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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Post

    someone asked me if I had a website and I said no. That got me thinking....

    if someone was going to see honey and possible splits next year, would it be advantagous to have a web site?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Post

    splits, definately. Honey, maybe not. I think people often underestimate the advertising potential of the internet. Often, people looking to get into something new go straight to the internet to learn about it. You want your location and products in your meta tags so people in your section of oregon will be directed to your site when looking to buy some bees. I've asked a few local friends if they wanted a website for free to advertise their livestock and they declined or forgot about. I think it has alot of potential for people selling specialty things.
    people looking to buy food (honey) typically go to a store or stand to buy it. I could be wrong, there is a guy on here whom advertsies honey on his website. Naturesway?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Post

    My personal belief is that a well maintained and truthful website won’t due any harm. (But then again I’m a bit biased as I’m seriously considering staring my own website development business.)

    Unless you have a huge stock of specialty items or rare honey, I doubt simply having a website would drum up more business on its own for you. However, having a website allows you to also share your business history which can be rather appealing to existing customers. You can put a simple website that outlines what your honey business does, and how it does it, you can also put a story behind the face that sell the honey.

    Another nice thing about a website dedicated to your honey craft is you can share honey specific recipes (which I’m sure you have). If people are encouraged to use your honey in your recipes they will soon use it up and come to you for more.

    Selling splits is a whole other division. Unlike honey, fewer people have a use for it, and most people don’t know what to do with it. In this case a search engine may be your best friend when someone somewhere searches for “Oregon Beekeeping” they would be likely to find you, and you may very well have your self a sale.

    As for the question (not directly stated, but likely to occur) of should you sell items through your website? Most likely no, supply a phone number and maybe an address, selling through a web based store for few items is likely more trouble than it is worth. If you really want to sell small quantities online and don’t want the trouble of maintaining a store look into stating an e-bay store front or yahoo store.

    Domain names are cheap, so is hosting, I say go for it, if you don’t like it there is no reason you have to continue with it.
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Centeral Minnesota
    Posts
    142

    Post

    I have a website, and I don't sell anything on it, but I made it as a challenge to myself, for enjoyment (I like technical stuff (even though I can't type )), for 4-H, and to raise public awarness on honey bees and what they do. I still need to add stuff to it Eg. pollination also if you can get it, get a free web server (I have earthlink, and they provide free webhosting, but with a catch [img]smile.gif[/img] it starts off with home. earthlink.net (see below for my address), just try it and if you don't like it/think it's not worth it. Stop... it was free. It you think it is a good thing, then buy a webspace/domain name, and stick to it! Goodluck!

  5. #5
    AC Guest

    Post

    I can tell you this, first my opinion is definatly biased as I am a web developer. It is getting to the point in the business industry itself that if you aren't online people do not understand why? This has to either be the case or will eventually be the case in the bee business as well. Google alone does many of millions of searches a day. overture states the following:

    Searches done in June 2005
    Count Search Term
    94984 honey

    So in june there were almost a hundred thousand searches for honey alone and thats just through overture.

    I have been reading several posts about the pros and cons of websites on this forum and I can tell you this much. If you are going to do a website have it done by a professional for 2 main reasons.
    1. there is alot more to a website today then just pictures and words, and even metatags - so chances are if you just wing it nobody will find you out of the masses anyway.

    Google Report for keyword honey:
    Results 1 - 10 of about 12,500,000 for honey

    2. As bad as not having a website is, it is better then having one that doesn't represent you as a professional company. I mean would you tear a paper sack in pieces and write your name on it and pass them out as business cards? Of course not becasue it would not reflect well on your business, the same goes for your online presence. If you dont want a large ecommerce site then just make a professional informational site like a digital business card and dont sell products.

    I can tell you this I got here from searching for beeswax for a new venture my wife is getting into with soaps, candles etc. and I was looking for a local supplier of raw materials.

