We are excited to show you this client highlight for BW Concepts! It’s the perfect example of a small business that created its own website, and then came to Hammersmith Support when ready for something bigger and better. Beth Wand of BW Concepts specializes in creating organic digital content for her clients. Her services range from blog posts, to website content, biographies, and social media content creation and management – which is a lot to explain clearly and succinctly. We were able to accomplish this with the use of icons and visual breaks using color too.

Before

Beth built her previous site herself on WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org). At the time, her goal was to have a place to house links to her publications, contact information, and a contact form. The previous site was not only visually very simple, but it was also lacking in SEO. The entire site laid out more like a blog than a professional’s website.

After

We really love the look and feel of the site now. Not only is it visually pleasing, but the functionality has increased dramatically. Beth provided content updates as well as new photography, and the layout was updated to make BW Concepts services easy to understand. Calls to action, as well as an updated blog layout and services page, were added. The color scheme was updated to visually elevate the site, too.

BW Concepts is also now a Hammersmith Support maintenance client! Beth shared that while she knows she can do a lot of this on her own, it’s so nice to know that maintenance is now one less thing on her to do list.

We’re Here to Help Your Business Too

If you’re thinking it’s time to upgrade your current site, or if you are starting from scratch, we can help. Book a free 30-minute consultation through our Calendly link and let’s talk about your business website needs.

It’s almost Arizona Gives Day! April 6th kicks off 24 hours of online giving to benefit local non-profits, brought you by Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum. AZ Gives.org brings local non-profits and their missions to one online location, making it easy for donors to find and connect with a non-profit that fits their passion. Since its inception in 2013, Arizona Gives Day has raised over $23 million dollars for local non-profits!

Arizona Gives Day is just 24 hours…is your website ready to handle a large influx of traffic? Here are a few things you can do to get ready to make sure every dollar makes it to your bottom line.

Check Your Security

When you type in your URL, does it begin with “https“? If not, your site is not secure. Update your SSL certificate to ensure that:

  • Your site is safe for visitors’ information
  • Visitors can actually make it to your site. Several search engines will block unsecured sites from being viewed
  • Your SEO is the best that it can be! Google Ranking Factors depend heavily on security

Update

Be sure that your site is completely updated. Look for platform as well as plugin updates – all of which are visible from your WordPress dashboard. Even a small, out-of-date section can cause headaches.

Check Hosting

Contact your hosting service to confirm that your site is able to take on a high amount of traffic. The average website takes 3 seconds to load and more than half of visitors will leave if it takes longer. Be sure that your hosting can handle increased traffic and still load quickly.

View on Mobile

Because more than half of internet users view sites on a mobile device, it’s essential that your site loads quickly, completely, and is easy to navigate from a mobile device. Check that all of the menus and contact forms are visible and easy to use and that your images are optimized for mobile.

Test

Check your contact forms to be sure that they are working. It’s as simple as going to your site and filling out the form to make sure that form notifications are getting to your inbox.

Hammersmith Support Can Help

It’s not too late! If you need help with your site, we can help. Visit our Calendly link to schedule a free 30-minute consultation and we can talk through your concerns.

Are You a Member of an Approved 501c3 Organization?

Hammersmith Support is currently accepting applications for our newest pro bono client!

Who Is Eligible?

While we always work to support our local businesses, this project is aimed at those doing the most for our community – nonprofit organizations. Any charitable organization that is an approved 501c3 and has an existing WordPress website is eligible! We know so many organizations have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, and we want to help you.

How to Apply

We’re excited to learn more about your organization! Click here to complete an application. We will be accepting applications through Sunday, March 28th. We will meet with finalists and select our new client the week of March 29th.

Have you ever had an idea or a need for your business and didn’t know where to start figuring out how to make it happen? Enter Kelly Lorenzen of KLM Consulting. As a full-scale business project manager, Kelly specializes in helping small businesses “wherever they need it.” Kelly’s goal is to give back the one thing her clients often need most – TIME. By improving existing practices through training and consulting, or designing entirely new practices in order to improve workflow, KLM Consulting really can do it all.

