3 Great Ways for Your Small Business to Celebrate Father’s Day

Each year on the third Sunday in June, families gather to celebrate the wonderful fathers (and father figures) in their lives. Though Father’s Day isn’t the biggest holiday when it comes to gift-giving, it’s estimated that Canadians spent nearly $311 million in 2018. Your small business can join the festivities by putting a few of these fun ideas into practice.

Create a Special Promotion for Father’s Day

Having a special sale for Father’s Day is one of the easiest ways to participate in the holiday. Instead of making the discount for fathers only, which could make some feel excluded, provide a discount to encourage them to purchase a gift for their father, grandfather, uncle, or any other father figures they want to celebrate. A percent-off discount for the week of Father’s Day often works well. Make sure to market your promotion well to maximize its effectiveness. Try a combination of in-store signs, local mailings, and social media posts to get the word out and attract more customers.

Make a Display With “Dad-Friendly” Gifts

When it comes to special occasions, customers often struggle to find the perfect gift idea for their dad. Make it easier on them by choosing some of the best dad-appropriate gifts your business has to offer and creating a prominent display during the month of June. This can especially come in handy for last-minute shoppers who let the holiday sneak up on them. Combine it with your Father’s Day promotion to earn extra brownie points from grateful customers.

Host a Father’s Day Event

Create a festive Father’s Day event that works with the type of business you have. It could be anything from a relaxed cookout at a hardware store to special live music at a restaurant. Maybe even consider having some kind of raffle or giveaway that encourages customers to spend more time shopping with you. Whatever type of get-together you choose, special events like this can be a great way to attract customers to your business. More importantly, however, your event is a chance for you and your employees to relax and interact with your customers to really get to know them. This is one of the most important ways to create customer loyalty and ensure repeat business in the future.

Three Tips on LGBTQ-Friendly Marketing for Pride Month

June is National Pride Month. This time is about the country supporting and celebrating people who are part of the LGBTQ community. Getting involved in Pride as a small business is good for your local community and your business. Large corporations like Apple, Starbucks and Google have created Pride-related marketing campaigns in support and have reaped the benefits. Read on to discover three ways you can do Pride Month right and show respect for your local LGBTQ communities.

Window Stickers and Website Badges

Let your customers see your support every time they shop with a Pride sticker on your business window. A rainbow sticker, or one with the saying “We Serve Everyone” lets your customers know you are welcoming of the LGBTQ community. Using similar images as badges on your website share your message to online shoppers as well.

Business Logo

Large corporations have been known to change their logos in support of various holidays or communities. Give your logo a rainbow re-color, and promote it online and in a bricks-and-motor location. This shows the local community your support every time they pass through your doors. Keep your rainbow logo up in your business throughout the month of June to let the local LGBTQ community feel welcome in your business all year long.

LGBTQ-Friendly Policies

Look at your workplace policies. Ensure that your policies protect and support not just your customers, but your workers as well. Around 30 percent of LGBTQ employees report discrimination in the workplace. To encourage a safe environment for all of your workers, see that your equal employment opportunity policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Policies such as employment benefits for same-sex marriages give LGBTQ workers the same securities as their fellow workers. Creating a diverse employee resource group ensures that all of your workers have the same help and support.

Let your local community know you are welcoming of the LGBTQ community. Use these tips to join in on Pride Month in a respectful manner, and share your support. Supporting your local LGBTQ community not only builds a safer, more inclusive environment to your customers, but it can be a successful marketing campaign. The LGBTQ consumer market is there, and sharing your support encourages both LGBTQ customers and Allies to come shop at your business.

4 Best Items to Make Your Workplace More Ergonomic

While office work may seem harmless, sitting at a desk all day can be uncomfortable and lead to health issues. If employee workstations aren’t set up properly, staff could experience back and neck pain, tendon problems, headaches and other health problems. Ergonomic workplaces help reduce the risk of injury or discomfort. There are many ergonomic products on the market; here are the four best options.

