Greenville, SC: The New Start Up Hub for Business Owners

Business boom in Greenville, SC, the new Start-Up hub

Once the textile capital of the world, Greenville, South Carolina has been forced to innovate its way out of a dying industry. It is the city most people dream of: vibrant, small-town hype, shops and award-winning restaurants, strong support for business, and a well-rounded, diverse community of professionals, top universities, and corporations.

Greenville has devoted decades to creating a community that is appealing to college graduates and high-skilled workers, with access to technology and research talent from nearby Clemson University and state-of-the-art manufacturing plants turning out Michelin tires and BMWs.

With top players like GE Power, Fluor, Bausch & Lomb, Samsung Networks America, Eurokera, Kyocera Mita, Mitsubishi, Saint Gobain, Ahold, Magna, Bosch Rexroth, Pierburg, Nutra, and Michelin, Greenville’s culture of risk-taking and its network of investors ready to fund early-stage businesses create a robustly unique environment!

According to Bloomberg Business Week

Greenville’s leaders can rightly claim they have a success on their hands. In per capita terms, the city’s rate of new business creation approaches that of Boston, one of the country’s hotbeds of innovation.

The Greenville area’s corporational development and business recruitment efforts focus on key, target-industry segments. Offering an ideal balance of skilled workforce, essential infrastructure, pro-business atmosphere, optimal quality of life, and other corporate relocation advantages, Greenville, SC is uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of these target industries.

The dynamic, pro-business climate in Greenville, SC is supported by corporate tax incentives, workforce development programs, an entrepreneurial network of resources, and other features designed to give area businesses a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The Chamber of Commerce, as well as Greenville’s vast system of networking programs, offer a diverse lineup of events available to those seeking to grow and enhance their business within this city.

Many small business owners in the restaurant industry are opening second and third locations, due to initial successes and the demand of their customers. The city is growing faster than ever, bringing great economic support, as well as vast improvement to infrastructure to keep up with the demand.

A few of the many benefits of living and working or investing in Greenville, SC are:

Taxes, Incentives & Training

The area provides aggressive incentives to support projects in Greenville, SC – corporate tax incentives, cash reimbursements, accelerated depreciation, and many others. Learn More

The Jobs Tax Credit is a valuable incentive that rewards new and expanding business owners for creating jobs in South Carolina. These companies must create and maintain a certain number of net new jobs in a taxable year.

International Appeal

Greenville is a hub for international business, with more than 350 international companies located in the region and the highest foreign investment per capita in the country.

Fun Facts:

  •   Approximately 230 different international firms from 27 countries have a major presence in Greenville County.
  •     From 2010 to 2018, more than 76 companies opened new or expanded facilities or offices in Greenville County, totalling over $1.4 billion in capital investment.

Many newcomers and international workers that come for 3-5 year assignments find great community in the Upstate International (www.upstateinternational.org) organization, which offers many services to internationals designed to integrate cultures and help them get involved in the community.

  • Language classes are offered in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and English as a second language.
  • Upstate International provides national contacts in the Greenville area for over 20 different countries around the globe.
  • Their Ambassadors Program provides personal assistance to newcomers.

Many other international associations are located in the Greenville area, like:

Aside from the abundance of professional avenues for newcomers and natives to explore, Greenville is saturated by limitless possibilities. The natural surroundings – the mountains, golf courses, and parks – to the revolving events – food and cultural festivals, free family gatherings, weekly concerts, swim teams, and activities give the city an unsurpassed quality of life! Greenville has established itself as a cultural sensation with a wide variety of museums, theaters, symphonies, and performing arts centers making their home in the area.

Greenville has outdoor space for everyone! You can ride or walk the 15 mile Swamp Rabbit trail through downtown, and stop at Falls Park to admire the suspension bridge and natural waterfalls. Visit the Cancer Survivor park, dedicated to those who have survived or have had family members go through the turmoil of cancer.