    Some will bawk at a higher priced website but it is ok if you are getting your moneys worth. A professional web developer will design the site, list you with search engines optimize your website, supply you with detailed reports and provide ROI (return on investment) and SEO (search engine optimization).

    One example is a pet bakery website I developed, following our advice they are doing more then 10 times what they are doing in there store online. Through search engines and through visitors to there store purchasing online as well.

    EX: Imagine you sold your honey with your website address on every label. Then lets say someone owns a restaurant across the country but he is on vaca and visits your store, buys your honey and loves it. Now he goes online and buys 24 jars for his restaurant. Now everyone who eats there loves it and look at your label and go to your website.

    Just my opinion. I would be happy to discuss this in more detail if you prefer. Just pm me or send an email. Maybe we can barter for your products as I seen other people here dpoing this.

    FYI: My wifes website if you just want to look is at http://www.stacysscentsations.com I am still working on it but I think you can get an idea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    You could have warned us to turn the sound down. I did that at work! Then had to explain to everybody how your web site was helping me design ours. lol

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Post

    Cool! I'm trying to teach myself so I can handle and redo our churches website. The guy who did it refuses to have anything more to do with it and couldn't get anything to work when he tried to teach me. I like what you're doing!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Chef, a website is a great tool if you keep it inexpensive and update it regularly. Ours costs us about 11.00 bucks a month and keeps our Green Market customers and beekeeper customers informed without me having to field a couple hundred phone calls a week. I have to do the design and editing (which is not too difficult once you do it). Keep it simple and put your web address on everything. (Labels, info sheets, signage, shirts, hats etc). We only do a couple thousand a year in actual web sales (shipping honey is prohibitive) but it supports our sales considerably and saves me a ton of time. If you have to pay $500 or more to develop something small and $100 or so a month to maintain it I don't think it would be worth it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,595

    Post

    One example is a pet bakery website I developed
    Could you post a link? I've been looking for just such a place. Do I have to send the cat to them or can they tell me how to bake him at home?
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Websites are a great way to provide customer
    service AFTER the sale, but opinions vary on
    how much business a website "generates" if
    your product is not mail-ordered, downloaded,
    or otherwise "delivered" as a result of the
    website user's actions.

    For honey, I'd not bother. A better strategy
    would be to invest in a not-well restored
    1930s truck, a pair of stained and torn
    over-alls, and a beat-up straw hat, and go sell
    your honey by the side of the road. I realized
    quickly that I was wasting my time with a
    "honey vending machine" I prototyped, when
    several people said "who wants to buy honey
    from a MACHINE?"

    People want to buy honey "from the farmer",
    and the more you look the part, the more
    people will approach you.

    So, signs should NOT be "too professional",
    packaging should look "homemade", and the
    ultimate package just has to be a bail-top
    mason jar.

    Some people get carried away with this approach,
    for example the late Richard Taylor, a fairly
    prominent man of letters, who dressed as some
    sort of Amish character most of the time, and
    sold his honey from a roadside stand made from
    materials rejected even by beavers.

    My little website ( http://bee-quick.com )
    is just for fun. Our primary product is
    entertainment, and bee supplies are just a
    minor detail.

    How do I do it? Writing html by hand, with no
    "web developer software at all". Using the
    (Unix/Linux) vi editor, nothing else. I
    fooled around with flash, java, and all sorts of
    other trendy stuff, but the most recent addition,
    "The Wall Of Shame" ( http://bee-quick.com/wall )
    is 100% gif animation done with Adobe Photoshop
    and Imageready, which should be a clue about
    the current status of "rich content" tools for
    the web.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wetumpka ,Alabama
    Posts
    510

