A Tech Makeover Story

Three entrepreneurs tell Black Enterprise how they are using technology to renovate their businesses in a tough year�and reaping the rewards.

So far, for Simply Delightful Creations, I have invested about $12,000. I typically spend 15 to 20 hours per week making products, and another 10 to 15 hours weekly on marketing, advertising, and networking to build the business.

I use an iPhone ($299, plus $120/month; AppleCare, $69; and MobileMe, $99/year) as my main point of contact and to help run the business. I also use the following apps: Vision Board, 99 cents; Twitterrific, $4.99; Soap, $4.99; The Best Camera, $2.99; Perfect Photo, $2.99; Camera Flash Deluxe, 99 cents; Red Laser, $1.99; and BlogPress, $2.99.

I am also in the process of adding Merchant Warehouse ($7.95/month, plus 2.1% per transaction), a credit card processing service that will streamline payment. The company also offers MerchantWARE Mobile, which means that I can do business from my iPhone while I’m on the go.

I use Facebook, Twitter, and Ning to create buzz about my handcrafted products. I usually post updates on production, pictures of products, specials that I am running, links, and updates to the Website. For example, in December, I ran a Cyber Monday special on my Ning site, which accounted for about 10% of my holiday sales. I was also a guest on the BlogTalkRadio show Lose Weight with Laura, where I made a special offer to listeners that translated into additional sales.

I have participated in Webinars with the Business Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise for coaching on how to start a small business online and with Handmadeology for advice on how to organize and manage an online presence. I expect revenues of $15,000 for 2010.

This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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  • http://www.ayandaceproductions.com Andrew

    I just love the work Ms. Donaldson is doing with the technology/TechWatch section of BE, a section I think should be expanded. Keep up the good work Ms. Donaldson and BE.

  • http://jessemuhammad.blogs.finalcall.com Jesse Muhammad

    Enjoyed the information.

  • http://www.blackenterprise.com sonya

    @Andrew thanks so much for the kind words. Please let me know how I can improve coverage. What would you like to see us discuss in print and online?

  • Pingback: Member Spotlight: NuJak Companies Featured in Tech Makeover Story | Lakeland Chamber Blog

  • http://realestatecommunities.com/ Chris

    A nice success story. It sounds like the Tech makeover really added value to their business.