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.
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Community

project:HOMES’ ‘Renew Crew’ helps Henrico citizen


The project:HOMES "Renew Crew" (above) recently assisted an elderly member of the Laurel Presbyterian Church in Henrico by clearing brush, trimming hedges and raking leaves in her yard.

The Renew Crew serves low-income, disabled and elderly homeowners in need of small-scale home repairs such as porch, railing and step repairs, exterior painting, clearing overgrown yards, tearing down outbuildings, wheelchair ramps and other critical repairs and accessibility modifications. > Read more.

Alzheimer’s Walk raises $436,000


More than 2,000 people participated in the the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter's annual Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s Nov. 5 at Markel Plaza in Innsbrook. The event raised more than $436,000 for Alzheimer’s care, support programs and research.

The event is one of three walks that benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Richmond and is held in celebration of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month.

Donations to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be accepted through the end of the year and can be made at http://www.alz.org/walk. In total, the three walks this year have raised more than $644,344. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


The past couple of days haven’t felt like it, but it’s finally December and this weekend is packed with holiday events. Kicking the weekend off is Glorious Christmas Nights’ production of “Finding Christmas” at West End Assembly of God. Gayton Baptist Church’s annual Jazz Nativity starts tonight. Another annual favorite is tomorrow – the tree lighting at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. In search of Christmas concerts? The Virginians Barbershop Chorus will present its annual Christmas Show tomorrow at the Collegiate School and the Richmond Choral Society will perform Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Author Elizabeth Grapes and illustrator Beth Scolaro will be selling and signing copies of their children’s book, “ABCs by Jesus and Me,” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Upper Commons of St. Mary’s Catholic Church as part of the Saint Mary’s Marketplace. The book guides young readers through each letter, imparting Christ’s love and lessons along the way. Other vendors will be participating as well. Admission is free and open to the public. For details, email Heather Crouch at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Full text

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