There is a zoo downtown and within the neighboring Cleveland Park, there’s plenty of open space for your dog friends to enjoy at the dog park. For cycling enthusiasts, bike lanes are clearly marked throughout the downtown area, with more being added all the time. Right now, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is being expanded through the Cancer Survivor park, where you can view many monuments and art installations as well as historical stops. Want to take a hike? Beautiful Paris Mountain State Park is 20 minutes away, and it’s just a short drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Startups and Investors are equally getting the grip of what Greenville is now getting into: A hub for new business and top quality life!

The Power of Non-Profits

Many people don’t understand the whole concept behind a non-profit or a movement that nowadays are rising and thriving even more than years ago. We have some background and key terms for you take into account, and hopefully you can be one of those who can Change the World!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead

People like you, like us.. only need a little of motivation, support, innovation and a whole lot of key people to make wise decisions, in order to form and sustain a Non-profit. Non-profits can be sustainable, as long as the Founder and group of Boarding Directors are driven by a common end goal. Not all will be aligned as we wish or within the same personality/opinions, but at the end, is for the common end goal! A Non-Profit flourishes if all the members and consumers re aligned into the same common end cause. That is why is very important for Founders to have a well established common core of Values and Goals for the organization.

Non- Profit Groups

Non-Profit encompasses many areas such as Hospitals, Universities, Medical research groups, faith-based groups such as Hope for Miami; to Homeless shelters, Food banks, and Arts organizations- such as the locals that holds a common goal to provide Arts access to the community.

Then we have the more Global Non-Profits such as World Wildlife fund, CARE , Doctors without borders and much more. National like feeding America, National MS Society or the Girls Scouts as American organizations. We also find the high impact groups like the United Way.

Non-Profit Beginnings

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Today, we would like to feature a new emerging Non-profit organization that is flourishing in Miami, Florida: Miami Gifted Children . Their mission is to support the intellectual growth and socioemotional well-being of gifted and twice-exceptional children.

MGC wants these incredibly intelligent, curious, creative, and intense children to have access to all the tools (academic and socioemotional) NOW, so that they may grow up to be well-rounded individuals, successful not only in their academic lives and future careers, but in their personal lives as well. Our goal is to work hand-in-hand with the parents/guardians of gifted/2e children to nurture emotionally healthy individuals.

It all started by a mom who had difficulties with the educational system. The founder found assistance inParent to Parent of Miami (a Miami based parent resource organization for parents with kids with disabilities ). Our ASTA (a Digital Marketing Agency )founder, who was an Advocate and Transitions specialist in the organization and took her family’s case to help her, empower and educate MGC founder to advocate for her children. They met outside of the work partnership, as a well as a group of parents who went through the same problem, they brainstormed the group mission and the rest is history.

The founder of Miami Gifted Children states that by reaching out to fellow parents within a Facebook group she created and meeting with people who was interested in the organization’s mission, MGC was able to be formed by a founding Board. They are now officially a nonprofit corporation in the state of Florida and a 501(c)(3).

This is a community effort and we’re reaching out to any individuals and organizations who we can collaborate with to provide the services our community says it needs.- Tatiana Capitan-Founder of Miami Gifted Children Inc.

Theory of Change for Non-Profits

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

MGC story is one of many! so it’s important as a Non-Profit and as a contributor, to ask and tell the reason as to why the Non Profit began or is about to be formed. For the formation of a new one, or to be a sustainable Non-Profit, keep in mind The Theory of Change Process:

  • Craft a Vision
  • Explain Intended Impact
  • Define Specific Outcomes

Examples of how and what you can do within your organization it’s in the below link for a in-depth explanation and steps for you to use : https://www.theoryofchange.org/library/toc-examples/

Remember to always sharpening your Theory of change as well as mapping out a winning strategy plan. It is important for any business or Non-Profit organization to always look at strategies to perform better as organization as well as a Strategic Planning for your marketing. Remember to always adapt and innovate continuously.

It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself……so says Charles Darwin in his “Origin of Species.”

Adaptive Process in Non-Profits

Adaption is something members in a Non-profit organization should learn and emphasize throughout their work; since it is a non-ending process of adaption in the life of a non-profit, the following are main points behind this theory:

1- Listen to the environment — attuned by changes of economic, financial and country

2- Experiment and Innovate– pilot new products or services

3- Evaluate and Learn what works — many non-profits skip this, since you have to invest time and money, as well as a deep analysis.

