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What do you need to start a small business from home?

With more and more people opting to work from home post the pandemic pandemonium, there's an increasing need to get your home working environment geared towards optimum productivity. However, it can feel like the lines between the two get blurred when things aren't ship-shape and squared away. This can lead to frustration and affect your ability to focus.

It may be adequate to have a laptop, an internet connection and a quiet kid-free space for Zoom calls with clients and suppliers for most traditional office-based jobs. But when it comes to setting up a fully functioning picking, packing and production-based business, you’ll need a bit more in the way of systems, structures, storage and tools to get the job done.

Packaging and packing at home

Can-do cabinets

In any small working-from-home environment, space is always at a premium. Chances are all the bits and bobs you need to run your business efficiently will spill over into valuable "real estate", such as the kitchen table or boxes that typically live in the loft. Professional cabinets are specially designed to store everything from tools to hazardous materials safely.

An ESD small parts cabinet is perfect for safely storing small to medium sized static sensitive components and is a real lifesaver if your business requires you to have many small parts on hand. Drawer dividers can split the drawers into smaller compartments, which is ideal for conveniently storing very small items.

For larger, heavier items, a more robust storage cabinet is a must and don't forget the safety of other members of the household. Choosing a lockable cabinet is a great safety and security feature if you have small children in the house who need to be kept safe from potential choking hazards or dangerous items.

Storage bins for the win

With so many small businesses focused on supplying food products, safe and hygienic storage is a must to ensure your perishable products aren't compromised at any stage in the production cycle.

Whether you've got a burgeoning gourmet biscuit business or you're a dab hand at mouth-watering and moreish meat pies - your premises need to meet rigorous health and safety standards to comply with food preparation regulations and requirements.

All food preparation tools and storage containers must be manufactured using non-toxic materials that are free from unwanted, dangerous substances and bacteria. They must also be easy to clean, have a smooth surface and be free from ridges or cracks where bacteria could grow. Food-grade bins with straight sides are perfect for saving space for storage and are convenient for transportation.

Brilliant benches

A practical, durable, and versatile bench is also a must-have for any home business. Whether you're creating eye-catching and attractive arts and crafts for your Etsy store or selecting, packing and parcelling up a range of bespoke gifting boxes – you will need a workbench that functions as a workstation and fits in with your spatial requirements.

There is a wide range of custom-designed workbenches for many different applications. Choose from: assembly workbenches, general-purpose workbenches, packing benches, height adjustable benches, stainless steel workbenches, ESD workbenches and welded steel workbenches.

Say goodbye to work surface woes and hello to getting your orders done and dusted faster and more efficiently.

Perfect picking and parts containers

Most product-based small home businesses require adequate, safe, and conveniently accessible storage. We supply tough, vibrantly colour-coded containers of very generous capacities, all of which can be self-stacked. The robust co-polymer polypropylene plastic storage picking containers or small parts bins come in six sizes, the largest of which measures 175 x 416 x 375mm. They can also be fitted to a louvred panel.

If your items are bulkier, you'd probably be better off selecting the Topstore Plastic Storage Bin, as the largest of these hard-wearing polypropylene bins measures 200 x 310 x 520mm (and has a total volume of 31.4 litres). They also feature a reinforced safety rear lip in the stacking rim for use with louvre panels. These mighty and versatile vessels are specially treated to be fade-resistant and anti-static.

Weigh to go!

A proper set of highly accurate weighing scales are an indispensable tool in any home business. They'll not only save you time and money, but high-performance weighing scales can greatly reduce the risk of accidentally under-paying complicated postage costs. This is not only expensive for your business but irritating for your customers. It can also make your business appear unprofessional, so it's something you really want to prevent.

If your working environment requires a high level of hygiene (such as where food prep is involved), you will need a set of scales with a stainless steel platform. Stainless steel's properties mean that it is hard-wearing enough to withstand prolonged use, and its super-smooth surface makes it harder for bugs and bacteria to stick. It's also quick and easy to clean.

Packing tape dispenser

Terrific tapes

Another must-have for any home business is packing tape and convenient, easy-to-use tape dispensers. From hand-held and bench tape dispensers to pull-and-tear water-activated tape dispensers, you'll find one to suit. Pre-printed rolls of self-adhesive tape allow you to convey a message such as 'fragile' or 'this way up'.

Packing cardboard boxes

Up, up and away

So, now that you've got everything you need to make that home business dream a reality - what are you waiting for? Who knows - your product may catapult you into the limelight and give you the Dragon’s Den edge to start the cash rolling in.

Photograph of Debs

Author Bio -

Digital marketer, social media, content writer, musician, sloth-lover, tea-drinker.