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Tips for Starting a Small Business in 2015

August 27, 2015

Ready to roll the dice and start your own business? Even with the best market research, a rock-solid business plan and a solid work ethic, about one-third of all small businesses fail within their first two years, according to the most recent data from the Small Business Administration.

Yet 2015 is a promising time to start a small business. The economy is back to pre-recession employment levels, and banks are loosening their lending purse strings to small businesses once again. According to Inc. magazine, the following industries are hold particular promise for new entrepreneurs:

• Food e-commerce
• Gamification services
• Agricultural software
• Relaxation beverages
• Public-sector technology
• Yoga and Pilates
• Fantasy sports services

Whatever industry you choose, here are a few tips for entrepreneurs starting a small business this year:

1. Start with a clear vision and goals.

2. Check your ego at the door. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to scrap an idea or a system if it's not working. Solicit feedback from successful entrepreneurs in your area. 

3. Be transparent with your expectations of employees. Make sure they know what they need to do and that they have the necessary tools. Better yet, document your business processes and distribute them, so they have a reference sheet.

4. Hone your customer service skills. In the age of social media, word-of-mouth advertising is critical for new businesses. Facebook, Reddit, Yelp, Google+ are all places where consumers go to either praise or sink brands. Respond to dissatisfied customers immediately and don’t make any promises you can’t keep.

5. Outsource any functions you don't have the capacity to handle. Rather than attempt (and possibly bungle) various tasks such as bookkeeping, managed IT services, or creative services, hire them out to save you time and money.

6. Finally, invest in the right office supplies and equipment. Thanks to ever-improving technology, entrepreneurs can get away with spending less money on office equipment and supplies. You will need:

• A laptop, desktop or tablet computer.
• Software and apps for tracking invoices, accounting, social media accounts, and scheduling.
• Organizers. Most businesses store documents electronically these days, but you will need some folders and/or binders to keep paper documents organized.
• A good printer.

Multifunction printers can perform the tasks of scanning, faxing, printing and copying in one machine. Plus, they have a built-in document management system that electronically files important documents, so you can easily set up workflows for boosted productivity. With so many products available on the market today, you can tailor your printer or copier to your needs. A high-volume printer for small business is inexpensive, fast and can save time and money for paper-heavy companies. For businesses that need inexpensive but professional-grade documents for sales and marketing purposes, a laser printer is a good way to go.

Pacific Office Automation has been helping small businesses for more than 30 years manage their workflow processes. Our award-winning sales team can match you up with the best printers and copiers for small business needs. Plus, we offer desktop apps to help maximize productivity. For more information on how we can help you start your small business in 2015, contact us today.

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