Ramon Ray! Business leaders online and off know the name and know what to expect from this well informed tech evangelist – informative dialogue on small business technology mixed with a passionate presentation style and an overall dedicated energy for life.
As Founder and Editor of Small Biz Technology, a media company dedicated to informing small businesses on its technological decisions, Ramon shepherds business owners across the gap between prolific computer offerings and right-fit solutions.
For business owners seeking a printed consolidation of technology tips, Ramon (@RamonRay) has authored a terrific guide, Technology Resources for Growing Businesses. This book is perfect for the small business owner baffled by tech questions and needing answers for next-level operations. I received a review copy from the author. In a similar approach that he takes in his presentation series, Ramon applied his experience in networks and software to make each word valuable and the overall advice substantial.
Jump Into the Technological Waters With A Big Splash
Technology Resources for Growing Businesses offers great utility for the computer ludite who thinks about a St. Louis linebacker or a Dodge pickup first when someone says “RAM.” The book is compact in size and digs to the heart of each section with well-reasoned explanations for technological choices.
Three rules for using technology starts the book, with subsequent chapters examining business tech essentials, from printer selection to mobile devices. Each of the opening three rules are powerful overviews of the book theme:
- Technology Is An Investment, Not A Cost
- Outsource Your Technology Expertise
- Don’t Technologize a Bad Business Process
These are meant to help organize your approach to selection solutions. The following quote is a great example.
“Most of the time it’s not technology first and foremost that a business needs to improve. It’s a business process. For example: if sales are down, it’s not that you necessarily need a CRM solution or a better designed website. …Once the CORE of the plan to boost your sales is in order, you can then consider what technology to implement.”
Ramon’s awareness of technology in the face of business structure is what keeps the book at an Aston Martin level of first class advice. The chapter on data security notes that “your employees are the first line of defense.” It also notes how data is your business operations:
“Think what would happen if you came into your office tomorrow and realized all your data as erased….For many business this would lead them out of business.”
Ramon’s years of experience as a technology consultant showcases how to cut through any jargon clutter. Thus an overview of an Intrusion Detection System is given with a helpful “so here’s why we use it” logic fitting the experience behind the words.
“Some viruses, for example, are programmed so well by their creators that they appear to be legitimate traffic that should be allowed to go through your entire network. In reality they are software that can bring down your entire network. In this case an IDS will do its best to detect activity that could be a threat to your network.”
Experiences That Reveal the Right Touchstones for Success
The book does not delve into deep strategy, so businesses with special needs, such as industry-specific software, should best seek an industry specialist. But the basics here would serve enough information to start such a conversation, which is what Ramon is aiming for – and succeeds.
Basic coverage of social media and website design are enhanced with further resources listed at the end. Customer Relationship Management is also noted among the business essentials, explaining the difference between traditional and social CRM (A section for this chapter was provided courtesy of Brent Leary).
If cost is your biggest concern, the ending segment on money saving tips showcases an understanding of how to tie all the ends – and Bluetooth signals – together.
The writing is on the wall. Small business is not so small anymore, and Technology Resources for Growing Businesses reflects a wisdom that matches such times. Given the tech trend in consumerization, the book is a solid match for those who don’t have an appreciation for coding or specifications. And considering the scale of cloud services introduced – and an even larger scale of people talking about technology, not everyone understands the payoff that a new service or device is expected to bring.
That payoff is best answered with this book in hand. Read it or give it to that football or truck-imagining ludite you know. More importantly, live Ramon Ray’s mantra for selecting the best tech:
“The right investments in technology will help you save money, save time, do more with less, and overall grow your business.”