Boston Brick & Stone - March 2019

THE MASONRY MONTHLY

2005 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103 | 626-296-7700 | www.bostonbrick.com | March 2019

Visit Us Online! 4 Steps to Spring-Clean Your Company Website

What’s New? Blogs, social media widgets, and news pages make your website feel active. But if you aren’t updating these sections, it can make your site — and your company — look and feel abandoned. If you haven’t posted a new blog since 2016 or left your What’s New page totally blank, it’s time to make a plan to regularly update these sections or scrap them entirely. Double-Check Your Domain Don’t let your website domain expire. At best, clients will be taken to some unclaimed page when they type in your website. At worst, someone can snag the domain out from under you. It can happen to anyone. Even Google has had problems with expired domains! Check the status of your domain, set reminders to renew your plan before it expires, or set up auto-renewal so the domain is paid for automatically. You don’t have to redesign your whole website to make it feel fresh. Taking the time to dust off the cobwebs and open the windows can make a world of difference.

When was the last time you updated your website? Not a full overhaul with a new logo or a dynamic interface — when was the last time you checked for broken links or updated your blog? Your website is an important tool to help convert prospects and reach old and new clients, and it should be properly maintained. Here are some simple tips to keep your website fresh. Update Everything Do you have a team members page on your website? Does everyone listed on that page still work for your company? It’s easy to overlook how often your company changes. Update your team members page, check that the contact information is accurate, and add any new products or services. Also, make sure your website matches today’s version of your company rather than the company it was when the website launched. Check for Broken Links There’s nothing as unprofessional as clicking a link on a website only to be brought to a page that doesn’t exist. Beyond being an annoyance for anyone visiting your site, broken links are also bad for your SEO. Depending on the size of your website, you could check all links manually or run Google Chrome’s Check My Links extension. However, if you have a larger website, it’s wise to invest in a professional tool, like Semrush.

-Dave Laverdiere

www.bostonbrick.com |

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Donate With Care

The Right Way to Donate After Spring-Cleaning

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring- cleaning. Banish the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away. Charities have a big problem with well-meaning citizens dropping off items that are better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include:

These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish

effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway. This process can be expensive for organizations with already-strained resources. Some local charities spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations. While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring-cleaning eco- friendly, even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can't take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out Call2Recycle. org to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste.

• Expired medications • Old TVs • Cribs • Loose remote controls • Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup

• Mattresses • Carpets

• Tangled cords or phone chargers • Any broken, damaged, or dirty items

Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.

Rock-Solid Review

CHIMNEY

•Inspection •Restoration and repair •Construction •Sweeping

FIREPLACE

•Inspection, restoration, or repair of an existing structure •Installation or reconstruction of new structures

"I was very impressed with Boston Brick and Stone. I called to make an appointment, and the company was very efficient and responsive — they managed to get me an appointment for the very next day to inspect the chimney. The crew arrived early and really took the time to properly identify where the rain water was getting into my fireplace. Burton quickly identified the problem being in the roof near the chimney. They reconfirmed this when checking in the attic, on the roof near the chimney, and in the fireplace. They sent me a very detailed and thorough report with pictures within two days after their inspection. I utilized their report with the roofer so he knew exactly where the problem was. The roofer believes he fixed the problem that he saw in the report, and all I can say is so far, so good." – Bob P.

HARDSCAPE

•Backyard patios •Outdoor kitchens and barbecues •Outdoor steps, walkways, and paths •Retaining walls •Outdoor fireplaces •Driveways

HISTORICAL RESTORATION Our previous restoration work includes the following:

•Restoration of the main lobby chimney system of the El Tovar Hotel on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim •Repair and restoration of chimneys in 56 original historic cabins on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim •Historical chimney restoration for the lodge in Bryce Canyon National Park •Faithful restoration of the chimneys on the Nottingham and Arden properties in Beverly Hills

BRICK RESTORATION AND CONSTRUCTION DRIVEWAY CONSTRUCTION

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How to Make Sure Your Business Is Evergreen Don’t L t Your Productivity Dip From ‘Unforeseen’ Changes

