Henrico County VA

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

MADD to host candlelight vigil Dec. 2 at UR

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will host a candlelight vigil of remembrance and hope Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the University of Richmond, outside the Cannon Chapel. The public is invited to attend and join MADD to honor victims of impaired driving crashes, while helping to remind the community to be safe during the holidays. > Read more.

Tournament supports adoption efforts

Among participants at the Seventh Annual Coordinators2Inc Golf Tournament and awards luncheon Oct. 3 were (from left) Rebecca Ricardo, C2 Inc executive director; Kevin Derr, member of the winning foursome; Sharon Richardson, C2 Inc founder; and Frank Ridgway and Jon King, members of the winning foursome.

Held at The Crossings Golf Club, the tournament will benefit placement of children from Virginia's foster care system into permanent families through Coordinators2. > Read more.

A.C. Moore to host winter craft day for kids

Event will help kick of Marine Corps' 'Toys for Tots' campaign
All 140 A.C. Moore locations will serve as drop-off centers this year for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and all toys collected will stay in the local communities served by the stores in which they are donated.

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Willow Lawn location will kick off the month-long program by hosting a "Make & Take" craft event for kids. Children ages six and older will be able to make a craft and take it home with them. Representatives from the Marines will be in-store to teach customers about the Toys for Tots program. A.C. Moore team members will be on site to help with the crafts. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Authentically Italian

Bella’s feels – and tastes – like Italy should
Short Pump is known for its share of chain restaurants and strip malls, but diners looking for something more distinct can certainly find it without heading downtown or to nearby Charlottesville.

In fact, local husband-and-wife restaurateurs Valeria Bisenti and Doug Muir brought a taste of Charlottesville (and Italy) to Short Pump when they took a chance and opened Bella’s second location in the same shopping strip as Wal-Mart and Peter Chang China Cafe. (Bella’s original location is on Main Street in downtown Charlottesville.)

For a local Italian restaurant, Bella’s is as “Mom and Pop” as its gets. Valeria is Mom, and Doug is Pop. Since its opening about six months ago, diners have been eating rich comfort foods and drinking Italian wines. > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

‘Sizing Up!’ opens at Cultural Arts Center

The Cultural Arts Center unveils a new exhibit – "Sizing Up!" – Nov. 20-Jan. 18 in the Gumenick Family Gallery.

Artist Chuck Larivey has spent the past three years "sizing up" – creating large-scale oil paintings that are designed to engage their viewers in a monumental way by using size to captivate them and make them a part of the artistic experience.

The exhibit is appropriate for all ages and is free and open to the public at the center, located at 2880 Mountain Road in Glen Allen. > Read more.

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CharacterWorks, Inc., an after-school youth theater program, will present “Shrek The Musical” Nov. 21-23 and Nov. 28-30 at the Robins Theatre at Steward School, 11600 Gayton Rd. “Shrek The Musical”… Full text

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