Essential Office Supplies for a Home-based Business

Some people have home offices as an extension of their work offices so may not need all the supplies someone who runs their business out of their home may need. Having all the necessary supplies in your office is crucial to your business running smoothly and helps with time management. After all, no one wants to waste time constantly running to the office supply store for more supplies. Here's a look at the essential office supplies every home-based business should have.

On the Desk

Make sure you have a variety of sized paper clips. Even those who are trying to run paperless offices will find times when they need to group papers together without damaging them with staples. A large variety of clips in your home office will give you the necessary selection to easily find what you need. Colored paperclips are a good option as well to help sort piles of paper. And even though you may choose to clip your papers together most of the time, invest in a quality stapler for those times when you're not worried about slightly damaging the paper groups with staples. Resist the temptation to buy a cheap one because you think you'll rarely use it. Cheap staplers damage and waste staples, tend to get jammed quicker and don't have the strength to go through thicker stacks of paper.

Pens, pencils and highlighters are important as are notebooks or sticky notes. You want to make sure you have plenty on hand so that you can quickly write down an important note while talking to a client on the phone. Folders will help you sort your papers. Be sure to get them in a variety of sizes and colors. Extra ink cartridges are crucial since you don't want to run out of ink in the middle of printing an essential, time-sensitive document.

Electronics and Software

Invest in a good computer or two. You'll need to make sure it has sufficient speed and memory to accommodate all your software and the tasks you need it to do. Purchase a laser printer. They generally print better and the ink doesn't get damaged if the paper gets wet. Black-and-white laser printers have gone down substantially price wise so you can usually get one for a reasonable price. Color laser printers are more expensive so the investment may not be worth it unless you need to create your own flyers and color marketing materials.

A fax can be a good option depending on what type of home business you're running and the type of clients you're working with. Many people are now scanning documents and sending them by email so be sure to invest in a quality scanner. Between the two, it's usually a better idea to spend more on the scanner than the fax.

Make sure you buy business management software that meets your needs. There are different types of this software available so make sure you do your research.


An organized office is essential to running a business smoothly. Make sure you have enough office storage which can include filing cabinets, shelves or bookcases.