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May 2021 Economic Development Update: So many small businesses in Sunrise Corner – makers, bakers, artisans, authors and tradespeople like carpenters, plumbers and electricians – are operated from home. If you’re one of these entrepreneurs without a bricks-and-mortar storefront or huge advertising budget, how can you get the word out about your products or services?

Hands-down, the best and most cost-effective way to reach your customers is with an active online presence through social media. Here we break down a simple, step-by-step approach – the Five Ws and an H – to telling your business story online to connect with your customers and increase sales.

WHO: Share who you are and what motivates you to produce your product or provide your service. Customers love to buy from people they know by name and trust.

WHAT: Share the details of the products and services you’re selling – the quality and craftsmanship, what makes them special, dimensions, colour options, whether they are customizable.

WHERE: Be clear about where your products are available. Will you deliver or offer shipping? Is there a fee for that service? Do you offer curb-side pick-up at your home or other location?

WHEN: Is there a time frame for a special promotion? Will you have a booth at a local farmer’s market or craft fair? Don’t forget to leverage any online marketing the farmer’s markets are doing, like sharing their Facebook events and commenting with the products you’ll have available.

WHY: Explain why people would want to buy from you. What challenge are you solving for your customer? Why will your product make their life better or easier?

HOW: Make it clear how customers can pay. Are you cash only, do you offer debit or e-transfers, can people pay online with a credit card?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur testing out a new product, a student working to pay college tuition, or a community group raising funds for a project, supporting local is a strong driver for a lot of residents in these challenging times. Telling the simple story of you and your business can be the catalyst to increase your sales and perhaps even make a full-time career out of your side gig or hobby.

If you want to discuss your existing business (or a new business idea) and brainstorm ideas on how to grow, give me a call and we can chat about where you are now and where you’d like to be in the future.

Monique Chenier