By Elizabeth Montgomery

Heather 3 tipsHeather McWhorter is the new director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center.

WILMINGTON — The University of North Carolina Wilmington announced its new regional director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center earlier this month.

Heather McWhorter comes to Wilmington from Pennsylvania where she previously served as director of Penn State University’s Small Business Development Center for eight years. McWhorter shared her top three tips for small businesses and what she plans to offer in her new position.

Tip 1: Always think about your customers. I’m huge on customer service. No matter what market you’re in that is always important, customers first.

Tip 2: Cash is king. You have to control your cash flow of your business. You have to pay your employees, you have to pay your bills, so you have to have enough cash in the bank to keep your business afloat. Understand your cash flow and know your projections.

Tip 3: Treat your employees right. Fostering their leadership skills, fostering their personal growth and helping them succeed. It ends up helping the community, them and of course helps your business.

When it comes to the best business advice she’s ever received McWhorter said: “My first mentor out of college said, ‘Heather never forget that everybody is replaceable.’ Everybody needs to pitch in to be successful. And I practice that same philosophy.

“Another thing that I’ve really worked on is that work/life balance. It’s all life, so how do you keep everything in balance? You have to love what you do. You have to love that service that you’re providing, that product that you’re developing because that is going to be your Christmas dinner.”

According to its website, the SBTDC offers personalized business counseling and strategy development services in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, Columbus, Duplin and Onslow counties. The center, at 803 S. College Road, Suite A, is connected with UNCW and the Cameron School of Business.

“One of the things I really hope to do is work with the other economic development partners and the university partners to really help to knit our programs together a little bit tighter to help our business community thrive and grow,” McWhorter said.

Reporter Elizabeth Montgomery can be reached at 910-343-2066 or