Collaboration Is Key

One of the ways in which Kelly has been so successful is by connecting with other small businesses. For her, bringing people together to foster and build community is one of the most important parts of her business. The primary way she does this is with Collaborative Connections, her live radio show that is converted to a podcast, then posted on her website and on podcast platforms, as well as YouTube and a blog post – so much fresh content from one show!

Each show focuses on various business topics and fostering collaboration between her clients and others in the community. The result? It’s 3 fold; it is a value add for Kelly’s clients, all guests get to highlight their business, and guests and listeners alike walk away with a tip and/or a new resource for their business.

If starting a podcast has been on your mind, we’ve got Kelly’s best advice on why you should get started and the best way to do it.

Technology

When it comes to actually creating a podcast, Kelly says not to let the technical side slow you down.

“Outsource what you don’t know / what is slowing you down. The value of the podcast is having it out there, not in learning how to produce it. Having a professional do the technical side will make the process much more smooth.

Kelly relies on Phoenix Business RadioX to host and produce her live radio show and podcast. They take care of everything – not only is it professional quality, but the final product includes all the bells and whistles so it’s fully optimized as well.

Best Advice

“Just do it! Jump right in and start. You can always change your strategy later. Don’t become paralyzed trying to figure out the best approach.”

Her other important tip is to leave your opinions at home. Listening to someone on a soapbox is only going to keep someone entertained for so long. Focus on creating a collaborative space with varying topics and opinions in order to keep your audience interested. In addition, be sure to provide value for your listeners with free tips, information, and good advice.

Listen In

Our very own Heather Locke of Hammersmith Support, along with several other small business owners, was featured on the Collaborative Connections Radio Show to discuss the importance of technology in this digitally-focused time. Listen here!

Let Hammersmith Support Help

Got questions about how you can add podcasts to your website? Thinking your site may need some additional work? We’re here to help! Book your free 30 minute consultation to talk through all your questions.

Hammersmith Support is honored and excited to announce that we are now a member of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce! Our membership was kicked off with a virtual Ribbon Cutting ceremony where Hammersmith Support was welcomed by attending members and Ambassadors.

Rooted in Arizona History

Founded in 1908 – four years before Arizona became a state – the Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s mission has been to foster community and the economy in the city of Tempe to sustain the quality of life for the residents of the city. With more than 650 businesses representing nearly 70,000 employees, TCC is committed to advocating, connecting, and promoting the businesses of Tempe.

Hammersmith Support’s Role

Hammersmith Support’s owner and founder, Heather Locke, gave a brief introduction of the company, our core values, some of the services we offer, and also explained why we love what we do. Heather answered some great questions from members about why we love WordPress and who our ideal clients might be. This was followed by a few kind words from Kelly Lorenzen of KLM Consulting and Marketing, who is also a member of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. And finally, the official (virtual) ribbon was cut!

Goals and Ideals in Alignment

We have been hearing for years from friends and business associates about how wonderful the Tempe Chamber of Commerce is and now seemed like the best time to jump right in. Our team is looking forward to joining with old friends, meeting new acquaintances, and helping this organization in its efforts to positively impact the quality of life and robust economy of the city of Tempe. Hammersmith Support’s emphasis on giving back aligns perfectly with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s investment in advocacy and business development working in tandem.

Thank You and Join us!

We’d like to express our gratitude to Anne Gill, Sukki Jahnke, and Ayrianna Drayton for organizing and hosting the event and to Cox Business for sponsoring this great event! If you’d like more information about how Hammersmith Support can help you, please click over to our Calendly link to book a free 30-minute consultation. And for more information about the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, take a look at their site.

Our founder, Heather Locke, has been nominated for the 2020 Arizona’s Finest for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation! Arizona’s Finest honors the most accomplished, innovative, and emerging leaders and business professionals. The honorees are given the chance to highlight their commitment and professional achievements in the community while raising awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

About Arizona’s Finest and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Founded in 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s mission is “to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.” Arizona’s Finest fundraisers are held over the course of two months and in each state. The goal is to bring together a community through the tapping of individual fundraisers.

