Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We wish all of our clients and friends a very Merry Christmas and the most prosperous of new years!

Please note that our offices will be closed from December 24 through January 2nd. See you in 2013!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Are you looking for a name for your business?

How important is a name to a business? The answer is is very important for your business to have a good and meaningful name. The right name can help your business succeed, by having everyone in town talk about it. However, the wrong name can have the opposite effect and make your business fail. Your name should express what your business is about, the value of your products and services and your expertise in the industry.

Some people think that a business name should be abstract or a made-up word. Others think that a more conservative and direct name is more informative and helps customers know exactly what your business is about;0 and others also think people will easily forget a common non unique name.

Creating the perfect business name can be an overwhelming process but it is critical for the business. The name should convey what you want it to communicate to your clients. The name should emphasize the intention and purpose of your business. It should also make people curious of what you have to offer and attract them into your business.

Here is a tip. Be careful if the name of your business has South Carolina or any other city/state name on it. This can be meaningful for the local people, but what meaning will it have to people that want to do business with you in Colorado or New York? Keep this in mind.

Another tip, when choosing a name for your business pick one that will be meaningful and appealing to the type of clients you are targeting and not only to you. Try to avoid names that are too long or confusing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Are you using strategic thinking or tactical thinking?

There are two types of thinking a small business owner uses; strategic and tactical thinking. The biggest difference between these two types of thinking is whether you look at the big picture or focus on the little things. 

We all face different types of challenges in our businesses on a daily basis, some of which can be very easy to ignore until it’s too late. Some of the challenges we may face are dealing with a client, an employee, a supplier, etc.; but those big problems are often the result of our problems, not the problem itself.  

We can focus too much on the issue that’s right in front of us, rather than proactively looking for the real root of that problem.  

Start asking yourself  different questions instead of blaming your clients or employees for things that go wrong:  Are you the problem? How can you fix this? How can you make this client happy so they will come back? Or make this great employee happy so they’ll stay with us? 

Start looking at things in a long-term, strategic way – you may find this broader perspective will save your company’s future.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Community & educational development

The American Grants and Loans Catalog is now available. Our new and revised
2013 edition contains more than 2800 financial programs, subsidies, scholarships,
grants and loans offered by the US federal government.
In addition you will also have access to over 2400 programs funded by private
corporations and foundations. That is over 5200 programs available through
various sources of financial providing organizations.
NEW: You will also have access to our live Database that is updated on a daily
basis. This product also provides daily email alerts as programs are announced.
The Database is also available with IP recognition. This allows you to login
without a username or password (Great for libraries or educational institutions
who want their users to access the database).
Businesses, students, researchers, scientists, teachers, doctors, private individuals,
municipalities, government departments, educational institutions, law enforcement
agencies, nonprofits, foundations and associations will find a wealth of information
that will help them with their new ventures or existing projects.
The document is a fully searchable PDF file for easy access to your particular
needs and interests. Simply enter your keywords to search through the publication.
It is the perfect tool for libraries and educational institutions to use as a
reference guide for students who require funds to pursue their education.

Contents of the Directory:
-Web link to program announcement page
-Web link to Federal agency or foundation administering the program
-Authorization upon which a program is based
-Objectives and goals of the program
-Types of financial assistance offered under a program
-Uses and restrictions placed upon a program
-Eligibility requirements
-Application and award process
-Regulations, guidelines and literature relevant to a program
-Information contacts at the headquarters, regional, and local offices
-Programs that are related based upon program objectives and uses

Programs in the Catalog provide a wide range of benefits and services
for categories such as:
Business and Commerce
Community Development
Consumer Protection
Cultural Affairs
Disaster Prevention and Relief
Employment, Labor and Training
Environmental Quality
Food and Nutrition
Income Security and Social Services
Information and Statistics
Law, Justice, and Legal Services
Natural Resources
Regional Development
Science and Technology

CD version: $69.95
Printed version: $149.95
To order please call: 1 (800) 610-4543

Please do not reply to the sender's email address as this address is only for outgoing mail.
If you do not wish to receive information from us in the future please reply here:
This is a CANSPAM ACT compliant advertising broadcast sent by:
American Publishing Inc. , 7025 County Rd. 46A, Suite 1071, Lake Mary, FL, 32746-4753

Monday, December 3, 2012

When is it a good time to expand your workforce?

