Episode 11: Small Business & Tech


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Visit small Michigan businesses from every part of the state that have adopted online technology into their daily routines. Whether you want to hear fascinating stories behind how a small business grows or are a business owner yourself looking to improve, there are plenty of good ideas to take away from this episode. Get special tech tips on how to reduce phone calls by 80%, use a point of sale system, crowdfund, replace rented storage space with digital files and save thousands of dollars in travel costs.

pdfEpisode Transcript


Brian PicarazziIntroduction by Brian Picarazzi, Senior Area Manager at the U.S. Small Business Administration Michigan District Office

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Brian hosts the episode from the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center in Grand Rapids.

Small Biz & Technology DataSmall Business & Broadband Data

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Rural small businesses that adopt broadband and use a website make six times the annual revenue as those that don’t.

Getz'sGetz’s, Marquette

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Getz’s has been in the same location for 100 years. Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the three story department store and witness the impact of technology adoption on a place that was hand writing sales receipts up until 2008!

Tech: Inventory system, point of sale, online store, instant messaging & email

Mi Farm MarketMi Farm Market, Ellsworth & Traverse City

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When does a hobby become a business? Mi Farm Market started out as a family pastime selling gift baskets made with Michigan products at craft shows and online. The family decided to start a business and used a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a physical storefront.

Tech: Crowdfunding, online store

Yarn GardenYarn Garden, Charlotte

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Get a walkthrough of how a point of sale system works at the Yarn Garden. Since investing in this system, owner Lindsay Potter has been able to hire two employees.

Tech: Point of sale, email newsletters

Klever InnovationsKlever Innovations, Grand Haven

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Klever Innovations began with almost no money and a simple website. Hear how they added pieces to their online role little by little to create a brand recognized around the world. Plus, get a tour of Advanced Molding Solutions where Klever Kutters are manufactured.

Tech: Online videos, website development, brand marketing

Regency Court ReportingRegency Court Reporting, Commerce Township

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Remember the days when things had to be typed and shared as hard copies, video tapes and CDs, and you had to travel long distances for in person meetings? Regency Court Reporting is saving thousands of dollars by moving these things online.

Tech: Video conferencing, cloud sharing and data storage

St. ClairCity of St. Clair, St. Clair

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Stop by St. Clair for an interesting idea on how to reduce printing costs by using QR codes – the black and white blocks of squares you see sometimes on business cards and flyers.

Tech: QR codes

Brian PicarazziConclusion by Brian Picarazzi

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Episode ending, credits and outtakes, including the story of one of the oldest elevators in Michigan.



Updated on September 30, 2014.