On Digital Readiness

Dictionary.com defines being ready as,

completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use

Something I enjoy doing on weekends, is visiting coffee shops (without my laptop) and having conversations with people. I particularly enjoy talking with the Baristas and the store owners.

Inevitably a conversation about online presence comes up, and being a passion of mine, I usually try to convince the store owner to either setup a website or to think about selling their product online.

However, this past Saturday a store owner helped make me aware of something I hadn’t completely considered before. My assumption about having an online presence being essential to a business in this age was not always valid, in this case in light of infrastructure of the business.

But what do I mean by infrastructure?

Without naming the store, I’ll describe how I saw their business primary functions. I saw them as;

  1. Selling coffee and light eats to customers,
  2. Selling coffee beans/ground coffee to customers.

So in my mind, in terms of digital, there are 2 aspects here, the first is getting customers to the store. A website would help get people to their store, but as the store owner explained, by using Google maps most of their customers find them just as easily. A website doesn’t add any additional value there.

The second aspect would be the selling of coffee beans/coffee ground to customers. We talked about this and I suggested a few options for the store owner. And he was very interested in taking this further, but not immediately.

My curiosity piqued, I asked him to elaborate why not immediately, and what his key consideration that I hadn’t even thought of was, was the store’s roasting capability. The store’s current roaster was only able to satisfy the demand for the physical store and a select few customers. There was no way they could satisfy the demand for an online store if it suddenly took off.

So while their product is (in my opinion) amazing, they are limited in terms of production. It helped me understand some of the difficulties that the store owner was going through, seeing that he had a great product but not yet able to bring it to more customers.

The good news is that in a months time I’ll be heading back to have another conversation with the store owner about getting a basic website up (maybe with a simple Store), as they will be installing a much bigger roaster, this time…

ready for immediate action!

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