Category Archives: Small Business Owner Information

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!):

@FootHillsBeer (in Triad but makes my favorite beer Hoppium so I must)

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 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 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 Tackles Hyperlocal Movement

Small business owners, this one’s for you. Most of you can probably relate.

Are you tired of those “big name” directory-type websites? You know the ones. They can kind of be compared to a schoolyard playground. Full of gossip, with kids (online reviewers) talking about all kinds of different things (experiences at your business).  Some of it may be true, other things, grossly exaggerated or even completely fabricated.  But what do the people hearing it know? They just go by what strangers have to say.

Some of these reviewers are like the bullies, picking on anything and everything, taking one little thing they perceive as negative and blowing it up way out of proportion. On these websites, as the victim of a terrible review, a small business can do little to defend itself.  Maybe if you’re lucky, a loyal customer or two will speak up and defend you, but one bad online review has the potential to do some damage. Collect a number of them, it can totally break you.

On these “big name” sites, a small business may not even be aware that they have a profile where people are writing these reviews. Anyone can create one for a business, leaving it totally out of your power. To top it off, these websites often barrage you with phone calls, asking you to pay to advertize yourself for obscene amounts of money that no small local business can easily afford. It’s worse than many telemarketers! At least they usually stop once you decline the offer. Check out a small business owner’s opinion on one of these sites here. (

Finder411 is Different

Finder411 completely reverses this model – making it more a popularity contest than a rant session.  Here, you aren’t at the mercy of fake reviews or negative rants. You create your own business profile (or pay us a nominal fee to do it for you), grow engagement with those interested in your business and cultivate a loyal fan base.  With free or premium subscription levels for added bells and whistles, it’s truly an inclusive community.  Finder411 Homepage

High-paid advertising business models aren’t sustainable and definitely aren’t good in the long run for small businesses. Groupon is a prime example. Shares at Groupon dropped by 26% and its forecast revenue was much lower than predicted. This article explains it better than we can.  ( )

Finder411 is different from both a cost and customer acquisition perspective. Customers will be able to “like” your business’ Facebook page from within your Finder411 profile.

They’ll also be able to “love” your profile on our site, share it with others through social media, and add their favorite small businesses to their individual profiles on Finder411 for ongoing use and safekeeping.

At Finder411, we won’t be pushing you to pay for advertising either. In fact, our model is COMPLETELY ad-free.   No one using Finder411, whether you’re a small business owner or supporter, will ever see an ad of any kind.  We think that’s pretty refreshing. Don’t you agree?

Launching in the Triangle, NC in May, Finder411 is offering introductory beta pricing for a select number of small local businesses.

Don’t miss this opportunity to join today’s hyperlocal answer to supporting awesome local businesses: – intro pricing guaranteed through April 5th.