Heather’s Involvement

First introduced to the Arizona’s Finest fundraiser through Casey and Teresa Strunk, Heather was intrigued by the style of fundraising.

“Giving back to our community is so important to me. So much so, it’s at the foundation of Hammersmith Support. Being honored as one of Arizona’s Finest to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is such an honor – and I’m excited to continue to give back in a new way.”

How You Can Help

Each honoree is asked to raise $2,500 with a group goal of raising a minimum of $25,000 during their two-month campaign! Heather would be honored if you would consider making a donation to her page for this amazing cause!

For more information about cystic fibrosis and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, visit their website at www.ccf.org.

This week, we are continuing to highlight local organizations that are doing great things for our community. Hammersmith Support is a member of Local First Arizona, a network for small businesses in Arizona. Local First Arizona is a nonprofit organization that works to create a community, a voice, and a network for small businesses. They offer resources, promotion, and also advocate for a strong and competitive local economy.

What Is Local First Arizona?

Founded in 2003 by Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona’s goal was to create a community for small businesses. By creating this network for small businesses, owners were able to find resources, connect with other companies, find mentors, create collaborations, and more! The result is a vibrant, unique, local, small business economy that brings excitement and diversity to our state.

Our vision is an Arizona economy that is sustainable, resilient, and celebratory of diverse cultures.

Indie Week

Each year, Local First Arizona celebrates Indie Week where individuals and other small businesses are encouraged to purchase from or support a local business. Because 2020 has been quite a different year, Local First Arizona is hosting Indie Week the entire month of September! This year is even more fun because there is a prize associated with your patronage. Complete 5 calls to action in the card below and enter to win a gift card.

Why We are Involved

One of Hammersmith Support’s foundational beliefs is that we need to foster and give back to our community. We do that in several ways, including choosing a local nonprofit for whom we provide pro bono maintenance services. But we also believe that a rising tide lifts all ships and our support for other small businesses is vital to our community and our economy!

Hammersmith Support is Here to Help

While we work with businesses of all sizes, we understand the unique challenges that many small businesses face. Schedule your free consultation today and let’s talk through how we can help you and your business.

When consumers are looking for a product or service, they will likely have a variety of businesses to choose from. Large companies, small ones, and some middle-sized as well. According to a recent survey, when it comes to choosing who they are going to buy from, 91% of respondents indicated that they prefer small businesses when convenient, while 74% actively search for opportunities to support small and medium businesses even when it is not convenient. Why is that? Many like to support smaller businesses, hoping that it will also support their community. But there are some other distinct advantages that small businesses have over larger ones:

Quick Reflexes

When there are fewer people in a business to train, consult with, etc., companies are able to move faster. The COVID-19 pandemic is the ultimate example. Larger companies were still scratching their heads as to how they should work to accommodate their customers. Where small businesses, like many restaurants, were able to quickly adjust to take-out only options. They streamlined menus, utilized social media to send out details, hung banners announcing safe pick-up, and maneuvered their teams to safely make food and deliver it to customers.

Flexibility

When there’s no chain of command that needs to be involved with changes, actually making those changes for clients becomes so much faster and easier. A lack of hierarchy means that the person you’re talking to likely has the authority to make a decision, and can make it quickly. If a client needs a different service model, there’s no “checking with the manager.” Instead, the change can be made quickly and easily to accommodate the client’s needs.

Connections

Is there anything as frustrating as calling a company, knowing who you need to talk to, only to get placed on hold or sent straight to voicemail? Of course everyone can’t be available every moment of the day, but there is certainly something to be said for having a direct connection to the company you do business with. Knowing that your phone call or your email will be answered and by whom makes a big difference to customers.

In addition, having a consistent relationship with clients means that you’re likely to have a slightly more personal interaction. When a business knows their customer’s children’s names, their spouse, or important events happening in their lives, their customers feel appreciated and comfortable – two aspects of a business transaction that can only be done with genuine customer service.