4- Modify Programs and Plans– its hard to change something that was unsuccessful for some organizations.

Some ways to find Funding

After the whole structure of the organization is set, then we have to take a look at ways to find Funding. In 2017 more than 300 Billion was donated to nonprofits, the vast majority is given by individuals (80%).The following are some ideas, tips and strategies for Non-Profits to find funds to be sustainable. There are mainly two that describes the most sources used:

Transactional or Quid Pro Quo Sources

  • Individual Donations (small or big)
  • In-Kind donations — donation of services fee, food
  • Fees for goods or services (earned income)
  • Program related investments
  • Interest from Investments
  • Tax Revenue
  • Membership dues and Fees
  • Business sponsoring or Marketing ads in Newsletters

Relationship-Intensive Sources

  • Private or Family foundation grants
  • Corporate grants
  • Community foundation grants
  • Government grants/contracts
  • Individual donation
  • Major gifts ($10,000 and up) bequests

Some organizations use Marketing strategies and relationships with the community, locally and globally in order get funding. Focus in a Funding Model. Some of the governmental or grants based funding will restrict your activities or asks for a lot of reporting from the members of the organization. Therefore make sure to make a plan, towards the best strategy to get funding, and don’t forget o be flexible, willing to learn and listen as well as to adapt to changes.Do not hesitate to consult with Marketing agencies as well as Individuals who are willing to assist you in this model. For example, ASTAhelps nonprofit organizations to achieve their mission and goals through Digital Marketing strategies.

There are social media strategies that could help you exponentially, in creating awareness towards your mission. This is a way to create “sticky relationships” . Tapping into millennials, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who are looking to help these causes.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Promotional websites, marketing emails, interactive two way dialog that will help contributors feel appreciated by their donations. Read this article about the science behind the Marketing in all your nonprofit approach : The science behind why people give money to charity- Experts from the nudge unit explain how fundraisers can make their messaging more effective.

Researchers have looked into why people donate, why they don’t do it as much as they would hope to and how to bridge this gap. The explanations for charitable giving fall into three broad categories, from the purely altruistic — I donate because I value the social good done by the charity. The “impurely” altruistic — I donate because I extract value from knowing I contribute to the social good for the charity. And the the not-at-all altruistic — I donate because I want to show off to potential mates how rich I am.

The good news is that charitable giving is contagious

Same as it is “Social Media”

Social Entrepreneurs are also helping those Non-Profits, because they are also a group of like-minded people who their common goal is to help those who are wanting to change the World: by changing their community, focusing in educational programs or even taking their goal globally by helping those with higher basic needs. Therefore, a piece of advice find these Social Entrepreneurs! they are here in this world looking for the knock in their door to release their funds to a common cause!

If you would like to get more information about strategies or assistance in your non-profit ASTA team can help you. Contact us in our Social Mediachannels or directly to www.ASTAbusiness.com / Info@astabusiness.com / 407–451–9550

Ref: at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/margaret_mead_100502

LinkedIn Learning University

Facebook Ins and Outs for Business Owners

Over 1 billion people are consistently using Facebook on mobile every day.

Facebook is about people, and our mission is to make the world more open and connected.

Source: Facebook FY 2016 Earnings Report.

What Facebook is about for Business Owners

The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them.

According to Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, Facebook is 85% accurate in broadly targeted global campaigns — and up to 90% accurate for US campaigns combining age and gender.

FACEBOOK HISTORY

Facebook launched in 2004, the goal was to bring people together. As they grew and connected more people with one another, they created the great opportunity to connect businesses with the people who mattered to them. Initially was a network to connect college students all over the world, now is one of the top Social Media platforms used for personal and business use.

Facebook launched sponsored groups in 2006 to connect users with the brands they love. Large retailers were able to direct-market to Facebook users through Sponsored Groups. Then Facebook revolutionized advertising by enabling people to engage with businesses.

Merge of Facebook Pages and Instagram Publications

Then, we see the merging of Facebook and Instagram in the last couple of months. Now is three who are merging.

