Information Technology

Technology is constantly changing, so how can you be sure your systems are up-to-date?  We can help you learn how to manage and use the technological tools you need to operate efficiently.  You'll also find easy and affordable ways to outsource your information technology needs, ensuring the security and optimal effectiveness of your systems.  Because let's face it ... unless you are in the IT business, you probably need some help.

Cyber Security Resources

cyber threatsThe threat of a cyber attack on your small business is very real.

SBAM has put together a variety of resources to help you become informed. Click here for details.

Managed IT Services

NUWAVEAre your IT systems operating efficiently?

With the proper technology and implementation team, your company can realize dramatic productivity and profitability gains. NuWave Technology Partners' unique approach provides clients with a single point-of-contact for all their telephone and data needs, and covers the spectrum from servicing existing phone systems to complete new installations.

Related News

What does it take to succeed in a small business today?

(By David Fant, chairman of SBAM’s Strategic Communications Advisory Committee. From SBAM’s member-only Focus on Small Business magazine.)

What does it take to become a successful business? And what does it take to remain in business after the first few years? It’s an interesting question considering the fact that the SBA estimates that over 90 percent of all start up businesses fail in the first three years. I got to thinking about this fact and went back to when I started my company 22 years go. What is it that has allowed me to be a part of the 10 percent that succeed in business?

There are many reasons. Some relate to how I was raised and taught as a child. Independent, quick at problem analysis and resolution, and learning to adapt and look at problems or issues from multiple perspectives. From a business viewpoint surrounding myself with friends and advisors, vendors, clients who would help me understand what I should be doing with my business and how to become more in-tune with my customers’ needs.

What is it that allows a business exist beyond the first three years? The reality is rather simple. A successful company provides a product or service that the market needs and wants at a price they are willing to pay. Sounds simple, but with today’s competition, pricing and defining market needs and wants can be a daunting task. Interestingly enough, many businesses totally ignore outside input and totally ignore data/information that is key to the success and growth of their company. Here are some suggestions for you to consider in growing your business:

1. Set aside one day a month, no interruptions, to look at your financials, sales/expenses and research, what is happening in your industry. In which areas can you save on expenses, and what new industry trends can you implement to diversify and increase sales?

2. Subscribe to industry business magazines, and join trade associations and set aside at least one hour a week to review articles and discover new ideas that are being discussed in your industry. 

3. Once every three months, gather your staff (if you’re a company of one, go see your accountant or other business advisor) and discuss what they see may be needed or could be done to lower costs and increase sales. Remember you are not the only one in the company who see’s what’s going on in your business. Others in direct contact with clients/vendors are more in tune to what is happening than you will ever be.

4. This may be an odd suggestion, but occasionally watch TV programs such as Restaurant Impossible or Hotel Impossible. You will see so many people who didn’t pay attention to their business and who are about to lose it all if they don’t change. The key word in that last sentence is change. Always innovate, always be ready to change to meet your market needs and in order to lower costs. And most importantly, don’t quit paying attention to your customers’ comments and needs.

5. Keep an open mind and be flexible. “We can’t do that,” should never be an answer to a request for a product or service. If you can’t, find someone who can and refer the business to them. If it’s something you can do, but never have, explore this as a new product line or opportunity to pursue.

Remember, success is not an accident. It’s a well-planned journey into business that makes a company a success. Delivering high quality products and services that customers are willing to buy is the key to ANY successful business.

David Fant is the sole owner of Market Mapping plus,

Mobile technology is a small business powerhouse in Michigan. Details Monday on the Business Next audio seminar!

Michael Rogers talks with Linda Daichendt of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan and Carlo Longino of the Wireless Industry Partnership about the July 30-31 Mobile Moves Michigan conference in Detroit. Also on Monday's show, more interviews with small business owners who exhibited at the  July 19 Farmers Market at the Capitol event at the State Capitol in Lansing.

Listen Monday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.   