Innovation

So often in a small business, the owner wasn’t trained to be in their position; they created that position, that business. This level of innovation is so appealing to customers because they know that when they have a problem, this company is going to know how to help them solve the issue.

We’re Small, Too

We know so much of this to be true because we’re a small business, too. We certainly enjoy working with our large-scale company clients, but our small business clients and our nonprofit clients are extra special to us.

Thinking about making some changes to your website? Or do you need some advice about where to start, or what changes you should consider for your website? Need a little help keeping up with your website information? We’re here to help – reach out and let us know what we can do for you and your business.

If you are a parent. If you are friends with parents. Then you need to read this interview! We’re excited to introduce you to our Hammersmith Support client, Marni Steinberg of iGen Parenting.  Marni founded this speaker series to not only educate parents but also to start a conversation between parents and their kids about the important topics facing today’s youth.  We hope you enjoy reading about Marni and iGen Parenting as much as we have enjoyed working with her!

Tell us a little about you

As a University of Arizona graduate, my college experience is a big part of my life. Even today, I am still close with my group of friends from that time. After college I moved to New York City to start my career in advertising. As hard as it was to move across country with no job, money or friends, I am proud of myself for doing it and my experience was priceless. I moved back west through Colorado and then returned home to Arizona. Professionally, I have over 25 years of experience in project management and client services, including senior positions in advertising, marketing, public relations, sponsorships, fundraising and event execution. Personally, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to the movies, eating out, hiking and exercising. The majority of my free time is now filled with my daughter’s activities and social life and I am trying to enjoy every moment of it as she really is growing up fast.

What is iGen Parenting?

I decided to start iGen Parenting because I was hearing so much about the issues and concerns my friends were experiencing with their older kids. My daughter is currently in Second Grade but, time and time I again I have said “I can see the future” through what I am hearing as friends navigate tween and teen life. I want a resource in place to provide topical information and I believe that iGen Parenting can be that resource for parents. They always say there is no manual or handbook for being a parent and every kid is different. I believe that but I also think that information from experts can help guide you. iGen Parenting will bring those experts together for you in its monthly sessions and break down some of the important topics you need to know about.

What is unique about your style and product offering?

The idea of iGen Parenting it is not only to provide speakers who are experts in their field who bring information directly to parents but also to build up the community by enabling parents to share with each other as they tackle everyday situations with their kids.

As a parent myself, I believe the iGen Parenting series will inform parents by providing them with expert advice and information about a host of important topics like drugs, bullying, cyber-safety, tolerance and emotional wellness.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

If you see a need for a service, fill it! Let your passion be your fuel.

Want to learn more about iGen Parenting? Click on their contact information below! Their upcoming speakers series schedule is below as well:

info@igenparenting.com

Facebook

www.igenparenting.com

Tuesday, August 20 – How to Reach, Teach and Support Today’s Kids

Tuesday, September 17 – Drugs in Middle School

Tuesday, October 15 – Raising Good Digital Citizens While Keeping Them Safe Online

Tuesday, November 19 – Keeping the Conversation Going with Your Tween

Tuesday, January 14 – Your Tween’s Mood: When Is It More Than ‘Just a Phase’?

Tuesday, February 11 – Suicide Warning Signs

Tuesday, March 24 – No Place for Hate in the Schools (ADL Hate Crime Initiative)

Tuesday, April 21 – Arizona Laws and Your Tween: What You Don’t Know

Want to read more about women in business? Click on over to our blog page to find more!

At Hammersmith Support, one of our core values is to give back. Every year, we choose a local charity to assist through website support services, pro bono. Our goal is to further their mission by enabling their online presence to be everything it can be.

#LoveUp Foundation

Our current pro bono client is the #LoveUp Foundation. This Phoenix-based charity is a “jack of all trades” when it comes to assisting children in the foster care system. We use that phrase because of all the amazing services #LoveUp Foundation offers to children in foster care. Their services range from entertainment at a Diamondbacks game, to holiday parties complete with an overwhelming amount of gifts for deserving kids, to supporting teenagers as they “age out” of the foster care system. These teenagers are thrust into the real world with little support and the #LoveUp Foundation is happy to help them get the supplies they need for a new home, job opportunities, and more.

