How Online Tools Helped a Family Farm Get New Business

How can online tools help your small business get new customers? I experienced a real-life case study of this principle recently. Together with a few of our friends and family, my family went to Crumland Farms in Frederick, Maryland, recently and had a great experience and perfect weather. We used a combination of online tools to make the decision to visit Crumland Farms even though it was farther away than another nearby farm.

Here are the online tools we used to decide on visiting Crumland Farms:

Crumfield Farm

Discovery:  Daily Deals Email: We discovered this offer on Crumland Farms through a niche coupon site called Certifikid, which is a daily deals site that focuses on families and kids and a  partner of Washington Parenting Magazine. Certifikids was a discovery by my wife, whom I consider more grounded in offline information than I am.

Validation: Business Website: The competition was a LivingSocial deal at a nearby farm which had fewer activities for kids than Crumland Farm. The moms went to the websites of both of the farms to take a look and compare activities and pictures.

Social Presence: Multimedia YouTube: We watched Crumland Farms’ YouTube channel to get a good idea of the activities and discovered that the farm also has a Twitter ID @crumlandfarms. They also have a Facebook page where I saw a recent post asking if food was available on the farm.

In the end, we were more comfortable with our decision to visit Crumland Farms because of the validation from its different online properties, the content that we saw, and the deal they placed on a niche site (which we got in an email).

What are the takeaways for other small business from our experience with this farm?

  • Be easy to find online with a website
  • Have good content, pictures and videos of your business online
  • Try out niche daily deals sites
  • Have a social presence

Are you a small business owner who has tried out  niche daily deals sites? Or a consumer who used a deal recently to visit a small business? Either way, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below.

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Shashi Bellamkonda Shashi Bellamkonda is CMO of Surefire Social, AKA "Social Media Swami" at SurefireSocial. Visit Shashi Bellamkonda's blog. He is also an adjunct faculty at Georgetown University. Shashi is a regular contributor to the Washington Business Journal, DC Examiner and other tech blogs like Smallbiztechnology and Techcocktail. Shashi has been in the list of Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champions list for 2011 and 2012.

5 Reactions
  1. Thanks for the info on a cool-looking farm, Shashi.

    Looks like the owners really get it.

    I don’t use the daily deal sites. So far.

    That may change. Thanks for the info!

    The Franchise King®

  2. I think we’ve reached an age now where there isn’t any consumer facing business who doesn’t need a presence in the search engines, daily deal sites, and social media websites. I know many people who find most of their activities through friends on Facebook and Twitter.