VA/Small Business Must Haves


New Member
Okay so I was going through the Big Book order my office supplies and it dawned on me... what supplies are must haves, what items can you and can you not live without?
They don't sound very exciting, but the things I would not be comfortable working without (besides a computer and basic software) are my wireless router and my external backup drive. And it's not hardware, but I don't know how I ever got any accounting done before I bought QuickBooks. It takes the place of four (!!!) separate things I'd used before.


New Member
I do not have an external hard drive but
I can now imagine thanks to you why we all need would be horrible if we lost all of our hard work:think: I do not know how I forgot about this

The Perfect Word

Community Leader
An external hard drive for backups is on my list. Right now I back up client data and my personal stuff to flash drives. And that works okay, but I'd like to be able to back up the entire drive.

Besides the obvious software for a transcriptionist...Word and some type of transcription software (Express Scribe for me), the other piece of software I just love is called ActiveWords. Fantastic program where you can create keyboard shortcuts for just about anything (navigate to an Internet site, open a document, substitute text, etc., and even scripting), and the shortcuts work across all programs, while you're Internet browsing, etc. Also have a wireless mouse that's great, and a special ergonomic keyboard.

As for actual office supplies, nothing special for me.


Community Leader
My must haves are mobile Wifi and battery backup for the electronic end and a notebook and pen for when I want to disconnect and let the juices flow.


New Member
I have never used external hard drives. I prefer cloud storing and flash drives. I also make sure that I never load the pc from which I work with any unnecessary or for personal use stuff. A wifi connection is something I still's nice to have it if you plan to connect more than one terminals and/or consider working around the place.
I cannot do without a printer/scanner also - their costs are reasonable for the start-up...
Finally a battery back-up would be also necessary, especially to places where balck outs are often.


New Member
My must haves are a mobile wifi, an inverter for the car (to charge the computer etc if there is a power outage), external hard drive, a flash drive, recorder for meeting notes, pen and legal pad.


New Member
My must have is a good pen and pad of paper. I'm with Lee; sometimes you have to put aside tech and do things the "old-fashioned" way to get creative. I keep my notepad right next to my mouse for easy access.


New Member
I have so many things on my list :) My MUST HAVEs are:
1. a computer with all the softwares I need
2. Flash drives
3. Head set
4. Internet/Wi-fi
5. pen
and last but not the least, A COFFEE MAKER!!! I wouldn't last a day without a cup of coffee! and that's all :)


New Member
I am fairly new to the VA world but over the last few months, one of the most needed supplies is a good phone where you can have most of the apps you utilize downloaded. This has been convenient for me. If I need to step out for an hour to run errands, etc I can still be plugged in.

Camelia Gamble

New Member
My most haves are
Flash Drive
Quickbooks software for small business
Neat Receipts (scanning of receipts)

Camelia Gamble
Office Works Etc.


New Member
Router, external hard drive, lots of pens and pads and my basic software. I am trying to use Evernote to organize things but right now it's on paper.


I just bought a bookcase. I got tired of having piles of papers and notebooks on the floor. It makes my office look so much nicer and definitely more organized.

On my need to buy list is a new print/copy/fax/scanner.
Most needed items are:
-Laptop (business must be mobile).
-Express Scribe & Pedal for Transcription services.
- MS Office Suite /Google Apps for Business (Word Processing and spreadsheets)
- Dictionary & Thesaurus
-Invoice/ payment software (Freshbooks/ PayPal)
- reliable printer
That's all that comes to mind at the moment :)


New Member
My must have may seem old fashioned but I can't get by without my file folders. Keeping client files and written notes of my discussions with them keeps me sane. Also, I use a Skype recorder so that I can go back to a conversation when I need clarification. Whenever I use this, I inform the other party that the call is being recorded. :)

Not sure if you're thinking in terms of office supplies, i.e. pens, paper, etc. but I absolutely hate running out of printer ink, so it's essential for me to load up on extra ink cartridges. An attractive cork board so I can keep important notes at eye-level and not cluttering up my desk. I couldn't survive without a really good laptop and smartphone so I can work from just about anywhere. I also have a 'Happy Light' on my desk to help me get through these winter days when my energy can sometimes be low. It really works!


New Member
My laptop, smartphone and a flat surface, preferably counter-height since I have a standing desk so sitting down is not my favorite thing to do. I also like to have a pen and notebook with me. Sometimes you just need to write something down.


New Member
For office supplies:
-A great chair to sit on for almost 24 hours a day.
- Extra computer and accessories in case one of them gives up for over work
- Notebook to organize your system, list those passwords, things to do, etc

For a non office supplies,
- A supportive family who would say it's okay if you can't cradle the baby. Lol
- Great/regular clients
- Stable income
- Insurance