Employees are one of the most important assets to any company. However, it is also important to know how many of them you need that will make your business grow by making your revenues higher and your expenses lower.

When it comes to hiring, you need to have a mixture of planning, projecting and the knowhow. You do not want to miss out on hiring skilled employees, but you also want to make sure you have work to give new employees.

What if you already have a permanent workforce but with not enough work for them? Maybe hiring a contractor or a temporary worker will decrease your labor cost. Also, if you have really good employees working for you, take care of them because you may end up losing them to your competitors if not.

Take the opportunity to inform yourself with this article on three things that you need to check before hiring new employees.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Covering For Absent Employees.

What do you do when an employee is going on a leave of absence? As small business owners, you know that every employee involved in your company is very important. Planning is very important for preparing for an employee’s leave of absence. 

Whether someone will be gone for two weeks or three months, business owners need to be able to cover the employee’s workload by creating procedures for this type of situation.
In addition, delegating tasks accordingly and beginning the transition of duties early can make things easier for your business and other employees.
Look at the article to learn more information on how to handle situations when employees take leave.

A Legal Structure For Your Business.

Are you ready to launch your new business?

Have you thought about which legal structure to use for your business?

Knowing how to structure your business is the most important step and the first step to take. You must consider if you want your company to be a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC). Tax consequences and how much risk you are willing to take for your business will be important factors in making a decision. 

All of these legal structures have their pros and cons. If you are not sure what they are, check out this article and learn what these are.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Be careful with your social media.

Many times we post on our blog by saying how social media can be very beneficial to your business, and it is. However, if not used in the right ways it can also be very harmful. It can be bad for your business if a customer uses it to make a public complaint about your company or say anything negative that can impact your company's reputation. Knowing what to do with an unsatisfied costumer is important to avoid damage to your business.

Your company's reputation is one of your biggest assets and something you need to take care of. Be careful when using social media and always be aware of what is going on your Facebook wall and how people are tweeting about you. Social media is great when used appropriately, but always be on your toes and know what’s going on.

To learn more tips on how to handle such situations and what to do with those negative comments. Click here to read the article and to learn how to be prepared.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The holidays are coming, are you prepared?

As a small business owner, attracting clients can be challenging at times. With the holiday season drawing near, go the extra mile to welcome new and existing clients. This can also be one of your best seasons if you know how to get to them.

In this article, two entrepreneurs share their stories on what they learned from being unprepared for the holidays and what they have done differently to prepare for this holiday season.

Check it out and maybe you'll get some ideas on how to prepare your own business.

Click here to read more on this article.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Are You Interested in Exploring the Possibilities of Cooperative Work Space?

It may be possible to find that kind of space if enough business people and aspiring entrepreneurs express an interest.   The City of Rock Hill has scheduled a Fact-Finding Meeting for November 30th to tell you what they have in mind for the Old Town area, and find out how many of our local entrepreneurs might be interested.  

Looking for cooperative work space in downtown Rock Hill, SC?  Click the link for meeting details.

This is an example of Shared/Co-Op work space
in Boulder, CO.   This can be a huge help for
business owners who aren't quite ready to take the big
plunge into leasing a full office. 

Need Office Space?

Are you looking into office or retail leases and finding it hard to negotiate a favorable lease agreement for your company? It can be very difficult for start-ups to negotiate with landlords because they normally have very little leverage.

However, you will learn in this article that there are ways to negotiate the best terms possible for the new lease if you plan accordingly.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What are the real reasons for business success?

Many people believe that business success comes from the result of strong financials, innovative products and working long hours.
According to this article, none of these reasons results in a business’ continued success. The article gives examples of how focusing on the ability to empathize, clarity of purpose, and sense of timing can drive your business to become successful.
To read the article click here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

FANTASTIC Workshop yesterday morning!

