The importance of having a website.

April 12, 2007 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

I’ve been scouting around for my paper suppliers and I must tell you, it has been a super horrific experience. It almost seemed to me that there are no paper merchants in Singapore as I was only greeted by less than 5 legitimate paper merchants in Google. Not to mention that out of these 5, I am already purchasing from 2 of them.

I need paper! So what did I do? I decided to go the traditional way and source from YellowPages (Singapore). I input the word “Paper”. I was excited cause the teaser header said “200+ results”. However my anticipation was met with a sore disappointment. I was brought to 200+ entries of ….

“Joss Paper”.

The search at Yellow Pages isn’t exactly very intuitive I would say. I couldn’t find the paper I needed. I tried Paper Products, I was brought to toilet rolls and plastic products. I tried Printing Paper and I was brought to printing presses and paper bags. This is getting absurd.

Until I finally figured out the keyword: Paper Distributor

I was extremely happy as there were a sizeable amount of results until…

Yes you guessed it. It was a complete listing of paper distributor companies that didn’t have any more information other than their company name, telephone and fax. Am I going to be going through the whole list just to get what I want? Don’t they have like a website or something that I can easily extract some information? I called one, that was close to my office, up. Really excited cause that office was within walking distance… Only to hear that they sell…

“Waste Paper”

I felt that I have been led through a merry go round chase. Urgh. I continued ploughing through the list and realised that most paper companies don’t even have a simple website! Even those that listed their sites had defunct links. I googled, Yahoo-ed, dog-piled their names only to be appalled by the lack of web representation by these companies.

Oh my god.

It was only in the end, it was by some fluke googling that I found the paper merchants association in Singapore. (now how would one even know that there’s such an association in the first place. We don’t know what we don’t know. I didn’t know that paper distributors are known as paper merchants, it was only after this experience that I found out) I clicked on it and found 1 guy who was relatively near my office and had a website. I visited it. Great! The links are working, albeit the whole website was made up of stitched up Jpeg files. But I found what I needed to find. He stocked the kind of paper I wanted so I made the phone call and am now going to meet the salesperson.

See how one website makes the difference? Especially in this day and time where the younger ones are going to be taking over the business and the older ones are retiring. Really having even a page summarising or stating what you have will help your company a lot!

If you’re a traditional bricks and mortar company, go get a website! You already know how essential it is to stay competitve in today’s world.

If you’re a budding web design firm, come up with packages, cheap ones for these people to take up. Let them put a few pictures, list down their products and location. Get a nice looking email. And fax these packages to them from the emails listed in Yellow Pages. Put these packages in the fax!

Trust me, people read the faxes and the best way to get their attention is to fax such packages to them. Nothing interests my colleagues more than the packages that web design companies send over. Not so much of collaterals that says “Hi, we are a web design company, come look for us.”

Try  it 🙂

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Hello World The Good, Bad and ugly of working in a family business.

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