12 is a Great Number – Celebrating 12 Years in Business

February 9 is the first day of our 12th year in business!

What comes in a dozen? Doughnuts? Eggs? Cupcakes? Pens? Markers? How about years in business? Celebrate with us!

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 71 percent of small businesses don’t make it to this point.  J.P. Morgan Chase and BLS report a huge die-off of businesses by the time they reach ten years.

Only 28.9% of businesses live to their 12th year

Age of small business chart
51 percent of small businesses are 10 years old or less, and 32 percent of small businesses are 5 years old or less.

What are our top three tips? How did we get here?

Looking back on our journey, it’s clear that there are things which we believe have set us apart and are bedrock to us.

  1. Respond to inquiries quickly. It is amazing after all this time how shocking it is when people don’t follow up. We get a number of new clients from inquiries directly via our website. Many of  those inquiring about our services tell us how few people to whom they reach out, respond. So, a simple lesson…answer your phone. Return voice mails. Email back. And make sure your contact forms are sending inquiries to the right people at a valid email address.
  2. Have integrity. As a business person, you must have a good reputation. Your community must believe you. Always. You must do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. Seems simple, right? But if it were simple, then everyone would be succeeding. And they are not. 
  3. Have a quality product. It’s easy for an entrepreneur to go to the internet and find logo development, or website set up or (take your money and do nothing) SEO. What is the difference between your service and another’s? In our case, it is our desire to do it right. To make it work. We have never aimed to be the cheapest web host, the lowest priced identity development or have a flat rate product that can land you first on Google. For each client we figure out what will work best for them. We take every project on with a background of knowledge (which is kept current with lots of time) and experience, and then join that with our client’s insights on her industry.

We had help making it for 12 years — YOU!

We wouldn’t have gotten here without all the amazing clients and support that we have had from colleagues, friends, and family for the last 11 years. Thank you so much for all of the kind words, the encouragement, the business, and the exciting projects we’ve been able to be part of. Here’s to the next year which is going to be amazing.


(Photo by Michael Skok on Unsplash)

Lowcountry BizSC features Founder on Entrepreneur Minute

Charleston PR maven shares her secret sauce for success

Lowcountry Biz SC features Charleston PR founder Cheryl Smithem
Lowcountry Biz SC is a great source for Charleston area business news, events and much more.

Lowcountry BizSC is a great source for local business news including who’s on the move to new positions or opening new businesses. Established by Alan Cooper, the regular newsletter features many newsy stories to keep Charleston area business leaders informed.

Watch video interview with Charleston PR founder 

Alan invited me to speak with him for the newsletter’s regular feature, Entrepreneur Minute. A source of insights from leaders across the area, the video snapshots allow entrepreneurs to share and learn from one another. I especially loved Alan’s final question about what advice would I give to other entrepreneurs. My answer is the secret sauce. Wait for it!


Cheryl Smithem, Charleston Public Relations & Design from MidlandsBiz on Vimeo.

Need a little secret sauce for your business?

If your firm needs help getting noticed, give us a call. We’ll put our public relations team to work for you to help your business gain attention, increase awareness and grow your audience.

What is PR these days? – An interview with Marketing Mentor’s Ilise Benun

Podcast covering PR practices in 2017

In advance of the Revolve Conference I had the great pleasure of chatting with Ilise Benun* of Marketing Mentor’s podcast series.

During the podcast interview with Ilise, we discuss many of the changes to PR over the last decade and how this impacts each business as well as the practice of public relations.

In this podcast learn:

  • The value of being a self publisher of your own news
  • What value an outside PR firm brings to your business
  • The differences between owned, earned and paid media
  • The value of long-form content

Click for my slide deck/presentation from Revolve Conference

Want to know more about Ilise Benun?

Ilise’s presentation at Revolve Conference 2017 focused on making the best use of your time at conferences, learning how to initiate conversations and how to interact in an enjoyable way. Every attendee at Revolve who ever attended a meeting or event and bewailed their inability to make connections learned valuable tips. [View Ilise’s presentations on SlideShare.]

Ilise is a knowledgeable coach for creative professionals. In speaking with her at Revolve, I learned that she loves what she does and approaches everything with great good sense and humor as well as humility. She’s a powerful source of support for creatives. As the author of 7 books and presenter at national conferences, Ilise has served many in the marketing and design fields by providing insightful guidance and accountable nurturing. 

*Featured Image: My photo of Ilise photographed during her presentation at Revolve.