Patrick Henry spoke to us, made us laugh, made us cry, made us think, made us re-think, made us learn to look at old things (like learning) in new ways. He redefined customer service and even the word customer itself, for us.

He challenged us to create friendlier work places to ultimately create friendlier customers and increase sales.

He opened our eyes to see what he believes "that success is my fault, failure is my fault" it's all up to us and we need to embrace that and take every opportunity to make our customers our friends people like shopping with their friends!

Go to Patrick's Facebook page to learn more about the business of friendship!

Also, check out his website Patrick Henry's website.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More tips on Social Media

Check out this video to see how you can engage your customers in social media.

This video was originally posted by, to watch more videos or to go to the website click here .

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Social Media – be careful with it.

Thanks to social media, we are all connected in some way or another whether it is through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.  When using your business social media account, you always need to be careful that it is not being used improperly.

Although social media is a great platform for every business it can also be dangerous and can ruin your reputation in no time. If it is hard to get people to like you, it can be easy for them not to like you. So always make sure you are protecting your reputation and always double check everything before posting anything on your Facebook or Twitter account. 

Some of the things you should always try to avoid are the following:

1.       Don’t be boring... post photos, interesting promotions and sales, new products and posts that will catch the viewer’s attention.
2.       Don’t ignore visitors’ comments -- always reply to them.

3.       Be careful what pictures you are tagged in, this can be dangerous.

4.       Have someone always be on top of your social media, checking it constantly.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Save the Date.

Greenville Small Business Development Center is hosting a half-day Small Business Government Workshop titled

“Exploring the World of Government Contracts”

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at the Greenville Marriott in Greenviìle, SC

Presentations by:

Shaw Air Force Base

Small Business Administration

Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Veterans Administration

General Services Administration

Fluor Corporation

US&S, Inc. (Service Disabled Veteran-Owned)

Register here: click here to register

This fast paced forum will provide information on the various missions of Government agencies, what they buy and howl when they buy it, how subcontracting works on Government contracts, how to market to prime contractors, and much more!!

When: Thursday, November 15th

8:00 a.m. - 12 noon

Where: Greenville Marriott

One Parkway East

Greenville, SC 29615

Investment: $49.00

For more information contact: Sherry Pittinger at (864) 276-5560,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Important Information For Your Start-Up Business.

Are you looking into opening up your own business and you don’t know where to start? You can visit the South Carolina Business One Stop or SCBOS website below.

They are the official South Carolina business web portal where you will find all the information you need to know about how to file permits, get business licenses, business registrations, or where to pay your company’s taxes.

You can also make payments for multiple filings or even taxes with your credit card, debit card or you can use EFW payments. If you do not have time to go to their offices, visit their website at your convenience to get some more information

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A quote from H. Jackson Brown

Stay focused on your vision.

Perhaps the most important thing when starting your own business or while running a company is to have a vision. A vision gives a sense of direction and it helps you get to where you want to be.

It tells you where you want to take your company in the future. The strategies of achieving that ultimate goal may change over time but the vision should remain fixed.

Things will always come up and you will have to adapt to them, but try to stay focused on your company's vision. This will help you in the long-run. 

Check out this article that discusses the importance of maintaining a vision.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Do you want to be an Entreprenuer? Be one at your day job.

Most people who dream of starting their own enterprise have worked for other companies before starting their own business. The key to success is to be persistent and not abandon your dream. You can start being an Entrepreneur at your day job.

Check out this article for three tips that can help you to achieve this.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Company Culture. Take a Survey.

Are you looking to build a good culture in your company? Your company’s culture and employee engagement can really connect to the success of your financial performance. Having a great and healthy culture within your company can not only help you, but also motivate your employees to perform their best.

This article provides a survey that you and your employees can take to see if everyone is on the same page. The survey will also allow you to compare your company’s culture to other successful companies’ culture rankings. Take advantage of this survey, it can only help!

Are you an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but if you have the right skill this may be the perfect career for you.

There are some hints on your behavior and mindset that may be signs that you have what it takes to be an Entrepreneur.

