Utilizing Technology in MBE/DBE Businesses

by Michael Brito

13827058_editI am utilizing technology to bring this piece to you today. I have chosen an app that allows me to create articles on my iPad in any form I choose, allow me to edit, insert files or attachments, automatically save content, and send the article in part or total; all from within the app.

Our day-to-day use of technology is so ingrained in our actions that most of us don’t even think about the frequency in which we are utilizing technology. We use technology every day on our phones, it can be truly overwhelming. For example, today my morning routine consisted of checking the weather and schedule for the day on my phone, replying to an IM, reviewing my emails, sending an update on LinkedIn (which I then shared with my Twitter & Facebook followers), checking the weather (again), sending reminders to two connections on Instagram, and starting notes for this article all before 6:30 am; all while enjoying music through my Tune-In Radio app!

On LinkedIn alone I belong to three groups that promote the Minority Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MBE/DBE) philosophy and mission. These groups offer free discussions and invite members to begin new ones. Most groups sponsor networking events focusing on unique issues faced within and outside the minority community. By utilizing devices to constantly promote my business and stay connected through various electronic formats, I expose myself to opportunities I would never have known about! If you think that marketing is only two dimensional, think again! We have exposure to thousands of viewers when we link ourselves to very accessible online platforms. Oh, did I forget to mention? It’s all free.

We have use of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software that allows us to send messages to our client base in the form of email greetings, special notices, and even company newsletters that is all managed through every device we have. By staying in touch with our people, we build higher quality relationships all through the use of technology. Larger companies we model require us to know about and how to use the latest IT programs, language, and devices. However, we have to get into the technology “groove” and make the most of it. The thing is, our competitors will win if we don’t grasp and stay ahead of technology. Our best use of the tools we already have will prove that we command our day and that we have what it takes to stake our claim on all fronts!

When I imagine what Rhode Island presented to my grandfather when he came to this country from Sao Vicente, Cape Verde, I am filled with gratitude at his achievements; while also filled with wonder of how automated my world is now. All my grandfather had was an office phone, truck, and a typewriter. I have more technology at my fingertips today than the Gemini program had at NASA –and they launched a rocket! All I am ’m doing is running a small business.

So if you’re using your smart phone just to make and take calls, it’s equivalent to buying a home and living in only one room! Spend your time invested in learning about new and useful ways your electronic devices can work for you and your business. Take a class at the Apple store, go online for tips on how to utilize app, and how to expand your business using technology. Most importantly reach out to the MBE/DBE businesses in your circle and ask for advice and also share ideas when you can. You are always welcome to contact me as well. See at the job site!

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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