DUKE Law – Our Free Legal Information Service is back!

legal-information

legal-information

October 01, 2019

In partnership with Osgoode Law School we are bringing back the DUKE Law service which provides free legal information to the DUKE Heights BIA community and beyond.

Whether you are a start-up, a small business owner or an entrepreneur, DUKE Law can be your first-hand resource in finding answers and clarifications to the legal aspects of any business query.

Mark your calendar as DUKE Law is set to reopen doors from October 9th, 2019! The DUKE Law Team equipped with Osgoode Law School students will be available for answering your questions.

Disclaimer: DUKE Law service is available to be accessed only for free legal information and it cannot be substituted for legal advice from a trained legal professional.

Questions, comments or concerns? Let us hear from you.

Know your Customers – Understand where you need to focus your marketing efforts

marketing-article
October 01, 2019
Written by: Atul Oka, Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development, DUKE Heights BIA

marketing-article

Creating effective marketing messages, while sounding simple, is in reality one of the most difficult things to define because all prospective customers, are not all cookie cutter versions of each other. Every potential customer is different, with different wants, needs and aspirations. Do we know which customers are more likely to buy from us? Do we actively market to them, or do we try and reach all our potential customers by spreading our marketing message as wide as possible?

Our approach depends on what we hope to achieve with our marketing efforts. Traditionally marketing is aimed either at brand awareness, or sales.

Marketing for brand awareness is used to create and maintain visibility of our brand. It keeps our brand top of mind with potential customers and ensures that our company is well understood and positioned. Let’s take two brands owned by the same company but with very different positioning. Jaguar and Tata Motors are both part of the Tata Group. The Jaguar brand is perceived as an aspirational brand while Tata Motors is perceived as a lower cost, value for money brand. If you are planning on marketing for brand awareness, you need to be clear about what you want your brand to stand for.

Most small businesses however need to focus on targeted marketing to boost sales. But, how do we reach, and sell effectively, to our potential clients? Let’s take an example of a product or service from the same company and how it can apply to different markets. Imagine that you are a home baker that has a passion for cakes. Your biggest selling items are children’s birthday cakes and wedding cakes. To whom, and how, will you market each of your products? Ask yourself, who makes the purchase decision, and what type of media do they usually consume.

We all know that the bride has the final say for any wedding cake, so in this instance you know you need to target potential brides. Where would you advertise to make sure that you reach this target market? In bridal magazines and websites of course. Advertising on your community radio station might reach more people, but what percentage of listeners are actually looking for a wedding cake? Radio advertising may reach more people but will not translate into more sales.

Children’s birthdays are usually planned by moms, so how would you reach this market? Your best bet here, would be to advertise at party venues and party supply shops. You should note however that when it comes to small business, word of mouth is your most powerful marketing tool, so make sure that each and every client is satisfied with your service.

Wonder how we keep our clients satisfied? We will explore how to measure client service in our next article.

How this business transformed their brand for a year of growth, with $2500 in free funding

big-slice

big-slice

October 01, 2019

Last month we showed you how to secure $2500 in funding to grow your business with a Provincial grant which has no payback requirement. You can read more here.

Today we look at how a small business many of us may know, was able to use the grant to transform their brand and create a comprehensive growth strategy for the next 12 months.

The “Big Slice” has been serving Toronto with Italian food for close to 40 years. The founder Giuseppe Luciano helped pioneer the selling of pizza by-the-slice!

big-slice

They opened a second location a couple years ago and needed help to boost sales at both locations. Guiseppe’s son Sebastiano secured the grant and put the money towards a new brand and website that both locations could benefit from. You can see it here.

In addition, they were able to develop a strategy to-

  • grow their reputation and ratings on google (already working);
  • develop 2 types of easy-to-make content to engage their customers;
  • develop a strategy to double their most profitable revenue stream;
  • develop a 52-week brand strategy to grow their loyal customer base.

They were able to do all this with a financial boost from the grant, which is still available to businesses like yours, regardless of which industry you’re in.

