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Fayette Chronicle
April 15, 2004

Technology Tips for Minority-owned Businesses

(NU) In 1978, while temping for her brother-in-law at Billboard magazine, Janice Bryant Howroyd discovered she had a knack for solving office problems.

Armed with $967 in personal savings and $533 in loans from her family, Howroyd leased a small office. Today Howroyds company, ACT1, is the largest female minority-owned employment agency in the United States, with more than 90 offices and 290 direct hire employees.

Her savvy use of technology played a large role in her success.

According to the Small Business Administration, close to 15 percent of Americas small business owners are minorities and the trend of minority ownership is accelerating. More than 3 million minority-owned small businesses are providing job opportunities for millions of people in thousands of communities across America.

The Small Business Administration also notes that the number of black-owned businesses has doubled and revenue has tripled since 1987. These businesses are growing at a rapid annual pace. And 66 percent of black business owners want to use technology to better manage their businesses.

Technology has proven to be a major key to the success of any business. IBM, which has a heritage of working with small and minority-owned businesses, offers these tips and facts:

  • Technology is the great equalizer. It gives small businesses the same kind of competitive advantage that larger companies enjoy. Technology helps businesses increase efficiency, reach new customers and receive a faster return on investment. 
  • Take advantage of opportunities. For instance, current legislation allows small businesses to quadruple the expense limit for capital goods purchased. Up to $100,000 can be used to invest in technology for your business. 
  • Start with the basics. Building a Web site or integrating e-commerce can open up a new segment of potential customers. 
  • Go online and make comparisons. Compare your business to others in the same field. Mimic the survivors where they succeed and stay clear of their errors. 
  • Follow the ABCs of business. Ask the right questions at the right time. Be what you commit to being. Connectusing technologyto your employees, customers and suppliers.

To learn about IBMs resources for small and minority-owned businesses, visit www.ibm.com/businesscenter.

Press Contact:
Chuck Pearson
ACT•1 Group
Director of Marketing
(310) 750-3400
cpearson@act-1.com

 

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