Posts

Logical Mix Chats with Nat from Whitby’s Chamber of Commerce

I recently had the pleasure of catching a ride through Brooklin with Whitby’s Chamber of Commerce CEO, Natalie Prychitkoas, a guest on her YouTube series “Chat with Nat”.

I was a bit awkward at the start. I tend to wear an expression that makes you expect to see a couple of stray feathers sticking out my mouth, a little tweet tweet echoing from inside me. That expression intensifies when I’m a bit nervous and then I stumble over my words a bit.

For example, she asks me––

“You’ve got young kids, don’t you? You know how I know? Because your front porch is full of young kid plastic stuff,”

I reply as my usual witty self with this awkward gem:

“You didn’t think that was me?” I joked, as if to suggest I spend my afternoons wearing swimmies, splashing in a kiddie pool or practicing my golf swing with a Little Tykes 3 Wood.

Because as a guy in the digital marketing biz, that’s exactly the image I wish to portray.

But permanently-etched mental images aside, Nat was correct. Our house is overflowing with every kind of plastic toy you can imagine because my wife and I have two young boys (three, if we include my afternoon antics). The point is, I know I’m awkward but that perma-grin is really because I’m just kind of a big kid inside.

She asked me about my history and why my family and I moved to Brooklin from Toronto. My wife and I grew up in Toronto and we loved living there but once we had our first son, our house became a bit too cramped for us so we entered Suburbia. We chose Brooklin because it’s a little bit like Pleasantville––everyone waves and smiles, and smiles and waves. There are paths connecting this street and to that park and to Heber Down (if you haven’t been to Heber Down, do yourself a favor and check it out), and there are some really great burgers right in town. What more do you need in a community than great neighbours, nature trails, and good grub?

And then we moved onto business. Nat asked about what I do and why I do it and what I’m anticipating for 2018.

I love this question and it’s one of the reasons I’m happy I got the chance to chat with Nat. I love having an SEO company in Whitby and I want to tell everyone who will listen.

In addition to being a dad and a husband, I’m also a digital marketing geek who started up his own biz in 2011. Before that, I worked for a company called Contractors.com, which did internet marketing for tradespeople. It was awesome and the site was receiving 200K visits per month right up until Google changed its algorithm that removed ranking authority from domain names. I sat in on one of their meetings and was fascinated by how Internet search engines could be so strategically manipulated. That was essentially how I got started in digital marketing, which led to the creation of Logical Mix.

Nat asked––“Why did you join the Commerce and what are you anticipating for 2018?”

When I moved to Whitby, it felt like a good time to immerse myself in the community so I joined the Java Jolt––a member-led group of business people who meet up to help each other out and build a supportive network. They opened my eyes to the Chamber so I checked them out and like their vibes––Bob’s your uncle.

As for my 2018 goals––well, basically, I’m a community guy. I want to help people and the way I do that is by helping local businesses grow and build their online exposure. It’s what I know and what I do. It’s why I’m so proud of the work the Whitby Chamber of Commerce does for the community. They are true ambassadors for businesses in Whitby and the Durham Region.

I’m grateful to Nat for her time and for sharing our chat on YouTube––check it out below:

 

3 boats at a beach

FIND A GREAT LOCATION

You hear it again and again, the importance of finding a prime location when choosing where to open up a business, yet many still find themselves tucked away in a corner far from main intersections or anywhere where people can view their signage. Being a SEO company doesn’t need a prime location, but your retail shop or restaurant sure does.

So you may wonder why location is of such importance. Location is important for both large and small businesses, and it has a direct effect on the operations cost as well as reaching the target clientele and customers, resulting in creating necessary revenue. In addition, once you choose a location, it is often costly to undo – picking up your business and moving somewhere else has its downfalls, which is why the first spot you choose needs to be in a prime location. The costs of moving can cost you customers, and result in losing staff if you move to a farther destination than where they are willing to commute to. The risk of inconveniencing staff and customers is not a risk you may want to take, so being sure that the spot you choose is the right location the first time around will save you from a lot of stress and hassle.

While there is no such thing as the “perfect” location, there is something called a “prime location”, a location surrounded with the right clientele and good general traffic. Being near a main intersection, for example, generates a great deal of traffic (both pedestrian and car), traffic which can be converted into customers when they view your business when driving across town or walking around a neighbourhood. Ensuring that your business is in a good location does have its benefits, benefits such competitive unit costs.  This means that an acceptable location allows for access to inputs such as supplies and raw materials.  A prime location results in optimal revenue opportunities, as both clients and staff are not inconvenienced to travel to your location, but rather enjoy entering your business as its location is easy to access and in a convenient spot.  Finally, a good location allows access to a labour force and therefore enables your business to achieve its goals in workforce planning.

