If you’re a small business owner in Toronto chances are there are plenty of other businesses that offer the same service as you. Standing apart from the crowd can get frustrating and with increasing rent in the city, if you are renting space you need to ensure you’ll be able to survive the next rate increase should there be one.
Having a business that offers something unique is a great asset, provided people know about it. For example, if you’re a coffee shop owner your success will come down to a few things. Location is one – if you’re in an area that doesn’t have much traffic or in an area that is not in the business district, you’ll probably get by but would certainly not outperform a coffee shop that is near the business district. Think about it, I am sure that you yourself have grabbed a coffee at your local coffee shop along the way to work or when going on a drive somewhere. Location is important for any business and of course the better the location, the higher the cost for rent.
If you’re competing with other businesses that are near to you, this will thin out your customer base. Passer by’s will see your business but will also see a similar shop just down the road. The key here is to just get them in the door just one time and when you do, make sure you give a lasting impression. By nature, we are loyal (at least most of us) and if you show that first time customer a lot of respect, offer a good product/service and most importantly, are very friendly, they’ll probably come back for more. A similar shop might not have a chance and if they go there and have a bad experience, then it will even solidify their loyalty to you. Make a great first impression and treat everyone that walks in your door the same – as a first time customer that you want to impress.
Forms of Marketing
Back in the day you could advertise your business in the Yellow Pages and get a good response. Nowadays the Yellow Pages are not nearly as effective because no one uses it, at least not like before. Now, people will “Google” it – I am sure you have heard that before. So, if your business is not showing up in Google, then you are missing out on so much more business. If you have a potential customer that lives near you, your business should come up in the maps section which is a “box” that shows up on the first page containing businesses near you. You’ll need to register your business with Google My Business to get in there. If you haven’t done this yet, this is your first step to marketing online.
Get Your Brand Name Going
Setting your brand and making it popular can be an enormous feat. If you have any experience with search engine optimization or, SEO as it is commonly referred to, then you need to get your business listed in the search engines. You could source a friend or someone that knows SEO but be warned, if they are not familiar with the latest tactics then it could make things worse for you. Better yet, this local SEO Expert – Goliath Marketing can help your company build your brand and get ranking in the search engines to people can find you. If you’re not found, you are losing out on so much business.
As a business owner in Toronto you’ll need a healthy advertising budget to keep your company relevant. Whether you choose to do SEO, paid advertising, radio spots or commercials, your best bet is something that is long term. Things like print ads and radio spots are temporary but getting your business in Google is probably your best bet for long term exposure. If your budget doesn’t allow for SEO, then i’d suggest doing paid “adwords” for the meantime just to see how they perform for your business. You need to keep on top of your advertising whichever way you put it. Oh and don’t forget what I previously mentioned – make sure your customer service is top notch. Your advertising dollars will be wasted if new customers have a bad experience in your business.