2018 has been a year of many changes for my family’s business, Oswald’s Pharmacy. We’ve taken many steps towards “digitizing.” Having a web presence has never been as important for local businesses as it is now.

My first memory of surfing the web is using America Online (AOL) in 1996. AOL was basically synonymous with the internet at this point, which was still seen as a toy by most people. Outside of email, chat rooms, non-mainstream news, and discussion forums were the main draw for most users.

The first time I searched with Google was in the computer lab at Washington Junior High in 1998. The search engine quickly became my (and most people’s) go-to. Google has evolved over the years not only to show us websites we are interested in, but also to answer our questions.

“Asking” Google things like “how to unclog a drain” or “where to get good ice cream” are just as common as searching for a particular site. The online arena is where we have been focusing our efforts with our online presence.

Traditional advertising and promotion always seemed like a gamble to me. What percentage of people who see your TV spot, hear your radio ad, or drive by your billboard are actually interested in your business? I loathe intrusive advertisements; campaigns that play a commercial eight times during a sports broadcast or nondescript print ads being posted everywhere.

Local businesses have a great opportunity now to stand out in their communities via the internet. Social media, Google Business listings, YouTube, and online advertising, all offering great ways to connect with people in our community who are interested in all the great local businesses and services we have here in Naperville.

Connect with your community in ways you never could have in the past!


Editor’s Note / The family photo at the top features Nicki Anderson back in 1985 with her infant son, Wil Anderson, who now writes this monthly column for Oswald’s Pharmacy. Nicki Anderson currently serves as President/CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce where she’s focused on technology more than ever. In fact, the Chamber recently met its fund-raising goal of $250,000 in excess for its Future Forward Campaign. The funds will enable the Chamber to update its technology and communications systems to better serve its member businesses.