Basic Supplies Needed for a Small Business

by Anastasia Zoldak ; Updated September 26, 2017
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When starting a business, the purchasing of start-up supplies is an important expense. As part of a concise financial business plan, a list of identified business supplies and their costs is important. This shows loan officers that the business's owner understands his business’s needs and its costs. Business supplies can include large items such a stove for a restaurant or computers for an office. As a business owner identifies his business supply needs, he can begin to get price estimates from vendors and stores.

General Supplies

Business supplies that fall into this category are often used in many parts of a business. The sales force, office staff, management or counter help will all need one or more of these business supplies to conduct business. These business supplies can include manila folders for filing, note or message pads, envelopes, paper clips, markers, pencils, pens, staplers, scissors, trashcans and rubber bands.

Office Supplies

Office supplies are primarily used in the business’s office. Administrators, sales staff and management need these supplies to run the business. Small business office supplies can include office hardware such as computers, mobile phones, printers and copiers. Office supplies can also include supporting products such as printer cartridges, hanging file folders, fax paper, labels and label makers. In addition, businesses may need white boards and dry eraser markers for meetings.

Business Care Supplies

Depending on the type of business, cleaning supplies for the workplace and bathroom may be needed. Items such as toilet paper, room fresheners, bathroom cleaners, disinfectant cleaners, window cleaners and paper towels are need to maintain a clean business and workplace. Employers may wish to have a lunchroom with a fridge, microwave oven, coffeemaker and coffee.

Every business with employees will need to have a corkboard and push pins to post the required government posters in an area all employees can access. The Department of Labor provides these posters to small businesses through their website. These posters include the “Job Safety and Health Protection” poster, the “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law” poster, and the “Employee Rights for Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage” poster. Business that do not post these signs for employees can face heavy fines.

Operational Supplies

Operational supplies include any supply that is needed to run the business. For example, a restaurant needs kitchen appliances, pans, plates, and other items to run its business. Warehouse business supplies include such items as storage bins and shelves. Operational supplies can be high-priced items such as a refrigerator, or less expensive items such as invoices, brochures, business cards and letterheads. The kind of operational supplies needed depends on the type of business.

Shipping Supplies

Shipping supplies fall into their own category, since they apply to shipping merchandise items. Shipping supplies include postage scales, packing boxes, mailing labels, packing tape and other supplies needed to ship your business products safely.

About the Author

Anastasia Zoldak is an experienced freelance writer and researcher based in Chicago. She has been a professional writer since 2007. Zoldak has an undergraduate degree in business, which she has used in a variety of industries, including retail, sales and recruiting. Prior to becoming a writer, she ran a successful business.

Photo Credits

  • business accounts image by Nicemonkey from Fotolia.com