While all three apps will continue to work as stand-alone applications, the underlying messaging infrastructure will be integrated. For example, a Whats App user could message an Instagram user, something that’s currently not possible.

The integration is projected to be completed by the end of 2019 or early 2020, according to The New York Times, which interviewed various people familiar with the project.

With this update, business owners or entrepreneurs will be able to message their customers, regardless of which messaging platform they’re using — the change would appear (in theory) to extend the reach of a Facebook Messenger chatbot to a significantly larger and more geographically, and demographically, diverse population, which creates a super-compelling case for businesses to engage, communicate and improve their reach with their customers via chat.

FACEBOOK PAGES

In 2007 Facebook Pages: which were distinct, customized profiles designed for businesses, bands, celebrities, and more to represent themselves on Facebook. Now is greatly used for any business owner, products or even Coaches who are replacing their websites, to get into the hype, of showing their marketing skills in these Pages.

Facebook Pages are a great tool for Start Ups to start their Land Pages access, to start building their audience and build their database of clients and prospects with a simple click away and cool questions for the customers. Business owners can have statistics, access and even connect to their Instagram posts in order to have fresh and updated content. Everyday we have new tools, new tendencies and very competitive market in the creation and maintenance of these Facebook Pages.

CUSTOM AUDIENCES

Custom Audiences was a powerful tool that Facebook released in 2012. Power Editor users could upload bulk data like emails, user IDs or phone numbers, and create a targeted Custom Audience. Audiences and the right classification for it, for your business is a great tool and an informed TARGET for you to start researching, if you are doing the marketing yourself. Sometimes it could get overwhelming, since there are many strategies and terms that could be difficult for the already busy entrepreneurs or business owners. Therefore, we recommend you to ask us or Diana C Ariza and we can help you and your business to have a basic version and view to work on.

VIDEO CONTENT

In 2015 Facebook 360 Videos and Photos offer a captivating way for immersive storytelling. Then Facebook Live is a way for people to broadcast to the world in real time via their mobile devices. It’s an easy, powerful way for anyone — including public figures and news publishers — to connect (2016)

Over 1.15 billion people accessed Facebook from mobile devices on an average day in December.

Source: Facebook FY 2016 Earnings Report.

FACEBOOK ADDS NEW REPLIES OPTION

Facebook option for specific messages within Messenger chat streams, which will help to clarify the conversation and make it clear who’s speaking to whom with each response.

FUTURE

By 2020, 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.

Source: Facebook Q3 2016 Earnings Report.

We should focus on creating a positive interaction with lead and clients through your business ads. For example, ASTA focuses on driving business results, such as brand awareness, preference, loyalty, and sales.

Social Media in 2018 for Business Owners

Pillars of Social Media as a Start-Up or Business Owner

Social Media nowadays have been the basis for many start-ups and small businesses. Sometimes could be low cost, accessible and at reach to our friends, family and acquaintances. Social Media benefits in many ways organizations, entrepreneurs , non-profits and individuals. As a business start, it becomes a “make it” or “break it” venue.

Facebook and Instagram are both essential advertising platforms in today’s world.

Together, Facebook and Instagram lead all mobile apps in time spent. In fact, they account for 1 in 5 US mobile minutes — that’s more time spent than the next 10 mobile platforms combined.1

Accessible means we have more freedom to market our business, to have it out there in different ways. We have many platforms to use such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In .. to name a few. But accessible doesn’t mean to be liberal about online presence.

Social Media can be “low cost”, because we are able to contribute to a reachable marketing strategy, while we are able to expand funds for a more extensive plan of action. Although social media can be low cost, it comes with hard work and time consuming, to accomplish business goals and have original content for your customers and leads.

Unfortunately, what many do not understand, is that social media takes time. Time to develop, to establish strategies that actually work and time to find out which channels are better; it all depends on the business model and goals. Therefore, that “Low Cost” requires a financial investment from business owners point of view. Let’s look at the pillars of Social Media:

CUSTOMERS : Business owners think they are able to reach customers by selling their product, and that is not always the case. The online clients are more about engagement. They are looking for companies that reach for their feelings, the excitement and news that clients might find interesting !