Your Brand’s Future When planning for your business, you need to consider whether or not there is a market for it in the future — or in the present, for that matter. Conduct research to determine if new technology could emerge that would render your product ineffective. It’s also important to study proposed laws that could potentially compromise your operations. For example, Washington joined about a dozen states earlier this year that require paid sick leave to be awarded to employees. Since it didn’t make headlines, you wouldn’t know unless you made it a mission to be informed. Not complying with laws like these, whether out of defiance or ignorance, could result in penalties and fines. To truly make your business evergreen, you need to be thinking and planning far ahead. Any amount of time spent researching the future of your field is not time wasted. If you don’t plan for inevitable change, your business may fail before it even takes off.

The typewriter, the horse and buggy, dueling to the death for the honor of your lover — some practices just get phased out, often for good reason. Humans are constantly coming up with ways to make our lives as easy as possible. But, as with all progress, that means the old ways are abandoned in lieu of a new fad, and this can happen overnight. Don’t let this happen to your brand. Don’t let “unforeseen” changes in the marketplace sweep your product into the proverbial garbage can. While some things are simply unavoidable, there are certainly some pre-emptive measures a businessperson can take to ensure their innovations stay evergreen. Starting Out Keeping your product relevant for years to come starts with research. At the beginning of your venture, make sure to look into trademarking, even for trademarks overseas. Nothing can derail your brand faster than having to change a product name after working so hard to gain traction. After you think you’ve found the right name, make sure that appropriate domain names are readily available before making your final decision.

MEME CORNER

Everything Popcorn

Everything is the best bagel flavor. This is not a matter of debate. Sprinkle the seasoning on popcorn for a delicious snack that will have people asking, “What does this remind me of?”

Ingredients

• 3/4 cup corn kernels • 2 tablespoons flaky sea salt • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds

• 2 teaspoons granulated garlic • 2 teaspoons granulated onion • 1/3 cup canola oil • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. 2. In a large saucepan, combine corn kernels and oil. Cook over medium-high heat, covered, until corn kernels start to pop. Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve.

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine

3 www.bostonbrick.com |

SERVING THE GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

2005 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103 | 626-296-7700 | www.bostonbrick.com

Update Your Website Without Learning HTML INSIDE page 1

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Why Charities Hate Spring-Cleaning

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Rock-Solid Review

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Longevity in Your Company’s Practices

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Everything Popcorn

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How to Make Your Sailing Dreams Come True

Set Sail for Vacation Take Your Next Trip Offshore

If you’re lucky enough to have been aboard a ship under full sail, chances are you know the thrill and serenity sailing can give you. If you’ve never been but have always wanted to know what it’s like to get out on the wind and waves, there are many great options available for beginners. Here are some ideas to inspire your next waterside vacation. Start Small For those who dream of becoming a skipper one day, a great way to start is by sailing dinghies. These one-sail, beach-launch boats fit 1–2 people and can be rented at most water sports shops. If you want to make it a family experience, shops usually have 16-foot catamarans for rent as well. Catamarans have two hulls rather than one, making for a smoother, more spacious ride. If you’ve never sailed before, inquire about lessons. Most rental operations have instructors on hand who can show you the ropes. The great thing about sailing is that whether you’re in a 12-foot dinghy or a 60-foot sloop, the same basic principles, rules, and skills apply. Take a Day Sail Many day-sail charters exist for those who want to go out a little farther than a dinghy would permit. If you’ve captained a boat and are familiar with the

waters, you can apply for a bareboat charter.

However, if you are

inexperienced or simply don’t

want a local guide at the helm, signing up for a day trip with a skipper and crew is a great option.

Do a Full Charter Short of owning your own vessel, chartering a boat for multiple nights is the closest you can get to living out your nautical dreams. Some of the most beautiful destinations on earth — from the Caribbean Sea to the Mediterranean — are best experienced from the deck of a sailboat. Letting the sea guide you to amazing snorkeling destinations, remote cays, and bustling harbors is the stuff of real adventure.

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