If you’re new to consulting, you may be surprised by the home office supplies you’ll need to run your business. However, you may already have a computer, desk or phone you can use and most, if not all, items will be tax write-offs. Here’s a list of 15 basic office supplies (in no particular order) to get you started.
List of home business office supplies
- Computer – laptop computers are flexible, but if you have a dedicated workspace, you can save by buying a desktop computer system. See my post on how to find cheap computer equipment.
- Telephone – if you share your phone with the rest of the family, consider a two-line cordless phone that has call display.
- Printer (multi-function printers also act as a fax and photocopier)
- Fax – consider a multifunction printer so that you don’t have a fax and a printer cluttering your office.
- Internet connection – consider wireless Internet, if you don’t have a dedicated desk or if you need to share your connection with other people in the home. Wireless Internet usually just means you need a router and a card.
- Filing cabinet – keep working files on your desktop, but make sure you have somewhere to keep business records. You need to keep tax records for seven years!
- Desk or home office armoire – get an ergonomic one that’s set at the right height
- Chair – get a chair that’s suited to heavy long-term use
- Stapler – need we say more?
- Stationery and supplies – envelopes, business cards, printer paper, paperclips and the like.
- Stamps and envelopes for sending out invoices
- Clock – many people find their computer lets them know the time
- Calendar – schedule appointments with your computer or PDA, but keep a hardcopy in a calendar or appointment book
- In-box (and an outbox) – stacking trays help you manage incoming and outgoing paper
- Home business permit from your local municipality, if applicable
Of course, before you start shopping for office supplies, make sure you’ve covered the basics. See our article on setting up a home office.
What do you need for your home office? Tell me what home office supplies you need and I’ll add them to the list.
- Office gadgets I can’t live without
- Consulting Fees: A Guide for Independent Consultants
- Discover Your Inner Consultant
- Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur (for moms)
From Become a Consultant Blog at ConsultantJournal.com.