Social Media is humanizing the marketing of products and Companies, therefore business owners should get into LISTENING TO THE CUSTOMERS. The relationship develops since the start of the Business Page or posts. Once the client sees your online presence, they are able to tell, if it is worth their time. The fact of “liking” your page or subscribing to your marketing strategies, clients always look for something in return for them. It could be in the way of an article, a fun fact, a give away and promotions.

Trust showing and doing and not only telling

Trust should be a top priority as a start up. You develop this trust by your content, your engagement with the public and your reputation. Make the leads and clients trust your service, your relationship with them and the pro activity towards future transactions. We all love a business that is interested about us, because as Humans…. we love to be part of something. Develop trust by showing them how you do business, because is not only what you post, but what you also do!

Social Media is a two way conversation — Humanizing your business

In social media the main goal should be about having a conversation with the follower (prospective clients). It is a two way conversation, since now the market is driven by the customer needs and likes. The customers are the ones who manage and demand what in reality works for them. You have to establish a humanizing way to engage with them, thank them and ask questions to get them what they like.

That’s the way you keep your business growing. They would come back to you and will refer you more business. Who doesn’t like to talk or brag about a service or item they love? It could be a little thing, but the fact that clients feel ownership…. is what makes them talk about it. Always remember

  • Adhere to Company’s values
  • Have fun but always to keep in mind others

RESOURCES — Look at the business resources and plan for investing in your Marketing. Many business owners are not able to focus in their main goals due to joggling around with all that comes, with being a business owner. It is ok, that’s why relying on a Digital Media Marketing agency will help in many ways to take off that load from your shoulders.Being resourceful, allocating the correct funds for each item and prioritizing your customers, is something you should think about as a start up.

GOALS — In Social media, you should develop a plan or strategy in order to get results!

Social Media Plan

  • Goal – Make goals in order to measure them and see the results.
  • Strategic Considerations (business landscape)
  • Measurable Objectives — Need readjustments? Not too easy, not too difficult

social media strategy,essentially the roadmap we’ll follow to reach our goal and objectives.

You can have more than one strategy, but don’t go all over the map.

BUDGET — Having a budget for your main purpose: increase business returns, is essential as a start-up or small business. Budget will let you define and measure what could be working or needs improvement in your Marketing strategy.

As with any marketing effort, it’s important to figure out what your financial and staff investment will be before you start. You’ll also want to allocate funds for the cost of designing graphics, buying ads, promoted posts, sponsorship, and video and audio production. It’s called a plan for a reason, and part of that is making sure you’re organized by assigning responsibilities and deadlines for each task. You’ll want to establish success metrics up front, how you’re going to determine whether or not your plan’s getting you where you want to go.

  • Budget — Financial investment before you start
  • Allocate funds for designs, sponsorship and Video and audio
  • Timeline- Deadlines for posts, marketing strategies
  • Metrics- You need a benchmark

About the Author: Diana Ariza is the founder of ASTA , a full-service Digital Marketing Agency working with start-ups and small business in Florida, USA and International companies that would like to improve their business strategies.

“21 Days forming a habit” — Tricks and quick tips to start and maintain your GOALS

Many experts say “It takes 21 days to form a new habit” therefore, if we want to achieve our goals, let’s start slowly and be realistic.

  1. Book “Power of Habit: 371-page book The Power of Habit does a wonderful job of simply explaining how to form habits, fast. No-brainer buy. — Sam, CEO of The Hustle Sam Parr
  2. Make a poster or vision board: When you start having a vision board for your semester (can be done each quarter or semester), you will see the difference it makes in your life. It is proven that we are better off by seeing our goals, sticking to our routines and make things happen… if we have a visual ! I started doing it two years ago, which will reflect my vision for that whole semester.
  3. Goal List: I learned to do a Goal list for the quarter — It helps with sticking to a 21-Day goal! Helps to plan and make achievements personally and professionally!
  4. MyWeeklyBudget and Personal Capital: tracks weekly spending by manually entering purchases. Personal Capitalis for aggregating personal finances- per Sam, CEO of The Hustle Sam Parr
  5. Use your planner/Agenda: I am the type who loves to write down in the agenda, my weekly goals, monthly goals and organize (the best possible) in order for me to have a to-do list, check them off when Im done, and helps me keep track of my “new form of HABIT”.

