Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with @JamelleSanders. Jamelle Sanders is best known as the Voice of a Generation, 21st Century Trailblazer, respected prophetic voice, world-class leader, life coach, success mentor, leading Empowerment Specialist, and Ambassador of Change, Jamelle Sanders is a 21st Century Leader that has devoted his life to helping individuals fulfill purpose and maximize potential. As an entrepreneur, Jamelle founded Jamelle Sanders International (JSI), to provide solutions to world problems; impacting the world by empowering change agents to make a difference in all facets of society. For more info, visit jamellesanders.com
SmallBizLady: Why is technology so important in business?
Jamelle Sanders: First of all, in the early days of my business, I knew technology was important. However, I didn’t know just how important it was to business. According to Forbes, businesses spent over $31 billion on technology last year. Businesses spent over 21% of their budgets on technology. When you really look into the research it boils down to businesses realizing that technology is too important not to invest in.
SmallBizLady: So what should businesses consider before investing in technology?
Jamelle Sanders: Businesses should consider a number of factors before investing in technology. The greatest benefit of technology to business is cost and time savings. Technology should be a major investment if you are in a process-driven company. This gives you the opportunity to streamline processes and increase productivity. Technology is also vital to protecting confidential information and trade secrets. Technology empowers you to automate systems saving you valuable time and money.
SmallBizLady: What technologies are central to the success of any business?
Jamelle Sanders: While the needs of every business will differ, I think some technologies are a must for any business. First, you need a computer. You need a functional website that serves your business needs. You need a word processing program, spreadsheet program and accounting software. You need a quality internet service provider. Lastly, I would advise investment in some type of electronic organizer. These basic tools will at least get a new business going.
SmallBizLady: What role does innovation play in the success of a business?
Jamelle Sanders: I would venture to say that innovation is the only thing that will keep a business relevant. We see companies like Amazon and Apple that have used innovation and experienced remarkable success. As an entrepreneur, it is so important to say on top of trends in the industry. The thing I love about technology is that it allows you to work smarter and better serve your customers. Innovation is vital to stretching your thinking and improving the customer experience.
SmallBizLady: How has technology empowered you as an entrepreneur?
Jamelle Sanders: Technology has had a profound impact on my business. In fact, 90% of my business success can be attributed to technology. My website brings in 50% of my revenues. Social media brings in another 40% of my revenues. The other 10% comes from other marketing channels. I am very grateful for technology. It has empowered me to be more productive, increased my profits and expanded the reach of my brand globally.
SmallBizLady: How important is a good website?
Jamelle Sanders: A good website is the first thing any serious entrepreneur should invest in. Initially, my website was terrible and not user-friendly. In fact, when I first launched my business, I had a flash site. It seemed like a great idea at the time. All of the moving graphics were impressive. However, as time went on I found out that the site was not user friendly at all. Immediately I talked with customers, strategized on what I wanted my site to represent and launched a new site.
SmallBizLady: What makes a website effective?
Jamelle Sanders: An effective website clearly articulates the vision and mission of your organization. Also, it gives customers a great understanding of your products and services. An effective website gives current contact information and also finds a way to capture the information of visitors to the website. Effective websites answer customer questions. Most importantly, a great website shows customers how to purchase your product or service.
SmallBizLady: Do you think entrepreneurs should blog?
Jamelle Sanders: Blogging is so important to entrepreneurship in the 21st century. Initially, I was not on board with blogging. However, clients begin to reach out to me and tell me that they would like to hear more about leadership and business from me. So I started blogging and the blog exploded. Thousands were reading the blog every week. In addition, new clients were being added to my roster, new opportunities were opening up to me and I was established as an expert in my field.
SmallBizLady: What should entrepreneurs consider before blogging?
Jamelle Sanders: You have to consider your audience. Make sure that you are targeting the individuals that you want to reach. Next, make sure that you have something to say to the audience. Don’t simply recycle information but provide real value to your audience. Use your blog as a vehicle to brand yourself and express the power of your voice. Make sure that your blog solves a problem. Allow your blog to serve as a community for likeminded individuals to connect and share ideas.
SmallBizLady: What part does social media play in business success?
Jamelle Sanders: 93% of marketers use social media for marketing. Social media is a game changer for entrepreneurs in the 21st century. Social media has given me a voice in parts of the world I never imagined possible for my business. Social media has generated press, increased revenues and connected me with amazing people all over the globe. Social media is not an option, but a necessity for business owners. If you don’t have an online presence, you are overlooking massive potential profits for your business.
SmallBizLady: So what would you say to business owners just starting out on social media?
Jamelle Sanders: I would tell new business owners to first of all get a social media strategy. You don’t want to just go on a posting spree. You need to post with substance. Also, you don’t want to appear that you are just trying to sell a product. Connect with your audience. Spend some time just talking with them and getting to know them. If you connect first people will be much more interested in buying your product or service. Get feedback from your audience and target your social media campaigns accordingly.
SmallBizLady: What are some of your favorite tech gadgets and trends?
Jamelle Sanders: I am in love with my iPad and I am always reading or researching some industry trend on my tablet. Also, as a busy entrepreneur my iPhone is a mini office for me. I use a lot of apps to stay productive. Over is a great app for adding text to photos and uploading them to social media. Hours Keeper is an app that lets me track hours with clients and prepare invoices. Evernote helps me capture my thoughts and stay organized.
“Tablet Pc And Icons Business” courtesy of Feelart / www.freedigitalphotos.net
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