View Full Version : Marketing Ubuntu in your area

September 3rd, 2007, 09:18 AM
There are several (possibly into the hundreds) of mom & pop shops across the State of Missouri that may benefit from our involvement in their area. What I would like to do is see what people have in their areas. I'm looking for small shops without any type of franchising.

Later, I would like to get some contact information for each store to discuss options of offering Ubuntu LiveCDs for free from the counter... close to or next to the registers.

So, list them up if you have any of these mom & pop computer stores in your area.

Computer Pros (7713 NW Prairie View Rd, Kansas City, MO)
Computers Plus (6304 N Chatham Ave, Kansas City, MO)

Z Computer (8103 N Oak Trfy, Kansas City, MO)

I'm sure there are more here... but those are the ones I know of.

September 3rd, 2007, 09:45 AM
I know this is a bit off topic but I would like to share a story with you:

Most "mom an pop" stores will have little to no computer experience with the exception of computer stores, which will have only Windows experience and maybe some mac experience. (rare but possible.)

What these stores will need is a way to either run existing applications (through wine) or replacement applications for key services and management of their financial records.

This seems to be the only major barrier to adoption I have encountered from small local businesses in my area.
(who are always looking for a way to save money.)

Be prepared to do much hand holding and a little "close to cost support" in converting their infrastructure, but as a bonus expect to have many low maintenance/long-term support contracts in short order,

It's what I did and now for a couple of hours each week I do various linux related things for them and even make a little pocket change out of it!

Plus they are all very happy to hear that they don't need the "upgrade treadmill anymore" (saving money is awesome :) )
and virus issues (from opening attachments and web browsing)
are gone.

Most still keep one Windows 98 or XP machine around for the locked in data that they have. (mostly financial info for taxes)

But some have begun taking step to migrate the data (albeit manually :( ) to linux in their free time.

So to recap most "mom and pop" stores have told me that they need good alternative to the inventory management and financial software that they use to be able to completely switch to linux.

This is difficult but not impossible. :)


September 3rd, 2007, 10:58 AM
Excellent bits of information there mckryptyk. I really had not thought about converting these mom & pop places, rather offer another means of using computer systems... more for the end user rather than the business.

Although, I'm a bit curious about your outcome from these small places. Care to give some more details of how everything went?

September 3rd, 2007, 01:19 PM
Well I'd be lying if I said they were "easy".

The fact of the matter is, at first I received many calls over very minor things. ("How do I do This ?")

I had thought I had gotten all of the "point and click" training out of the way. (I was wrong :) )

The biggest thing that sold them on the idea of open-source software, wasn't that it was free. (free equals bad in most peoples eyes. :confused:)

It was the fact that I had said that Redhat, who opened at one of the highest IPO stock prices in history, is giving their software away, hoping businesses would pick up on it, Because it was " The wave of the future" (This was all before Google, even knowing I told them this well after Google came to fruition. :) )

Who would of figured?

They didn't even know who Redhat was. (most of them anyways)

But the idea of a big business, ( I threw IBM's name in there too ) endorsing linux was enough for them, once I told them what they could do. (think freedom and many hacks to make anything work :) )

I was a salesman, selling free software, ( for free ) they didn't know why they needed it, It was up to me to show them.

I found that the hardest to "convert", were in fact the computer stores, the ones who should be most knowledgeable of computers.

The reality of it is, that most computers stores repair Windows and their technicians only know Windows.

The goal should not be to completely remove Windows from the "Work world", every tool has it's place, The goal should be to reduce or minimize close-sourced software, even if it is on a Windows platform.


September 5th, 2007, 05:13 AM
But what about the people who refuse change? Didn't you at least run into some people that you couldn't convince?

Sorry.... Im thinking this while thinking of the time I tried to convert my parents from windows to Linux.... It didn't work too well, because they had grown fond of our windows XP computer, and this was a completely different language to them....

I did however, get them into using a Macintosh.... at least they like something that isn't Microsoft related.....

September 5th, 2007, 06:54 AM
send a letter to the "letter to the editor "section in your local news paper and tell them how great you think Ubuntu is.

September 5th, 2007, 11:15 AM
To paraphrase P.T. Barnum: "You can't sell all of the people, all of of the time".

When someone did not want to switch to linux, I told them of the possibilities again, if that didn't work, I moved on.

Most people who did not switch, I chalked up to "fear of the unknown", and left it at that, no hard feelings, why should there be?.

Can you imagine how many people said " What windows 3.1 ?, no way!, I'm sticking with DOS. I know it works." It was the same thing all over again.


January 19th, 2009, 11:43 PM
I was trying to clean up a used Windows computer for a local glass shop and none of the virus packages could clean it. The install disk had been lost, so I gave them the option buy Windows Vista or use Ubuntu for free. I showed them my laptop and they went with Ubuntu. Now I'll bet you can't guess the computer I get the calls on that it isn't working. The one with Ubuntu was the second computer for the other gal in the office.

One of these days I'll redo the other one too.