4 Tips to Starting a Business on a Tight Budget

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While you may be eager to start a business, your bootstrap budget may be holding you back. You have products or services to sell — you want to reach new customers and enter new markets, and you certainly want your business’s name to become well-known.

While money may be tight, keep in mind that many of the largest and most successful businesses today actually started out rather small and limited. In fact, some even started in a garage. It’s not about what you don’t have; it’s about the tools and resources you do have, and knowing how to use them to your advantage.

1. Utilize free marketing tactics

Believe it or not, there are a ton of free marketing tools you can use to brand your business. For example, you can utilize social media to promote your products and reach customers. If you own a local business, list it on local sites like citysearch.com and yelp.com so that people know where you’re located and can easily find you online.

2. Know where to spend

Since you want to get your business’s name out, figure out where you should be spending your money. One specific example of something that you should devote a decent amount of your budget to is setting up and maintaining your website. Since this is your most important online profile and people can easily access it, make sure it contains informative and engaging content so audiences can learn about your business and your products or services. Make sure you add some quality pictures. Since you want to bring in customers, make it easy for them to contact you by providing a form and phone number on your website.

3. Turn part of your home into an office

Although you own and operate a business, you don’t need an actual office to be established as one. Reduce your expenses by setting up a home office or take it from the professionals and use your garage. In fact, Micro Solutions Enterprises began by operating as a one-man shop from current president Yoel Wazana’s apartment; it has since grown to become a nationally recognized provider of OEM-alternative printer cartridges.

4. Rather than hiring, outsource

While having a team of employees is very helpful, it also comes at a cost. Although you will eventually want to hire a team of dedicated employees to work for you, since you’re in the early stages, you can hire independent contractors and freelancers and outsource the work. Although contractors and freelancers may get paid more per hour, businesses don’t have to offer them benefits like insurance and can also avoid the cost of office equipment and supplies for them.

 

Posted on March 26th, 2014 by admin

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The Human Side of Business

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There are two sides to every business story. The first side consists of the products and services that a company offers its patrons, and the second is the human side. While much of a company’s attention will be focused on their products and services to ensure success, it is also important that they pay attention to the human element. By keeping your workforce happy, you will see a positive impact on your clients as your workers will provide better customer service. By engaging in some kind of charity or sponsorship (tech company MSE sponsored a local soccer team, for example), you can impress the entire community in addition to your workers.

The Workforce

The human side of business can be further split into two separate categories to include your workforce and customers. For many businesses, workers can be the most critical element, as happy employees lead to happy customers. When trying to figure out what will make your workers happier and more productive, there are a few things you can do.

  • Set aside time on a regular basis to talk to your workers. Ask them what changes should be made or if anything needs to be updated. The most crucial element of these meetings is listening to the people, so make sure you are actively participating in the conversation (even if only with a nod and an “I understand”). Don’t look bored and DON’T check your phone! If they feel you are taking care of them, employees are more likely to work hard for you.
  • Create a healthy environment. Make sure that your office is cleaned regularly. If possible, create green spaces where they can work or get some fresh air.
  • Think about allowing them to telecommute. This option may not work for all companies but, if possible, consider allowing employees to work from home. You will allow them to avoid the stress of commuting and help the planet at the same time!

The Customers

The second side of the human impact focuses on customers. All companies rely on their customer base to thrive and survive. Take a few minutes to listen to their concerns and apply them to your company.

  • Suggestion boxes are a great way for customers to voice their opinions without feeling intimidated. Place one in a convenient location and check it regularly.
  • Read and follow up on online customer reviews.

Keeping the human side of your business in mind is important. Take care of your people and your clients. Listen to them and watch how it impacts the future of your company.

Posted on March 25th, 2014 by admin

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Building a Strong Business Foundation in 3 Steps

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Starting your own business is an exciting idea, but not an easy task to complete. It is important that, from early on, you build a strong business foundation. It will take time and effort. If you are a young and energetic owner, chances are you are anxious about getting started. It is important, however, that you take the time to consider these steps to ensure your future success. For one thing, you’ll want to find a good source of financing, and you may even ask your family, as MSE founder Yoel Wazana asked his brother Avi for startup help when the company was in its infancy.

Discover Your Niche and Target Market

The first layer of your business foundation should be laid prior to anything else. This layer consists of discovering your niche and target market. While you may have the most amazing idea in the world, you want to make sure it will work for your community. Research the demographics and companies in your area. Is there a group that will benefit from your idea? Are there other companies who already sell something similar? The answers to these two questions will help you form that all important first layer.

Talk to Investors

The second layer of the foundation is laid as you talk with possible investors. While many business owners wish they could be self-sufficient from the beginning, the truth is that businesses cost a lot to start. There are a variety of sources you may want to consider approaching for an investment. As mentioned above, you can approach your family. You can also turn to more traditional financial resources such as a bank or credit union or other groups of investors.

