When you’re setting out on a new business venture, there’s so much to think about. All the big-picture stuff can be pretty consuming, but it’s the small day-to-day details that will really make a difference. So, you’ve got the business plan, the funding and an empty office. What comes next is stocking the office with everything you and your team need to get the job done. To make your life a little easier at this very busy time, we’ve put together the ultimate small business office supplies checklist. Take a look through this list to make sure you have everything you need to keep your office stocked, employees happy and productive and to set the tone for success.
At Café Quill, we’ve talked a lot about the ways that great office furniture can make life better (and even more productive) for everyone. If you’re starting with a blank slate, you have a massive opportunity to invest in good furniture right from the beginning. Too many offices are furnished with a mish-mash of hand-me-downs and leftovers.
While budget is always an issue, smart spending here will really pay off.
Here are office furniture basics to consider investing in.
A desk is the most basic piece of office furniture, but there is a huge variety out there. Treadmill desks anyone?
If you’re sitting for most of the day, an ergonomic seat can help you remain comfortable – and far more productive than you would be otherwise, attempting to work the kinks out of your back and shoulders. A good office chair is a must. I once had a friend who temped for a company for over a year while sitting on a stool. Unacceptable!
If your office space has not been blessed with big closets, you’ll need organized and attractive ways to keep things neat and tidy. Storage modules and organizers are a quality investment to ensure your office team has easy, organized access to supplies and more. This is also the time to decide on a filing system that makes sense, so pick out a high quality built filing cabinet or two.
Privacy has been strongly linked to productivity. It may not be in the budget to offer everyone their own office at this point, but with some creativity you can create quiet spaces for individual work.
Meeting and collaboration supplies
This will depend on the way you work, but you may want to purchase items to help your teammates brainstorm together and more. Think about investing in whiteboards, a conferencing system and visual aids.
You spend most of your waking hours at the office, so why not make sure it’s a place that is easy on the eyes? The decor shouldn’t be an afterthought. This could be as simple as paint for the walls to add a dash of color, attractive as well as really decorative modern area rugs and a variety of beautiful as well as quality wall decor and other accouterments to make the office feel a little more like home than a sterile work environment.
It’s easy to overlook this one. You’ll need desk wastepaper baskets, recycling bins and a shredder to cut back on clutter and properly dispose of garbage.
Everyone is enthusiastic about the dream of a paperless office, but the fact is that digital doesn’t cover everything yet. There are several instances where pencil, paper and an old-fashioned stapler are the only way to go. These are the basics for any well-stocked supply cupboard. Refer to this checklist when stocking up on stationery in the office:
- Business cards
- Legal pads
- Assorted post-it notes
- 8.5″ x 11″ (letter size) photocopy/computer paper
- 8.5″ x 14″ (legal size) photocopy/computer paper
- Colored paper
- Color code labels
- Envelopes (#10, window)
- Mailers (bubble/padded)
- Bubble wrap
- Packing tape
- Mailing labels
- Postage stamps/meter
- Ballpoint/roller tip/gel pens (blue, black, red)
- Permanent markers
- No. 2 pencils
- Mechanical pencils (and refills)
- Whiteboard markers (and whiteboard cleaner)
- Correction tape/fluid
- Rubber bands
- Binder clips
- Staple remover
- Paper punch
- Tape dispenser
- Tape refills
- Printer ink/toner cartridges
No matter how big or small your team may be, keeping them happy, healthy and feeling great is fundamental to keeping the business running smoothly. Maybe you’ve got the budget for a great breakroom, or maybe you’re bootstrapping it and you’re going to have to be creative about establishing a pleasant environment. Either way, it’s possible to provide a few creature comforts and a few necessities: you don’t need to spend a lot to make sure everyone is well cared for. Here’s what you shouldn’t be without:
First aid kit
The exact size and contents of the kit may be regulated depending on the size of your company and the industry, so be sure to do your research.
Again, this is regulated and requirements may vary, but you’ll probably need at least one fire extinguisher and a fire blanket.
Whether you’ve got a full kitchen or just a cart in the corner, here are the must-haves. For some of these, disposables will work in a pinch:
- Coffee mugs
- Drinking glasses
The exact type of food and beverages you offer employees is up to you. Snacks are always a big win, but at the very least (for the sake of everyone’s sanity) we recommend having these on hand:
- Water (bottled or cooler)
Do not underestimate the importance of a well-stocked office bathroom. Make sure you have the following to maintain sanity and sanitation!
- Toilet tissue
- Paper towels
- Hand soap
- Air freshener
You may have a cleaning service that comes in to tidy up each night, but you’ll still want a few things on hand for daily messes and quick clean-ups:
- Trash bags
- Hand soap
- Small broom/dustpan
- Dish soap
- Dish rack
So there you have it, our essential checklist for stocking a brand new office. If you open your doors on your first day with all of these small business supplies in house, you’ll be set up for success. We wish you the best of luck in your new business!