I am a big proponent of supporting local businesses. Especially small local businesses. Not because I think Walmart is evil or McDonald’s is poison. Actually I do think Walmart is evil and McDonald’s is poison but I have picked up an inflatable pool or two and scoffed down a big mac on occasion.
I try to shop at local businesses because of the quality and service. The guy from Argentina at my local liquor store remembers me and has recommended some tremendous bottles of Malbec for $10.
Nancy, from a local cafe, uses fresh local ingredients, points out all the herbs in her garden and walks me to my car with an umbrella when it is raining.
What drives me up a wall is the high incidence of crappy websites encountered when interacting with small business online.
I’ve seen and heard about your awesome lilies and that you ship all over the country. Why can’t I send some to my mom for Mother’s Day from your website?
The fridge is empty and I don’t feel like going shopping for dinner. Where are tonight’s specials on your website?
It’s time to get my septic tank pumped. I’ve never done this before. Can you explain on your website what is involved, how often I need to do it and what I can expect to pay?
On the flip side, there are a couple of good fish markets in town. Honestly, I have had great experiences with both, but one lists the daily specials on their site and even alerts me through a Facebook fan page. Guess which one gets my business?
Being a small business is no longer a good excuse for a crappy site. You are losing customers and missing the opportunity to attract new ones.