Are you ready to improve and make things better? Are you ready to have your own business? Working for someone else isn't your thing?  

Check out this article and learn some of these traits.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Change the way you look at your business. Be Positive!

As a business owner, you are constantly faced with difficult decisions or issues with your company. Sometimes when we are faced with tough decisions, we tend to be our own worst critics.
Instead of always putting a negative spin on reality, try a more positive approach.
This article will discusses varies issues that companies face and ways to approach “The Reality” in a more positive way.

Have You Signed Up to Hear Patrick Henry Yet? DON'T MISS THIS!

DATE: Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012

TIME: 9 am - Noon (Doors open at 8:30am and you must pre-register)  

PLACE: Whitton Auditorium in Winthrop University’s Carroll Hall, Rock Hill, SC. (on campus on Ebenezer Road off Cherry Road). Parking will be available across from Carroll Hall.    

And ..... it’s FREE!! Courtesy of the Whitton Best Practices Series at Winthrop University and the SC Small Business Development Center at Winthrop.  

Register here!

Patrick Henry
Nationally Recognized Speaker  

 "takes training to a whole new level with his original music and humor" 

 "A dynamic and energetic audience captivator with real world solutions and proven results"  

In three hours you will learn how to change the future of your business by changing the way you sell, changing the way you approach potential customers, and the way you promote yourself and brand your organization.  

The objective of the Whitton Best Practices Series, sponsored by Elaine Whitton Davis and developed in conjunction with Winthrop faculty, is to provide free or low cost access to current, state-of-the-art knowledge relevant to small business practice.  

For more information or to reserve your space please contact Page Bowden, Director of External Relations for the College of Business Administration, at or 803.323.2504  

How to Generate Leads on Your Website

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Your employees are key to your business.

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.- unknown

Finance tips for your small business

Small business owners, are you having trouble keeping your finances in order? The accounting for a business can cause many headaches that you probably weren’t expecting when starting your business.

This is a great article that offers tips to help you gain a better understanding and handle your business finances.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Always be prepared.

As a small business owner, maintaining an adequate supply of cash reserves is one of the key things to help your business stay afloat in the event of a disaster or unexpected event.

In this article, one entrepreneur shares what he experienced when an unexpected event threatened his business and he did not have any cash reserve to stay afloat. Find out what he did, click here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Interesting and Inspiring article, take a look.

In this article, Gurbash Chahal talks about how starting a business can be tough, but also worth the experience.

He also gives some tips to overcome those uncertainties that may prevent or delay you starting your business.

Click here to read Gurbash Chahal's article.

You have your business set up, now you need office is what you need to know

Are you looking into office or retail leases and finding it hard to negotiate a favorable lease agreement for your company? It can be very difficult for start-ups to negotiate with landlords because they normally have very little leverage.

However, you will learn in this article that there are ways to negotiate the best terms possible for the new lease if you plan accordingly. Click here to read more.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October is for Women's Small Business Month

October is National Women’s Small Business Month. To celebrate, SBA officials have hosted a series of weekly web chats aimed at helping aspiring and established women business owners learn more about starting or expanding small businesses.

The last web chat will be held on Thursday, October 25, at 2 p.m. and will focus on Business Opportunities for Young Women.

To find out more and submit your questions, click here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Do you have a business Idea?

Are you looking to launch a business or just having trouble figuring out your target market? Having an idea about who your target market is and also understanding that you may not gain success with just those customers can help you to reshape your focus.
Use this article as a springboard, to obtain pointers on how to identify your potential target market as well as visit your local SBDC for assistance. Give us a call or stop by to talk to one of our consultants.
We are here to help.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apps for Entrepreneurs

Do you have a smart phone and are always wondering what apps you should get? With the use of a smartphone, technology has made it easier to be more and more productive while on the go.

Here's a list of 10 mobile apps that can help you save time and get things done when you are out of the office.

Slow and steady wins the race

We really are beginning to see signs of improvement in job creation, even though not at the rates that would make everyone happy. But information like this gives us good reason to feel that we're on the right track and that when it all resolves, we will have been stronger than ever for having fought the odds with quiet resolve.