Regardless of which source you decide to use, it is important to make sure you are well-organized for your presentation. Consider creating a business plan and passing it out to each person involved. This way, they have an idea of what their money will be supporting.

Don’t Overextend Yourself

First-time business owners may feel the need to take on every task themselves. The third layer of your foundation, however, is designed to keep you from doing just that. Consider hiring a staff or connecting with friends who are willing to help you for free. There are many hats that a business owner must wear, but sharing the load will help you focus more on your product.

Creating a sturdy foundation is important to the success of any company. Take the time to form these three layers and any others you need and enjoy the success that follows.

 

Posted on March 24th, 2014 by admin

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Getting your Products out There: The Work behind the Scenes

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The final product is what the consumer sees. However, only a business owner and their staff know that reaching that point has been a process in and of itself. While a consumer may marvel over the spectacular new packaging or a brand new product line, there are many stages before this point is reached. Companies, such as Yoel Wazana’s Micro Solutions Enterprises, are constantly reviewing these behind the scenes processes in order to improve upon their current products. Businesses may even create new product lines while trying to improve an offering.  

What are some of the behind the scenes processes and why are they so important? These two questions may occur to you when first looking to improve upon your existing product. Please note, though, that every company is unique and the processes below may not fit all industries. Explore the options you feel will best suit your specific situation.

The Concept

The raw idea is the starting point from which everything is launched. This is the stage where you want to gather a group of trusted advisors and staff and brainstorm. As you did in school, do not throw out any ideas right now. Just write them down in order to keep the creative juices flowing. You will have the opportunity in the future to go through the list and narrow it down to the one idea you want to focus on at the moment.

Return on Investment

Consider your return on investment as you narrow down your list. You want to make sure that whatever product you create is going to yield a worthwhile profit and increase the visibility of your company within the industry and beyond.

Evaluate

Once you settle on a few ideas that you are seriously considering, screen them. This is the time to find out whether or not your idea is worth following through on. Once you are done screening, follow up on the product that appears to have the greatest possibility for becoming profitable.

Test

Create a prototype fit for more testing. Focus these tests on marketability and reliability. Get feedback and work to improve the product where needed.

Complete the Cycle

Once the final product is complete, launch it with full gusto. You want your clients to be as excited about this new product or service as you are. Create a marketing campaign specifically designed for this product and promote it through the channels where it will have the greatest impact.  

You may also want to consider taking things a step further and seeing if you can patent the product or technology, as MSE founder Yoel Wazana has done with his remanufactured toner cartridges.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on March 17th, 2014 by admin

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Micro Solutions Enterprises: A Green Innovation

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When it comes to being a true entrepreneur, Yoel Wazana cannot be beat. He first opened up his huge company in Van Nuys, California sometime during 1994. Wazana began MSE as reseller in 1994 and by 1997 pivoted towards focusing on manufacturing.  He started out with a goal of producing 5,000 units a month. This switch ended up being exactly what the company needed as it broke even for the first time. Wazana’s strategy of guiding MSE towards creating a high quality OEM-alternative has paid off.

His company, known internationally as Micro Solutions Enterprises, has provided America with a manufacturing company that has an environmental vision. This environmental vision is to remanufacture toners and cartridges instead of letting them sit away in a landfill. This would be wasting precious space for the environment, and Yoel Wazana does not stand up for that.

Doing great things for the environment has always been one of Yoel Wazana’s biggest goals. As a part of his profession and his extraordinarily environmentally-friendly beliefs, Yoel Wazana is very concerned about the recycling of used cartridges. Unfortunately, cartridges which are not recycled end up in landfills, which means they take up a lot of the environment’s precious space. The plastic that covers cartridges can take at least 1,000 years to decay. When they decay, the leftover ink from these cartridges spill out into the earth and ultimately pollute the environment. This is toxic for both plants and animals.

As of 2012, Micro Solutions Enterprises has sold its products in over 40 international markets, all across the globe. Business has finally caught up with Micro Solutions Enterprise’s innovations since there has been a decisive shift towards low cost, high quality supplies. Micro Solutions Enterprises provides a true and environmentally friendly product for a number of consumers.

Posted on January 13th, 2014 by admin

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Tips for High Quality Printing at Home or Work

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People across this country spend millions of dollars each year having pictures, personal and business documents, and other items professionally printed. What many people don’t know is that it’s very possible to get professional quality pictures and documents right at home or in the office. Yoel Wazana, CEO of Micro Solutions Enterprise, the largest producer of OEM-alternative printer cartridges, offers some tips on how to achieve printing success:

Picture Prints

If your goal is printing pictures, then there are things you need to consider before hitting print on your computer. It’s important to pay attention to the megapixels on your camera; the more megapixels your camera has, the better the quality of your picture is going to be. In fact, it is strongly suggested that you use a camera with at least 6 megapixels in order to obtain great print quality. In addition, remember to check the file type with which the picture is saved. While many pictures are saved with a .JPEG extension, a .TIFF extension is the best type for printing.

