New or Classic ~ Does it matter?

We attended a couple of Classic Auto Shows over the last few weeks, well, what we thought would have been “classics”. Much to our surprise, there were many new model cars there as well. Some were driven there, some were hauled on a flatbed, some were housed in an enclosed trailer hitched to a truck. As we walked up and down the rows of what turned out to be 100’s of cars, we watch the owners “care” for their own in very different ways and it didn’t really matter what make, model or year they were as to what type of care they were each giving their car. This is what we found very interesting. Some had out the softest of soft cloths with some type of spray and were making sure there wasn’t a fingerprint or speck of dirt or dust to be found. From the top to the bottom, front to back, including the tires and rims….spotless! Inside the vehicle was exactly the same way. Then there were others that were very dirty, showed the trip to the event must have been a long one! The owners sat in their comfy lawn chairs in a circle with a group of what appeared to be friends made along the way that meet up at each event where ever they may be and just “bring the cars along”. To them, the real priority is more of a social gathering of friends. As we continued along the way, row after row, it was more of the same. There were vehicles from 1940 that looked flawless and 2 chairs sitting beside it with what could be the original owners! Others that were the same model but newer, rusted and neglected.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that as we observed and even took some time to speak to many of the owners, some were diehard collectors and others were there because it was a fun thing to do and a great way to meet new people in many areas of the country.
We spoke with some of the owners about Premium Shield, our clear vinyl rock protection product and just as we thought we would, we got many different views on the thought of applying it to their “classic” auto. Those who were very particular about the care of the car….no way! In fact, they didn’t even drive their cars. It would take away from the “value” to put miles on it, add or take away anything that it did or did not come with. Those that had beat up cars…yup, you guessed it…nah, who cares what it looks like…but those who drove their autos, cared for them and wanted to retain the value for possibly selling it at some point, they either had already had a similar product applied to it or they set up an appointment with us to have it done.
SO which category do you fit in?

Fall is here and Holidays are coming!

It’s that time again, everyone is busy, rushing around shopping and going to parties for the holidays. If you haven’t already, it may be time for you to get a website or make sure you have the latest products, pricing and offers that your business has available on your current website. Smartphones and computers have made it fast and convenient for people to shop for gifts or choose where they will be holding that holiday party. If you aren’t on the web, you wont be found. Being listed on SuperPages isnt good enough anymore if you don’t have all the info about your business readily available. Consumers do not have the time to go to you just to see if you have what they are looking for or the time to call and may just bypass you and go on to the company that is at the click of a mouse or the touch of their smartscreen phone away. The days of going from store to store to find that perfect gift are in the past and in our busy, fast paced lives, we want to go, purchase it and be done. Restaurants must let companies know they are available for that big holiday party!

Give Acro Design a call today and let us get you ready for the Holiday Season!

Hurricane Irene is coming!

• List of Items To Have During A Hurricane

Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days / non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices / foods for infants or the elderly / snack foods / non-electric can opener / cooking tools and fuel / paper plates and plastic utensils
Ice Chest and Ice
Bleach for Sterilization
Tincture of Iodine, or Water Purification Tablets
Soap and Detergent
First Aid Kit
Prescription Medication – two-week supply
Baby Items – diapers, wipes, formula, etc.
Toiletries – includes hygiene items and moisture wipes
Toilet Paper
Telephones – fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
Flashlight with Batteries
Radio – battery operated and NOAA weather radio
Spare Batteries
Blankets, Pillows
Clothing – seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes
Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – in case banks and ATMs are not be available for extended periods
Keys
Important Documents – keep in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag. Includes insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
Pet Care Items – proper identification, immunization records and medications / ample supply of food and water / a carrier or cage / muzzle and leash
Fuel for Generators and Cars
Candles
Waterproof Matches / Sterno
Charcoal and Lighter Fluid
Propane Gas (for grills)
Fire Extinguisher
Plastic Sheeting / Tarp
Plastic Garbage Bags
Duct or Masking Tape
Toys, Books, Games

The Verdict is in!

The Verdict….if you have a business, you need a website. And, you need to give your customers the ability to “like” you on Facebook. Social media is here to stay and you must join in with the rest of the world and give you business the same advantages as your competition has! It can be intimidating but doesn’t have to be. It is easy and we can help you do it.

As we talked about in previous blogs, a website is essential for a business, no matter what type of business you have. But the Facebook “like” button should be on that website. This will give your customers the chance to tell all their “friends” about you!

Spring Cleaning

I have been searching for companies to call on to see if maybe they would like to freshen up their websites. I come across way too many sites that are out of date with the information given on it. Many have phone numbers that no longer are in service. There are sites that announce Christmas party specials….from 3 yrs ago! Some companies have relocated and the address is incorrect. Staff comes and goes, they should be removed from your website. If a potential customer goes looking for you, they need to find an up-to-date website.

Gas prices have risen so high, many people are being very conservative. They can’t be driving around in their cars to go to places they may find are no longer there or not what they expected. In order to cut down on expenses, Google searches are used to narrow the list of who they will call for service, what restaurant they will dine at or what store carries the book they are looking for. More and more with the tough economy, online shopping and searches have become the norm. If you can’t be found in that search, you are invisible and will lose out on new business.

Spring is a great time to get a refresh on your website. A clean, new look…a professional looking and informative website is a good idea to promote your business with the new season approaching. The iPhone has almost eliminated the use of phone books.