Click here to read this article and to see which are the top 5 cities with higher job creation.    

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What If I Get A Bad Review on Social Media?

Most small business owners go out of their way to serve their customers and have happy, loyal customers as a result.  But there are some people who'll never be happy regardless of what you to do to accommodate their needs.  Appeasing them can be a chore.  We all know that word-of-mouth helps our businesses grow, so it also follows that bad word-of-mouth spreading quickly through social media can have a very negative effect.

For this reason, several of our clients have been hesitant to get involved with social media or even have a blog lest they become the target of a disgruntled, difficult customer.  Having seen how some people can blast a business mercilessly, even when not warranted, they aren't sure they're up for the hassle.  Well, that's really not the best way to handle that issue.  After all, following that logic, you might never unlock the front door of store in the morning for fear of  someone coming in who'll go out and spread unwarranted negative remarks about you or your store. Assuming you know that you've done everything you can to insure customer satisfaction, there's really nothing you can do to someone who just refuses to be satisfied.

That being said, just go forward and develop your social media presence ... create and keep your blog updated with all the news about sales dates, new products, interesting relevant information, etc.  Participate in this amazing means of being found and joining in . . . and reap the benefit of having new people discover your business and become your customers/clients.  Do your best for your customers.  Stand by your products, treat customers well, treat them fairly, and smile sincerely when waiting on them (even over the telephone -- you CAN hear a person smile) ..... it's hard to be angry with someone who's smiling while trying to resolve a problem. Most people will respond in kind. 

In the event a cantankerous customer decides to grill you over the flames of your own blog or Facebook page, be calm.  You'll have other good customers who'll come to your defense if you're truly serving your clientele well.  And there are ways to let the rest of the world see how well you DO treat people, who maybe don't even deserve it.  I could sit down here and go over all the many ways to handle a social media heckler, but I don't have to .... our friends at the SBA posted an article that I think says it very well.  Click here to learn 7 Tips for Dealing with Criticism of Your Business 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Marketing tips..We can help.

Visit our marketing helps page on our website to get some basic and timeless marketing tips, and also watch a video on marketing a service business vs a product-based business.

Click here to go directly to our website.

Are you a manager? Do your employees trust you?

An effective manager is one who gains the respect of others through performance and by building relationships among their employees based on credibility, trust and respect. However, this is not an easy task to achieve. Learn 5 things that effective managers do to earn thrust quickly. Click here to read this interesting article.

For Women Entrepreneurs...Take a look.

Women Entrepreneurs need to recognize the value of their time. “You can have it all as long as you don’t do it all”. This is a great video to help the woman-owned business to continue their development and surpass their own limitations.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to market a service business. Great video.

We believe this is a great video that answers the question, “How to market service businesses”. In this video, you will learn some key strategies to understanding your customers’ core frustrations, and how to become the solution for those frustrations.

Employees may be your greatest asset, take care of them.

Employees are essential for the success and continuation of a business.

Having a motivated workforce will not only guarantee better results, but having the full engagement of employees will contribute to achieving the goals of the organization.

Check this article to learn ways to maintain your employees motivation.

Monday, October 8, 2012

How to make customers LOVE you.

Generating sales from repeat clients is not as hard as it may seem. Based upon conversations with Jeffrey Gitomer, author of the “The Sales Bible” and Dr. Earl Taylor, master trainer at Dale Carnegie, here are the seven rules for getting your customers to love working with you.

Are you looking for potential investors?

Are you thinking about fundraising and pitching your business for the first time? Know that your potential investors are looking to measure your ability to make progress in your business.

Entrepreneurs, you have to take the initiative, get started with a plan for potential investors. This is a great way to show them you can get the job done. Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Motivate your employees.

There are different things that motivate one to achieve a great performance. Whereas for some people, it may be the work they do, for others it may be the environment of the workplace, or the shared goals or values of the organization.

Regardless of the reason that motivates you to give the best of yourself, you should take a look at these 9 things that will help to motivate you and your employees to perform at their best.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quote for Tuesday

“Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.” George Van Valkenburg

Monday, October 1, 2012

Is it smart to do business on a handshake in 2012?