How entrepreneurs find success selling at farm markets. Today on the free Business Next audio seminar

SBAM’s Vice President Communications Michael Rogers has interviews from the Farmers Market at the Capitol, July 19 at the State Capitol in Lansing. He talks with Emily Beautle, communications manager for the Michigan Farmers Market Association, and Julie Darnton, vice president of the board of the Association; Margo Roth, owner of JEM Fruit; Tracey Sferlazza-Macioce, owner of Tracina’s Gourmet Specialties;  Brian Droscha, owner of Droscha Sugarbush; Will Branch, co-owner of Corridor Sausage Company and Randall Fogelman, president of Detroit Spice Company.

Listen Friday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.  

Small business endorsements for the Aug. 7 primary. Today on Business Next!

Today on Business Next, Michael Rogers talks with SBAM’s Director of Government Relations Dave Jessup about the association’s Small Biz PAC endorsements for the Aug. 7 primary election. Also on Friday’s show, reports live from the Crain’s Detroit Business Salute to Entrepreneurs event in Detroit: Michael interviews Manoj Bhargava, founder of 5- Hour Energy Drink, Yan Ness, CEO of Online Tech, about small businesses helping Ann Arbor bounce back from the impact of a huge firm leaving the area, and the small business benefits of cloud computing; Fred Beal, president of JC Beal Construction Inc., one of the winners in the Salute to Entrepreneurs program and Mike Callis, managing partner with Marketplace Homes, a finalist in the recognition program.

Listen Friday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.   

Do your compliance efforts meet today’s needs?

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

By George Brown  

Your compliance department needs to manage the growing demands of more and more stakeholders, while positioning itself for the future.  A recent survey sets out to provide insight to support that goal.

Before 2002—or  what some refer to as “pre-SOX”–companies left compliance issues to the accounting department to handle after payroll, month-end and a laundry list of other chores. In 2002, when scandals cut into public confidence in the financial system, oversight became much more popular. It raised the expectations of companies that had a compliance officer. And it made a lot of other companies hire one.  

The "State of Compliance: 2012 Study," an effort between PwC US and Compliance Week, was recently released at the Compliance Week annual conference in Washington, D.C.  The study found that Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) want to be more efficient and effective as they confront a more complex regulatory world.

The data collected paints a basic picture of the state of compliance today, and how the compliance function can position itself for the future.  According to the data, the compliance team is involved to some degree in evaluating or overseeing virtually every risk or regulatory issue. These would include anti-trust, anti-corruption, ethics, import-export, supply chain, social media, and codes of conduct.

The data uncovered a number of challenges: fragmented IT systems, tight budgets, shifting and growing regulations, and always having to prove that the compliance program is effective.

"Few elements of corporate compliance are as elusive as the art of confirming that your ethics and compliance program is effective. Compliance officers today know that just tracking calls to the hotline isn't enough. The question is what is enough." said Bobby Kipp, partner in PwC's Assurance practice. "Compliance officers really need overall assurance that their program is effective. Getting that assurance requires a combination of multiple metrics and insights."

Nearly half (46%) of the CCOs surveyed say they plan to spend more money on compliance technology and tools in the coming 12 months.

Other key findings include:
  • Most companies now have a compliance committee (71%, up from 57% last year).
  • Seventy-eight percent of respondents anticipate more board and audit committee demands for evidence of effective compliance.
  • Only 35% are currently "very satisfied" with the most recent assessment of their compliance programs.
  • Budgets are moving in positive directions — 21% are reporting budgets of $3 million to $10 million (up from 14% in 2011).
  • Staffing levels are increasing — nearly 80% said their compliance departments grew at least modestly in the last year.
  • Reporting relationships are moving in the right direction – more compliance officers (32%) formally report to the board.  Reporting to the general counsel (GC) is also still quite prevalent (33% of respondents report formally to the GC).

SBAM has the information technology and human resources tools you need to get compliant.  Call us at (800) 362-5461 for more information.