Furthermore, the government actually offers grants and assistance to businesses that locate to areas that suffer from low employment ratings. Incentives often include grants to help the start up of your business, loans which are repayable over many years with low interest rates, and various tax breaks.  There is a lot of thinking that should go into choosing the location of your business as receiving tax breaks and grants can help you a lot with your overall start up costs.

Finally, a very important part of choosing a prime location is the amount of parking space surrounding your business. Pay parking or meter parking is not ideal and could very well deter customers and staff from entering your location. Customers look for convenience and pay parking is not ideal as many will choose to visit a competing business if they offer free parking and an easy to access location.

Location is extremely important, and finding yourself in an undesirable location can be stressful and upsetting to a new business owner, especially when first starting your business. You want your name to get out there and you want to be seen – whether it’s your signage on the street corner or the signage plastered to your windows, you need customers to be able to see what you are offering in order to attract them. It’s a shame when you run into a great business or service doing poorly because they are not gaining the recognition they deserve simply because they are hidden away from traffic and potential business. If you find yourself in a situation such as this, be sure to find other ways to allow your business to be seen, whether it is going door to door or handing out coupons, you want your name to be out in the public generating discussion. By thinking hard about the location and taking the time needed to make the decision on where your business will be located, you can avoid issues later on and can ultimately generate a great deal of revenue with increased amounts of business.

Oh yeah…don’t forget to put that location on Google and every searchable platform possible.

Logging Out,
Logical Mix

Business road sign

WHY IS SIGNAGE SO IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESS

Let me share a personal story regarding business signage I encountered a few years back. When I was living in Vancouver, BC, there was a unique and delicious family owned pizza restaurant. It was a pizza place where they prepared the pizza for you, and you took it home and cooked it, making your entire kitchen smell like freshly baked pizza. The idea was brilliant, the pizza was amazing, and the customer service was out of this world. I visited the restaurant on a regular basis until a year after opening the owners moved north, and they ended up selling the business to a new set of owners. The new owners kept the same idea, used the same ingredients, and appeased the already existing customers, yet one simple poor marketing choice cost them their business as it ended any potential for attracting new customers – they changed the signage. The original owner had a simple but bright sign that could be seen from the nearest intersection, as well as handed out flyers and coupons door to door every Saturday morning. Their strategy was simple, but it worked. The new owners however did not upkeep these strategies and changed the sign to a black and white, non-visible, size 10, Arial font banner.  They then complained about not reaching people, but the reasons were evidently clear. Simply put, their signage cost them the entire success of their business.  Soon after their six month of opening, they shut the business down as it was costing them too much to operate and they were making little to zero revenue. The spot still remains empty and vacant to this day.
Now you may believe this case to be an extreme and rare, but the experience taught me at a young age the importance of signage, especially if you are taking over an already existing business. A sign can either attract someone in such a way they want to enter your business and learn more about what you offer, or in the case of the pizza store, your sign may cause them to laugh in embarrassment at the printed paper you have draping over your windows. The importance of advertising is vital to the overall success of a business, especially with small businesses. Signage is extremely important and can end up being the make or break in the overall success of your business. Here are some simple questions you should ask about your current signage on a monthly basis:
1.      Does this sign send the right message to my customer?
2.      Is the message relevant and eye-catching?
3.      Are the colors and design bright, vibrant, and noticeable?
4.      Is the sign visible in the early morning or late evening? Does it light up in the dark hours?
5.      Is the signage in tip top condition?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, then it is time to either invest in new signage or fix your current signage to accommodate the needs of your customers. If your signage does light up, but some of the bulbs are burnt out, the overall first impression from your customer is that your business does not have the time or care to replace the bulbs and update the sign.  More often than not, customers base a business purely off of their signage because it is the first thing they notice and it is their first impression. By ensuring that your signage is noticeable and in good condition, you will have a better chance at attracting the customers you desire to attract. Have good signage (logos/branding) online too. Get noticed.
Logging Out,
Logical Mix

Summer Trees

Warmer Weather For Marketing

While many Torontonians are basking in the heat, it can be the perfect time to exercise some outdoor marketing activities.

