Thursday, July 31, 2014

Winthrop Region SBDC Opens New Satellite Office in Union, SC

Lewis Jeter, III
The staff of the Winthrop Region of the SC SBDC has been traveling to reach out on as regular a basis as possible to the business owners and aspiring business owners in Union County.   While we've made trips there as we could from our Rock Hill office, and done workshops there on occasion, NOW we will have an actual presence in Union and be able to work much closer with the community.

Well-known Union community leader, Lewis Jeter III will be the new Union SBDC Consultant, with an office located in the SC Works Building at 103 West Main Street. You may reach the Union office at or call (864) 427-4119. Lewis will be visiting with a variety of local agencies and community leaders in the weeks to come to make them aware of the variety of small business services available to SBDC clients courtesy of the State of SC and the SBA, as well as our supporting partners in Union: SC Works, the City of Union and the Union Chamber of Commerce.

Consultants from our Rock Hill office will continue to work with Lewis to offer a variety of workshops to help grow and develop the business community. 

Welcome to the SBDC family, Lewis!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Stay Productive Working From Home

If you were given the opportunity, would you willingly work from home? Most people would say yes without a doubt. However, the people that are currently working from home might have a different viewpoint. Yes, working from home allows you to stay in your pajamas all day and allows you to take care of your children/pets, but is that necessarily a good thing? 

Nowadays more and more people are working from home; either to run their successful internet business, or because technology advancements have allowed them to do so. No matter the industry, employees need to follow certain strategies to make sure that they are as efficient at home as they would be in a traditional office space. complied a list to help individuals stay productive when working from home. The key strategies to remember include:

  • Have a Separate Office Space. Working from home doesn't mean you can stay in bed or in front of the TV with your laptop. Career experts recommend setting up a specific office area in the home so you can “go to work” and not be distracted by dirty dishes, a crying child or a favorite TV show.
  • Set Clear Boundaries.“Create very strict boundaries where there are no dogs, kids or spouses allowed,” says Cardone. “The door needs to remain shut with only those that have top clearance allowed access.”
  • Keep Regular Work Hours and Prepare. Keeping regular work hours is key for maintaining productivity. “Your family and friends need to pretend you simply aren't there, unless it's a dire emergency,” says Garfinkle. “Remind your family of these hours and let them know you expect them to respect your work time so that you won’t have to work when you should be spending with them.” 
  • Change Your Mindset. “The main motivation of convenience or comfort, which most people who work from home have, is flawed,” says Cardone. Yes, it’s more convenient to not have to go to an office every day, but remote workers can’t view it as an excuse to slack off.
  • Know When to Throw in the Towel. If your productivity is declining or it’s difficult to maintain a work-life balance, then it may be time to re-evaluate your work situation. Not everyone is well-suited for working from home. Some individuals prefer having an interaction with co-workers, and that is okay. Working from home isn't for everyone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Looking for a Dose of Inspiration? Try Mentoring a Young Entrepreneur.

Peter Gasca, an Entrepreneur and Small Business Strategist, recently had the experience of working with several young entrepreneurs. All of the young entrepreneurs, between ages 11 and 16, had already successfully started at least one business with aspirations for opening many more. 

Peter's takeaways from the conference included the value he gained from working with the young entrepreneurs. According to Peter "be assured, you will find that the benefit of becoming a mentor goes as much in your direction as it does in theirs."

Peter's reasons for taking on a youth mentee are summarized below: 

  • Wildly Creative. Peter stated that he was pleasantly surprised by the entrepreneurial ideas that the group suggested and recommended that entrepreneurs bounce ideas around with young entrepreneurs. 
  • Contagiously Enthusiastic. Their excitement and passion for their businesses was invigorating, and if you can handle this energy level, having their enthusiasm around will undoubtedly rub off on you.
  • Crazily Optimistic. Engaging in the exuberance of young entrepreneurs will remind you of a time when you ambitiously looked beyond roadblocks, paradigms and potential failures.
  • Youthfully Elastic. Mentoring a young entrepreneur is like mentoring a younger you. More important than foretelling risks and mistakes, however, all of which should be experienced firsthand, you should instill in them the idea that failure is an option and, in fact, inevitable.