1. Ergonomic Keyboards

Office workers spend a lot of time using their keyboards, so ergonomic keyboards are a smart investment. Unlike traditional keyboards, ergonomic keyboards have split keysets. This lets employees keep their arms and wrists in a natural position while they type. Some ergonomic keyboards have a separate number pad, so employees can position the pad in a comfortable position. In addition, some of these specialized keyboards have built-in wrist rests for additional comfort.

2. Vertical Mice

For optimum comfort, a computer mouse should keep the user’s wrist in a neutral position. While some of your employees may be satisfied with traditional mice, others may be more comfortable with alternate designs. Vertical mice, also called column mice, keep the user’s hand and wrist straight, rather than bent. While many vertical mice are designed for right-handed use, mirrored versions are available for your left-handed employees. Ambidextrous models, which encourage employees to use both hands throughout the day, are another option to consider.

3. Adjustable Chairs

Since sitting for long periods puts strain on the lower back, it’s important to provide suitable chairs. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends selecting adjustable chairs. Both the seat height and the backrest should be adjustable for employee comfort. It’s important to note that adjustable chairs aren’t one size fits all. A chair that is suitable for a short employee may not be suitable for a tall employee and vice versa. If possible, allow your employees to select their own chairs.

4. Monitor Mounts

Computer monitors that are too high or too low can cause neck discomfort for your employees. Monitor mounts are an affordable solution to this ergonomic problem. These mounts let your employees raise or lower their monitors to a position they find comfortable. With a monitor mount, it’s also easy for employees to quickly tilt their screens to reduce glare.

By investing in ergonomic office products, you can help your employees stay comfortable during the workday.

Back-of-the-Net Promotion Ideas For Womens World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is taking place this summer in France from the 7th of June to the 7th of July. This year’s event marks the eighth edition of this tournament, which consists of 24 teams from six confederations all around the world.

To gear up for this exciting occasion, many small businesses may want to consider offering promotions to help generate business and interest. Some of our suggestions are outlined below.

For an electronics retailer: offer a sales promotion for flat-screen TVs

Whether you’re a big-box store or smaller operation, offering an exciting sale on flat-screen TVs is a great way to promote the Women’s World Cup. Ideas include a certain percentage off of the total cost, issuing special-edition coupons or providing a free gift with their purchase.

Ideas for restaurants and bars

Area restaurants and bars are small businesses that benefit the most from a soccer tournament like this because World Cup fans are likely to venture out and watch the games with their friends and among other soccer fans for a more exciting atmosphere.

As a restaurant or bar owner, you can do your part by offering food specials, drink specials and decorating your venue for the most exciting games. Take a look at the schedule and pick out several match-ups that feature fierce rivalries and draw out the most fans.

Weekend games are ideal for this, since that’s when most people are bound to head out for an evening of watching the game. If you’re located in a walkable downtown area, make sure to advertise at your venue, inside and outside, and make the event known on social media channels.

Kick off your Women’s World Cup event on opening night by providing specials on food and cocktails, or take it one step further and offer half-price beers or pizzas for those who arrive 30 minutes before kickoff or offer the same to the first 100 people, whatever makes sense for your business.

And — perhaps most important — be sure you have comfortable seating and plenty of large screens so you can ideally show multiple games at once.

Benefits of promotions and specials

When you use an event like the Women’s World Cup to host special events and offer exciting, money-saving promotions, you can help generate genuine energy and interest for your business, draw in new and existing customers and create a lively atmosphere. This way, even when the Women’s World Cup is over, plenty of happy customers will want to return for a meal or a drink when they’re in the neighborhood.

Getting Your Best Sleep on a Busy Schedule

A busy lifestyle can cut into your sleep time, leaving you feeling tired during the day. However, that doesn’t have to be case. There are a number of things you can do to improve the quality of sleep you enjoy, even if you do have to work it in around a hectic lifestyle.

