Monday, May 28, 2012

Why Every Business Needs A Website

Pssst-- Here's one of our client's
websites. We offer great, affordable
websites for your business.
In this day and age, having a website is an absolute necessity-- it's basically like having an online business card, an ad that runs 24/7, a symbol of consumer friendly and professional promotion. But many small businesses today are still resisting the internet when it comes to promoting their business. Why? Because most small businesses don't fully understand the benefits that a website brings. Websites sell your products faster and easier, answer common questions, advertise your business, keep your doors open 24/7, pump up your credibility and level the competition playing field, as well as provide feedback and company news for customers. If you don't have a website today, then you're losing business to people who do. Think about it: if you don't have a website then you're relying on word or mouth, paper advertisements, and people walking by your shop-- and that sort of advertising only reaches so many people. But the internet-- that reaches almost everyone, anytime of any day.

If you're interested in learning more about what website promotion can do for you, then keep reading. But know that here at Market Connection, we just began offering a new service for our clients: websites at great, unbeatable rates. So if you're considering making a website for your business, contact us. It doesn't matter if it's for personal or business promotion, we'll work with you to have your website up in less than a week. To get started just drop by our office, or give us a call at  828.264.2670, for a personalized quote.

The Top Five Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Website:

1. Sell Your Products Faster!
That's what a small business does right? Sell your products more efficiently, with less stress. Customers can search for your business, take advantage of 24/7 access to your products, and have all the information they need at their fingertips. Hooking up your website to social media sites also helps you network and advertise your company.

2. Stop Answering The Same Questions.
With a website FAQ page, you can keep all the everyday questions from clogging up your phone lines and front doors. Offering a new product? Keep your customers informed via your webpage. Allow customer feedback on your website, and learn what your company can do better.

3. Open Your Doors 24/7.
If you don't have a website, then your business is only open 9 to 5. When other businesses are open 24/7 online, why should customers chose yours? A website will attract customers that might never find you otherwise.

4. Pump Up Your Credibility.
When your business has a business card, customers know you mean business. And when your business has a website, you send an even more professional and customer friendly vibe. The more professional your website layout is (and the easier it is to use), the more business you'll bring in over that of your competitors.

5. Make Your Company Memorable.
Let's be honest. How well do you remember a 10 digit phone number? Now how well do you remember a simple web address? A website makes social networking easier and your company more memorable.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Picnic on the Parkway this Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day weekend is a time of relaxation, spending time with family, and enjoying the beautiful weather. You can’t think of Memorial Day weekend without thinking about a red and white checkered blanket accompanied by yummy snacks, a great book, and friends & family. Picnics are the perfect way to get out and enjoy the outdoors while also placating your palate. Couples, friends, and family alike will all enjoy the simplicity of eating food among the wildlife, but picnics can be less than enjoyable if the proper preparations aren’t made in advance.

Where to go: 
It’s important to consider the type of place you want to picnic before hitting the road. Would somewhere secluded be your ideal spot or do you need somewhere recreational with a spacious setting for the kids to run? The Blue Ridge Parkway has many ideal picnic spots, all with something unique to offer. Julian Price Park is one of the most popular spots, with picnic tables, the largest campground on the Parkway, rest rooms, an amphitheater, trout fishing, boat rentals, and over ten miles of hiking trails. Moses Cone and Beacon Heights are also great spots to settle in for a day in the sun, with plenty of space for a picnic and lots of exclusive trails to explore, offering a little more seclusion and serenity than Price Park. Places to picnic are easy to come by on the Parkway and surrounding areas, so explore all the options and pick the place that suits you best, you can’t go wrong!

What to Pack:
First and Foremost,  choose a menu that is easy to make, pack and clean up. Sandwiches are a great picnic pick, so here are a few tasty ideas to fill up your picnic basket.

            - Bread: If you want to opt for something a bit different than typical Wonder Bread, freshly baked, crusty baguettes from a local grocery store are always delicious.

            - Meat: Some meats to stuff in the middle; turkey, ham, salami, and roast beef are all great choices. Don’t forget the mayo, mustard, lettuce and whatever else you like to fill your sandwiches with!

            - Cheese: Cheese is a must have! You can stick with the classic favorites like American, cheddar, or provolone, but consider branching out to some tasty delicacies such as Brie, fresh mozzarella, Gouda, or Gruy√®re.

            - Fruit: Fresh fruit such as grapes, watermelon, strawberries or blueberries make a great addition to any picnic, and can be picked up at local fruit stands across the High Country. You can pack them separately or even throw them altogether for a fruit salad!

            - Sides: You can go for the classic potato chips or boost it up a notch with some delicious potato salad, cole slaw, or guacamole with tortilla chips.

