Erik Day from Dell spoke about small business technology at the Survive and Thrive Summit, hosted and produced by Ramon Ray of Smart Hustle Media. The first two Summits were held virtually in April and August 2020. The next one will be in the spring of 2021. Stay tuned!
Erik has been at Dell for 21 years, so he knows that technology plays a very important role in everything that’s happening in today’s world, including the pandemic. Dell is trying to focus on being able to ensure they are there for the small business community during this difficult time. Erik said he and his team, as well as other departments, have been working very long days — sometimes even weekends — but he feels blessed to be doing work that is supporting and helping people and their businesses.
If you're a small business owner, then you know first-hand how hard the pandemic has affected the small business niche. Read on to learn how Dell technology might be able to support you and your business as you shift to manage COVID-19.
From the Small Business Customer Standpoint
Erik and his team want customers to feel that they can provide end-to-end solutions during this time, especially as customers might need things they hadn’t expected. He explained that some small businesses are very busy right now.
- Technology for their teams to work from home
- To keep up with growing demand
- Need to be efficient in this new normal.
Dell has worked to get them what they need quickly, as the goal is to not have any downtime.
For the businesses that are not thriving right now, Erik admits that it’s not always an easy conversation when trying to offer them technology since they have so many concerns right now, including how they will pay for any new or added tools.
Small businesses that want to survive and thrive have had to turn themselves into digital masterpieces.
Advice on Pivoting in a Small Business
A lot of things are moving and changing quickly, so it’s no doubt frustrating and overwhelming for business owners to figure out the right moves for their individual business and team.
Erik gave us some advice on where to shift:
- Focus on yourself and your teams. Focus on keeping them safe, being mindful of how you talk to them and stay connected. Ensuring there is a human connection between team members and supervisors will keep the hard and stressful days a bit lighter. Always ask people how they are doing, and do your own assessment of how your team is doing.
- Customer communication. Conversations are different now and the focus has shifted from the best price to support options and financing. The price tag matters, but how you ensure the customer can afford the product is important too.
- Offering leniency. If possible, create financing options for products and services. That way customers can have the technology they need without paying for it all upfront.
Partnering with Microsoft
Dell has partnered with Microsoft to offer its business customers more tools and products to maintain efficiency, especially when working from home. Having the most up-to-date technology in your arsenal means everything can run smoothly, even when your team is remote.
Microsoft Teams is truly about collaboration. Groups or teams can update presentations and documents virtually and see the changes in real-time. It’s basically like working together without having to be in the same physical space. And with working from home, security features are key right now. M365 packages have a very secure operating system to keep hackers away when your team working from home, and their personal networks might not be as secure as your offices. Overall, Microsoft and Dell have tools for budgeting, productivity and security.
Final Words of Advice
“Invest in your business even during hard times if you can,” Erik suggested. This isn’t to say that you should spend money you don’t have, but if possible, keep investing in the tools that will keep you ahead of the curve and prepared for the future.
He also suggests making sure you can lean on people who can mentor you both professionally and also personally. Working from home means constant communication, all the time, but it’s not all critical in each moment, so try to just focus on the critical few. If the stress is too much or overwhelming, think about what you have accomplished instead and start your day with that in mind.
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