Ontario’s $2,500 Digital Adoption Grant

The government of Canada has introduced a $2,500 digital adoption grant to help businesses with the cost of making their products and services more digital. It is meant for Canadian for-profit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered for GST/HST, have been in existence since March 2020, and have generated less than $20 million in revenue in 2019. Businesses can apply for the digital conversion grant online.

The government of Canada has defined “digital” as “the application of technology to transform information into useful data.” this program aims to help businesses adapt to change by increasing digital sales and transitioning from traditional commerce to eCommerce. For example, you could use the digital conversion grant to make your business more digital by creating a website or eCommerce store, developing an app, improving your social media presence or building an online advertising campaign.

Businesses that receive the digital conversion grant can also be eligible for other beneficial programs like the Employer Health Tax exemption if they meet specific criteria, so it’s worth exploring these options.


What to do with the $2,500 Digital Adoption grant?

First of all, congratulations! Free money is always nice. It’s not much to write home about, but here are a few recommendations on what to do with the grant money based on where you are in the life of your business, use of online tools, and digital presence. Here are just a few recommendations.

Websites and Content
If you don’t have a website yet, this is the perfect time to set one up! A website will help you build credibility as a business and offer an online space for your customers to learn more about your products and services. Are you worried about maintenance and everything that goes with having a website? Keep it simple and straight to the point with evergreen content that local search engines love. Things like news, timely advice, menus, service updates etc., can continually be updated and promoted through your social media channels at little to no cost.

People make judgements about businesses based on their websites. Suppose yours isn’t promoting visitors to connect or is poorly designed. In that case, it can be challenging to convince them that you’re trustworthy or professional enough for them to do business with you. If you already have a website, but it’s pretty basic, this is an excellent chance to invest in a photoshoot or video and ensure you have the right content and forms to build your sales funnel.

Headless and Social eCommerce
If your website has everything it needs and then some, consider taking your eCommerce strategy even further by getting on social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok and setting up a simple cart to sell services and products directly through these channels. These techniques can be targeted and significantly boost sales over time if they’re done correctly. You’ll never know unless you try.

Payper Click Campaign
Creating a PPC message on Google Ads and focusing your keyword and target area can generate immediate traffic to your site. Especially for websites that don’t rank high, a drip campaign could be sustained over a period of time to make sure your ads are being served up on the first page of Google.

Give Back
Developing a brand is so much more than the bottom line. “Do the right things and the money will come,” “Build it and they will come,” “Pay it forward” While cliche, these expressions have merit (as long as things are planned and executed correctly). Why not take your grant money and get familiar with online crowdfunding for charities you believe in? Create a compelling online pitch with your grant money and connect with like-minded individuals in your community. Do good, feel good isn’t all that bad or self-serving. You have to stand for something, after all.

Making the most of it

Think about your business in the context of long-term goals and set a realistic budget to achieve what you need to drive results. $2,500 is a great start – but it only gets you so far. Knowing where to start is half the battle. We help our clients navigate these decisions daily as trusted advisors.

If you’re considering what your next steps are, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Maintaining your company blog

Over the years we’ve attempted to maintain a consistent blog. With the best of intentions, we’ve had some good sprints and big lulls.

Excuses

Considering the lapse over the last year and change, my track record has been pretty lame. Lots of excuses arise (although I feel they’re valid) that can be attributed simply being too busy with client projects to work on other areas we care about: our own website, talking points, research, etc.

This is not a profound post where I’m making some sort of proclamation about our commitment to getting back on the blogging horse, but more a commentary on a situation that many businesses just like ours struggle with.

Understanding your weaknesses is step one, step two is what you do about it.

Perspective

Why did we stop blogging? I take personal responsibility for this.

A lot has happened since I wrote my last post. Aside from the obvious Birthdays that have lapsed (I’m 39 now). My wife has given me two beautiful children (Girl and a Boy). Talk about perspective. I could write pages on many things that have already been said by millions of parents throughout the ages. At the centre of those ramblings, and I do say ramblings, my little one is seven months old and is still not sleeping through the night. Experiencing a good 8 hours of continued sleep is the elusive unicorn I can’t seem to catch.

Tangent – Even as I write this, I’m taking breaks here and there to make pancakes on a Saturday morning for my daughter, having only slept 3 hours due to my watchful eye on my son who has croup and a fever of 102.6. Mind you; all-nighters give me some quality time to catch up and talk to my wife about life and everything in between.

Where was I… oh yes… Being a provider – The bottom line is to ensure I’m a good provider, with all of my focus the last two-plus years has being on my family and the client projects that pay the bills. “Working in the business”, not on the business you could say.

Reality

In a parallel stream, the burden and bulk of design and production fell on Jack’s shoulders propping me up and eliminating any time for him to contribute to the blog. After all, he’s only human… I think 😉

The point of all this. I don’t have anything to write about but at least we’re getting warmed up, and talking about what’s going on at the moment is as good as it gets right now. Sometimes it’s all you need to do to get comfortable with the keyboard again and download ramblings that your friends and associates are probably tired of hearing about. Just get it out there.

Proliferation of Health Conscious Home Food Delivery?

Return of the Milk Man

For those of us that have memories of living in a house that had a small wooden compartment near the side door, we asked our parents… what is this for?

“They delivered milk to your home? Seriously?”

A growing trend of home delivery for food has been booming over the past two years. If Amazon can drop off a book and some gadgets, why can’t Sally sell smoothies through sweet social strategies straight to your stoop? (I tried)

The trend I’m seeing has to do with health conscious, time-strapped individuals who don’t want to sacrifice their busy daily routines to make a better choice in dining.

  • Juice cleanses
  • Paleo diets
  • Organic produce
  • Farm fresh meat and poultry
  • Nut milks

And that’s just the beginning.

Success

What’s going to make these business succeed over others? Aside from having a solid product and adhering to food production and handling standards, my guess would be the following:

Great Brand Identity

A targeted brand with a straight forward message. It doesn’t have to be a cure-all, even if it is. People don’t always buy based on the benefits of a product; some don’t buy on features and benefits at all. How do cigarettes improve your life?

Social Media

Strong social media management that “gets” the demographic. Nice brands need a champion and voice that embodies everything the product and brand are about. Someone with essential knowledge that can react and interact throughout the conversation.

Local Supply Chain

Fantastic local vendors and proper supply chain management: this is going to be of vital importance as many small to medium enterprises are not equipped with the software and programs to track and maintain inventory and distributions channels all that well.

Timely Order Processing and Shipping

There are many tools out there for businesses to get a jump start on taking tender and managing orders but there are several hurdles that don’t come straight out of the box on most commerce platforms. Things like: bounding delivery location, local delivery and schedule management (Delivering yourself? You don’t want to be driving across two cities only to get the order wrong. UPS, FED EX, etc.)

As huge fans of these ventures and the branding agency of record with a number in the marketplace, we look forward to seeing more and more local business develop and thrive in the coming years.

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