Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and Renesant Bank presented Ella’s Top Corral with the August Small Business of the Month award.
Established in 1976, Ella’s Top Corral is described as a “fast casual” restaurant specializing in fresh, never frozen 100 percent ground beef burgers. Ella’s Top Corral enjoys offering fresh ingredients, friendly service and a family atmosphere that keeps customers coming back again and again. Ella’s Top Corral takes pride in knowing their regular customers by name and can recite their orders by memory.
Ella McGhee, the owner of Ella’s Top Corral, began working for Top Corral, as it was formerly known, in 1977 and held many positions during her 36 years with the restaurant. McGhee’s dream of owning a restaurant became a reality in 2013 when she purchased the restaurant and changed the name to Ella’s Top Corral. Nicholas Perry, McGhee’s grandson and general manager of the restaurant, started working at Ella’s Top Corral in 2008. Perry’s goals include rebranding the restaurant and preparing for future expansion. This year, Ella’s Top Corral received recognition as having the “best hamburger” in the Valdosta Daily Times Best of South Georgia competition.
With a passion for giving back to the community, Ella’s Top Corral donated more than 150 meals to the Valdosta High School football team during this year’s spring training. The restaurant is also scheduled to provide meals to the Lowndes High School and Valdosta High School football teams during this year’s season.
For more information about Ella’s Top Corral, call 229-241-0322 or visit them at 1007 S. Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.
The Chamber Ambassadors recently honored Winnersville Fitness with a ribbon cutting on August 10, 2018.
“Lowndes County is our home and helping the people of our community is a top priority,” said Melissa Eikenberry, owner of Winnersville Fitness. “Being prior military it is nice to give back where my roots are located.”
A proud member of the Chamber, Eikenberry said, “The Chamber has helped me market my business and get known in Valdosta.”
Located at 1711 Norman Drive, Valdosta, Winnersville Fitness held its ribbon cutting in celebration of its new ownership. For more information, call 229-469-4292.
The Chamber Ambassadors recently honored Winnersville Elite Cheer and Dance with a ribbon cutting.
Winnersville Elite Cheer and Dance offers a wide variety of classes for all levels of tumbling, styles of dance, and several other classes for aspiring cheerleaders and dancers.
The Little Explorers Program, which is for ages 2 to 5 years old, was recently started to focus specifically on developing gross motor skills, while incorporating the fun of other classes, according to Susan Colson, owner of Winnersville Elite Cheer and Dance.
“If we are able to make a difference in the life of one child, we have done our jobs,” Colson said.
Within its 10 years of business, Winnersville Elite has collected several national titles in cheer and dance.
Winnersville Elite Cheer and Dance cheerleaders have won several titles including Cheersport Nationals, All-Star Challenge, and most recently a championship title at the Athletic Grand Championship, as well as becoming division champs. The competition dance team won the championship title at Fusion Nationals, making it the fifth title for the dance program in the past few years.
A proud member of the Chamber, Colson states, “Partnering with the Chamber has allowed us to receive many resources that are otherwise more difficult for a small business, and we have also made so many great connections through the Chamber.”
Winnersville Elite is the only facility in Valdosta that offers a full tumbling and cheerleading program, as well as a full dance program.
“Our facility is unique in that no other business in the area offers both programs under one roof with a fully air-conditioned cheerleading facility and a full dance studio in our second building,” said Colson. “Offering both recreational and competition programs allow us to train cheerleaders and dancers at all levels. In addition, Winnersville Elite is the only studio in Valdosta to offer a competitive dance program.”
Winnersville Elite Cheer and Dance held its ribbon cutting in celebration of its 10th anniversary in business. An open house is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, at 1874 Commerce Place, Valdosta. For more information, email Winnersville Elite at email@example.com.
Many people dream of being an entrepreneur, but only a handful of people generally go through with it. There’s no doubt that it can be a calculated risk that requires a bold attitude; however, with desire and inspiration, it is an achievable dream. Being an entrepreneur comes with several pro’s and con’s—often times more pro’s than con’s.
There are many reasons individuals look to be an entrepreneur, with almost all reasons relating back to three things—money, freedom, and control.
Now, there wouldn’t be such a desire to be an entrepreneur if there were nothing to gain. Let’s look at a few advantages of being an entrepreneur.
Probably the best one of all—you are your own boss!
All business and possible employee related decisions are in your hands. This is a huge responsibility, but becoming an entrepreneur is only for those ready to take their business completely into their own hands.
Not only are you your own boss, but you have total control over how your business is operated. You decide everything from setup to flow of operations.
A true incentive to be an entrepreneur is that there is no limit on the amount of money you can make. Unlike a paycheck, there is no cap on this number. How much money you make is totally dependent on what your business brings in.
A reason many people despise working for a company is the lack of control over their working hours. As an entrepreneur, you make your own work hours as well as vacation time. This means more time with family and time for the things you truly enjoy doing.
