Essential Business Stationery For Startups

Starting a business generally involves getting essential business stationery.

Even with more content going to the digital/paperless medium, there is still a strong need for printed materials, even for companies who are just starting out.

Of course, finding an affordable solution for these printing needs is very important. Most companies don’t have capital just lying around to blow on big printing costs, which is why finding a professional, yet reasonably priced service could make a big difference for the bottom line.

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What Is The Purpose Of Business Stationery?

Now, we know having your own business is exciting, and you might be eager to rush out and buy anything with your logo on. But, before you rush into a decision, it’s important to consider the purpose of your business stationery.

Some people buy business stationery in order to fill their office or store with on-brand stuff. This can be a great way to make your office unique and help your employees feel pride in the business.

Others will be buying branded stationery to give away to customers or visitors (such as at a conference). Doing so helps to evoke the law of reciprocity (desire to pay back favours and gifts given us) and also ensures your brand stays in peoples mind long after they’ve met you (providing they actually use what you gave them!).

Sometimes business stationery is purely functional. In that case, you’re better off avoiding paying extra to have the products branded up as doing so would serve no real purpose expect to cost you money!

Is Stationery An Asset Or An Expense?

It’s worth remembering that the cost of any stationery you purchase will come from your profits as a business, helping you to lower your tax bill.

But, is stationery classed as an asset or an expense?

Well, in almost all cases, stationery will be considered an expense. That means you’ll record the full cost as expenditure at the time of purchase using basic bookkeeping techniques.

It would only be classed as an asset or stock if you are holding large amounts that has a value to someone else, such as if you’re selling branded items.

Your chosen accounting software will usually be able to help you ensure any business stationery purchases are recorded correctly.

What Stationery Does A Business Need?

Of course, needs may vary from business to business, but here are some of the most common categories for essential business stationery.

Business Cards

Let’s be honest… the digital age may be here, but nothing will ever take the place of handing a physical business card to a potential client, customer, or colleague.

Business cards are a fundamental building block to any marketing plan, and any company that doesn’t have them is going to suffer as a result.


Posters are great for advertising, for promotions, or for marketing. Finding great deals on posters when you do decide to print them is extremely important, but quality is also a must!

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Offline Banners

Banners are generally essential business stationery start-ups that are relying on actual foot traffic in a brick-and-mortar building.

Mostly because they are a fantastic way to draw attention during a sale or a promotional campaign. A well-designed and well-placed banner could mean the difference between a successful sale and a major loss.

Compliment Slips

Compliment slips are much like a business card, except that they offer the opportunity for a handwritten note.

Of course, this can be a great way to make a personal gesture, but it can also backfire if the compliment slips were printed unprofessionally!

This is just one example of a material that needs to be printed with high quality in mind.

Leaflets, Flyers, and Letterheads

Leaflets, flyers, and other similar types of marketing products are definitely essential business stationery, though again, it is important to make sure that any materials printed are going to be high in quality.

If the work is not going to be done well during a physical printing, then the business is most likely going to find the effort a waste of time and money. In this department, crisp images and eye-popping graphics are a must!

Note Pads

Business stationery notepads

Note pads printed with a company’s letterhead or logo can be a great form of advertising that anyone can use. They are relatively cheap to make and easy to hand out… plus, they will help to keep the business at the forefront of the customer’s mind.

With marketing materials such as this, of course, price is a major concern. Spending more money than one needs to on materials such as this can definitely lead to financial problems.

Pens & Pencils

Having a few pens and pencils lying around is a great way to keep your business in people’s minds and add that professional edge if in a customer-facing role.

Branded Clothing

Not really stationery we know, but we still thought branded clothing was worth a mention.

If you deal with customers face-to-face clothing or a uniform branded with your logo can be a great way to add professionalism and show that you are a real business.

However, don’t overlook them even if you’re an exclusively online business. If you ever have photos taken or record videos, wearing branded clothing can be great way to give a professional look online.

Plus, it has the added benefit of making your images and videos to be used by someone without permission!

Where Can You Buy Essential Business Stationery?

Since it is so important to buy high quality marketing materials and essential business stationery, the very first thing to consider is professionalism.

Any branded stationery you get will be a reflection of your brand. If the products look or feel cheap, people are more likely to have a negative view of your brand.

Alternatively, if the products look and feel expensive, people are more likely to have a favourable opinion of your brand. It’s worth spending a little extra to ensure you’re giving the right impression.

Look for a company that can print high quality materials at a great price right from the beginning instead of choosing a fly-by-night company that may or may not do professional-grade work.

There are many such companies online, though there are also many lower quality companies that should be avoided. Read reviews and ask around for personal recommendations.

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Business4Beginners has been advising new businesses owners since 2013. The founder, Paul Bryant, has created, grown and sold several successful businesses and remains the editor and fact-checker of all content published on the site.
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