Why They’re Needed

The #LoveUp Foundation has an ever-growing population of kids who need help. Why’s that? Because the stats on children in the foster care system are staggering:

  • Over 438,000 children are in the foster care system across the United States
  • 20,000 children annually “age out” of the system at 18 years old
  • 1 in 5 of those children will experience homelessness after the age of 18
  • Fewer than 3% of foster children earn a college degree
  • 1 in 4 children in foster care will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

How You Can Help

It’s hard to read those stats and not wonder how to get involved! #LoveUp Foundation has several ways for us to do so. They’re always in need of monetary donations, but you can also volunteer at an event for the kids. Your business can participate in the Arizona State Corporate Tax Credit, which is a dollar for dollar credit to the donor. And maybe the easiest way to help is to purchase a #LoveUp Foundation t-shirt, the proceeds of which go towards funding the various projects that #LoveUp Foundation is working on. Not only does this help underwrite the costs of the foundation, but it also helps to spread awareness about #LoveUp Foundation, which is critical in supporting this valuable charity.

Want to learn more about our commitment to service in our community? Click on over to our Giving Back page to find out our “why.”

woman in pink head wrap and light blue suit Hera Hub Phoenix

We are huge fans (and clients) of Hera Hub! This female focused co-working space offers various forms and levels of office space for busy professionals that may not need a full office every single day. Whether it’s a quiet room to focus or shoot a video, meeting room, or a co-working space, Hera Hub has it all. What makes Hera Hub so special, is that it’s not just a business. Their mission is to foster women’s businesses and build up the community by providing productive work space and opportunities for collaboration. It is that mission that makes Hera Hub so special to us. We hope you enjoy reading about Shatha, the CEO of Hera Hub, Phoenix.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

I was born in Homs, Syria, moved to Chicago as a young girl and settled in Phoenix as an adult. I’ve traveled the world, spending a lot of time in the Middle East. Witnessing so many diverse cultures throughout the world has been my inspiration to build figurative bridges across industries, communities, cities, and more. I believe women have innate capabilities and gifts that can bring people, families, cultures and minds together, once she has stepped into her full leadership potential.

Why did you decide to open Hera Hub Phoenix?

I stepped away from my corporate career knowing I wanted something different out of life. After soul searching, I founded a non-profit which became my full-time job. We began to grow our family and I found myself completely underwater managing the non-profit and our family. While in this state of chaos, I discovered Hera Hub and I was blown away by the concepts and their mission. I knew this is what I had been searching for; a space that allowed me to bring my passion for uniting women and fostering small business growth for our community.

What is unique about your style and product offering?

I wanted to create a working environment that was not only conducive to business, but one that created calm inspiration. Hera Hub is just that; a zen, spa-inspired, productive work space.  A place where people come in and really feel that this is the office space they always wanted. Where they are surrounded by people that they can relate to, collaborate with, and be comfortable around doing business. Our space is flexible; it works well for both short visits for focus, to full days of work that require both quiet and collaboration. We offer meeting rooms, conference rooms, training rooms, and event space all in one location making it easy to accommodate many different levels of business.

In addition, Hera Hub is absolutely dedicated to our mission of supporting women in business.  We’ve partnered with many organizations and groups to pull resources and connections to provide and support women to thrive in Phoenix.  Our aim is to be that inclusive and diverse landing spot and launching pad for women in the valley!

What advice would you give other women business owners?

I would say to female business owners is to not underestimate yourself or undervalue yourself. I talk to many women who don’t want to highlight their accomplishments and share their wins.  If this is still uncomfortable for you, then write it down, have it on your website and your brand content.  Then, surround yourself with others that will not only cheer you on, but can also highlight and be your advocate.  You’ve worked hard for all the work that you’ve done and deserve the recognition!