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A phono stage (or, if you prefer, a phono preamp) boosts the signal from a turntable to a workable level - if your stereo amp or record player doesn't have one built-in, you'll need a dedicated box.
Ideally, your list of potential purchases should include one of these. They're the best you can buy across a range of prices, including bargain models and money-no-object amps for seriously high-end turntables.