Thursday, January 31, 2013


In a day where machinery can be used to automate and eventually collapse processes, employees often fear that they will lose their jobs to machines and employers are often afraid of lowering company moral if they start using machines to automate the company. Are their fears justified?

Automation is not a bad thing, as many of the world’s largest companies will tell you. It often allows for amazing returns on investments and, more often than not, results in employees automating their way out of a job… and onto a better one.

Instead of looking at automation as one person taking on the job of three, employees and employers need to look at it as three employees able to do three times the work apiece.

Still the fear of automation remains. This article talks about more of the benefits of automating your company and how best to overcome the fear that you or employees may have.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't forget about our Workshop tomorrow!

Are you thinking about starting your own business anytime soon? Do you need a little guidance and help with it? Well we are here to help. Tomorrow Tuesday, January 29th we are hosting a How to Start A Small Business Workshop you do not want to miss. You still have some time to sign up - but hurry! click here to sign up.

The How to Start A Small Business Workshop will be held in the College of Business (Thurmond Building), in Room 208 on the 2nd floor. The Thurmond Building is located on the Winthrop University campus at the intersection of Park Avenue (off Cherry Road) and Memorial Circle.

The workshop touches on business basics including the development of a business plan, anticipated expense and projected income, and allows for questions.

There is a $25 charge. Materials will be provided.

After the workshop, we ask that you go home and fill out as much of our Business Plan template as you can. When you have done that, you may call our SBDC office at (803) 323-2283 to schedule an appointment with a consultant for free assistance in completing the plan, as well as discussion about preparing to apply for a business loan, if you will be trying to get your business financed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday!

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vidal Sassoon

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yelp. How to Use It.

Have you ever thought about using Yelp to rank your business? Well many potential customers are probably already searching for your business on it if they are interested in you.

Yelp is an online search and review service where customers can read comments and reviews on several businesses. It is one of the most widely used and respected review sites, so you may want to consider getting on it. It can only help you get closer to your customer by listening to what they have to say.

What if they leave a bad review or comment? Well this is a great opportunity for you to listen to your customers and learn from it, make changes and always do what it takes to keep your customers happy and coming back.

Take a look at the link below to learn more on how you can get your business ranked on Yelp.

On Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013, we'll be offering our next "How to Start a Small Business" Workshop for aspiring or new entrepreneurs. Make sure you've got the basics right before jumping in both feet!  Successful businesses don't just happen .... they're planned!

Read more details about the workshop and register at this link.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Do You Remember these foods?

Here’s a quick little slide show of foods you can't buy anymore, including some of those recently departed Hostess products. Sadly, the demise of a product often also signals the beginning of the demise of a company. There's a need to blame someone, and that blame is often placed on the government for not "doing something" to stop it.

But the fact is that sometimes it is WE THE PEOPLE who bring on the downfall of a company, just through our changing tastes. Sometimes too, the blame can be shared by the company that waited too long to diversify products in response to changing tastes.

One way to take care of the health and longevity of your business is to be proactive in watching trends and researching new developments in your industry. We might still be able to treat ourselves to those Twinkies today, if Hostess had paid attention to the changing tastes of its customers years ago ….. Wonder Bread’s whole grain content could have been increased to become healthier ….. Twinkies and cupcakes could have been offered in smaller sizes better suited to calorie counters ……. And some of the products shown in this slide show should probably never have hit the market.

Purple ketchup? Really? Probably should have done a little more research on the need or desire for that product. Ask yourself, "How healthy is my business?" -- if you realize that it's not as healthy as you would like, act now to prepare for a future that includes offering what your customers want, not just what you want to sell.

Click here to see some “no longer available” products

Friday, January 18, 2013

Location, location, location.

Are you thinking about opening up a business anytime soon? If you are, the first thing you should think about is where you are going to locate your business. If you are selling products or services to the public, it is extremely important to be in a great location where you can be easily found.

In a rough economy such as the one we are facing today, opening up a small business can be challenging. That’s why it is important to position your business where you have the best possible advantage for the price you can afford; and it can be as simple as the location.

To read more on tips on how to choose the right location for your business click on the following link for some great tips from the Small Business Administration

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Are you willing to make it happen?

