The Must-Have START-UP To-Do List:

The Must-Have START-UP To-Do List:

The Must-Have START-UP To-Do List:

do something great



Would you buy your product/service?
Will you make a profit at the price?
Are you solving a problem?
What makes you different from the competition.

Do you have a website for your Start-up business?  Will you sell online? What type of website will best fit your needs?


Do you have enough funds for first-year living expenses?
Grants/ Loans/Financing your Start-up?
Do you have a clever Business Name?
Register the domain name/email address.
Figure out the type of business: incorporation, sole proprietorship, non-profit or partnership? SBA article on business types

What permits/licenses are required? Check with your State and City.


Register all social media profiles (ASAP)
Determine location/research the competition
Networking is key so order those Business cards and join the local Chamber of Commerce


Open a business bank account/ setup a Paypal account for easy payments.
Set up an accounting system or hire a bookkeeper
Delegate work with co-founders.
Put everything in WRITING, at all times.

Don’t forget

Did you check into, how to develop a business plan?

Did you check out the Small Business Administration SBA website   You can get the best information there on how to start your own business and live your dream of becoming your own boss.

Non-profit solution

You have a great Idea on how to help people? You are not sure how to make it happen? Now would be the time to give us a call! We can help you start a Non-profit Organization.

We have a solution for your website and many tips on how to start a non-profit organization for you. We are very passionate about helping others that want to help others. Communities need help at times and we love people who care and want to make a difference in their communities.

Start collecting donations right from your Non-profit’s Website and let members sign up to become part of your cause.

Everybody in our team is a Volunteers somewhere. Simone is the wife of a disabled Veteran and knows first hand that many Veterans and their families can use some help at times. “We went through a very hard time and were on a rollercoaster ride of PTSD for years. Thanks to the VA we got back on track and managed to keep our family together”

Non-profit Organizations

Ok, with this being said. We are really here to help and you can count on us getting you started.

When it comes to your website we have worked out a great plan. We know most startups don’t have thousands of dollars available for a website. So usually I see DIY websites that won’t do anything for you but being hacked. If you truly need your website to work for you, “to get the word out”, collect donations, inform about your awesome program, you just need more than a homemade website.

Why not do it right?

We offer pre-made layouts to choose from. These sites are pre-build and all we need to do is add your images, content and adjust your color scheme and add your donate button. Managed WordPress hosting and daily updates are included. Your site will have lighting speed and load perfectly on all possible devices.

If you would like to know more about this solution we only offer to non-profit organizations and start-up businesses contact us and we will be happy to tell you all about it.



More info

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Why I recommend managed hosting for your WordPress site(s) and one of our maintenance/security plan

Why I recommend managed hosting for your WordPress site(s) and one of our maintenance/security plan

The price you pay for managed hosting is 100% worth it compared to bottom-of-the-barrel shared hosting solutions! Here are five reasons why managed hosting with us is the way to go:



Upgrades, security, migrations, you name it – we handle it. In the long run, this is absolute winds up saving you time, money, IT resources, and so much more.



We put your site on a dedicated VPS, whereas shared hosting is just that; a shared server, tied to a bunch of other sites that could be dealing with malware, performance issues, and more.



We tune servers for optimal WordPress performance and configure all the caching, so you don’t have to spend time worrying about site speed.



We do our best to stay on top of the latest security vulnerabilities and reduce the possibility that your site will be compromised. And IF your site is somehow compromised, we will fix it for you.



When you call us, you will get a real-live human on the other end, rather than dealing with a robot! And if you have any technical questions, we will find the answer.

So in a nutshell, all of this means you can stop worrying about the servers and the hosting and the hackers and your site performance and instead, spend time running your business.

See plans here 

Simone Hawthorne giving back to the community.

Simone Hawthorne giving back to the community.

As a local (Martinsburg WV) business owner and the spouse of a 100% disabled Golf War Veteran, it came naturally for me to give back to the community by helping out Veterans in our area. I am the VP ( update: I am now the President and accredited Service Officer) of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. Chapter 1074 since last year and just took the test to become a certified Service Rep. helping our Veterans to get help and benefits they deserve.

I believe we all need to do our part to make our communities a better place to live in for all of us. My office is at 630 Winchester Avenue and it might sound funny but, you can get a website for your business here, marketing services and help filing a claim with the VA.

You can all: 681-260-6021 to reach Simone Hawthorne

No to doing spec work!

