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Small and medium-sized businesses across the United States are increasingly relying on new technology solutions to strengthen their product development, marketing, and customer engagement activities. Technology adoption is often the best way to drive relative advantage over competitors, even among small businesses. This is especially true with regard to computer and Internet technologies. Your business might be basically “technology enabled” but you may be missing out on new, fast-evolving technologies that could grow your business, regardless of its size.

Strategy 1: Use the Internet to Finance Your Business

With the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012 and the development of crowdfunding, selling small amounts of equity to many investors over the Internet has become a real option. The JOBS Act legislation allows for a wider pool of small investors with fewer restrictions than under previous security laws. While the JOBS Act awaits implementation, hybrid models, such as Mosaic Inc., are working within existing securities laws to enable the public to invest directly in clean energy projects. Recently, a high-end blended scotch company (SIA) was financed through Kickstarter.com.

Once regulations are issued, crowdfunding will evolve from a fad to an accepted method of funding companies, ventures, and product development. Companies that can inspire small investors with a vision of how their products or services are authentic game changers for consumers or society as a whole will be able to take advantage of this trend.

Strategy 2: Embrace Social Media and Expand Your Sales

Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most obvious social media vehicles for business. Adopting an effective social media strategy can rapidly enhance a company’s branding and visibility, helping you interact with your audience around a direct message or offer, and drive traffic to your website — as long as its content and design make it worth driving traffic to!

Companies need a social media strategy and focus, not just to supplement current sales efforts but as the primary vehicle for all sales activity. Print advertising is losing ground to the Internet and social media is an effective method of marketing over the Internet at a very low cost.

The first step is to identify the online platforms and communities where your potential customers spend time. The next step is to create a strategy to engage with their interests and offer them useful, compelling content and interaction they can’t get elsewhere.

Strategy 3: Adopt New Technologies to Streamline Your Business

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About Michael Evans

Michael Evans is Managing Director for the Newport Board Group, a partnership of board directors and senior executive leaders with deep knowledge of business strategy, operations, and capital markets. Previous to Newport, Michael L. Evans had been with Ernst & Young since 1977 and served as a partner since 1984. During his 34 years with the firm, he served as a tax, audit and consulting services partner, specializing in real estate companies and publicly traded entities. Michael served as the firm’s Global Director of the Real Estate and Construction Industry from 1988 to 1998, serving many of the largest international real estate organizations in the U.S. and the world. Michael is a frequent writer on business topics and has authored two books. He can be reached at (415) 990-1844 or via email at [email protected].

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  • John Coaxum

    In commenting to this post:

    Does this sound like a good overall solution?

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