So what does all this temperature talk how to do with your business? Well, for one, there are a variety of new ways one can market their business in the warmer weather, which we will discuss in this month’s blog. Here are five perfect warm weather marketing tips that will boost people’s attention about your company:

1) Community Events
Children are running around playing in parks, the sun is up longer, and people are outside enjoying the weather. A prime way to take advantage of this is to get to know your community, the people who drive by your location every day and may not even know what you offer or why you exist. Hold a local community event in a nearby park on a warm weekend day, as it will attract new customers as well as bring your current customers together.

2) Group Promotions
“If you tell five friends, you have a chance to win…” This always manages to attract people, after all, how easy is it to forward something to a friend or family member and automatically have a chance to win a free product or service? An easy way to incorporate this is to run group specials offering promotions based on the amount of people one of your customers brings in, either by text message or email. If one of their five friends has been referred by a current customer, they can be entered to win a prize of your company’s choice. Not only does this encourage the spread of information about your company, but it also increases the size of your database, offering more potential customers knowledge about what you offer.
3) Door to Door
While the door to door method may seem rather old-school, its overall effectiveness may surprise some. When you go door to door offering your community a special deal that your company offers, you’re putting your foot out and getting to know your customers on a one-on-one basis. While going door to door may be a bit too personal for some, handing out fliers on the street, or any sort of outside promoting is key during the summer months. People are more likely to stop and talk when the weather is nice and their being introduced to a service they may know nothing about.

4) Cool Drinks Anyone?
Is your business on a prime intersection, perhaps where many people are walking their dog or going to the park with their children? Setting up a free lemonade or cool drink stand outside your business will be a friendly invite for people to stop by and for you to promote what you are selling. It gives people a great reason to cool off and come into your location, seeing everything else that you have to offer.
5) Text Messaging
The moment you have a customer’s phone number in your database, ask them if they don’t mind receiving promotions through text once in a while. It is in this way you can build a large client phone number base where you can use text messaging as a community builder. The options are endless and range from promoting a new service, to offering polls for customers to vote on what product they like best. Monthly prize winners or even larger one time prize winners are a prime way to communicate with customers through text messaging and get people through your doors.
While there are various ways a company can advertise during the summer months, it is important to remember that it is during the summer when people may not mind as much to be approached about your service if they receive a free drink on the house. So instead of being cooped up inside this summer, remember to get out and get to know your community. It is in this way that your company can grow into a community landmark, a place your customer will remember and tell their friends about.
Logging Out,
Logical Mix

Treat Your Business Like a Garden

Spring is here and the flowers are blooming. This gave us a great idea to relate treating your business as a gardener would tend to their garden.

1) Study your landscape before you start gardening
In business, you should know your competition and you should know what can propel your business above the competition. At the very least, know what separates your company from the competition. Come up with a plan that you can follow through and know that your plan will grow your business. You wouldn’t plant a tree that needs a lot of sun in a shady area, so don’t sell a person a product or service that won’t grow your company and get you referrals.

2) Fertilize the soil
Related to checking in with your clients and making sure your service or product is up to their standards. You should be doing this on a regular basis.

3) Pull the weeds
This can translate to two things with your business. You can clean up any loose ends you need to fix to ensure your customer is happy or you can get rid of the customers you believe to be holding your business back. There is such a thing as a bad client (we don’t have any, but when you make those sales you shouldn’t have made, these customers have a way of hurting your business). Seriously, we love our clients!

4) Choose the right Plants
In business, you need to choose a plan that will benefit you and your customer. Offer a product or service that your company specializes in producing. Do not offer singing lessons to a customer, if your company only makes custom leather gloves. Similarly, to a garden, do not plant a tropical plant in a shady area in a northern climate. You will simply be wasting valuable time and money.

5) Water Properly
This goes without saying, but successful gardens need water (unless you have cacti and desert plants). Each climate is unique and each plant/flower depends on different watering schedules, but they all need water. Your clients are comparable in the sense that they need quenching (H2O). Each client depends on your care differently. Some may need lots of attention, whereas, others may be annoyed by you constantly soaking them with attention. Know who you’re dealing with.

6) Keep a keen eye on your garden during all seasons
This doesn’t mean, hovering over your customers at all times, but understand what makes them tick and what keeps them happy. If you produce clothing, make sure the quality is where it should be. If you run a daycare, keep your play areas sterilized. If you run a fruits & vegetables stand, ensure there is no mold or pests on your produce and keep your produce hydrated (that last analogy was used to link the garden to the business).

Your business like a garden is a beautiful thing. If you maintain your garden, every year it will look nicer and keep a smile on your face. Your business is no different. If you tend to your business properly, every year it will grow and everyone will take notice…just like you garden.

Logging Out,

Logical Mix