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The economy today is the best it has been since 2007! For small business owners who have hung in there during the recession, this improvement has been such a welcoming relief. With that, it’s now time to ramp up! Are we ready?!

Though we are moving forward, the recession is still in our rear view mirrors. Venturing into the unknown can be scary, but small business owners are the heart of the country – we take risks and put people back to work for the dream of what we can create. Sometimes you need to take that first step before the bridge will appear. It’s all about taking that next “leap of faith.”

As owner of Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC, a flat-rate mobile catering company, I have taken many “leaps of faith” over the last seven years. While I may question whether we are making the right decision at the time, each has set us up for more growth and opportunity. We moved the business from our home garage to a commercial space two years ago, and I oftentimes laugh looking back at how things ran. We are operating much more efficiently now and are already outgrowing our current space, which is three times larger than our three-car garage!

The average small business owner is billable at $150/hour. While it’s easy to get weighed down with all the day-to-day tasks of running a business, it is essential to gradually step away from those in order to move the business forward. Delegating, streamlining and automating tasks is key. Ask yourself what tasks are critical to the success of your business, which of those can be passed to a colleague, and/or whether there is a more efficient way of getting them done.

Speaking of moving the business forward, I would like to introduce Katie Jo Jensen! Katie Jo grew up in South Dakota and graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a BA in Marketing and General Business Management. She now brings us over eight years of experience ranging from product category management to the design, launch and management of national franchised restaurant promotions.

We weren’t exactly looking for Katie Jo, but when she found us, we knew she belonged on our team. Focused primarily on business development, Katie Jo has proven to be a great asset and crucial step toward the growth of our business – and definitely a “leap of faith” I am so happy we took. She has been featured in the Vancouver Business Journal as well as the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce – “Business Matters.”

As a small business owner, you don’t need all the answers; however, it is important to surround yourself with great people and resources for guidance. Organizations like the Small Business Development Council (FREE for all business owners) and other business consultants are a valuable tool. Read HERE how the organization helped us, and good luck to you!