Note from Lionel: Below is a guest post from Ramon Ray, Editor and Technology
Last week, Ramon spoke to a group of entrepreneurs at the GrowSmartBiz
Conference in Washington D.C. on the topic of small business technology.
Below are some of the tips he shared with the attendees:
- Spend money on technology as an investment – not as a cost
If you are building a business that's built to last you must think of your technology spending as an investment in how technology can help your business GROW. You must spend money on technology that will help you now and in the future. The right investments in technology today will help you save money, save time, do more with lesson and overall grow your business tomorrow.
- Email is NOT CRM
If you want to increase sales to your current customers and really know everything you can about each customer, based on each interaction they have with you – you must use a true CRM product or service and not email.
- Web 2.0 is no joke
You must leverage social media tools. It's not enough to give content or a sales pitch to someone – a one way conversation. It's about having a conversation with customers and letting customers have a conversation with each other – all about you and your product or service.
- Mobile technology matters
If you and your staff are traveling around (as I suspect you do) then you need to implement mobile technology solutions. This means that you can access your office wherever you are – email, faxes, files – you can access it all.
- Outsource your technology
There is NO need at all for you to manage and implement technology on your own. Sure, you are an expert in what you sell (be you a florist, computer vendor, lawyer, graphic artists or media consultant).
The only way you are going to maximize your use of technology is to outsource your use and implementation of it in your business.
- Don't technologize a bad business process
I'm sure you run a very good business and do your best to manage its various processes, however if there are parts of your business that are not going so well and you think technology is the answer, you're wrong.