Microsoft and the Small Business Administration have introduced a free technology guide to help small businesses grow and create jobs.

The new educational resource, Business Technology Simplified, aims to help small-business owners connect entrepreneurship and technology to give them a competitive edge.

The free guide explains how technology can improve the small-business owner’s chances for success. The Business Technology Simplified guidebook discusses the importance of technology, and how it can be used to achieve a business’s goals. In the guidebook’s foreword, Earvin “Magic” Johnson writes about his journey in developing a multi-million-dollar company and the value of technology to remain competitive.

“Our goal as an agency is to get information, tools and services into the hands of small-business owners more quickly so they can spend more time doing what they do best – creating the jobs that will drive our economic recovery,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills in a statement. “This new guidebook is one more tool available to support small-business growth through access to information and resources.”

The guidebook incorporates material on simplifying work tasks, do-it-yourself marketing, cloud computing, time management, finding and cultivating customers, and much more.

“Small businesses, which employ nearly 50 percent of the U.S. work force, rely on trustworthy technology that is easily adaptable and scalable to support growth and give them freedom to focus on the innovation and passion that drives their businesses,” said Cindy Bates, Microsoft’s vice president of U.S. small and medium business.

Business Technology Simplified is available in a printed format in SBA district offices and local SBA resource partners. It may be accessed online as an electronic publication and as an electronic distance learning course. The new online course has been created for self-paced access to practical guidance on applying technology to build and grow strong companies.

The Business Technology Simplified online course allows small-business owners to learn more about basic technology tools that can help their companies run more efficiently. The course features an audio-guided lesson indexed by modules that includes information on how to use technology to save time in day-to-day tasks, how to better manage a business, mobile solutions that work, and tips on expanding customer base.

To access the course, visit www.sba.gov/training, then click Business Technology Simplified in the Highlighted Courses section. It is one of nearly 30 online tutorials offered by the SBA, and is available 24 hours a day.

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