The days of doing business through a handshake are probably over, for the most part. There so many things that can distort an oral agreement; but having a written agreement can confirm how everything will work for both parties. Entrepreneurs, this is a good video to watch as you go out and accept business partners. Source: Nina Kaufman.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What is the SBDC? Take a look.

Since 2007 our Small Business Development Centers across South Carolina have helped more than 20,000 entrepreneurs start their own business or help entrepreneurs who already have an existing one.   Take a look at this interview of Michelle Abraham, our state director, and learn more on what the SBDC is and what we can do to help you. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Winning Proposal Tips

Putting together a proposal can be a daunting, stressful and exasperating process. But the process doesn’t stop when you’ve finished writing the proposal, you have to present it and sell your idea to others. This task doesn’t always has positive results.

Check these tips and increase your chances to have a winner proposal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Be Creative! Here are some tips..

Are you seeking creativity, innovation or an idea to boost your business? Check these tips out. You may discover that the trigger for that next big idea has been sitting there just waiting for you to notice it. Maybe these tips will help you put your creativity in practice.

Click here to check out the tips!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Monday!

Thanks to Sweet Fire Counseling for starting us out with a little motivation and inspiration this week :-)

This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind... let it be something good. :) ~Author Unknown  

Are you looking into opening a small business any time soon, but you don't know how things work? In 2011 an Intuit survey came up with the following picture.

Take a look at it and see if this is something you are willing to get into. If you are and you need help, contact us. We are here to help!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Get Ready for a Business Workshop That Will Raise the Bar for All Future Workshops You Attend!

National speaker Patrick Henry, certified Buy-Gitomer speaker, shows how you and your organization can gain traction, through fundamental succes......s strategies, in order to increase sales, grow customer loyalty, and achieve peak performance. And isn't that what you want to do with your business?

And by the way ..... he's one fun guy! Oh .... and bonus ..... because we have a wonderful business supporter here at Winthrop University, this workshop won't cost our SC business owners a penny to attend! FREE, chock full of sales and marketing information, and entertaining besides .... what more could you ask? Click on this link to read more and register (required as there are only 200 seats to hold all the business owners in SC who want to attend - first come -- first served.)

Click here to sign up TODAY!

Today is YOUR day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way! - Dr. Seuss

Are your customers loyal to your business?

This is an amazing report of one man's customer service experience with An experience that has made him the greatest marketing tool that Amazon could ever hope to find. A customer who is actively seeking out people to tell this story to.

Do you leave your customers feeling that loyal at the end of their shopping experience with you?

Click here to read this great article that will inspire you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thinking about buying new technology for your business?

When acquiring new hardware and software it is important to make a smart technology decision and buy not only what best suits your companies needs but also think of green technologies that can save you some money and also contribute to minimize your company's environmental footprint.

To read more on this click here.

Differentiate your's a MUST!

In today's competitive business world, one has to differentiate from others to stand out and become indispensable in your company.
One way to accomplish this is to discover one's strengths and enhance them, as well as complementing them with other things that you does well. Sometimes discovering one's strengths is not an easy task.
Check out this article and find out of 4 ways to discover those hidden talents that one may have.

How to Start A Small Business Workshop

Our quarterly "How to Start A Small Business Workshop" is schedule for Tuesday, September 25th.  Please click here to see details of the workshop and to use our new online registration system.

See You At The Workshop!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Have you wondered how do most successful people start their day?

Here are the first items on the daily to-do list of Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, and many others.

Robbins suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.” Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.” - Tony Robins

Find out you what really makes the difference in their mornings and note what similarities you find. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are you having trouble starting your business plan?

A business plan is essential in the starting and developing stages of your business. The first step to starting your own business should be your business plan. Having a plan is always better than having no plan.

A good and solid business plan can increase the chances of success in your business. Learn what every business plan should answer. This article will teach you what the top 10 questions every business plan should answer. Click here to read more.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Do you have a vision??

