Question # 5 – Why isn’t everything on this site free?
Question #5 – Why isn’t everything on www.synergystation.com free?
For us untechie people can you tell me why you have to charge to be on here? Isn’t all this cyber stuff free?
Thanks for the question ! On the one hand it’s an easy question to answer and on the other it’s a hard question to answer. So hopefully, I’ll do your question justice below:
1st – Access to information on the site is 100% Free
When we first started building www.synergystation.com (Summer of 2011) were we initially looking at this site as a project. Something that could help bring Bakken to market efficiently and address some of the unmet needs. A site that could help with the 24/7/365 chaos in the Williston and Sidney areas.
The site was designed to fill a need that no other entity was filling. As we worked through our bumps and bruise (quite a lot of them I might add), we got advice from a lot of techie people and some business owners (aka not so techie people). We even sat down and wrote a formal business plan on the site. We thought about the the various add ons that could come on to the site over the next two years making it a pretty useful tool. Then we rolled up the big ticket cost of bringing this site to full functionality (techie word for “full meal deal”). We both had to share the paper bag as we began to hyperventilate.
OMG ! In the techie world, that’s not a lot of money. But, in my world, that’s a lot of money.
Well, we were committed to make the site happen. We didn’t want to get into this thing, have it working and truly helping people, and then have to abandon it. So, we added the business directory www.synergystation.com/directory to the site and monetized it. We always knew that we wanted to have a business directory on the site, but the software to do it as Kendall envisioned it wasn’t really available. The hard cost to design something was around $15,000 and had a lag (development time) of around 120 days.
Thank goodness for our relationship with Brenda at www.blastcreative.com; she and her team were instrumental in helping us launch our business directory cheaper and quicker…and just as we had pictured it. Kendall wanted local business owners throughout Montana and North Dakota to take full advantage of this economic opportunity whether they were going to expand into the Bakken, so simply try to capture Bakken dollars as they came into their market place. Remember an earlier FAQ question? …. when we asked folks in the Bakken what they needed and their response was “everything” ! So it really didn’t matter if you were B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer); whether you were retail or wholesale. If you, as a business were supplying “anything”; our business directory could work for you.
Our Synergy Station Hiring Hall (coming out of test mode in May 2012) works the same way. Both the Directory and the Hiring Hall are designed to get your ad noticed in cyberspace by those looking for what you provide through SEO (search engine optimization – ya – I know techie….but it works !)
Think about Facebook – it’s free right? Well not really. What you give up with every key stroke is your privacy, your marketing behavior. You use it for free, but the valuable information you “freely” share with Facebook is used to market to you. Google operates the same way. Every search is tracked. They know that if you are looking for “X” that you will also be interested in “Y”.
So what is free ! For us, free is access to the information we put on the site. They businesses that advertise job openings in the Synergy Station Hiring Hall, and the businesses that list in the Synergy Station Directory are really paying for all the coding and man power it takes to run this site. We do things as cheaply as we can so the cost of advertising and listing is extremely affordable.
One thing that was extremely important to us was that this site was an efficient, low cost way for business owners to leverage the Bakken opportunity with minimal red tape. So when you are using this site free access you can thank those businesses that have come along side us to make this happen for you. Be sure to visit our Synergy Station Directory or our Synergy Station Hiring Hall .