Habits

We have heard it all, but do we actually do it? Waking at 5am. Having a healthy breakfast. Run. Start your business day with the best organization possible. Lists. Tasks. Schedules. Agenda for the day, for the week.. Planner for the month etc…

Let me start by telling you that IT IS possible. The many articles written by influencers or top business performers in the biggest corporations or CEOs, tell you about it. They have mastered these skills by consistency. They actually perform better due to a set of HABITS that they have implemented in their daily lives.

If you are a business owner, student, parent or professional with just few minutes or even seconds to glance to an article like this…. you know it: we barely “have time” to really perform how we wish for. Let’s cut to the chase and try for yourself!

EMBRACE THE IDEA LESS IS MORE

  • Less activities, less stress! this could be applied to personal and professional aspects. We tend to over-schedule or over-commit ourselves. Learn to say NO.
  • Less things, less stress! we tend to buy what we think we want.. but do we actually used it all? not really. Have what you need and the rest: donate it, toss it or have a system to have it handy when needed.
  • Less crowded spaces, more clarity! Have you heard of Feng Shui? The more clear the space, the clearer is our mind and life.

START VALUING MOMENTS NOT THINGS

Mindfulness is the observation without judgment, be where we are, pure and simply be

  • Have you heard of Mindfulness? Many articles, and people practicing. When you start learning about it, you will understand why it could be the most simplest practice but the most difficult: because it requires consistency.
  • Enjoy the moments with your work, meetings, your family, your mistakes and your achievements!

BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

When you begin planning for the end of things, you are able to go through all the scenarios possible:

  1. You plan ahead.
  2. You are able to know what you can do , and what you cannot.
  3. You are able to reach out if necessary.
  4. This way you simplify your life by seeing what’s worth your time or not.

ESTABLISH MORNING RITUALS

5am : ideal time- waking up early and getting out before the sun rises

Start by always putting your alarm clock at the same time (for me a 5am). Trust me, you can do it! I was a night owl that for years studied and had the typical schedule of late nights and very early mornings. I barely performed in all those years, I accomplished just what I could, not what I was capable!

  • Establish a morning routine and stick to it.
  • Sleep well- Is not the amount of hours but the quality.
  • Start off by setting your alarm a little earlier each
  • Keep curtains open at night: Let the natural light wake you up in the morning.
  • Start Running or practicing an exercise. Running or any exercise can lower stress levels, it gives more energy.

I feel more prepared for the day, generally I feel more centered and organized to start my “day”. Able to check my agenda and appointments, get kids ready, and work ready before I actually have to walk out of the door.

  • Start slow- walking the first days. Then walk for 5 mins and run the other 5 mins, then walk again. That’s the secret of marathon runners. I can testify to it — ran 3 5K runs in different cities and I was never the Runner type!
  • Have your gear ready set out the night before
  • Make a good playlist to run, find a good route or scenario.
  • Use an app for performance (I use Nike+ app in which many walkers/runners share their runs and motivational coaches are constantly boosting your confidence.)

You will see the difference when you start changing your biological clock!

STRIVE TO SIMPLIFY

Calendar- Have an agenda or write down everything in your cellphone calendar. Every morning, check your schedule confirm your appointments/meetings via email and that way you know what to expect. Less stress and more accountability.

  • Every week on a Sunday , for example, check your agenda and plan your week.You will see the difference.
  • Every end-of-the-month, plan your next month. Events, Appointments and even routines. You are able to see what’s coming up, what you need to plan for and even do things ahead of time to maximize your daily life!
  1. Simplify your daily efforts by taking into account your time and if you are able to actually do what you planned for. If you can’t it’s ok, just plan it for when you are actually able to!

UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE DIFFERENT AND THAT’S OK

By being different is what makes us unique and a contribution to society.

We have different skills and bring into the table different experiences. Make it a daily habit to embrace this and enjoy the fact that we are all different. We go at our own pace and making it a habit, will buy you many years of self-development!