New season, new look, new ideas! Let us help you with that, so you can do the rest of your spring cleaning!

Do you need a new look?

Happy New Year! The year is 2011 and it is the age of the internet. Everyone is carrying iPhones, iPads, laptops and netbooks…They are easy to use, easy to find where you want to go, what you want to buy, who you want to hire. It’s the most convenient way to find businesses and research them.

A website, as we have discussed in our previous blogs, is a must have for any business. It is important to keep your site looking fresh, inviting, professional, informative and most important of all…up to date!

Customers want to know why they should do business with you and seeing outdated information on your site may lead them to go on to the next listing, your competitor.

Keeping customers informed about your business via email is fast and affordable. Restaurants send out daily specials, other types of business send out coupons, upcoming events and new product announcements.

Give Acro Design a call and we can talk about how simple, fast and affordable we can make it for you!

Holiday Gift Ideas

We all know that the holidays can be very hectic and just may be the busiest time of the year for most of us. With so many people shopping online with laptops and iPhones, it is vitally important that your business has an online presence. When we want to find a particular gift or service, most of us now do our research online first. It helps cut down on wasted time spent running around from store to store. Don’t be eliminated as a choice because they didn’t find a website about you letting them know what you have to offer.

The holidays also bring out the “party” in us! Make sure your restaurant has a website and post any special holiday events you may have. If you cater, let customers know. This time of the year, many people prefer not to do the cooking themselves. And don’t forget how many “company” parties are now held at restaurants rather than at the office.

Whatever kind of service or product you have to offer, make sure you give your business a chance to be chosen over your competitors. If you aren’t online, chances are good you will lose the opportunity for more business coming your way.

Some services people need during the holidays….

  1. Hair Salons
  2. Nail Salons
  3. Dry Cleaners
  4. Caterers
  5. Delivery Service
  6. Personal Shoppers
  7. Restaurants
  8. Specialty Stores
  9. Bakeries
  10. Limo Service

Those are just a few of the businesses who could profit from having a website especially during the Holidays. So don’t think you are too small or don’t have a service or product that needs a website. EVERY business needs to get the word out about them and have their location and contact info readily available, too!

Using Facebook

I was not too keen on joining Facebook… not liking the idea of people coming to find me when I really had no desire to be back in touch. Recently I decided I would try it to get the word out to more people about my business. Well much to my surprise, I have been reunited with family….and a friend or 2, that I had lost touch with. And that I am happy about. VERY happy about.

I honestly still have my doubts about how some people are using it. Do some people really have that many friends? How is that possible? Do I really want that many people knowing all about me and what I am doing in my life, with my life and my inner thoughts? I think not. Those things I want to share with my real friends and family.

For the business part of it, the more the better. Spread the word, drive as many people to your website and Facebook page as you can. Keeping your private account separate from the business is, in my opinion, very important.

I read and hear reports more and more lately about how businesses are checking social networking sites to see what they can find out about job applicants. Some have even chosen against hiring people because of what they found. There are privacy settings to prevent being found to some extent but lets be honest…you have 850 friends you have accepted…850 that can view your page, all you have written and posted and all that has been written to you. Do you honestly think that all those “privacy” settings will stop this stuff from being viewed by those other than who are on you friends list? Whatever you put on the internet is in jeopardy of being spread like wildfire.

You want people to see you as a professional and reputable company. So be careful and choose what you post on both your private and business Facebook pages. Posting not so flattering photos from the weekend party or using language that is a bit “colorful” should be avoided. It WILL come back to haunt you!

Same thing goes for your business website. Professional is how you need to represent you and your company. While Facebook is a great tool, a website should be first and foremost in marketing your company. It validates you. It represents your business in a professional manner. Remember one important thing….not everyone is a Facebook member and in order to view many businesses on Facebook, you need to have an account. If potential customers do not belong to Facebook, you can’t be viewed by them. In today’s economy, you can’t afford to lose business.

Tough Economy

You decide to open a business. You know what you need to do to get the word out. One of those things is getting a website, an online presence. If you are in business today, it is important to do all you can to bring in customers. BUT, it is like a viscous circle. You haven’t had enough business yet to afford a website but you have possibly even less of a chance of getting business without one.

It is so hard to keep a business going in today’s economy so we all want to do whatever it takes to compete with those in the same business as we are in. Print ads are very expensive. The price of a website isn’t, or i should say, shouldn’t, be as high as you think. We hear it so often when we speak to people about getting a website. The first thing they say is….we can’t afford one. Many of them have been quoted prices that shock us.

Don’t think that the only way you can afford a website is to do one yourself. First of all, you need a professional looking website. It represents your company. If it looks bad, it makes you look bad. Although we can give you many different types of websites in many different price ranges, if you are just starting your business or have been in business and decided you need to get one, and you are low on funds, all you need to start out with is simple and informative. We custom design every website, no templates, no look-a-likes. You can have a website you will be proud to show people! Give us a call and find out just how little it will take to get your company on the world wide web!

Local Restaurant Menus Online

We talked about why it is important for a restaurant to have a website. I want to show you a couple examples of how a simple, classy and customized website looks. I am willing to bet you will agree how much more professional and “inviting” it is to see one of these rather than one of those big websites that list you along with everyone else, along with all your competitors and just scan and post your print menu.

As you can see, both give you the feel of the restaurant, the menu, pricing and contact info. They are unique, customized and affordable.