Monday, July 21, 2014

10 Ways to Improve Your Small Business Cash Flow

10 Ways to Improve Your Small Business Cash Flow
To have a successful business requires the ability to maintain a healthy cash flow on a day-to-day basis. A healthy cash flow includes keeping an accurate record of cash inflows and outflows so that you are able to have enough necessary cash on-hand and to produce enough funds to cover expenses. You also want to make the payment process convenient for your customers, but have reasonable assurance that payments will be received on a timely basis. Here are some everyday money management tips that you can apply to your small business:   
  • Stay on Top of Your Books
  • Send Out Invoices Promptly
  • Create an Ironclad Accounts Receivable Process
  • Get Rid of Unnecessary Expenses
  • Offer Your Customers Multiple Payment Options
  • Require Partial Payment in Advance for Project Work
  • Limit Inventory
  • Use Payment Terms That Give You Breathing Room
  • Consider a Line of Credit
  • Anticipate and Plan for Future Investments

 For more details on these money management tips refer to this link: 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Why Do People Actually Quit Their Jobs?

We have all heard the saying "a happy wife equals a happy life", but for business owners happy employees equals a happy work-life. To keep your employees happy you need to understand what motivates them and what frustrates them with regards to their work environment. The following infographic presents the workplace deal breakers that every employer should be aware of.

Monday, July 14, 2014

SupplierPay & QuickPay Initiatives: President’s Partnership with Private Sector to Strengthen America’s Small Businesses

President Obama and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet joined together over the weekend to launch the SupplierPay project. This project is the proposed solution to providing access to affordable and consistent working capital for entrepreneurs. SupplierPay also pledges to shorten payments or provide other creative financing solutions. For small business suppliers this will improve on-time payments, keep interest rates low, and increase supplier confidence to hire more workers and expand their operations through investments in new equipment, products, and people. So far 26 major corporations have signed up. The SBA is continuing to recruit more corporations in this effort to drive job and economic growth.President Obama is also renewing the QuickPay Initiative which was launched in 2011 for federal small business subcontractors.  

Click the link below to learn more about these initiatives: 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How Should You Incorporate Your Business?

How Should You Incorporate Your Business? Here’s a Cheat Sheet. (Infographic)

Deciding whether to register your business as an S Corp, C Corp, LLC, Sole Proprietorship, or Partnership can be a tricky task. Each legal structure has its own set of costs and benefits that make the decision even more complicated. An infographic designed by the University of Southern California's Master of Laws Program gives a break down of each legal form of business in terms of its costs, complexity, and advantages.
Click the link to access this cheat sheet of the differences of U.S. Business Legal Forms: 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions for 2014

Entrepreneurs face many daunting tasks every day. One of the scariest tasks is deciding which potential candidates will be the best fit for the organization.  When it comes to interviewing techniques most business owners become better from practice, but sometimes it is helpful to review the strategies of other companies. 

We have all heard the typical job interview questions such as "What is your biggest weakness?" and "Why should we hire you?", but those are all questions that candidates can prepare for. The typical interview questions are necessary, but sometimes asking an oddball question can reveal more about the candidate. Glassdoor complied their top 25 oddball interview questions for 2014 by reviewing thousands of questions shared by job candidates from companies like Apple to Beth Bath & Beyond. Our favorites are listed below, but the full list can be found at:   

  • "If you were a pizza deliveryman how would you benefit from scissors?" (Apple)
  • "If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?" (Red Frog Events)
  • "If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring? (Yahoo)
  • "Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?" (Xerox)
  • "Have you ever been on a boat?" (Applied Systems)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Winthrop Regional SBDC Newsletter!!

Its that time again....our July newsletter will be emailed out next week. This month's theme is Christmas in July and will be filled with tips for new and existing businesses! To enroll for our newsletter, email:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July from our SBDC family to yours! Our offices will be closed tomorrow, but will reopen on Monday July 7th. 

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Enlist Twitter for Crowdfunding Success

Crowdfunding Attorney, Kendall Almerico, recently helped establish a list of things to consider when using Twitter for Crowdfunding. Mr. Almerico suggests:
  1. Build relationships on Twitter before you launch the campaign.
    1. Follow people that could be potential donors
    2. Post interesting content so potential donors will pay attention
    3. Retweet their posts to build a relationship
    4. Gain access to journalists
  2. Tweet often.
    1. Sending one tweet a day is not enough
    2. Tweeting about the campaign in the morning and again at the day's end means 95% of your followers won't see the tweets.
  3. Ask people to retweet.
    1. Tweets go viral based on retweets
    2. Compelling news gets retweeted, but its easy to have something retweeted if you ask.
  4. Tweet everything you post on Facebook.
    1. Your Facebook friends and your Twitter followers probably aren't the same people.
    2. Don't rely on linking your Facebook account to your Twitter account.
  5. Use hashtags to help spread the word.
    1. Hashtags make it easier for anyone to find the crowdfunding project

Find the full article here: