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3 Powerful Ways to Maximize Productivity During Your First Year of Business

Consider these helpful reminders to keep on course for achieving your most ambitious goals.


For many budding entrepreneurs, the first year in business is mostly about survival. Just as your company can't survive without a business plan and market analysis, entrepreneurs often won't survive without strategizing about productivity. It's simple: Working without regard for efficiency and maximizing productivity is often a recipe for burnout and, eventually, failure.

Here are three things every entrepreneur should keep in mind during those early weeks and months to be as productive as possible and chart their course to success:

1. Focus on the customer.

It doesn't sound like a productivity tip but focusing everything you do on the customer is paramount to being productive during your first year in business.

From product development, to networking, to creating marketing materials, to, well, you name it—there's so much going on in your first several months in business that it can become overwhelming. Even if you don't find yourself completely buried, it's easy to burn the candle at both ends, so to speak, and get every single thing done in a caffeine-powered state of hyperactivity.

Either way, the problem remains: A lot of your time and energy is wasted or misplaced on tasks that don't spur growth. Be selective about the projects you take on. If it doesn't help find customers and serve them then consider saying no, or perhaps delegating certain projects if you're a team larger than just yourself.

2. Get your office in order.

Whether your startup is situated in a dedicated commercial office or at home, the space in which you do your work needs to enable you to be successful. Stop for a moment and consider everything in your office—what the items are, why they're placed where they are, and how they can optimize your productivity.

One way you can maximize your productivity, but haven't thought of before? Your printer. While other printers seem to run out of ink at the worst possible times and leave you running to the store for more, Brother's line of INKvestment Tank all-in-one inkjet printers come with a reengineered internal ink storage tank that helps deliver more pages of uninterrupted printing. With up to a year of ink included and an estimated page count displayed right on your printer, you can focus on more important business needs.

When ink is running low, Brother's auto-fulfillment service, Brother Refresh, detects this and sends exactly how much ink is needed, delivered right when its needed—fueling productivity by letting entrepreneurs focus on the work that needs to be done the most.

"Convenience rules today's society. Small-business owners have too much to worry about when it comes to managing their business and need to spend their time focusing on what really matters," says Eric Dahl, director of B2C product marketing at Brother International Corporation. "In the grand scheme of things, something like changing your ink can just be a hassle, so having office equipment that gives you convenience and peace of mind is really going to help keep you on the path to success in your first year of business."

3. Maintain good habits.

As you spend your hours building your dream business from the ground up, it can be easy to eat something fast vs. healthy, to consume too many energy drinks rather than get enough rest, or keep working well into the evening instead of going home to work out or relax. When the fast pace of startup life begins to take hold, this is the most important time to stick to good habits.

One idea is to create a daily or weekly schedule and stick to it. In addition to setting your work hours, schedule time for things like lunch, hitting the gym, or morning/evening meditation. Whatever it is, carve out time for the things that are important to keeping you in balance.

The startup grind can easily get away from even the smartest entrepreneurs, eating away at their productivity and, ultimately, their chances for success. The more deliberate you are about your schedule, the better you'll be about setting aside time to be healthy and focused on your goals.

Click here to learn more about how the Brother INKvestment Tank printers can increase productivity and set you up for success.

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