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The Entrepreneur’s Corner

Is your business website working for you?
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
Community

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

Henricus Historical Park to host Publick Day Sept. 20

Henricus Historical Park will commemorate its anniversary during Publick Day, a signature annual event that celebrates the establishment of the second successful English settlement in the New World. In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, along with soldiers, tradesmen and farmers, ventured from Jamestown to create the Citie of Henricus. Leaders of Henricus developed the first English hospital, chartered the first college in North America, established tobacco as the first cash crop in Virginia, and created a place where Pocahontas lived and met John Rolfe.

Publick Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $5 per vehicle. > Read more.

Commonwealth Parenting, CMoR-Short Pump to present 6-part parenting forum series

As part of its 30th anniversary year and partnership with the Children's Museum of Richmond, Commonwealth Parenting will present a six-part RVA Parents Forum Series to address some of the toughest issues confronting parents.

Parenting experts and family educators will tackle topics ranging from bullying to alcohol, sex to divorce, and technology and stress. Parents will learn how to identify potential problems.

"We're excited about bringing this much-needed forum series to parents in central Virginia. Through our valuable partnership with Commonwealth Parenting, we can have a deeper impact in the community through parent and caregiver education," said Karen Coltrane, president and CEO of the Children's Museum of Richmond. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Check out these three B’s in Henrico this weekend: books, bluegrass and “Born Yesterday.” Other activities to participate in – and feel good about – are the 15th annual James River Regional Cleanup and the 5th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

When the cliche stands tall

Inspirational football movie tries too hard for its own good
When the Game Stands Tall is based on a true story – an unbelievable true story that takes the word “inspiring” about as far as it can go.

It’s a film about Bob Ladouceur, coach of the De La Salle High Spartans, a California high school football team with 12 consecutive undefeated seasons (a staggering 151 games won in a row).

Along the way, Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel) faced the kind of hardship most football coaches (thankfully) can only imagine – suffering a near-fatal heart attack, the death of a star player, and rebuilding the team after that 151-game streak came to a humiliating end. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy political comedy at its finest with The Capitol Steps at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Methodist and Baptist churches unite for the fourth annual Mission Footprint 5K, taking place at Trinity UMC. Or in honor of Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, treat them to A Grand Family Affair or maybe a movie – the 1978 film “Superman” is at the Henrico Theatre. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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