Entrepreneurs seeking business expertise — especially in the field of IT — will want to check out the Small Business Network at PCMall, a new site launched by PC Mall.
“PC Mall works with many small businesses. As we’ve been helping these businesses over the years, we’ve noticed a huge need for access to business and IT expertise that is hard to find when you’re a small business,” explains Kristin Rogers, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for PC Mall. “So we built SBN to help our customers succeed and decided to open it up to the entire small-business community.”
The goal of the site is to combine expert advice with exclusive discounts on PC Mall products, plus a professional social networking component. Membership is free; all businesses with 100 or fewer employees are encouraged to sign up.
I took a tour of PC Mall and here’s what you’ll find:
- You can get access to a “knowledge bank” of white papers, downloads and articles about small-business best practices. There are also discussion groups where you can get answers to your questions from experts in fields such as IT, sales and marketing, as well as from other business owners.
- You can also network with other business owners, business executives and IT professionals to build your contact network and find business opportunities. The site offers discussion groups on a variety of topics (restaurants and green marketing were two active topics when I visited) and you can chat live with other members. You can also start your own discussion group; upload your own photos and videos; and join industry groups in fields such as retail, real estate and more.
- The SBN Store’s discounts and special offers for Small Business Network members include financing and leasing programs. Members also earn Small Business Network Rewards Points by making purchases and by being active on the site (for instance, you get 100 Rewards Points — enough for free shipping — just for joining).
- The Small Business Network is strong on IT in particular, offering resources on topics such as digital signage, network and mobility, help-desk services and business productivity. You can also find plenty of pre-built IT solutions for your business.