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Internet access is up - way up - among small-business owners. But that doesn't mean all electronic avenues are being explored.

This story appears in the November 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If it wasn't for technology, Richard Pollock's company might be out of business. Software for managing inventory and an online connection to customer credit reports have turned International Neon Products Inc., Pollock's Chicago sign-parts distributorship, from a firm struggling with outstanding client debts and poor customer service to one enjoying robust growth and profits.

"Every employee here has a PC--the guys in the warehouse, the receptionist, the salespeople--even I do," says Pollock. "Now when somebody asks for credit, we dial in to the computer system and give them an immediate answer. That's gotten rid of the bad debt."

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