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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

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.

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SAVE on Cable TV-Internet-Digital Phone. Packages start at $89.99/mo (for 12 months.) Options from ALL major service providers. Call Acceller today to learn more! CALL 1-888-686-5081.
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James River Cellars Winery, 11008 Washington Hwy. in Glen Allen, will host a Labor Day Wine & Cheese Pairing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrate the holiday with a… Full text

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