If you think your business needs a new website, brand or digital strategy, please fill out the form below.  We’ll put you in touch with an expert that can show you how to secure the grant, as well as grow your brand and business.

Can your business benefit from six months of free marketing?

getintheLoop_duke-heights-bia

getintheLoop_duke-heights-bia

October 01, 2019

If your business is within the Duke Heights BIA, and offers existing products or services directly to consumers, you may be eligible to apply for 6 months of FREE marketing and promotion.
The Duke Heights BIA has partnered with mobile marketing company GetintheLoop to offer 15 businesses the opportunity to reach thousands of new customers in a landmark pilot project aimed at boosting marketing, sales and awareness of some of the great businesses we have in the area.

The GetintheLoop platform allows businesses to create and post their products or services on their fast-growing mobile marketing platform, which will automatically expose your business to over 10 000 active consumers in the region, and over 500 000 through partner networks.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this limited offer to boost your business, Contact the Duke Heights BIA at business@dukeheights.ca or complete the application form on our website. Applications will close on 25 October 2019 or as soon as 15 qualifying businesses have been selected.

GetintheLoop form submission

 

20% of Ontario Digital Transformation Grant have already been distributed – Apply Now!

 

July 01, 2019

Why Your Business Needs to Go Digital

Reason # 1:
Researches show that 36 cents out of every dollar spent in-store in retail shopping is influenced by digital devices. (Deloitte)

Reason # 2:
Digital Main Street makes it easy! Digital Main Street is a free online platform which gives businesses recommendations on how to get started and which tools they can use to increase sales and engage more customers online.

Reason # 3:
Exclusive Deals are available from trusted vendors. Digital Main Street encourages digital vendors to offer exclusive deals, discounts and free trials to main street businesses.

The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and the City of Toronto have developed Digital Main Street as a platform that can help you better understand the digital tools your business should be using.

Digital Transformation Grant Program

The Digital Transformation grant provides $2,500 to each qualifying small main street Ontario business to purchase and adopt digital tools and technologies. There are ONLY 2000 grants available until March 2020, so apply EARLY. To start the process to apply for a Digital Transformation Grant, visit the program information page on the Digital Main Street website.

Whether your business needs a website, a new point-of-sale or digital inventory system, or just needs to become more visible online, by joining you will receive a free digital assessment for your business, learn how to adopt digital tools and get connected to vendors offering deals and discounts for the BIA members.

Duke Heights BIA marks four years of partnership with York University

July 01, 2019

Over the last four years, businesses in the Duke Heights BIA have partnered with the University to provide York students with extraordinary experiential learning opportunities, while receiving innovative marketing expertise at no cost to their organizations.

Recent experiential education projects by York University showed that even small investments into the community by students have a substantive and positive effect on local businesses. Combining academic and community networks has increasingly become a pillar of the university.

“It’s clear that our long-term partnership with Duke Height BIA has been extremely beneficial to our marketing students and the businesses they engage with,” said Karlene Case, Senior Experiential Educational Program Coordinator with the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.

“Our marketing students provide real, tangible benefits to organizations. They bring the skills needed to tackle marketing challenges and develop strategies to improve everything from client retention to brand awareness,” she added. “The Faculty continues to partner with the Duke Heights BIA and invites local businesses to tap into bright marketing minds for the upcoming Fall 2019 semester.  The relationship forged between York and the BIA is truly symbiotic and represents a real “Height of Opportunities.”

