These days it’s not enough for a small business to have a basic business plan if that plan doesn’t include technology. Technology and technology tools can help streamline your business processes and provide you with the competitive edge you need to succeed. SCORE understands its clients’ technology needs and has developed various innovative ways to bring you the technology know-how that will lead to your business success.
The e-Business Now Regional Events
Small business owners in Orange County, New Hampshire and Philadelphia participated in free regional small business technology events sponsored by the e-Business Now program. There they took technology-themed workshops, such as “Creating the Perfect Website for Your Small Business” in Orange County, “Using Technology to Jumpstart Your Sales” in New Hampshire and “Supercharge Your Small Business with Social Media” in Philadelphia. Each of the events featured a key note speaker discussing technology topics relevant to small business owners. In New Hampshire, SCORE friend Ramon Ray gave the attendees six tips for adopting technology in their small businesses. In Orange County, CA, Terry Horner, President and Publisher of the Orange County Register recounted how his newspaper adopted technology tools to turn itself around financially. In Philadelphia, Gail Goodman, CEO and President of Constant Contact and SCORE Board member, gave the small business attendees important tips on using social media to engage their customers and maximize their sales.
Each of the events had “break-out sessions” or “buzz sessions” to give the attendees the opportunity to interact in smaller groups with technology experts and ask them questions about their particular technology needs. And no event would be complete without prizes… For the attendees who stayed until the end, the sponsors of the e-Business Now program provided nice door prizes, including a flip camera from Cisco, software from Microsoft, a gift card from Best Buy and a service plan from ATT.
The e-Business Now program, including the regional events, is made possible by the generous support of its sponsors: ATT, Best Buy, Cisco, Constant Contact, the FCC, Google, HP, Intuit, Microsoft, the SBA, the SCORE Foundation, Skype and Time Warner Cable Business Class.
Client Technology Requests
In an effort to better understand and address their needs, inventive SCORE chapters across the United States are reaching out and talking to their clients and to the small businesses. In South Palm Beach, Florida, Hal Finklestein, Chariman of SCORE Chapter 412 makes weekly rounds of the small businesses his chapter serves. He checks in with them about their businesses and asks them how SCORE can help make their businesses more successful. Based on these conversations and on client surveys, Hal’s chapter decides on topics for their workshops that will best address their clients’ needs. One example of a feedback-fueled workshop topic was a workshop on how to use your iPad for business applications. Additionally, Chapter 412 is currently undergoing a technology makeover. As Hal stated “we’d like to practice what we preach.”
Technology Mentor Recruiting
In East Central Iowa, Greg Tomsic, Chapter Chair of the local SCORE Chapter, and his team have focused on recruiting technology-savvy SCORE mentors and workshop presenters. Thanks to their hard work, the chapter now boasts multiple technology-savvy workshop presenters and mentors, allowing East Central Iowa SCORE to offer the five e-Business Now workshops over the next few months. Small business owners having taken the workshops and wishing to connect with a SCORE technology mentor will have many to choose from at East Central Iowa SCORE. This chapter makes excellent use of its Facebook page to keep itys clients up-to-date on the latest technology developments and news.
Many chapters across the country offer their clients various technology-themed workshops to help improve their clients’ bottom line. Louisville, KY and the Central Valley, CA SCORE chapters are two particularly groundbreaking chapters that are committed to providing their clients with technology workshops. In Louisville, Don Keller, Chapter Chair and Eleanor Carter worked diligently to be one of the country’s first chapters to offer all of the e-Business Now workshops in August. Not to be outdone, Peter Fong, Chapter Chair of Central Valley SCORE and Jay Petersen took up the challenge and presented the e-Business Now workshops to their California clients. Regarding the workshops, Jay Petersen commented that for small business owners with little to basic technology knowledge, “they really helped connect the dots and explain all of the technology terms that small business owners hear almost daily but don’t necessarily understand.”
The above stories represent just a fraction of the technology education and help that is occurring at local SCORE chapters across the country. If your local SCORE chapter has helped you and your small business with your technology needs, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
If you are interested in learning more about the e-Business Now program, visit http://www.ebusinessnow.org.