Share it with us ..... two (or more) heads are better than one! :-) we are here to help.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations. - Steve Jobs

Do you use your network to grow?

Did you know that you can use your network to grow your business? Sometimes, just asking a simple question to one your contacts can make a big difference for your business. Make sure you get your customer's contact information to keep them up to date with your business news.

Learn how to approach your network members for advice.

Click here to learn how.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Does your company have an employee handbook?

Is it really necessary to have written rules and policies for employees? Having rules in writing can help to improve productivity in a workplace, as well as creating smoother relations among co-workers.

Learn what an employee handbook should contain and start working on yours.

Click here to learn what you need to know about employee handbooks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

For all you entrepreneurs out there..Take advantage of this!

Starting tomorrow and continuing on through Saturday, you'll be able to investigate possibilities for starting a franchised buiness through an online "virtual expo" sponsored by The Entrepreneur's Source.

Click here to read more about this event and sign up to participate.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Small Business Job Creation.

Small businesses are important in the recovery of the economy. Jobs are being created faster than big companies and faster than they’ve ever been created before.

So, why is that small business job creation isn’t perceived to be that strong?

This very interesting article explains the reasons why small business job creations are better than they have been before and better than we think they are.

Time to embrace "slow work".

Slow down and be more productive... Does such a thing exist?

In today’s fast paced world that seems unlikely to happen, but it is possible. Learn how you can change your working routine and be more productive.

Click here to read the article on how to become more productive with your work once you "slow down"  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Are you following your passion?

If the answer is no, what is preventing you from following it? Fear, hesitation and anxiety are some of the feelings that you may experience before you make the decision about starting your own business, but these shouldn't prevent you from taking that next step.

These tips can help you to be more confident and make a good decision.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Get inspired!

Take a look how this multinational company got started many years ago as a small business and turned into one of the best selling ice cream shops in the world. Cleary, the owner had what it took to become a successful entrepreneur, the entrepreneur spirit. He started by selling ice cream on the streets of NYC with only 1 cart. Today, you can find his ice cream in many countries around the world.

Watch this video and take notes on how he turned his small business into a multi-million and global business.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Turn new customers into a repeat customers!

 For any type of business, converting a new time customer into a repeat customer is its number one goal, other than of course, making a profit. Do you own a business and still can’t figure out how to keep your customers coming back? 

 Here are three tips that might help:

1.       Provide stellar customer service – today, one of the most important qualities a customer seeks for in a business, is how the owner treats its clients -- its customer service. Once the customer leaves your business, or after you have provided a service, you want to make sure they walk away knowing that you have done everything possible to satisfy them and make them happy. Otherwise, there is a very small chance they will come back and rumor will spread about your lack of good customer service. So take this tip and start putting it into effect today. 

2.       Stay in touch – Sometimes providing excellent customer service isn’t good enough.  Make sure your new customers know you care about them and want them to come back. The best way to do this is by following up with them after the sale, maybe by sending them an e-mail or just giving them a quick call. They will appreciate this and will be more likely to come back.  

3.       Rethink your customer-loyalty programs - when you give your customers a good reason to come back, especially if there’s something in it for them, they’ll come back every time.   Think about creating  a “rewards” program by telling your customer that for every 1 or 2 items that they purchase, they will receive a free gift or maybe a discount off their next purchase.  Be creative to think of other incentives. Little things like this will keep your clients happy and coming back to visit you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

“ It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test. ”

— Elbert Hubbard

Thanks to all of you who were part of our 2nd Creative Marketing Group meeting last night!

We held our 2nd monthly meeting of the new Creative Marketing Group last night. Totally FANTASTIC!
Our participating small business owners -- all challenged to find creative, inexpensive ways to market their businesses -- made so much progress in the past 30 days that they impressed each other and me too! And the best part is that they're thoroughly enjoying themselves in the process (almost had to chase them out! :-)
They are learning to enjoy the experience, rather than dread it .... finding ways to collaborate with each other for greater visibility .... developing ways to reach their "ideal customer" more efficiently and effectively and understanding the importance of not tying themselves down to the "tried and true" by opening their minds through creative exercises.
Thank you all for making my job so much fun, and letting me experience your "wins" along with you!
-- Carol Daly, SBDC Consultant

Thursday, August 30, 2012

For students who want to start their own business...

