Bass Pro Sites was launched with a specific direction - create websites that bass fishermen could use to attract sponsors and take their fishing to the next level. And it all started on the water. Bass Pro Sites Pro Staffer, Larry Stoafer, recounts how the idea went from the water to reality.
Well after almost 3 years of research, contacting, and negotiating with web design companies, here we are; a professional website to assist me in chasing my dreams of becoming a professional angler. Most are probably asking "Stoafer what took you so long?" Well, if any of you have had aspirations of developing your own website you probably know the answer. Technical competence and cost.
First, technical competence: Well, let me try to describe my operational environment for all you savvy techno geeks. I would consider myself technically capable when it comes to the Google search and email. I would go so far as to say, I can hold my on surfing the net; but that would be about it. Other than being able to pull myself up by the boot straps to get through the doldrums of the Microsoft Office suite of software my information age skills are somewhat limited to say the least. Ok, to be perfectly honest my wife and teenage sons would unequivocally state that I am stuck in the stone ages when it comes to the technical aspects of the web in general and social media to be more specific. Hell, I have only been texting for 3 years. So, I hope you are with me now; I am not the most technical savvy knuckle dragger on the Blogosphere. So personally, I was intimidated by those self help web design tools. Not to mention most of the ones I researched, just didn’t present the professional image I was looking for.
So getting some web design help was my only option. That leads to point number two, cost. Of the half dozen or so web designers I spoke to it was going to cost between $3000 -$6000 to get a professional website built depending on number of pages and the functions I required. Not to mention, the maintenance and upkeep challenges that I would face using their software programs. All above my skill set for sure. See point number one. So at this point, I was stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place without the skills or finances to make my dream a reality.
Well at least until last summer, when I was paired with Ray Otterson during a Mid States Tournament Association (MSTA) bass tournament on Smithville Lake. Meeting Ray for the first time on the morning of the tournament, he seemed to be a nice enough guy. We were excited to get the day started so after a quick hand shake Ray quickly loaded up his tackle, I prepped the boat, and we launched. For any of you who fish Smithville Lake, you know that during the summer the bites are few and far between. And our day was no different than most, thus leaving plenty of time for the traditional small talk. Where you from? How long you been tournament fishing? Got any family? What kind of work do you do? Ray explained that he worked for a marketing company in Kansas City and more specifically worked in internet advertising and was thinking about starting his own internet business. As I tentatively listen to Ray’s business concept, I began to get excited about the possibilities. Ray explained that he wanted to develop websites for tournament anglers that were inexpensive and easily updated by the user with a basic understanding of Microsoft Office software.
Wholly cow, no way. All I could think was how did this opportunity fall in my lap. I knew for a fact that there was a desperate need for the service that Ray proposed. And after some encouragement, Ray offered to let me get on board during the design phase. Ray asked me for feedback on his website templates, specifically, the functions needed, aesthetics, and user friendliness. In exchange Ray would use my site as a proof of concept. Within a few months Ray shoots me his ideas and a couple templates. I pass him a few ideas and before you know it, Ray’s new internet business BassProSites.com is a reality. And www.larrystoafer.com is more than I could have ever imagined. Within the first week of having my site live two of my tournament buddies where already working with Ray on sites of their own. Like any new small business Ray is working hard to make his business plan a success. If you are a tournament angler looking for an affordable, professional, and easy to maintain website give Bass Pro Sites a shout at info@BassProSites.com