            - Drinks: depending on the type of outing you are looking for, there are several drink options. For an outing with friends, pack a cooler full of refreshing summer beer such as Shock Top Raspberry, Blue Moon, or Sam Adams Summer Ale. For a more romantic day, bring along a chilled bottle of your favorite white wine- don’t forget the corkscrew! For a relaxed family outing, a pitcher of lemonade or sweet tea will work great.

            - Dessert: After eating, everyone will be ready to move onto play time, so dessert can be as simple as a bag of chocolate chip cookies from Stick Boy Bread Company.

            - Toys: After a big meal, it’s time to work all that energy out, so remember to pack your Frisbee, soccer ball, football, or even fishing pole for a day full of adventure and memories. If you’re not much for physical activity, bring along a blanket and book and find a rock in the sun for a relaxing afternoon.

            - Supplies: There are always a few necessities that would be great to have but don’t always make it on the picnic packing list. Some useful things to throw in to make set up and clean up a breeze include eating and serving utensils, tablecloth, napkins, insect repellant, sunscreen, trash bags, and chairs!

This Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to soak up a tan and enjoy the High Country’s gift of a gorgeous spring. This checklist will help you pick the ideal spot for eating, adventure, and relaxation, along with all the provisions you may need, so now is the time to venture out on the perfect picnic on the Parkway!

 Taken by Ashley Jones at Price Lake

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Come See Us At the 2010 Home Show!

With summer fast approaching, the time has come for the 18th annual High Country Home and Remodeling Exposition. Held in Holmes Convocation Center on ASU’s campus, the Home Show is proudly presented by the High Country Home Builder’s Association. It features an array of businesses and resources in the home industry, from “green building” to electric fences. 

This Weekend's Home Show:
Friday 1:00-8:00 pm and Saturday 9:00-5:00 pm

The show this year is a two-day event, held Friday and Saturday, May 18th and 19th. The exposition runs from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday. Admission is free! Organizers are expecting a large crowd as always, including: industry professionals, homeowners, and local businesses alike. 

Holmes Convocation Center will be filled with booths demonstrating home and garden services, products, and innovations, with each booth more detailed than the last. This exposition is truly a showcase of everything home-related that the High Country has to offer, and visitors each year find inspiration and valuable advice when it comes to new construction, remodel projects, landscaping-- or just simple room makeovers. There will be numerous demonstrations scheduled throughout the two-day event, and the annual nail driving contest will give visitors and exhibitors alike the chance to get competitive. One of the focuses this year is “Building Green to Better the High Country,” and exhibitors will be displaying the newest advances in eco-friendly technology and features, as well as the standards of home building from ceramic tile to closet shelving.  Be sure to stop by! Questions or comments about the event? Contact Susan Miller at 828-297-6566.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Recipe Sneak Peek

Our summer issue has lots of tasty new recipes! Here's a sneak peek of just one delicious dish: Asian Chicken Satays. It's a signature dish made by The Painted Fish Cafe and Beer Bar, located in Banner Elk. Chef Tom Jankovich is the inspired food-artist at the Cafe, and he loves to create his unique dishes by taking good food and giving it subtle twist. Test your own cooking skills with Chef Tom's recipe below, or simply stop by to visit this exquisite Cafe and cook! For more information on The Painted Fish Cafe and Beer Bar cruise their website: 

Asian Chicken Satays With Bell Pepper Slaw

Asian Satay Key Ingredients:
1 T. Canola Oil
3 T. Garlic, minced
2 T. Ginger, minced
2 T. Sambal Oelek Chili Sauce
1 c. Soy sauce
3 T. Sugar
1/2 c. Rice Wine Vinegar
4 Boneless-Skinless Chicken Thighs, diced
8 Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water

Find a medium-sized sauce pot, add your canola oil, and heat until simmering. Then, add your garlic and ginger. Cook until the garlic turns a subtle light brown. Afterwards, add your chili sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar-- then bring your sauce pot to a boil. Reduce your heat and simmer for five minutes, after your boil has been reached. Then, remove your sauce pot from the heat, and chill it. Add your chicken, and allow it to marinate overnight. The next day, turn on your grill and remove the chicken from the marinade. Skewer 3 pieces of chicken on each of your 8 skewers, placing them on the grill to cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. These tasty satays are great, even when reheated!

What about the Bell Pepper Slaw?
1 Cup Shredded Cabbage
½ Red Bell Pepper cut in very thin strips
½ Yellow Pepper cut in very thin strips
2 T. Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 T. Sesame oil
2 T. Soy sauce
1 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T. Dijon Mustard

In a small bowl, place your oil, soy, vinegar, and mustard, whisking them until well mixed. Then add your peppers, cilantro, and cabbage. Then toss until well coated. Place your slaw in the fridge for at least one hour, and it's ready to serve! Goes great with some Siracha-- or any hot sauce of your choice!