This past week or so I’ve been able to kick back and relax a little more than usual. The last semester was over, the holidays settled down to a dull roar and the fact that I’m single again removes a whole set of time obligations from my schedule. Of course, with all this time, what could I do but web-surf?
During my web-searching I realized that there is a solution to some of the problems those of us running a business in small towns sometimes experience. The issue of lack of supplies of various kinds can really be acute when getting anything more exotic than paper plates requires a 60 mile drive, particularly when it is during the cold part of the year (i.e., ice and snow). Remember, though: if you have a business you should have an internet connection even if for no other reason than to stay connected with the “real world”.
If you have that internet connection, there is a whole world of fun, fashion, and all sorts of business supplies open to you. The key is figuring out where the sites are, and how to navigate them. Fair warning: international websites are often translated by Google Translation. While it is absolutely wonderful that Google offers this tool (thereby saving you a great deal of translation time) it is, at best, an inexact science. Example? Today I was searching for women’s earrings on one of my favorite supply sites. I ended up with a listing that advertised “Sexy witch headdress from Alice in Wonderland”. The rest of the evening was sent obsessing over whether or not there were any witches in Alice in Wonderland, and whether or not they wore headdresses, and how they linked to a search for earrings.
Searching foreign websites for supplies also takes a bit of nerve and certainly the ability to filter out items that you might find offensive in other contexts. Remember for instance that there are a great number of toys in the world, and some of them are quite…exotic. Certainly, some toys should not be shown to the under-18 crowd and especially not in mixed company. If you choose to go the internet-supply route and you don’t mind buying from sites that are not American, just remember that other cultures may not have the same sensitivities that America does, and that anyone who believes the internet is heavily censured throughout the world has never searched for toys on the web!