When we interviewed Ramona Fantini--founder and CEO of Pino Gelato and the 2012 runner-up South Carolina Small Business Person of the Year--she not only shared a great success story, she also shared some great business advice. Here are her words of wisdom.
Energy and passion are vital.
- “You have to know what kind of commitment you’re signing up for [with a small business] and understands the energy level that has to be sustained.”
- “You can never let the passion die. Reinvention is important. Try something new.”
- “Talk to other business owners. Everyone wants to offer advice.”
- SCORE [an SBA resource partner] is really tremendous. Five years ago, I reached out to SCORE for help with decisions in marketing, and I ended up working with my counselor for more than a year.”
- “The SBA website has been a tremendous resource. There are lots of good articles and real life perspectives.”
- “Get involved in the community. You support the community, the community will support you.”
- “Networking and connections really make a difference … Networking is priceless. Research and networking are key to growth.”
- “Ask for help. For example, our landlord gave Pino Gelato a discount on rent during slow months after I reached out to him.”
Consider non-traditional marketing.
- Throwing an ad in a newspaper or trade journal doesn’t necessarily make a difference. Paraphrase of full statement: Research your target market to know if traditional advertising is effective before spending money on it.
- There is now lots more marketing availability with social media.