Business folks often get by on confidence, competitiveness, charisma and common sense, but to compete successfully, there are about 10 items every businessman or businesswoman requires beyond a whiteboard, cell phone and a PC or some other large-screen device. It's not all about entrepreneurial success, though. A couple of the following items can even help you live longer and save you from an embarrassing situation.
1. Organizer to Keep on Schedule
It doesn't matter if you're a butcher equipment salesperson, a bakery shop owner or a candlestick company executive, an organized schedule keeps you on track and on time. For some, a great organizer is a pocket-sized notepad and a no-leak pen or a pencil. For others, it's the latest software or app for booking or viewing appointments, scanning and managing documents or making company announcements.
2. Luggage Tracker and Charger
Imagine not being able to find your suitcase containing a vital prototype, costly equipment, irreplaceable documents or other must-haves for holding a meeting or doing business. Of all the business travel accessories on the market, a suitcase with a GPS locator and a built-in battery to charge your devices should top your list businesswoman or businessman essentials.
3. Standing Desk and Ergonomic Chair
Studies show that sitting for long periods can affect our health and even shorten our lives. It's not that you can't sit down whatsoever, but being able to change your position throughout the day – standing, walking, stretching – is key. An adjustable desk that allows you to sit or stand at work is a worthwhile consideration.
Don't rule out an ergonomic, spine-friendly chair for when you want or need to take a seat.
4. Power Outfit to Look the Part
Looking the part is a necessary piece of every business person's journey – that goes for work-at-home moms and dads, too. Whether it's a blazer and pencil skirt in leadership red for a lunch date with an investor or a jacket and slacks in authoritative black for the office, go for the highest quality you can comfortably afford.
Pull your look together with smart-looking, clean, scuff-free shoes, a contemporary yet conservative hairstyle, a timelessly attractive watch and small-scale jewelry or cuff links.
A seemingly insignificant lint roller can save you from a whole lot of embarrassment – no one can pull off a great outfit "adorned" with lint, fluff or pet fur. Tuck one into your desk, glove box, suitcase and briefcase.
5. A Great Carryall
At the top of any businesswoman or businessman accessories list is a great carryall or two. When you're after a high-profile look, opt for a modern, leather briefcase or practical attache case with multiple pockets. For the days you can be a bit more relaxed – maybe walk to work – go for a messenger bag with a shoulder strap or a business backpack with a slot for your device and a lockable zipper.
6. Hands-Free Headset
It's okay (not to mention necessary at times) to multitask. It's not okay, however, to drive with a phone in your hands. If your vehicle's stereo isn't equipped for Bluetooth, have one installed or get yourself a wireless headset.
7. Cloud Storage for Data
Hopping between devices, sharing documents with partners and clients and keeping the work organized and readily available typically requires some sort of internet-storage service. Consider service providers that offer a hybrid cloud option – a mix of private and third-party cloud services.
Security is a top priority; the provider you choose should have top-level encryption and authentication capabilities built into their products.
8. Analytics Tool to Understand Customers
Understanding your customers – how many visit your website each day, which pages they navigate to most often, the country they reside in, how they found your site – is another key to succeeding in business. A savvy analytics tool provides such information, at a glance, with various charts and data.
9. Good, Old-Fashioned Business Cards
Technology hasn't replaced the good, old business card. A savvy card has a fitting look, includes your website address, email address, work number (including your extension, if applicable,) cell phone number (maybe) and an overview of what you do – general manager, graphic designer, etc.
Hand them out during a meeting, seminar, trade fair or any time you shake the hands of potential clients or someone who knows someone who could be a potential client.
10. Mentorship and Guidance
Reasons for needing a mentor vary from person to person. You might benefit from having a supervisor or coworker – or anyone trustworthy with more experience than you – to talk you through the challenges, bounce ideas off of and keep you grounded. The funny thing about mentorship? It can prove to be the most valuable item on your list of business needs without costing a dime.
Lorna Hordos is a home-improvement business owner and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of conversational business articles for WordPress.com, Bizfluent, AZ Central and Global Post.