Pay Attention to the Paper

If you’re printing photos, you want to opt for a glossy or matte paper to give your photos a professional look. Glossy paper is best for vibrant pictures because of the several layers of material that absorb the ink; however, many professional photographers use matte paper so it’s almost always a safe choice. For printing business documents, cardstock is a great option. This paper is thicker than regular varieties and is perfect for making tags or posters. If you’re trying to create a more formal look for your document, linen paper is an elegant alternative. This paper has a nice texture and can be used for invitations or thank you notes.

Check Printer Settings

Many people don’t pay attention to the settings on their printers, but there are options that can improve the print quality of the documents. When looking for professional quality, you want to make sure that you are using the best resolution available for your printer. Keep in mind also that the type of paper that you choose will affect the way that your printer produces. Yoel Wazana also stresses the importance of toner. Make sure you are using toner that will give you vibrant and gleaming documents.

Why pay extra for something that you could do in house? With the right settings, toner, and paper, you too can create professional looking documents right at home or work.

Posted on January 13th, 2014 by admin

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Put Your Green Foot Forward in 2014

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With 2013 quickly coming to a close, it’s time for business owners to come up with their New Year’s Resolutions. Company owners should put going green at the top of their lists because incorporating eco-friendly practices into the workplace has many benefits. Avi Wazana, CEO of Micro Solutions Enterprise, utilizes many green initiatives in his company and feels they contribute to a healthy work environment for employees and a reduction of excessive waste. Learn why you should take steps to make a greener company that positively impacts your staff and the world.

Conserve Natural Resources

One of the major reasons for going green is to help protect Mother Earth. By choosing eco-friendly options, you as a business owner should be looking to conserve natural resources, many of which cannot be replenished. This can be as simple as urging employees to turn the lights off in bathrooms, offices, and conference rooms that are not in use. You could even take it a step further by investing in alternative forms of energy (such as solar) or recycling programs.

Tax Breaks

The government is urging companies to keep sustainability in mind and is offering incentives for companies that follow through. The IRS and some individual states are now offering tax credits to companies that use solar and other green forms of energy. In some cases, these credits can be up to 30%. Further, the IRS offers businesses breaks if they use hybrids for their fleet vehicles.

Happier Work Environment

It has been reported that employees who work for green companies tend to be happier than those that don’t. Many feel that businesses that care about the environment tend to care about their employees too. For example, an environmentally-friendly company may use cleaning supplies that do not contain chemicals, which helps those who suffer from respiratory issues. Small steps like this go a long way with staff.

Cut Back on Waste

Companies throughout the world contribute to unnecessary garbage in landfills. To reduce your company’s footprint, consider asking employees to print less, which will cut back on the amount of paper being consumed and eventually thrown out. Led by CEO Avi Wazana, Micro Solutions Enterprises has recycled over 2 million toner cartridges and recycled close to 1.5 million pounds of material. 

Going green is a great New Year’s resolution for your company. It will create a happy work environment, save you money, and maybe even save the planet. What’s not to like?

Posted on January 8th, 2014 by admin

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Yoel Wazana Provides Tips for Doing Business Globally

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Expanding your business globally is the end goal of many, many entrepreneurs. You can introduce your products to new customers, increase your revenue, and help your company gain more exposure. If your company is growing rapidly and you feel it’s time to take it to the next level, business owner Yoel Wazana provides tips for going global.

Study the market beforehand

Whatever you do, don’t just jump into a market overseas without first becoming familiar with the demographics. The more you know about them, the better chance you have of promoting your brand. You should take the time to examine the market you will be entering beforehand, get a feel for the other businesses, especially your competitors, and take a look at the companies that are winning and those that are losing.

Know how to present your brand

When you do business globally, keep in mind that your company name and logo may not be familiar to those in the new country. You’ll need to find a way to present your brand in other countries so that people will understand and recognize it.

Take a trip to your new location

Since you will be doing business in a new location, it is in your best interest to book a trip and see the area yourself. This will help you get a feel for the people and their hospitality, the environment, and the customs. Also, because you are in another country with its own etiquette, you’ll need to take certain sensitivities into account. You can hire a local guide to introduce you to the area and a professional translator to help you understand the language. 

Utilize the Internet as much as possible

When doing business globally, the Internet is the best communication device. Not only can it help you research your new location, but it’s also a quick and cost-effective way for you to promote your business. Marketing platforms that utilize social media and offer online advertising can give your company the upper hand.

Know the local laws

Just as there are laws and regulations at home, so there are overseas and your company will have to be in compliance in order to stay in business. It may be in your best interest to bring a legal professional with you to advise you on the process. They can help ensure that you are legally covered as far as partners and suppliers go, that any imports and exports are properly handled, that taxes are being computed properly, that worker policies are followed, etc.

 

Posted on December 3rd, 2013 by admin

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Hello world!

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Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by admin

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