Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Businesses and websites

This is something that drives me crazy. In this day and age, why do so many businesses not have a webpage? Even a static page with basic information seems to be an essential part of doing business these days. Yet so many companies don't bother.

Putting your own information out means you have control over it. For example, Applacres doesn't have a webpage, but you can find some basic info on other sites about apple picking locations. That doesn't mean the info (hours, produce, etc) is up to date.

Putting a webpage up can help bring in business. When I am looking for a service or product, I am more likely to do a web search (yes, usually Google) rather than pick up a phone book. Also, by searching online, I can get more wide-ranging results. I can also find information late at night when I have time. If I'm limited to calling and asking for information, it's not necessarily going to happen, because I can't always make a call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Listing basic information, even if details require a phone call, can help weed out options. A real example here is the lack of online information about preschools in Bloomington. Moms either have to look through a phone book and call each one or give up. That page of basic info could tell me, before wasting my time and the school personnel's, whether it is a good fit. If it's too expensive, has bad hours, has a religious program or not, etc. I lucked out, but I know so many moms who are frustrated at not being able to do basic research before picking up the phone.

I'm sure there are lots of other good points. One final thought is to keep the information updated. Tonight I went looking for a local farm that participates in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where we could buy a share of local, seasonal produce. One that pops up on search is Musgrave Orchard.... but the data dates to the 2006 growing season. Does this mean they just haven't updated or that they no longer do it? Either way, they really should update their page. (I sent an email but got a garbage auto-reply, so unless I get another response later, I'll assume they don't do it anymore.)

2 comments:

  1. (I apologize for the random comment from someone you don't know--I saw this entry because Chris shared it on Google Reader; I know him through the civic theatre.)

    Musgrave does do a CSA, or did last year at least; it ran from the beginning of May through... the end of October, I think, and I think it cost us $600 for a full share? Egg shares (a half or whole dozen) are also available for an extra fee that works out to about the same as buying from the Farmer's Market each week. We've participated for the last couple of years, and it's been well worth it. The first few weeks run a little thin as there isn't much to harvest yet, but the summer months get really bountiful. There's also a winter CSA available that runs from sometime mid- or late October to mid-December.

    Andy and Amy are usually pretty good about communicating (even if they don't update their web page), so hopefully you should get a reply from them--if not, Bloomingfoods usually has info as well. If you'd like more info from the POV of a participant (not affiliated with Musgrave in any way other than having participated in CSA), please feel free to contact me--star at qnarf dot com.

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  2. Thanks for the info. When I saw the outdated info and got an auto reply email that just read "return" I wasn't hopeful. Maybe we will stop at Bloomingfoods to get more info.

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