In the last election campaign, several candidates focused on a need to diversify to create high paying jobs not reliant on tourism and construction.
A good suggestion for the candidates who won would be to look to the north, specifically to Currituck County.
Paveya, a sister company of Currituck-based VBL Technologies, launched in September with a new product line and website.
“Companies like VBL Technologies and Paveya are an emerging economic development model for our region,” said Peter Bishop, Currituck County’s economic development director.
“They built their business here they because love it here – and they found we have all of the supporting infrastructure to be successful”
Team members Brett McIntyre and Claiborne Yarborough are focused on making the local company cast a global shadow.
Unlike its parent company, which serves local and regional businesses, Paveya has set its sights on creating a company that leverages its experience marketing Outer Banks businesses in cyberspace to other areas.
In a few short months, the company has landed clients as far south as Myrtle Beach and north to eastern Canada, making Paveya one of a handful of local businesses selling products and services across international borders.
Paveya is seeking to fill a gap in business marketing – management of all things “online.”
McIntyre and Yarborough explained the evolution of the online business presence.
The Worldwide Web and e-mail have been important marketing tools for what is closing in on two decades. Today, a website is as common as a yellow pages listing during the 1970s.
Just about everybody has one, and a mere webpage no longer separates your business from millions of others scattered across the nation and the world.
As Yarborough noted, the online world is much more sophisticated. Customers expect websites to offer more than information; they should also provide a direct sales channel where possible. Add to the mix Facebook, Twitter, and apps such as TripAdvisor, and Urban Spoon, managing your online presence goes far beyond the web and e-mail newsletters.
Many local readers may not be aware, but the Outer Banks was one of the first places in the world to market itself successfully as a region on the Internet. Local rental companies led the way with online catalogs, reservations, e-mail newsletters, homeowner access to rental data and using their websites to market complementary businesses such as golf and fishing outings or new restaurants.The Outer Banks was also ahead of the curve when local businesses expanded websites to include blogs where employees provided insights into the business and the region, sending out tweets on Twitter to followers and establishing a presence on Facebook.
Paveya’s personnel cut their teeth in this progressive and competitive market and they now offer that expertise to the entire world. The new venture also offers “under the hood” services. These days, not only is a compelling website and social media presence a must; search engine results are even more important.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the science behind how your web pages are coded. Staying one step ahead of the complex algorithms used by search engines such as Google weighs heavily on how your site will rank on keyword searches such as “Outer Banks condos”.
If the above paragraph sounds like a foreign language to a business owner, chances are you require the expertise of a company like Paveya. The price points are designed to cover retail, financial, real estate, small businesses and professionals. Packages including web design and development can run as low as $129 a month.
Yarborough said their offerings are good for real estate agents, who almost always have their own web page in addition to their presence on the real estate company website.
E-commerce starts as low as $2,995 a year and includes online catalogs and ordering, wholesale pricing, support for e-coupons, integration with Facebook, online payment gateways such as PayPal and inventory tracking.
Paveya will even create and write content for a company “blog” on your website.
Geography isn’t an obstacle, and Paveya engages local writers with local knowledge for their clients. If you own a bed and breakfast in rural Pennsylvania and want a blog on your web page to describe all there is to experience during your stay, Paveya will find a local talented writer to pepper that blog with relevant content.
But how does this also help the local job market?
Peter Bishop says: “Having captured a strong share of the local market, Paveya is now growing to export their services globally. They don’t need to be in Raleigh or Charlotte to be successful and compete — they can compete in Currituck.
“Currituck is working to build a more diverse economy that isn’t as subject to the throes of visitor spending, providing more consistent, year-round employment. We are actively working to help our small businesses like Paveya grow while also recruiting new companies in technology, agriculture, services and manufacturing.
“Low taxes and an excellent quality of life make for compelling arguments to small and medium-sized companies, who can essentially locate anywhere in a digital, global marketplace.”
“Our stepped-up marketing efforts, coupled with major investments in the COA Regional Aviation & Technical Training Center and state-certified industrial park, show Currituck is serious about helping create good jobs for the region.”
If one considers our fragile environment, high-tech jobs where employees live and work here but earn their wages from clients spread around the nation and the globe is a perfect fit for the region. There are no chemicals, pollution, or large buildings with huge parking lots dumping water into the roads and sounds.
Income for the business and employee salaries are not tied to the local real estate, construction and tourism cycles.
Writers, web page designers and programmers are professional jobs that provide higher salaries than are typical for the Outer Banks, where unemployment remains well above the state and national rate. The attractions of living here, from excellent schools to low crime rates and access to healthy outdoor activities and excellent restaurants should prove attractive to the type of employees drawn to high-tech jobs.
In short, not only can Paveya help local companies succeed in an online world that requires a presence on cell phones, tablets and computers; it is also looking to diversify the employment opportunities and economic base of the entire region.
Politicians may talk about creating jobs, but at the end of the day, businesses like Paveya are what can provide the economic stability and middle-class jobs this region needs to avoid a repeat of the 2008 economic meltdown.