No to doing spec work!

What is spec work?

Basically, it means to produce work for a “possible” client without any guaranty that the designer will get the job. Most young designers start out doing spec work just because they don’t have a reputation and no clients yet.

Did I do it? Yes, I did a few times. I regret it deeply. Many hours spent for nothing.

Doing spec work belittles our trade as designers and web developers. I went to school and piled up student loans that I have to pay back to get Degrees in Web design and development, as well as Internet Marketing. What other College Graduate works for free like that?

Here is what I can tell you will work much better than working just to hope that you will get paid for it.

Pick up the yellow pages and start calling, start Networking, find some non-profit Organization and help them if you want to work for free. This way you will get a nice portfolio together and you are doing something good for people that will value your time.

There is too much frustration for the designer doing spec work and participating in design or development contests. Even if your work is good and you get the second place it still means that you don’t get paid. How long do you think you can be doing this until you give in and realize that it just takes too much of your time and too little money coming into your pockets in return. You could be spending your time trying to find some real clients that value your work or work on your own site and create work for your portfolio. A possible client wants to see what you have to offer and where your education comes from and if you have any show off your testimonials.

Testimonials are very important to become a credible designer, developer, or marketer. Yes, you know what you are doing but how should your client know?  This is also where doing work for non-profits comes in. You should ask for a testimonial in return. One hand washes the other, right?

Only you can control your future.

Dr. Seuss

Business Strategies, under construction.

Business Strategies, under construction.

If you can keep strategies “under construction” you will keep coming back and make adjustments.


Strategy SHBC Agency wants to help small business and especially small start-ups to become successful and allow people to make a good living off of their business.Having a strategy planned out will help every start-up to achieve their goals.
Management What is it that you have to manage? During the beginning stages, you should manage the operation start-up. Did you do all of your research? Do you have a team together? Or maybe you want to do it all on your own?


How important is your website in your business? Did you think about this already?


Tower crane building a 3D yellow grey Under Construction textIf you are selling goods or services online you already know how important your website is. It is the center of your business! Every business should have a great online presence. Your customers will expect to find you online and even on mobile devices. As consumers, we are all so used to people trying to rip us off with poorly constructed, overpriced products and poor services. If you run an honest business, you can use this to your advantage and this is where your online presence can play an important role.

You can (and should) inform people about who you are and what you stand for.

  • Great customer service
  • Ethical business practices
  • Involvement in Community
  • Showing that your pride in the services and goods you have to offer.

Have a great Strategy layed out and keep coming back to look at it, make adjustments if you have to! And keep in mind that your online presence can be so much more than a beautiful looking website!


Search Engine Optimized

Search Engine Optimized

Search Engine Optimization

It is no secret that not always the perfect content makes a site rank high in search engines and get a site on page one. There are (used to be) some tricks that can be done to a website to get it on that first page.

If you are not on page one or page two for the search phrases that should pop your site up it is almost impossible to get traffic from search engines. nobody clicks on the third or fourth page in Google.

Some SEO techniques can hurt your website and you have to be very careful who you trust to do your SEO. Search engines make changes all the time to make sure that users get to see the most relevant content available about the topic they are searching for. I think this is a great thing and you will be rewarded if you don’t try to cheat and use tricks.

Great SEO takes time and if somebody makes a promise to get your site on page one in a week simply hang up the phone or run!

Blogging. Not your favorite thing to do?

Blogging. Not your favorite thing to do?

Blogging for your business is important. It will help you rank, if you really have content that is of good quality. And, yes I know it is not easy to come up with new posts a few times a week. I have times where I struggle so much and I stress myself out because I know I should write more…….

There are a few tricks I have learned.

  1. Reusing articles
  2. List content
  3. Sometimes it is easier to write something about you instead of your business.
  4. Step away from the computer for a while. Take a walk.
  5. read more yourself. Gives you some great Ideas. Don’t steal content but get inspired.

Maybe it would even be better to post videos or podcasts instead of videos. Maybe a good mix of all of them.  I love this part of the Internet, people give you information without you even having to ask for it. You just have to make sure that the person you get your information from knows what they are talking about.

I love this part of the Internet, people give you information without you even having to ask for it. You just have to make sure that the person you get your information from knows what they are talking about.

How do I know what I am talking about? Well, for starters I went to College to learn about  web design, development and  marketing. I started my business about a year ago and I love to share my experience. I love to help small businesses and non-profits to get started and become successful.