Marketing pros share advice for kick-starting your business now.

Making Your MarkSolid, strategic marketing despite a volatile economy not only helps your business make the mark, it helps your business make its mark in the eyes of your consumer. Leading marketing professionals give their two cents on how your business can improve the bottom line in these challenging times.

  • “It’s clearly documented that the companies that continued to spend wisely through the 75-78 recession and the inflation crisis that ensued, and again in 81-82, increased sales substantially over their competitors once the recovery began. Do a couple of things well. Pick out the most important aspects of your plan, get really talented people involved and execute like crazy.”
    —David Anderson, Anderson Communications Group

Multi-faceted Patty Catalano combines business and family with success.

Multi-faceted Patty Catalano combines business and family with success.Vision, coupled with artistic and business foresight are the brilliant facets that have brought so much success to Heritage Fine Jewelry.

Sparkling gems loosely gathered by custom pieces efortlessly attest to the design talents of owner Patty Catalano.

Sea-life inspired jewelry by son Patrick incorporates oceanic treasures — black pearls, golden shells and sea horses arrayed in the showcase window highlight the versatile collection within.

Now in its 20th year at Pineland Station, Catalano’s family business incorporates the talents of her three children, designer Patrick Safe, skilled engraver Doug Safe and gemologist Jennifer Lance.

Communications company Hargray aims to stay connected to customers.

Andrew Rein, left, and Chris McCorkendale are committed to top-notch service for Hargray customers.THE TWO EXECUTIVES IN charge of getting the word out about Hargray’s services say that the homegrown company is boosting its commitment to the community even during the current economic downturn.

Andrew Rein is the vice president/general manager for Hargray residential sales and marketing and Chris McCorkendale is the vice president/general manager for Hargray business sales and marketing.

“The most important thing that we’re focusing on is a quality of service that exceeds their (customers’) expectations, that is reliable and on the cutting edge of technology today,” Rein said. “And if/when they (customers) do have a question or a problem, they want someone to fix it quickly, whether they’re working on the Internet or watching television.

Know your insurance deductibles this hurricane season.

Many people don’t think about their insurance until after a disaster has happened. It’s important to plan ahead and know what your deductible will be in the time of a hurricane.

The deductible is the amount of loss paid by the policyholder before insurance kicks in. Most homes along the coast of South Carolina have a special percentage deductible for named-storm or hurricane damage. The percentage deductible is higher than a traditional dollar deductible. In return for the higher deductible,  homeowners receive a premium discount on the wind portion of the policy. With a policy that has a $1,000 deductible, for example, the policyholder must pay the first $1,000 out of pocket.

MJ Hennesy of Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet never takes anyone for granted.

Looking for some inspiration these days?

Meet MJ Hennesy, an entrepreneur whose approach to life is a fine example for other business owners or anyone who’s simply seeking light at the end of the tunnel.

Hennesy just celebrated the 20th anniversary of her business, Discount Furniture and Mattress Outlet, which has had its share of ups, downs and everything in-between.

When Hennesy started her Hilton Head business, she took a giant leap of faith. She was living in Boston and had a wonderful career managing sales for a subsidiary of Gillette.

Pearlstine legacy began in the 1850s and thrives today.

Susan Pearlstine, Edwin Pearlstine Jr., Jan Pearlstine Lipov, and Larry Lipov carry on the family tradition of community support.ONE OF THE BUSINESS AND community leaders Sea Pines developer Charles Fraser turned to for support of his first Heritage Golf Tournament was Edwin Pearlstine Jr., who in the 1960s was at the helm of one of South Carolina’s oldest privately held companies, Pearlstine Distributors Inc.

In 1969, on Thanksgiving weekend, the first Heritage teed off at Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines. The Pearlstines’ faith in Fraser’s idea of a major golf tournament on Hilton Head continues to pay dividends for South Carolina: a 2005 Clemson University study estimated that the tournament pumps $84 million into the state annually.

Plantation Station in Sea PinesAt Plantation Station in Sea Pines you can fuel your car, select a case of vintage cabernet sauvignon, arrange a catered dinner for 30, pick up today’s newspaper and grab a meal-to-go.

Need a certified sommelier, a classicallytrained chef or a lottery ticket? You’ll find those at Plantation Station, too.

Orchestrating this most curious and delightful mix of services and products is Gabe Pica, proprietor of Plantation Station since 2006. Paying equal attention to preparing the hot lunches served daily, individualizing catering menus and selecting fine wines for clients, he brings new meaning to the “full-service” station.

Plantation Station has been transformed from a tired convenience store to four gas pumps and a fresh, well-stocked shop with traditional and contemporary food and a topshelf topshelf wine selection. Plantation Station also offers breakfast on the weekends and a gas discount for residents.

Nimble, safe and efficient, the Biotrike makes its mark.

John Giljam’s imagination has kicked into overdrive with the Biotrike, a “reverse” tricycle with two wheels in the front and one in the back.The automobile of the future has arrived and it doesn’t look or perform like the one parked in your garage. To begin with, it has three wheels. It can also run on fuel derived from vegetable oil and electricity, and can take you some 800 miles down the road before sipping the last drop from its 9-gallon tank.

The Biotrike is the brainchild of John and Julie Giljam, the heart and soul of Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International (CAMI), creators of some of the most imaginative vehicles ever devised. Their credits include a 49-person tour bus, an RV and sports car, all of which happen to be amphibious.

Business EXPO 2009 brings movers and shakers together.

Business EXPO is an ideal opportunity to find new suppliers, customers and partners.The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for one of the largest business-to-business networking events in the region, Feb. 11-12 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa. More than 100 companies will present products and services during Business EXPO 2009, a two-day event sponsored by the chamber and Hilton Head  Regional Healthcare.

This year’s expo will include a luncheon featuring Elizabeth Conklyn as guest speaker.

Conklyn, an outstanding human resources executive, will present her enlightening views on leadership development, leading through change, and leading people in difficult times.

Island Fudge Shoppe indulges our inner yearnings.

Gus and Maureen RobinsonThe making of fudge, that delectable, irresistible  and  potent confection locked into the memories of our youth, has been called a science.

For Gus and Maureen Robinson, long-time purveyors of Island Fudge Shoppe in Coligny Plaza, it could be called psychology.

“We find out what the customer wants, if it’s just plain chocolate fudge or one of 20 flavors,” said Gus, who earned a degree in psychology from Davidson College.

The Robinsons have gotten good at making fudge, chocolates, pralines and other candies since they bought the business and recipes from original owner Jerry Weber in 1990.