June 2011

As an entrepreneur, do you ever feel that “Greening your business” is something additional to your core business strategy? Do you regard it as an extra added cost? Think again. Sustainability is good business sense and is an excellent return on investment.

It is economically beneficial, creates a loyal customer base, builds a strong brand image, and supports strong employee retention.

1. Make sustainability your core business strategy

Strategic alliances can lead to business growth when business owners rally to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.  One recent tourism industry success story is of sixteen operators downtown Nanaimo that came together under the banner of the Painted Turtle Guesthouse’s ‘Stay & Save’ program to increase overall visitor numbers, increase local visitor spending, and increase average length of visitor stays in Nanaimo.

How do you successfully build up a team of like-minded businesses who share a common vision?

Word of mouth marketing is a true grass roots and organic form of marketing, based on our natural desire to share our experiences with family, friends, and colleagues. If we have a great experience we are proud to share the information and promote that business to an average of 9 people. Do you know how many people we are likely to talk to about a bad experience? 16! Almost double the amount of a positive experience. With social media becoming a part of our daily lives, the impact of these numbers is multiplied.

As a business owner, it becomes imperative to manage word of mouth marketing strategically.

Music is one of the truly universal things that make people feel good all over the world. It also sells - ideas, services, products. The value of music to business owners is obvious and, in some cases, integral to their success. Imagine a dance club or an aerobics program without music. In restaurants, music helps create the desired atmosphere. At hockey games and other sporting events, songs are used to pump up the crowd and the home team. When music is performed or communicated to the public, the people who write and publish these songs must be compensated for it. In Canada, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), is the organization that makes sure customers acquire the correct licence when music is publicly performed.

Have you noticed how many vehicles have vinyl letters on their rear window or bumper? For small businesses, this has been a great way for them to get exposure wherever they go.

For as low as $50, your website address can become a moving billboard. It’s funny when you see beat-up vans or trucks with the name of a company and telephone number displayed on the back of their vehicle. I often wonder if people have the confidence to call these service people after seeing how they take care of their automobile.