If you’ve always thought about being an entrepreneur but think it might not be worth the risk, reconsider. Now is the time to take your career into your own hands and create the life you want while doing something you love.
Of course, becoming an entrepreneur is not going to be a simple feat and certainly not one done without a few bumps along the way. It is going to be a lot of hard work, especially in the beginning. But if working hard doesn’t scare you away, then the risk is totally worth the reward. One amazing tool that the Chamber has to offer new entrepreneurs it the SEEDS Business Resource Center.
Betty Morgan can help you with start up ideas, tell you the most and least successful business, pull heat-maps, tell you traffic counts, competitor information and so much more.
There are many other free resources available for businesses, like writing a business plan - Give her a call today at the Chamber!
Additional blog post can be found here.
Present in our day-to-day lives, social media is one of the greatest tools we have when it comes to growing our businesses. Particularly for small businesses, social media gives owners a level of control over what they choose to post, as well as contributes to word-of-mouth, a tool crucial in emerging business. While utilizing some of the most popular social media networks is vital to businesses of all types and sizes, many small business owners are unsure how to effectively use social media to their advantage.
Here are some helpful tips on using social media to promote your business:
Choose the right medium
One of the major perks of social media is the fact it is free. Even things that cost, including paid campaigns, come at a much lower cost on social media when compared to traditional mediums. Keep in mind, free does not mean ineffective. Considering hiring someone to identify which platform can most benefit your business. Ultimately, social media promotion can never hurt your business, but if you’re choosing to aggressively promote your business on the wrong platform you risk losing potential customers. Find more information on managing multiple media accounts here.
Create quality content
It’s obvious you want to create quality content as opposed to non-quality content. But what exactly does that entail? Well, a lot of different things. A few of these include updating your page at least once as long as it is business relevant and advocating your products by delivering clear messages. If you wouldn't read it, then it probably means it's not worth your time to write it. People are looking for solutions, so think about that before you start writing. On the other hand, you can potentially harm your business by posting excessive unrelated material.
Promote your core product/services
When you are using social media to promote your business, it’s important to keep the focus on your core products and services. You may feel the need to promote products similar to your own; for example, a shoe company aggressively promoting socks, but this will not benefit your business in the long run. A lot of businesses will often promote other business services and products that, while may still be relevant to your own business, can be less beneficial, resulting in loss of followers and eventually customers.
These tips, in addition to defining your target audience and setting achievable goals, are great starting points to jumpstart a beneficial social media platform. The use of social media can be a great way for businesses to grow, engage, and build a reputation. If updated and utilized appropriately, social media can generate more results than traditional mediums.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Azalea Health as the Leading Business of the Week for August 6, 2018.
Since 2008, Azalea Health has grown from a company of four employees serving clients in South Georgia to a company consisting of 165 employees serving clients nationwide. They are continue making investments into their customer service, product features, self-imposed service level requirements, and expansion and partnership opportunities.
The Azalea Health leadership team has an overarching concept in the works titled “One Patient, One Record.” Once completed, Azalea Health’s Master Patient Index will allow all of Azalea Health’s systems, hospitals, and clinics to use a cloud-based system for patient records. They take pride in being the only health system to establish this concept, as no other electronic health record (EHR) company has been able to provide a single patient record across multiple settings.
Douglas Swords, co-founder and vice president of Revenue Cycle Management, said, “Azalea values its employees and has developed a wonderful set of core values (Be Aggressive, Humble, and Innovative!) that guides us in everything we do. This includes making sure employees are constantly put in position to have a direct impact in our growth and performance while being consistently recognized for their efforts.”
A proud member of the Chamber for 10 years, Azalea Health was formed using assistance from the Chamber’s SEEDS Business Resource Center, and was the 2008 winner of the Business Plan Competition.
“Their influence is remarkable and unrivaled in the state. Azalea would not be in the position it is today without the support and foundation provided by the Chamber,” said Swords. “They remain remarkably consistent in their support of Azalea Health and the business community at large.”
Azalea Health is located at 105 W Central Avenue in Valdosta, and can be contacted by calling 877-777-7686, and online at www.azaleahealth.com.
The Leading Business of the Week program is designed to recognize members who have partnered with the Chamber for at least five years. The 2018 Leading Business of the Week program is proudly sponsored by Colson Business Systems. For more information, visitwww.ValdostaChamber.com/Leading-Business-of-the-Week.
It’s no secret that we can achieve almost anything business related online or through a mobile device these days. This simple fact is key to managing our business while away or traveling. Everything from follow ups, task assignments, emails, and customer replies can be accomplished while out of town.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when traveling away from your business.
Regular meetings are a great way to keep all your employees on the same page. This doesn’t have to mean everyone in the same place at the same time, though. Sometimes all you need is an internet connection and applications such as Skype or Google Hangouts.
