Sometimes people use the expression “business toolbox” as a metaphor to suggest a set of rules and principles one needs for running a company. That’s not what we’re talking about here. This is a checklist of actual tools you need for when things break or need to be hung up—you know, those dozens of tasks you had no idea would be required when you started a business.

First, get yourself a toolbox. Then fill it the following list, which covers most of the basic items that are helpful when the task says “some assembly required.” (If more skills are required, maybe it’s best to hire another small business expert.)

Tip: Before using any of these tools, you may want to look over the SmallBusiness.com checklist of items for an office safety kit.

1. Hammer

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(Image: www.homespothq.com via flickr.com)

The price of a hammer can vary. Get one that is in the middle price range. (Bonus suggestion: a box of assorted sized nails.)

2. Measuring Tape

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(Image: jkfid via flickr.com)

You will want the metal kind that  is retractable. And always remember: Measure twice, cut once.

3. Screwdriver set

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(Image: loonyhiker via flickr.com)

You need a set, because if you only have one or two, Murphy’s law will guarantee you won’t have the size you need. (Bonus suggestion: A box of assorted sized screws.)

4. Pliers

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(Image: massdistraction via flickr.com)

You only need one set of pliers, even though the word “pliers” sounds like you’ll need several.

5. Adjustable Wrench

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(Image: tomheld via flickr.com)

In the office, you would be surprised how much you can do with an adjustable wrench. Especially if your desks, chairs and filing cabinets are as old as ours. Perhaps you can get by with an adjustable wrench, but if you don’t have one, we promise it will be the first tool you will find yourself needing after reading this.

6. Ladder

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(Image: A 6-foot ladder is all you need, but this was pretty neat photo of a longer one. aprillynn77 via flickr.com)

While a 6-foot ladder won’t actually fit in the toolbox, without one you may not be able to reach where you need to use the other tools. Warning: Reading all the warning labels on a ladder may cause you to be so frightened, you’ll never want to buy one.

7. Command Strips

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(Image: thriftyuk via flickr.com)

If you are in rented office where you can’t drive a nail in the wall to hang a picture, you’ll figure out what these are for.

8. Electrical Tape

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(Image: freestock via flickr.com)

It used to just come in black, but now electrical tape comes in all these colors. You can use it when wires get frayed down next to plugs. But if that happens, we suggest that a new wire would be a far better investment.

9. Hacksaw

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(Image: thevince via flickr.com)

The next time you need to saw something in the office it won’t likely be with a hacksaw. However, the saw you will need will probably be too big to fit into a toolbox. So we’re recommending a hacksaw. However, a chainsaw is more fun.

10. Duct Tape

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(Image: woodleywonderworks via Flickr)

If you are on a tight budget, forget everything else on this list and purchase some Duct Tape. It’s the Chuck Norris-meets-MacGyver office repair item you should never be without.

(Featured Image: woodleywonderworks via Flickr)

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