With the revitalization of Lakeshore Road underway, we’ve put together 8 tips to help business owners thrive throughout the project:
- Communicate with your customers (and keep it positive). Keep your customers up-to-date on the latest road closures and let them know the easiest way to access your store (don’t forget to mention the Town’s free parking initiative). Just remember to keep your tone positive when communicating with customers. Negativity will only drive people away, while a positive, upbeat attitude will keep them coming back.
- Increase your marketing. Now is a good time to evaluate your overall marketing strategy and leverage digital avenues to reach customers. If you would like digital marketing support, a digital marketing expert hired by the Town of Oakville will be offering free consultations to downtown business owners throughout the revitalization project. You can also apply for a $2,500 grant through the Digital Main Street program to be used towards your digital marketing efforts. Visit digitalmainstreet.ca for more info.
- Invest in some eye-catching signage. Bright, colourful signage in your windows or on the sidewalk is an easy way to let customers know you’re still open for business during road closures.
- Bring your product to the customer. If most of your business comes from foot traffic, identify ways you can bring your product or service directly to your customers, whether it’s via catering, home delivery or consultation. For restaurants, the Town of Oakville has partnered with Skip the Dishes to offer free enrollment for Downtown Oakville restaurants, so you can build up the delivery side of your business.
- Participate in BIA events and marketing campaigns. Throughout the spring and summer, the BIA will be hosting a number of events, releasing our annual Summer Guide and launching a new e-newsletter to the public highlighting all of the exciting reasons to visit Downtown. We’ll be e-mailing about opportunities to participate in these initiatives soon, so make sure you’re receiving our e-mails (contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our list).
- Partner with other businesses. Reach out to businesses outside of the construction zone to see if they’d be interested in forming a partnership wherein they promote your business during the first phase of construction and, in return, you promote their business during the second phase. Cross-promotional activities could include handing out free product samples or distributing coupons. You can also join forces with your neighbours to host events or complementary promotions.
- Host special events and promotions. Give your customers a reason to make the trip to your store with an exciting in-store event or offer. Make sure to let us know what you’re planning so we can promote it on our website and in our e-newsletter.
- Turn your back or side entrance into a storefront. If you have a door that opens onto a side street, alleyway or parking lot, transform it into an entrance that customers can use to access your store more conveniently. Even better, you might attract new customers looking for an easier way to access Lakeshore!
If you need help putting any of the above tips into action, contact us at email@example.com or 905-844-4520.