Dell was founded by an iconic entrepreneur and with an organizational structure that embraces the entrepreneurial spirit Dell is uniquely placed to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by growing businesses. Dell understands that entrepreneurs are the foundation for innovation, economic growth and job creation which is why Dell Small Business Solutions is committed to empowering entrepreneurs around the world by providing them with the tools, technology and tips that every entrepreneur should know in order to be successful. In a new 12-part series here at The Small Business Journal, the experts at Dell share their insights on what small businesses and every entrepreneur should know in order to thrive in the digital age. In part seven, I spoke with Jeff Hutchings, Dell’s senior director of product marketing, on tips for integrating technology into your small business and preparing for the future.
Key #1 Every Entrepreneur Should Know: Prioritize technology decisions
Jay: Jeff, as someone with years of experience in the tech industry, what are the technology needs that are unique to small businesses and how does Dell address these needs?
Jeff: Small businesses, as we define them at Dell, are so vastly different. They are unique – some have over 100 employees, others have under 10 employees with a limited budget and no IT department. What entrepreneurs need to realize is that, as an entrepreneur you will wear multiple hats within your company, and sometimes you’ll need extra help to make IT decisions or to ensure money is being well spent. To provide the appropriate end-to-end solutions for every single small business, we provide Dell tech advisors free of charge no matter the size of the small business.Jay: Can you elaborate on the role that the tech advisors play in Dell’s Small Business division? How does Dell Small Business help entrepreneurs acquire a better understanding of what they need to know?
Jeff: If an entrepreneur is looking for advice, we have a team of tech advisorsthey can call who will get to know their business on a more granular level, learn what they currently have and where they want to go in the next few years. This specialist will advise what the entrepreneur will need to know and do to be prepared today, in addition to what they will need in the future. Our tech advisors build a relationship with each small business so every entrepreneur can reach out to them on an ongoing basis for whatever they need. This way when a company’s infrastructure grows, and needs to increase headcount and add systems; or if an entrepreneur moves locations and must acquire its first server, these are decisions where the tech advisors can assist and can talk through. Advisors are experts on IT solutions to guide a customer who may not be comfortable choosing infrastructure on our website. Every entrepreneur should know they have a reliable team of advisors they can trust at every step of the way. At Dell we strive to be that resource entrepreneurs can rely upon.
Jay: With Dell Small Business it’s not just about the product or the service, the team is focused on thinking ahead and making sure the entire suite of services and experts that Dell provides can guide an entrepreneur through the full length of his/her journey. Is that correct?
Jeff: Exactly, I don’t want to get it confused with Dell tech support. If you were to have a hardware issue, there is Dell tech support. But if you’re looking more at business enhancements, such as your company or technology needs are changing, and you don’t have an IT consultant or a department within your small business, we have those resources here. It’s not a well-kept secret from our current customers but if you haven’t bought from Dell before, you may not be aware.
Tip #2 Every Entrepreneur Should Know: Find a partner that’s committed to your long term journey
Jay: If I’m an entrepreneur and I need IT direction, but I’m not 100 percent sure what this involves, can I call the number on Dell’s website and get someone to direct me?
Jeff: If you call 1-877-BUYDELL, you will be routed to a tech advisor who can answer every one of those tech questions for you. Our mission is to make sure entrepreneurs have everything they need to focus on their business. At Dell we want to eliminate all of the nitty-gritty details that can distract an entrepreneur from the essence of their business. That is why we have technical sales representatives, so at any time if your business grows and becomes more complicated, we have experts in networking, for instance, who can join your call and help answer questions. Our goal is to provide entrepreneurs with everything they need to know, so they’ll have the peace of mind to focus on their business. If there’s something you can’t do, we have experts that will do it for you.
Jay: I love the fact that Dell offers entrepreneurs a full line of support from start to finish. Would you add anything else as Dell’s value proposition?
Jeff: Entrepreneurs often feel like their needs are too small for a large company to deal with. At Dell, there’s also no minimum purchase required for you to speak with or consult our tech advisors. If you’re an entrepreneur starting off as a one-person small business and have basic IT needs, we will talk to you then, as well as when your business grows to 50 people. There’s no barrier to entry. At Dell we provide valuable advice for every entrepreneur at every step of the way. I want every small business in the United States to visit our website or call our tech advisors. Period.
Tip #3 Every Entrepreneur Should know: Stay Nimble
Jay: Has Dell always had this approach towards helping entrepreneurs grow their business?
Jeff: I’ve been with Dell for over 18 years and I can honestly say that the core pillars of our company are still there even after all of the growth we’ve seen. We still pride ourselves in winning culture, innovating and serving our customers. We’ve consistently driven modernization and had the goal to provide end-to-end solutions for all of our customers including entrepreneurs. I believe that dedication is reflected in our offerings as a one-stop shop for our customers regardless of their size from one person to 1000, we continue to build partnerships that allow Dell’s brand to be available where everyone shops. Entrepreneurs need to focus on their growth, not just for year one, but year two, three and five, and developing the technology infrastructure now to enable seamless expansion as their business grows. If companies are uncertain how to fund this IT evolution, Dell offers business financing to entrepreneurs to help with that aspect as well. We have it all and we’re eager to drive that message to provide the resources and advice that every entrepreneur needs to know.