What to Do When a Customer Doesn’t Like Your Service or Product

customer-satisfaction
June 01, 2019
Written by: Kristen Steele, DUKE Law Intern

customer-satisfactionCustomer satisfaction plays a key role in the success of any business. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, dissatisfied customers whose complaints go unaddressed have as low as a 9% chance of returning as a customer. This is in stark contrast to the 82% of dissatisfied customers who returned to the businesses who addressed their complaints on the spot.
If a situation arises in which a customer is dissatisfied with a service or product, there are numerous ways a business can deal with this matter. For example, should a customer file a complaint against a business, this is what they should know:
Under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, customer rights are protected for most common transactions. If a customer has a complaint against a business or feels that the business has violated their rights under the Act, there are various avenues that they can take. One avenue a customer can take is to file a complaint with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services who will notify the business against whom the complaint has been made to give them the opportunity to respond. If the issue is not sufficiently addressed or the notifications are ignored, the Ministry may add the business’ name to the Consumer Beware List and/or take legal action. In this scenario, the following is a list of steps that can be taken by a business to remove their name from the Consumer Beware List:
1. Showing that they did not receive notice of the complaint from the Ministry,
2. resolving the situation to the satisfaction of the person who filed the complaint, or
3. by responding directly to the issue in the complaint.

In the case of a breach of contract, customers have access to additional legal remedies that may be solved in the judicial system. If faced with legal action, a business should obtain advice from a lawyer regarding how best to proceed.

Creating Opportunities Summit 2018

Community Benefits
Creating Opportunities Summit 2018

Celebrating Community Empowerment and Growing the Movement

This year’s Creating Opportunities Summit was a packed, two-day event and a great success! Osgoode Hall Law school, Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN), and DUKE Heights Business Improvement Association (BIA) collaborated to organize the summit to promote Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) and better access to jobs and opportunities.

As part to the 2-day event, community members and leaders got to participate in a free 90-minute bus tour that provided an overview of the Finch LRT project, promoting opportunities for community benefits through its construction.

The evening featured Ratna Omdivar, Canadian Senator and founder of the Global Diversity Exchange at the Ted Rogers School of Management. A longtime leader in the struggle for social justice, Ratna delivered the keynote during Friday night’s celebration dinner where she expressed her support for CBA’s.

The second day of the conference featured the City of Hamilton Councillor and staunch advocate for Community Benefits and social justice policies, Matthew Green.

The conference provided the local politicians, union representatives, community members and advocates for community benefits with a platform to collaborate and grow together.

As Rosemarie Powell, the Executive Director of Toronto Community Benefits Network puts it best, “the only way to achieve our goals is through ongoing collaboration, hard work, and a commitment to the Community Benefits Agreement model”.

New Subway Line Opening!

The time is finally here: the new subway station extension through our community is opening this December 17, 2017!

This major investment will forever change our wonderful community, and better connect us to the rest of our city and GTA as a whole. This new 8.6 km subway line extension features state-of-the-art stations at Chesswood/Sheppard (interfacing with GO), Keele/Finch (interfacing with a future LRT), York University, Steeles (east of Jane), Highway 407/Jane, and the Vaughan Metropolitan centre at Highway 7.

As the former Chair of the TTC’s Spadina Subway Extension Committee, I am proud to have been able to work on making this amazing project a reality.

Interesting Facts About Our New Subway Line:

-The amount of soil excavated to build the six new stations could fill the Roger’s Centre.

-During tunneling, muck was dug up dating back to the Wisconsin Glacial Ice Age that ended 10,000 years ago.

-Enough concrete was poured at the six new stations to build 10 CN Towers.

-You can travel to a Leafs or Raptors game from the new Finch-West Station in about 35 minutes.

 

Sincerely,

City of Toronto Councillor

Free Wifi @Keele Street and Finch Avenue West

Free Wi-Fi @Keele Street and Finch Avenue West

We are excited to announce that DUKE Heights BIA is now offering free Wi-Fi on the corner of Keele Street and Finch Avenue West!

Making use of our free Wi-Fi is easy. When you are in the Keele Street and Finch Avenue West corner, simply look at your available Wi-Fi networks to find the one named “Duke Heights BIA Guest.” Once you have found the network, provide us with a few simple details and you will be ready to use our free WiFi!
This pilot project will be available for the next 6-months and we are looking to expand the service throughout our BIA in the next two years. We hope to benefit businesses by providing a service on our behalf for customers to enjoy. As one of the second largest BIA’s, with over 34,000 people visiting our area every workday, our free Wi-Fi is a way to keep you connected on the go!

If you have any feedback on the service, email us at info@dukeheights.ca.