Monthly Archives: April 2013

Finder411 Entered in Female Startup Competition

I”m pretty pumped to be included in April’s Grow America Competition.

Open only to Startups owned or co-owned by a chick (that’s me), it’s a great opportunity to share Finder411’s mission with the greater community and educate folks on how remarkable a difference we can make quickly in the lives of Triangle small business and our greater Raleigh and Durham communities.Vote for me!

The other HUGE piece?

Finder411 could very well win $5,000, and along with it phenomenal exposure.  The other great part?  We’d find out in May if we win – no waiting months and months, we’d get that cash infusion quickly – SWEET!

What would we do with it? If Finder411 won a cash prize, these are some of the things we’d likely implement:

  • Paid Press Releases for more Finder411 client awareness
  • Create a successful go-to-market strategy to increase Finder411 exposure in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill & surrounding areas, thus increasing traffic to our current clients.
  • Invest in additional development and graphics for our future mobile app
  • Offer deep discounts to very small businesses who have no marketing budget

Small local businesses make all our communities rock.

  1. They keep more money in our local economy.
  2. They offer unique alternatives to national chains
  3. Most importantly offering a level of personal service you will never see with a big name store or service.

Please take a few seconds to vote NOW and DAILY through April 30th!

We’ll keep you posted!

Tonia
Tonia Zampieri

Local Craft Breweries Help Raleigh/Durham Local Business Boom

With the help of the North Carolina Division of Tourism, April is now officially known as NC Beer Month.  And why not?  In my 7-ish years of living here I’ver personally witnessed the explosion of growth in the selection of local craft beers throughout our state, particularly here in the greater Raleigh/Durham region.  It’s responsible for about 5 lbs around my middle..thanks….

What is Agribusiness?  Breweries for one.

For a state like ours struggling with how to rebound from the economic crisis, as many have been, I’m thrilled to see the number of agribusinesses popping up. What is an agribusiness? Loosely defined it’s created and sustained through food and crop production.   NC breweries use wheat, hops, and barley to produce magic in a bottle.  I like watching it made but I’ll stick with the testing – thanks!

Bigger Triangle Celebration?

Yes indeed, everyone loves the opportunity to celebrate (and yes consume) their favorite beers – our bigger victory lies in how much our beloved craft brewers are drawing visitors – visitors with lots ‘o tourism dollars.  Not only do Raleigh/Durham area breweries win – ALL of the Triangle’s local independent businesses win, especially eateries and retail!

Small, Local Breweries + Triangle = Awesomeness

In honor of the state’s first every NC Beer Month and to thank Triangle area brewery owners for following your passions to all our benefit, our local start-up Finder411 has a special offer for Triangle area Breweries.NC Beer Month

Finder411 is the “people’s platform”.  Part social community, part online directory, users will find only locally owned and operated businesses and those of us who love and want to enrich our lives with them.  Best part?  Finder411, unlike many forms of online marketing,  is NOT going to put you in the poor house.

We’ve started here in our back yard, the Triangle, but will expand to the entire state and eventually who knows where?  We’re confident our Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill community will drive the growing “think & act local” concept to great heights.

Beer-Lovers Booty:

Here’s a list of ongoing brewery tours and Beer Month Events for every taste out there.

For those on the Twitter. I’ve listed all Triangle-area breweries that I’m aware of (If I’ve missed any, please alert & I’ll add!):

@RaleighBrewing
@FootHillsBeer (in Triad but makes my favorite beer Hoppium so I must)
@fullsteam
@Loneriderbeer
@BigBossBeer
@CarolinaBrewing
@AviatorBrew
@BullCityBurger
@MysteryBrewing
@Natty_Greenes
@TriangleBrewing
@WhiteStreetBrew

For you craft beer loving Instagramer’s have at this one:
@VisitNC Instagram contest for #NCBeerMonth

And lastly, this downtown Raleigh event on April 27th is a MUST-go!  Will I see you there?

Our special offer is also open to any locally owned Triangle Area pub or restaurant who proudly serves NC craft beer.  Email Beer@Finder411.com for full details.  Offer open through April 30th so don’t delay!  Contact me, Co-Founder and self-professed IPA Fanatic Tonia Zampieri at the email above or via twitter @Finder411

Tonia

Tonia Zampieri

~ Tonia

Today’s Small Business Owners Need More Than Passion

Perhaps that story goes a little like this: You were laid off from your corporate job or you just got tired of “working for the man.” You realized that there’s no better time than now to go after your dream of owning your own boutique, donut shop, yoga studio, or whatever your business passion may be. You know it will take a lot of work, but at least you will no longer be punching someone else’s clock and you’ll be doing something that you really care about. You take out a small loan and make it happen. And then the real work begins.

Frenzied Business OwnerYou’ve gotten off the ground, but now you have to get people in the door. You are already committing 110% of yourself to the day-to-day operations of keeping your business going; now you have websites to update, social media to engage in, emails to answer, advertising to list, and review sites to worry about. You start getting calls from national online directories, internet marketing companies, and review sites telling you that they can deliver lots of traffic through advertising and consulting services to your website and business. Of course, that comes with price tag of hundreds, even thousands of dollars a month!

But what other options do you have? Let’s think about this:

  1. You have your network of family and friends who can help you with some online word-of-mouth promotions
  2. Perhaps a couple of ads in the local weekly newspaper
  3. If you know enough about creating an online presence to start your own social media sites and maybe even a blog, you have that advantage, but who has the time to commit to those platforms much less use them effectively?

And then you have the national online review and advertising sites – that, while geo-targeted, offer little by way of online word-of-mouth – simply reliant on a ‘click-through’ to walk-in conversion.  While they promise reach and results, “it’s gonna cost you!Finder411 Simplify

It’s stories like this that lead us to create Finder411.

We are an online community platform exclusively for small businesses and those who want to support and endorse them at the local level. Offering the ability for deep consumer engagement, social sharing, and personalized small business stories.  Finder411 will bring significant value to locally-minded consumers and those small businesses that are the backbone of each local community.

We would love to have you as a part of Finder411.   Let us share with you how we can help effectively increase your business without breaking the bank.  Finder411, where we celebrate small local businesses.

Our Triangle launch is scheduled for late Spring 2013.

Finder411, The People’s Platform, gains momentum for Spring Launch

Premium Basic ProfileFinder411 is being built as “the people’s platform”, an online community and resource directory exclusively where those who care about the hyper-local movement can find needed and sought after small businesses.  Ones that add variety, fun, and ease to their lives.

As we steamroll towards a Triangle, NC spring launch, we recently sent out Finder411’s latest profile page mockups and a survey to gauge people’s taste’s on what they thought and how they might engage with our site.  Here’s what some people had to say:

  • 70% of respondents said they’d have no problem logging in with Facebook (in fact 1 wanted to log in with Twitter), and understood the value of having their own profile to save and share their favorite small businesses.
  • 100% of respondents found the site’s pictures engaging versus distracting.
  • One person commented:  I’d love love love more pictures!

Premium Plus ProfileWhile pictures are one of the biggest features that set Finder411 apart from other big name “online directories”, one person commented, “the pictures appeared dead and not vibrant enough to help in stimulating business.”

We certainly get that and will do our best when we launch to include more pictures of people engaged with the business whenever possible to illicit more engagement.

What do you think of Finder411?  Take our quick survey and let us know your feedback.

Want to stay in the know & get extra perks as a Finder411 Founder ? Sign up here.  We are capping this at 50 people prior to our May launch. Don’t delay!