Technology is more than a fancy high-definition television, feature-rich cell phone, or cutting-edge video game system. While those devices play important roles within the lives of average Americans, significant advances in business technology enable small companies to appear larger, operate more efficiently, and save money in these cash-strapped times.
For decades, Black Enterprise has been extolling the virtues of using technology to take black-owned businesses to the next level. In this issue, however, we decided not to preach. Instead, we let three intrepid entrepreneurs offer their own testimonials on how they made technology an integral part of conducting business. In our cover story, “A Tech Makeover Story,” these business owners outline the hardware and software they employ, costs involved, and financial benefits reaped.
Take our cover subjects, Frank Kendrick and Timothy B. Jackson of NuJak Cos. The CEO and COO, respectively, understand that incorporating tech into every facet of their Lakeland, Florida-based construction company isn’t an option—it’s a requirement. Embracing this mandate, they purchased the latest project management systems and related hardware that allows their team to stay updated on every aspect of company contracts, regardless of location. Moreover, the system informs customers of a given job’s status, allowing them to provide comments or work with engineers to make adjustments. Sure, the development of a fully integrated system was a major outlay, but Kendrick and Jackson viewed the expense as an investment that would ensure the growth and profitability of their company for years to come.
Not coincidentally, technology was essential in the development of this feature. To identify the three tech-driven companies, Black Enterprise editors, led by Sonya A. Donaldson, Editor-at-Large, Technology, employed the power of social media, using be’s presence on Facebook (www.facebook.com/blackenterprise) and LinkedIn (www.blackenterprise.com/linkedin) as well as our audience at Blackenterprise.com to send electronic queries to online communities. “The companies profiled exhibit the tremendous possibilities available to African American entrepreneurs who use technology to the fullest,” asserts Donaldson, who has overseen BE’s tech coverage for the past decade. “Rather than retreat from investing in tech, they kicked it into high gear, exploring all the resources available to them, making smart investments in hardware, software, and training as well as using social media tools wisely to grow their businesses.”
Their examples as well as our editor’s choice of the best business tech products in this month’s Techwatch section will help give your business a boost as well. A company doesn’t need to be a corporate giant with deep coffers to reap the rewards that come with streamlining operations, communicating effectively, managing personnel, tracking projects, and building a brand. Often, smaller players can appear as ubiquitous as a multinational in the digital space while remaining nimble enough to react to consumer trends much faster. With the right apps, your company can become one of them.
This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.