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Words of Wisdom from Award-Winning S.C. Small Business

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.”

Get advice.

  • “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.”

Reach out.

  • “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.