The Entrepreneur’s Corner

Most businesses today have an online presence or are considering the process of creating one. However, just having an online presence isn’t enough. Is your website doing what you want it to do?

Some websites actually may have an undesired effect on prospective clients or, worse, drive traffic to your competition. While these unfortunate problems could occur for any number of reasons, usually, the solution is simple and easily remedied.

Here are some vital tips to ensure your website does what it should:

1. Get a pro – If you want a site done right, hire someone who creates websites for a living. If you had a water leak, you would call a plumber. Creating an online presence should occur the same way. A good web designer helps you avoid frustration and saves both time and money. There are many elements vital to your site’s success that only a designer can implement effectively.

2. Keep it current – Regardless of format, whether your website is an e-commerce site, a Wordpress blog, or even a Facebook business page, keep the content updated. A site without new content on a regular basis (daily, weekly or monthly) soon will disappear from search engines, making it difficult for new customers to find you. Returning customers will notice if things change, and, hopefully, updated content keeps them engaged and coming back for more.

3. Avoid dead ends – When you are working with your designer (remember tip #1?), make sure when your website launches, all of your content is ready to go. Nothing is worse than the dreaded “coming soon” sign instead of the customer finding an active website, especially if your target market is unique. Have to change something or haven’t created content yet? Just disable the link temporarily. If the information isn’t visible, the customer will never know what was or was not meant to be there. Give your designer content regularly (remember tip #2?) and make it a priority to have all links functioning properly.

4. “3-2-1-contact!” – One of the most important services a website provides its visitors is a way to contact you. Nothing hurts you more than a customer with a question who cannot get an answer. A good website should answer most questions, but sometimes direct contact with another human being is better. Make sure your contact information is easy to find and easy to remember. In this case, more is always better. Phone, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – these are potential ways for you to be accessible to your clients. Make sure you use and check them regularly.

Michael J. Caro is the owner/principal of Purple Rose Enterprises, a local technology firm providing services such as Website/Graphic Design and Computer Repair/Support/Training. Contact him at 804-517-8376 or visit http://www.purpleroseenterprises.com.
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HCPS named a ‘Best Community for Music Education’ for 18th straight year


For the 18th year in a row, Henrico County Public Schools has been named one of the best communities in America for music education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The school division has earned the designation in each year the group has given the awards.

The designation is based on a detailed survey of a school division’s commitment to music instruction through funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. The award recognizes the commitment of school administrators, community leaders, teachers and parents who believe in music education and work to ensure that music education accessible to all students.
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A safer way across


A project years in the making is beginning to make life easier for wheelchair-bound residents in Northern Henrico.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is completing a $2-million set of enhancements to the Brook Road corridor in front of St. Joseph's Villa and the Hollybrook Apartments, a community that is home to dozens of disabled residents. > Read more.

New conservation easement creates wooded buffer for Bryan Park

Five years ago, members of the Friends of Bryan Park were facing the apparently inevitable development of the Shirley subdivision in Henrico, adjacent to the forested section of the park near the Nature Center and Environmental Education Area.

As part of the Shirley subdivision, the land had been divided into 14 lots in 1924, but had remained mostly undisturbed through the decades. In 2012, however, developers proposed building 40 modular houses on roughly 6.5 acres, clear-cutting the forest there and creating a highly dense neighborhood tucked into a dead end. > Read more.

Meet the men running for governor


Virginia will elect a new governor this year.

The governor’s position is one of great power and influence, as the current officeholder, Terry McAuliffe, has demonstrated by breaking the record for most vetoes in Virginia history.

However, during the last gubernatorial race in 2014, the voter turnout was less than 42 percent, compared with 72 percent during last year’s presidential election. > Read more.

RISC to address reading, childhood trauma, job training at assembly

On May 1, more than 1,700 community members representing Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities will gather at St. Paul’s Baptist Church (4247 Creighton Road) at 7 p.m. to address elementary reading, childhood trauma and job training in the greater Richmond region. Community members will speak about each issue and proposed solution.

For three years, the organization has sought implementation of a specific literacy program in Henrico County that it believes would help children who struggle with reading. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the E. Bruce Heilman Dining Center at the University of Richmond. Each meeting features breakfast and an interesting speaker. For details, call Pete Sizemore at 288-0999. Full text

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