Essential Office Supplies for Your Small Business in 2021

The year has begun, and it’s time to replace worn-out equipment and replenish office supplies. There is a wide range of products in the market, and it is therefore imperative that you research and have a full list of items you require if you want to get the best quality at a reasonable price. It doesn’t matter you are looking for work office or home office supplies

Office supplies are classified as either non-durable goods or consumables and equipment used in written communication, record or bookkeeping and data collection. They can range from daily consumable items, machines or equipment, and office furniture. 

The search for office space that has given you sleepless nights for weeks has finally come to a screeching halt when you discovered that excellent, well-built office strategically located in a busy yet serene environment. 

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However, before heading to the store to make any purchases, you need to know the categories of office supplies you may require. 

  • Writing tools – they include pens, highlighters, markers, pencils, erasers, and sharpeners.  
  • Grouping equipment is useful in holding papers or documents together for easy identification. The most common are staples, paper clips, staples, staple removers, separators, or rubber bands. 
  • Binding tools such as binding machines for forming booklets make documents more comfortable to handle and read through, binding covers, spirals, and binding tapes.
  • Communication tools such as telephones, more so the traditional landline, are convenient as they are accessible to all employees. Fax machines should also be reachable.
  • Internet tools – most businesses are now engaging one way or another over the internet. Therefore you need to have reliable internet connectivity using Wi-Fi and broadband.
  • Office furniture – on average many office employees spend long periods sitting down, and therefore, you need to ensure that the environment is conducive and comfortable. Chairs should be of acceptable quality to support the back adequately in addition to desks, meeting tables, and room dividers. 
  • Technology tools that include computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and many other wireless gadgets aid efficiency and speed, enabling faster growth and expansion. 
  • Machines comprising photocopiers, printers, scanners, fax machines, and paper shredders are indispensable to any modern office. 
  • Stationery supplies aid mostly in documentation and data collection and consist of printing papers, notebooks, writing material. 
  • Storage tools help keep the office orderly and organize by neatly arranging documents on cabinets, shelves, desk organizers, filing cabinets, and drawers. 
  • Mail supplies assist when sending important information and updates and make deliveries to customers using envelopes, boxes, stamps, packaging bags, packing tape, and mailing labels. 
  • Presentation tools explain concepts in meetings and may include black or whiteboards, chalkboards, chalk erasers, chalk, projectors, bulletin boards, and conferencing systems. 
  • Cleaning supplies maintain hygiene and cleanliness of the working area with consumables like hand wash, soaps, detergents, toilet paper, and bins.
  • Kitchen supplies comprising of coffee makers and teapots come in handy during the much-needed breaks after completing a challenging task. Refrigerators help to encourage employees to carry food by providing storage to minimize time spent on lunch breaks. Cutlery, microwaves, water dispensers, or coolers are a good addition. 
  • Safety tools that include first aid kits ensure help is available in case of an emergency or accident. Fire extinguishers, flashlights, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors are a must-have in any office. 
  • Décor supplies make the office look presentable and warm with additions like plants, picture frames, wall art, floor rugs, bright-colored curtains, and vases with modern designs printed on them. 

Now that you know what office supplies entail, you need to list all the things you need and be aware of factors to consider before buying to help you get value for money. 

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Four important factors to consider before purchasing office supplies
Financing a startup is not for the faint-hearted. It has proven to be a time-consuming, energy-draining venture that has probably left you thoroughly exhausted and worn-out. 

Do not despair. If you are on a budget, opt to purchase used equipment in good condition and perform equally well. Alternatively, compare prices by visiting different stores where you will discover quality products at very competitive rates. 

Make a point of first purchasing essential supplies to help you start operations as you save and source funds to buy the rest later. 

 Reflect on the office supplies’ importance and what value it will add value to your office before acquiring. Ask yourself if it will improve efficiency, increase productivity or save time.

For instance, comfort is a factor to consider for office chairs since employees sit for long periods. Buy tables designed for the office with an added compartment for placing the keyboard to enhance comfort while typing. 

When sourcing for office stationery, priority should be given to frequently used tools. Always set aside petty cash to replenish supplies and avoid unnecessary shortages, affecting productivity.

Buy office supplies proportional to the office space. If the working area is small, go for smaller and less furniture to avoid cramping up space. Do not buy too much stuff that will make your office look cluttered. 

Ensure you leave enough room for free movement by first measuring and taking dimensions of the office space and research ways to maximize space before making a purchase. Arrange furniture creatively to ensure they occupy a smaller space making the office look spacious. 

For machines, buy less bulky photocopiers, printers, or equipment and go for those that can multi-task. For instance, buy a photocopier that can photocopy, print, and scan simultaneously. 

Durability and style is a crucial factor to bear in mind. Good quality office supplies will serve you longer, saving you money and time spent sourcing for replacements. Though costlier, high-quality office supplies work better, improving efficiency and productivity. 

Be careful when buying machineries like copiers, printers, and computers. It is better to spend more and get an efficient and long-lasting device than to get a cheap one that will break down quickly. 

Network with dealers and suppliers who offer after-sale services and can easily send a technician to service spoilt or replace worn out parts during a breakdown. 

Buy brands known for quality and longevity. Observe product review on office equipment that you are unfamiliar with to gauge their usefulness. If the office supplies pass the set standards using the factors mentioned above, then purchasing should be the next step.