Meeting on a regular basis, such as daily or weekly, is not ideal while out of town, but a one-time meeting while away can be just enough to address specific business matters.
Regular interaction with employees, no matter where you are, can help ensure close, trusting relations with them.
Emails are an important task that can, and should, be handled instantly while away. Mail is the communication between you and your employees, potential clients, partners, or customers. Failing to check, and respond, to email within a timely manner can lead to problems.
A big concern many people have while away from their business is work progress and hours. Being gone should not be a reason for work to get delayed. With technology, tracking employee hours is easier than ever with software such as ClockIn Portal; allowing employees to track their shifts, breaks, and leave notes concerning work progress.
This type of software allows you to track employees working hours, so you will always be updated with who came late or who worked overtime. Employees will be able to track their shifts, breaks, and leave notes on their work progress.
Be sure to regularly interact with your employees no matter where you are as well as strive to build close relations with them and gain trust. If this is accomplished, you'll never need to worry about business when you're away.
By following these tips and more, you can easily travel and effectively manage your business without worry of falling behind. Don’t let traveling keep you from managing your business and keeping up with your employees.
Additional blog post can be found here.
Summer is the perfect time to take trips—to the beach, to a nearby city, or even to see family members. Multiple vacations a year can be costly. If you’ve maxed out your trip funds this summer but still itching for one last weekend of fun, consider a staycation.
A staycation is described as a vacation spent in your own city visiting local attractions. If you’re looking to make the most of the rest of summer without breaking the bank, you can easily do so without leaving town. Lucky for you, Valdosta makes for a great staycation destination.
Unassuming at first, Valdosta is a charming, historic city overflowing with attractions and a never-ending list of things to see and do.
One of the main attractions here in Valdosta is the Wild Adventures Theme Park. This is surely a full-day attraction and a fun one at that! Enjoy thrilling rides, delicious food, live shows, animals, and a great atmosphere.
Another outdoor attraction worthy of a day trip is the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club. Kinderlou is an aesthetically pleasing 18-hole golf course with challenging, fun holes at every turn.
If you have younger ones, Jungle Jym’s on North Oak Street Extension has a pleasant miniature golf course, as well as an indoor arcade and bounce houses. This place is a great one to expend energy and spend quality time as a family.
For rainy weekends, which happen often in this area, you can head to the Lowndes Country Historical Society and Museum and visit the almost 10,000 square feet of local historic displays and research material.
Peach State Summer Theatre makes a great indoor location idea. With their company of over 60 professional singers, dancers, managers, and creators, they offer a 10-week season of shows that are sure to be a hit.
If you’ve missed the live shows at the Summer Theatre, Valdosta Stadium Cinemas is always showing the most recent releases.
With no shortage of places to eat, you can take your pick of anything from classic Southern BBQ to a Japanese Steak House to cap off your staycation evening.
These attractions and several more are the reason Valdosta will make for a perfect staycation. Save money all while making memories with your friends and family.
Additional blog post can be found here.
Proudly owned and operated by Alberto and Glenda Sanchez, Empanadas & More is a local restaurant striving to create food options that are both healthy and budget friendly. Empanadas & More provides services through several different channels and marketing niches such as, organized industries and commerce, religious organizations, educational entities, hospitals, medical offices, families and individuals.
Empanadas & More is not a commercial food chain or franchise business. They aim to add diversity to the local market with food that is prepared fresh each day. Empanadas & More takes great pride in providing their customers with meals that are prepared from locally harvested ingredients.
Empanadas & More believes the services they provide to the community places them in a great position in the local market.
For more information about Empanadas & More, call 229-245-5355 or visit them at 402 Northside Drive #C, Valdosta, GA 31602.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored RE/MAX of Valdosta as the Leading Business of the Week for July 30, 2018.
RE/MAX of Valdosta is one of Valdosta's leading real estate companies and works diligently to promote the community's winning tradition. The RE/MAX franchise prides itself on the use of the latest technologies, training, and resources to ensure that their agents are “above the crowd.”
“The agents and staff at RE/MAX of Valdosta genuinely care and are always a joy to be around,” said Tony Barker, co-owner and broker at RE/MAX of Valdosta. “We strive to make our office very happy and productive.”
A proud member since 2001, the Chamber works closely with RE/MAX of Valdosta, always keeping them up-to-date on events and opportunities while also promoting them throughout the community.
“The Chamber takes an active role in supporting the business needs of our community and spotlights those exceptional businesses that do the right thing, the right way,” Barker said.
RE/MAX of Valdosta is located at 1216 Baytree Road in Valdosta, and can be contacted by calling 229-247-2008, or online at www.remax.com/realestatehomesforsale/valdosta-ga.
The Leading Business of the Week program is designed to recognize members who have partnered with the Chamber for at least five years. The 2018 Leading Business of the Week program is proudly sponsored by Colson Business Systems. For more information, visit www.ValdostaChamber.com/Leading-Business-of-the-Week.