Don’t just think about one day starting your small business or getting started with that business plan... MAKE IT HAPPEN. We are here to help!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sara Blakely has some suggestions about starting a small business:

“Most of the reason we don’t do things is because we’re afraid to fail. I just made a decision one day that I was not going to do things in my life because of fear.”

“With every obstacle that has happened to me in my life, my brain immediately says, ‘Where is the hidden blessing?’ In starting a business and growing a business, every day is learning how to manage obstacles.”

“My advice for an entrepreneur just starting out is to differentiate yourself. Why are you different? What’s important about you? Why does the customer need you?”

“You’ve got to visualize where you’re headed and be very clear about it. Take a polaroid picture of where you’re going to be in a few years.”

“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will be doing things absolutely differently from everybody else.”

“Don’t solicit feedback on your product, your idea, or your business just for validation purposes. Be really careful about that. You want to tell the people that can help move your idea forward. But if you’re just looking to your friend, coworker, husband, wife, for validation, be careful. Because out of love… a lot of people will express some concerns, and it can stop a lot of multi-million dollar ideas right in their tracks.”

—Sara Blakely, Entrepreneur, Founder of Spanx

Sara Blakely is an American entrepreneur who started her own, now multi-billion dollar, business in 2000 making her one of the youngest self-made female billionaire. She is also recognized as being one of the most influential people in the world.

This article is originally from To check out this website click the following link:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mass Production to Mass Customization.

There is a quote by Seth Godin that says “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers”. This is a very true statement that sometimes small business owners don’t consider. No matter how proud you are about your product or how much time you have spent producing it, if you do not have customers who will buy it then your product is not worth much.

Before you become an entrepreneur, really think about what the customer wants and what their needs are. Nowadays, we have shift to a new marketing concept and a new market orientation towards customers. We went from mass production to mass customization. This means that customers want customized products, they want exactly what they need and they want you to give it to them.

Companies today are focusing more on their customers and how they can cater to them, instead of mass producing products and hoping their customers will want to buy them. As mentioned in previous posts, customers are what makes your company exist, so make sure you are giving your customers customized products to meet their needs. Once you have done so, you will more than likely have a long term, loyal client.

Seth Goldin is an American author, entrepreneur and public speaker. He is also known as a Marketing Guru who has written fourteen books, which have all been bestsellers.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What is customer service?

Good customer service is the heart and the lifeblood of any small business. No matter how many discounts and promotions you offer your clients, if you do not offer excellent customer service chances are your clients will not come back.

Pinned ImageProviding good customer service will help your business tremendously. It will make them leave happy, and help create loyal customers. When customers feel good doing business with you, they are more than likely to come back; and more importantly, they will spread the word to their friends.

If a client has a good customer service experience they may tell 1 or 2 people. On the other hand, if they have a bad experience they are likely to tell 6 or 7 people.

Because of this, it is very important to provide outstanding customer service and train your employees to treat customers the way you would treat them. Train them to be helpful, polite and to always show a good attitude.

If you give customers your phone number, make sure you always answer your phone. It can be very frustrating for clients not to be able to reach you when needed.

Also, don’t make promises to customers that you can’t keep. Always make sure you are being honest to your clients. And always listen to what your clients have to say, whether it’s a complaint or a good review. Their words can be very helpful for the future of your business.

Finally, go the extra mile for your clients. As we said at the beginning of this post “good customer service is the heart and lifeblood of your business,” so take care of it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's time to start something new.

Are you tired of working for someone else? Are you ready to put your passion and expertise into something that’s yours? Maybe it’s time to think about starting your own small business and stop helping others build their dreams. It’s your turn!

Starting a small business can be challenging but the benefits can be worth a lot more. There is a lot of hard work and many hours that need to be put in and you need to be willing to commit. There are a couple of questions you should ask yourself to see if you are ready to be an entrepreneur.

1. What type of business owner do I want to be?

2. Do your skills match what your business is about?

3. What are you business goals?

4. Are you ready to take on the responsibility of owning a business?

5. Are you ready to be your own boss?

If you have answers to all these questions, then you may be ready to become a small business owner. Need help? Call our office to schedule an appointment.

Call us at (803)323-2283
Or email us at

Dream Big.

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