    Post

    Well maybe this will help out some.
    I got started in beekeeping by searching beekeeping in my state,then by package breeders in my state.After looking at a few I picked one that was relativly close to me so I could meet and talk to them about bees,which in turn has started me in the breeding process,I stress here the word started..(Only 7 hives so far but wanting more.)
    Anyway I do have a website promoting my wares that I hope to have in the near future.
    I think the biggest thing is to get your name out there to the people.The internet can reach millions of people.
    If I were moving to another state I would do a search of beekeepers to figure out who my suppliers might be,who my comptetion might be,maybe any laws governing beekeeping.
    If your business isn't on the net you will miss a sale from most people these days,maybe not honey,but all other products are fair game .
    jm2c
    If you build it they will comb it.<br />Tim Rolan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Trumbull, CT
    Posts
    406

    Post

    I have a small Carbon Monoxide testing business I started last year and the website has helped.

    check it out

  13. #13
    AC Guest

    Post

    I agree, as I stated earlier a website doesnt havent to be extravigant or even sell anything it can be as simple as a page or two describinng your company. It is just that with the costs so low if you dont have one I think people wonder why?

    I also agree with putting your web address on "everything". The more you csn promote yourself the better. Word of moouth will soon take over.

    For notaclue, If you need help doing a website for your church contact me as I am always willing to help out non profits and church orgs. in my free time at no cost.

    For anyone else, I would be happy to make a barter deal with members of this board for your wares in return for a website and hosting. I will look for a more appropriate place on this forum for such a link. Mainly I am interested in beezwax. But if anyone has products they either want to barter or list on my wifes website let me know.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    AC, I checked out your wife's website, and like many I go to, I cannot find where you are located. That is the first thing that makes me leave a website and look for another one to do business with. I wonder whether I'm just not finding it, or if they are afraid someone will find out where they are.
    Either way, I leave it fast. My site is not as fancy as yours, but you can find me or the product you want much easier. WWW.Caudlesew.com

  15. #15
    AC Guest

    Post

    iddee,

    As i stated in my post I have only been working on my wifes website for several days and it is not finished yet. As for easy navigation you carry a hanful of products as my wife will carry thousands. I went to your website and I myself do not prefer frames or sideways scrolling bars. I did look at your products and when i click the link for the homepage it loaded right.html in the main window with no navigation whatsoever as it dropped the left frame. That to me is not easy navigation most of your links are like that. This could easily be fixed byt editing left.html edit the links to read &lt;a href="pagename.html" rel="nofollow" target="right"&gt;whatever link&lt;/a&gt; changing the href to the html page the the whatever link to what you want to appear.

    Thanks for looking at my wifes website though. have a look in a few days or so when it is finished.

    Her website is a little more complicated then yours as it dynamically generates all the links and html tags. as well as monitors inventory, as well as contacts shipping co for exact shipping pronts the labels and invoices for the orders as well as notifies the shipper to come pick up the in stock items etc.

    As I said this is alot of bells and whistles that are not needed by most companies.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    AC, Thanks for the info. I will show it to my programmer. "My son, with a new book on HTML." HA!
    He just reset the front page this week and probably does have a few bugs. If you have other sugestions, I'm all ears.
    I don't have my parts on the site yet, but at last count, they numbered 37,000+ part numbers, and that doesn't count the machines. Like I said, yours is much nicer, just PLEASE put your location on it.

  17. #17
    AC Guest

    Post

    Idee,

    I will put the location etc on the website. If you have that any different products I would definatly suggest a database driven website. This would call things from the database so when the database is updated it will reflect your changes on every page. It would be a disaster to have several hundred pages made and then have to change every one of them. In her site (which uses a database) if she adds prducts etc she just selects a categorie then con move it or whatever or add another cat etc. and the website updates its own pages.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    AC, would you go back to my site and send me an email. I would like for my son to talk to you about that.
    Thanks

  19. #19
    AC Guest

    Post

    will do iddee, I also put the contact info on my wifes website. LOL

  20. #20

    Post

    Ok - for you web fans - here's our website which my wife designed and keeps updated! I'm the honey guy and she's the marketer.
    www.eBeeHoney.com. Please email us with any suggestions.

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