

  • Desk lamps
  • Floor lamps
  • Replacement lightbulbs

14. Collaboration Tools

Every business has meetings, and you'll want to have the tools to run an effective and efficient one. You may benefit from some presentation or collaboration supplies when hosting a meeting or brainstorming session with your team.

Collaboration tools you can utilize are:

  • Whiteboard
  • Dry erase markers
  • Whiteboard eraser
  • Whiteboard cleaner
  • Chalkboard
  • Chalk
  • Chalk eraser
  • Bulletin board
  • Thumbtacks
  • Easel
  • Projector
  • Phone conferencing system

15. Food/Drink

Keeping food and drinks available in the office will be good for those busy days when you either forget to bring a lunch or don't have time to get one. It's also good for when you need a snack to keep your energy up. No one likes to work when they're hungry.

Food/drink you can keep at the office includes:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sugar
  • Creamer/milk
  • Water (bottled or cooler)
  • Snacks

16. Daily Organizers

It can be hard to run a business if your daily life isn't organized. Keeping a calendar and a to-do list notebook are necessary to ensure you're keeping track of all your meetings and deadlines as well as managing your personal life.

Some useful daily organizers are:

  • Desk calendar
  • Hanging calendar
  • Planner
  • To-do list notebook
  • Notepad

17. Bulletin Board/ Posting Area

You'll also want to keep your entire office and staff organized. Having a bulletin board or a designated posting area will allow you to hang important notices for all employees to see. If something happens while you're not there, employees can also leave you notes in this posting area. It ensures that no communication will be lost since it will always be put in the same location.

Bulletin board/posting area supplies that aid in effective office communication include:

  • Bulletin board
  • Thumb tacks
  • Tape
  • Paper
  • Pencils/pens/markers
  • Whiteboard
  • Dry erase markers
  • Whiteboard cleaner/eraser

18. Label Maker

This inexpensive piece of equipment can be especially useful for businesses that keep large amounts of inventory that they need to find quickly. Taking a few moments to label inventory and supplies will save tons of time later!

Miscellaneous supplies

9. Miscellaneous Supplies

There are always those supplies that you need to keep on hand, even if you don't use them regularly. It can be difficult to continue if you need one specific supply that you don't have because you don't use it regularly.

Miscellaneous supplies that it is always helpful to have in the office:

  • Thumbtacks
  • Rubber bands
  • Paperclips
  • Binder clips
  • Staplers
  • Staple remover
  • Paper punch
  • Tape dispenser
  • Tape refills
  • Printer ink/toner cartridges
  • Clipboards
  • Rulers
  • Binders
  • Folders
  • Notebooks
  • Scissors
  • Calculator
  • Glue

20. Decorations

Decorations may not seem like a necessity for a small business, but you spend a lot of time in this space, so why not make it enjoyable? You can add simple decorations like painting a wall with a bit of color or hanging a few motivational posters around the office. Or you can go all out with it and make it a fully designed space. Productivity also increases when the space is more inviting, which comes from adding a little bit of decorations.

Decorations you could have are:

  • Feature wall
  • Motivational posters
  • Area rug
  • Wall art
  • Plants
  • Picture frames
  • Curtains
  • Nameplates
  • Bookends
  • Desk trays
  • Vases

The Benefits of Small Businesses

Small businesses can be hard to get off the ground, but there are plenty of benefits that come from running one, including:

  • Being your own boss and determining who to work with and when to work.
  • Removes income restraints that exist when working for someone else.
  • You are in complete control of every aspect of the operation.
  • You can create something that is entirely your own.
  • It gives pride in being able to say you did it all.
  • Opens the ability to build equity and the choice to keep, sell or pass it on to the next generation.
  • Creates opportunity.
  • It can help the local economy by bringing growth and innovation to the community.
  • It offers a flexibility that other positions do not.
  • You can develop close relationships with customers.
  • Offers jobs to local workers.
  • You can understand and adapt to the needs of the community.
  • It has the potential to become a big business or corporation if it is desired.
  • Less infrastructure and lower maintenance than large companies.
  • Ability to offer a diversity of products.
  • Can collaborate with other local businesses.

Overall, small businesses have a positive impact on the local community in a way that large corporations will never be able to match. They benefit everything from interpersonal relationships to local government to the economy. Customers that shop from a small business know that time, effort and care go into all the products and services on offer and that they can trust the company since the owners can and will dedicate themselves to serving their friends and neighbors in the community.

Contact Supplies Outlet

Choosing Supplies Outlet

Some of the items on this list can get a little pricy, especially when you need enough to run a small business, like printer ink. But if you shop at the right place, you can save plenty. SuppliesOutlet.com sells compatible and remanufactured printer cartridges and strives to provide the highest value to their customers. They combine the highest quality products with competitive pricing to offer you the best.

In addition to their printer ink, they sell many of the essential office supply items listed above including binders and binder clips, pens, paper clips, correction tape and more. SuppliesOutlet.com can cover any of your business needs.

Contact Us Today

You can contact SuppliesOutlet.com for any questions you may have about their products or orders. We look forward to communicating with you via telephone, email, or the form on our website.