Whether you are thinking of majoring in Entrepreneurship or thinking about starting-up a business after graduating from college, you should take a look at these suggestions. Follow these tips and you will be better prepared to take that big leap.

Click here to read the article

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Here is something for you.

There are 40 ..... a few weeks ago this came through and 40 were proven to exist.

How many squares do you see?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take a look at this video and get INSPIRED! Start TODAY.

This little mom and pop shop started very small many years ago. The only thing they had was a small hot dog cart and a big heart and will to start their own business. They started selling hot dogs for 10 cents and drinks for 5 cents. The couple was unemployed at the time, so they decided to start their own small business. Today, it has become “Hollywood’s Hot Dog”, selling more than 2000 hot dogs a day.

Maybe this story will inspire you too to get your dream small business idea started. We can help.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Are you already using Pinterest?

We've been touting Pinterest as a great (and sometimes better) use of social media for small business. Pinterest can be a great way for your company to interact with your customers and get your name out there.

Well you don't have to take our word for it just see how these 9 businesses are getting exposure by using Pinterest Contests.

Click here to read more on this very interesting article that will give you many ideas on how to interact with your clients.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't cut back on training for your employees

When things get tight, often small businesses cut back on training and employee development. But is this the best solution? Learn some tips to keep the training programs and still save some money.

Click here to read and learn some more tips.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Opening a Business in the City of Rock Hill, SC?

This is information we've posted before, but since we get so many questions from people wanting to know how to go about opening a business in Rock Hill, we thought we'd post it again.  The City of Rock Hill actually has developed a very good program for making sure your new business (within the City limits) opens in compliance with all the local rules and regulations.   

If you're planning to open or relocate a business with the City limits, you'll want to contact the "Open for Business program to make sure you're doing everything correctly. "Open for Business" is a program to provide personal assistance to small business in choosing, building or expanding their business location. To contact "Open for Business," email or
phone 803 329-5590.
Download Open for Business Brochure


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome to our new Graduate Assistants in the Winthrop Region SBDC office in Rock Hill!

We are happy to announce that our SBDC office has two new consultants. This week we welcomed new GA’s to our Rock Hill office. They are very enthusiastic and ready to start working with our small business clients and helping them grow their businesses, whether they be start-ups or existing businesses that are expanding.

Eduardo Venegas Mejias
Pursing a General MBA degree
Graduated from Latin University of Costa Rica with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Systems and Engineering
Small Business experience as the Owner of Flor de Lis Naturalist Tours, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Former Logistics and IT Manager, University of Georgia, Costa Rica campus
Phone: (803) 323-2283 -- (on campus, dial 6127)

Deidra Jones
Pursing a MBA with a concentration in Accounting
Graduated from the College of Charleston with a BS Degree in Business Administration
After graduation, worked as a Fiscal Technician for the College of Charleston, Treasurer’s Office
Phone: (803) 323-2283 -- (on campus, dial 6125)

Winthrop University "Among Best in the Southeast"

We're fortunate to have our SBDC hosted by the College of Business at Winthrop University ....

As you can see, it's a pretty special place.

Take some time to read this very interesting article on our university!

Looking to buy or sell a home?

Rock Hill, SC has been named #17 on the list of cities with the most affordable homes in the country. That bit of information alone could be helpful in bringing in retirees from the snowy north this winter, and boosting the area's homes sales.

Check out what CNN is saying about Rock Hill, click to read the article .

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Avoid these 6 recipes for business disaster

Starting up a business can be a daunting experience and tips for business success can be very helpful to achieve your goals. But what if there are also some recipes for disaster? You may want to know them, right?
Here are 6, along with information on how to avoid them to increase your chances for business success.

1. Get rich quick
2. If things are going south, work harder
3. Nurture the weak
4. Measure revenue from the top line
5. Focus on your wallet
6. Turn your hobby into a business

To read more on these tips click on the following link: