Old Technology Can Cost Your Business
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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Failure to upgrade hardware can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in maintenance of antiquated equipment, loss of data, and slowed productivity. Yet many small business owners fail to make the investment in a timely fashion. This month, to show entrepreneurs how much more they could accomplish if they had the right hardware, Black Enterprise enlisted the help of Dell Inc. to give one lucky small business a complete hardware makeover.

Maria Hannah, a former prosecutor for the County of San Diego’s district attorney’s office, is no stranger to makeovers. She began remodeling her life when she learned that her dog, Gracie, had a degenerative joint disease and needed a holistic diet and exercise to help maintain her health. Gracie wasn’t the only one who needed a change of pace. “While I enjoyed litigating, the lifestyle part was a little draining. I think my overall view of the world was getting a little pessimistic,” says Hannah, who also worked as a merchandise buyer before she attended law school.

So, in 2005, she made the switch to dog groomer. Her Atlanta-based professional and self-serve pet grooming salon is focused on providing high-end merchandise you can’t find in the big-box stores. BE chose The Clean Dog Inc. because, technically speaking, it represents some of the same problems that many small businesses face. Hannah had a hodgepodge of older inefficient hardware that didn’t keep up with the growing demands of her business. Even the new hardware Hannah purchased in 2010 wasn’t meeting her needs.

We asked an unsuspecting Hannah how she would upgrade her store if money wasn’t an issue. She envisioned a shop with a self-service kiosk and free Wi-Fi for waiting customers, digital signage to advertise to the busy foot traffic on her street, a new touch-screen point-of-sale system with updated software, and a faster laptop from which she could control the whole kit and caboodle.

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Join the Conversation

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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