The Complete Small Business Office Supplies Checklist

Office Supplies

Launching your new small business venture can be quite exciting. Yet, in the whirlwind of getting your essentials taken care of, fulfilling your supplies list might fall through the cracks.

After all, there is nothing welcoming or productive in an empty office space with no furniture or small business supplies. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the ultimate small business supplies essentials.

Keep on reading for the full breakdown of all the things you need to have your office well-stocked and your employees productive and happy.

Small Business Supplies 101: The Furniture

Unless you’re operating a small yoga studio or a warehouse, you’ll need something to write on and something to sit on, at minimum.

What’s great about starting with a blank slate is the opportunity to invest in some good sturdy pieces that can set your business on the right foot. Of course, as with the majority of small businesses, there is always a budget constraint.

Therefore, we’ll highlight the items that are crucial and keep the wall art suggestions for further down the road.

1. Desks: Standing or Otherwise

There is a neverending variety of desks out there on the market. It’s one of the most basic pieces of furniture, but an office can’t function without one (or many).

The number of desks and types will depend on your budget, the number of employees you have, and even your business culture.

If you’re aiming for a professional and buttoned-up vibe, then investing in a set of cubicles is not a bad idea.

On the other hand, if you’re going for a pretty informal setup, then big tables/desks that seat multiple people together might be the way to go.

2. Chairs

Following the lead of your desk selection, the chairs will need to match them for their designs and layout.

Furthermore, make sure to choose chairs that won’t cause you or your employees bodily discomfort in the long run. You don’t have to go for the fancy chairs, but choosing good quality ones is a must.

3. Storage

As with any business in existence, you’ll have to deal with the paperwork and other files, no matter how reliant you are on online documents and the cloud to store your work.

You’ll need either big closets to keep things nice and tidy, or you’ll have to invest in storage modules or organizers to ensure that your team can have access to anything they need without wasting huge amounts of time trying to locate things.

In addition, you’ll need to decide on a filing system that works out for your business, as well as your storage module.

The Office Stationery

Now that you have your office furniture taken care of, it’s time to look at stationery.

We all dream about the day where offices won’t use paper anymore, but—realistically—that’s still a long way away.

In order to have a functional office up and running, you’ll need to have some pencils, pens, paper, and an old-fashioned stapler. Check out this office supplies list of what you’ll need to have a well-stocked supply cupboard.

1. Paper Goods

You’ll need to have a collection of paper goods on hand to cover all your business needs.

  • Assorted post-it notes
  • 8.5″ x 11″ (letter size) photocopy/computer paper
  • 8.5″ x 14″ (legal size) photocopy/computer paper
  • Colored paper
  • Files
  • Letterhead
  • Business cards
  • Legal pads
  • Notebooks
  • Planners
  • Calendars
  • Binders

In addition, you can pick the quantities according to your estimates and how fast these items will be in use. For example, you don’t need more than a couple of calendars. However, you’ll definitely need to stock up on printer paper.

2. Writing Utensils: Pens/Markers/Pencils

You might like to pick up a fountain pen (or two) for yourself. But, for the office at large, here’s what you’ll need.

  • Ballpoint/roller tip/gel pens
  • Permanent markers
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Mechanical pencils (and refills)
  • Highlighters
  • Whiteboard markers (and whiteboard cleaner)
  • Correction tape/fluid

Make sure that you’re keeping an eye out for your supply level. This way you’ll be able to restock once you’re running low on pens.

3. Mail Supplies

The same thing goes for mail supplies. You might believe that you won’t need any mail supplies until you have to rush to the post office to get some stamps for a letter that’s crucial to send as soon as possible.

If you have the following items on hand, you’ll be able to avoid being caught unaware.

  • Envelopes (#10, window)
  • Mailers (bubble/padded)
  • Boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Mailing labels
  • Postage stamps/meter
  • Custom stamps

It’s great to let your employees know where to go looking for these supplies. It’ll streamline the process, and you’ll avoid having a cluster of employees popping in to ask about where they could find envelopes.

4. Miscellaneous Items

There some additional items that don’t necessarily come to mind when you’re shopping for office stationery supplies.

  • Binder clips
  • Staplers
  • Staples
  • Staple remover
  • Paper punch
  • Tape dispenser
  • Tape refills
  • Thumbtacks
  • Rubber bands
  • Paperclips
  • Printer ink/toner cartridges
  • Clipboards
  • Rulers

However, you’ll definitely remember the moment you need them, which you will. Therefore, make sure to have them on hand.

Office Life Essentials

Whether you’re going to be in charge of a team of two or twenty, some items are critical to keeping your employees comfortable and happy to be working for you.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the budget for a phenomenal breakroom. Just having the following things on hand will enable you to create a nice welcoming environment.

1. Fire Safety

Of course, the requirements and regulations of fire safety may depend on your state, your company size, and your industry.

Yet, having (at least) a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket gives you a basic level of preparedness and protection.

2. Kitchen Supplies

As we discussed earlier, it doesn’t matter whether you have the space for a full-fledged kitchen or just enough to put a small cart in a corner. You’ll need the following items, and keep in mind that you can use disposables as well.

  • Plates
  • Towels/Napkins
  • Coffeemaker
  • Microwave
  • Spoons/forks/knives
  • Coffee mugs
  • Drinking glasses

Moreover, having some snacks on hand can be great for morale as well as soothing any hungry bellies. But, remember that they should come second to the essential drinks like coffee, tea, creamer or milk, and water.

Ready to Stock Your Office?

It might be a bit of a whirlwind to have your office set up the way you like. However, you can’t ignore the essentials.

Now, you have our essential small business supplies checklist, which will put you on the right track of preparing your office for the first day of work. It’s the easiest way to set your business up for success and put your employees at ease.

Yet, there is still so much more to learn about managing a small business. Check out our business section for all the tips and advice you need.

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