I think there are so many things that people can like that your only safe bet is to give them a choice. Some may want money, some may want extra time off, some may wan a trip. Maybe give them some options and let them choose. It could only help relations in the future because then you can find out what drives your best performers.
I have read that venture funding may be harder to come by with the economy the way it is right now. Does anyone have any information into this subject? I am not talking about smaller funding but funding of 250k and higher.
Anyone get funding recently that can prove otherwise?
If you have the budget find a design company that you can trust and that has work they can show you. If you choose a freelancer make sure to judge them on their work and not their price. I would make sure to be specific with explaining your marketplace.
Many of my clients say they want "flash" but their audience doesn`t want anything to do with Flash so it doesn`t make sense. Goodluck!
I think that the little dude with the shield brings down the page`s professionalism. It is pixelated and floating there in the middle. Maybe incorporate it into your header. I would also try to incorporate your tagline under you company name a bit better. You spent the time to find a unique font for your name but just through the tagline there in Arial.
Other than that I would recommend getting on a server that is hosted in a secure location with a redundent connection. It should be cheap enough.
Sorry if it sounds more negative than positive, but there isn`t much point in telling you all the things you did well.