Improve Sleep Quality

You can get a jump start on a good night’s sleep by doing some transitional things after work or before you go to bed. These things include:

  • Incorporate a short yoga session, soothing stretches, meditation or taking a walk after work. This helps you let go of the day’s stresses so you transition from work to private time and finally to bedtime.
  • Install light-blocking window coverings or wear an eye mask. This is especially helpful if you’re a shift worker who doesn’t get to sleep when it’s dark or if you live in an area where there’s a light source outside your window.
  • Set up an ambient noise machine or wear earplugs to block out noise if you live somewhere that’s not quiet when you need to rest. That way, neighbours, family members, traffic and pets aren’t keeping you awake with excess noise.

Enjoy a Good Nap

When you don’t get a full night’s sleep, your energy may crash during the day, but a nap can turn that drop in energy into a positive thing. A nap after lunch, ranging in length from 20 minutes to one hour, offers rejuvenating benefits. It also helps make up for reduced night-time sleep. Choose a comfortable spot where you won’t be interrupted during your nap. Use some of the techniques that improve night-time sleep quality, such as wearing a mask to block light and turning on soft music to block noise.

Sleep is more than a luxury, it’s a necessity, and sleeping well can be part of the difference between delivering an average performance at work and being a high achiever. When you enjoy quality sleep, whether in one long night-time session or by taking a nap after lunch, it increases your ability to function at peak performance levels.

4 Important Measures for Workplace Health and Safety

Employers are responsible for making sure workers remain safe on the job, and as recently as 2016, 904 workers died after being involved in workplace accidents, according to the University of Regina. Understanding what’s required of you as an employer makes it easy to help employees work safely. There are several important measures to include in a workplace health and safety plan.

Understand and Correct Workplace Hazards

Things at work that cause harm to the human body are considered workplace hazards. The ideal time to explore the work area — to identify potential hazards to correct — is before anyone sustains an injury. Some common workplace hazards include:

  • Chemicals that present an inhalation risk or burns
  • Poor ergonomics that can lead to repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Biological hazards such as bacteria that can lead to illness
  • Physical hazards such as mould, extreme temperatures and high noise levels

Create an Emergency Response Plan

When your company has an emergency response plan in place, it increases safety for everyone. An emergency response plan begins with an inspection of your work area to determine potential risks. The plan is then developed around what steps need to be taken to protect people’s lives if a disaster occurs. Examples of details to include in your emergency response plan include:

  • What to do if there’s a fire
  • Steps to take if chemicals spill
  • What to do if something explodes
  • The escape route if there’s a flood

Help Employees Reduce Workplace Stress

It’s important for employers to help workers deal with stress from the tasks associated with a job or from dealing with challenging co-workers. Set up an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, to help employees who are struggling with life’s challenges. EAPs are designed to be used for short term relief and should be part of a long term wellness program, according to CCOHS.

Encourage Balance Between Work and Life

Consider setting up a work-life balance initiative for your employees to help them navigate through the work day while allowing for life away from work. Some examples of work-life balance initiatives include:

  • Fitness facilities or gym memberships
  • Offering childcare on-site
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Training and education for things that improves the quality of life for workers

Implementing measures to ensure workplace health and safety has many advantages. It keeps your company in legal compliance. It bolsters employee morale, and it reduces work time that could otherwise be lost to sick days and on-the-job injuries.

Five Amazing Workplace Strategies for Stress Management

Statistics Canada notes that more than 25 percent of Canadian workers have reported experiencing high to extreme stress daily. Work is the primary source of stress for 62 percent of workers, while time and finances are the main pressing matters for 12 percent of them. More than ever, companies are developing novel methods to help employees manage stress. These outstanding strategies are cultivating and empowering loyal, focused workers to be their best.

Help Fund Employee Vacations

Although companies often offer paid vacation time, many workers cannot afford to do much more than stay at home. At well-known human resources tool provider BambooHR, every employee receives money for vacation expenses once a year. The company wants to help employees enjoy enriching experiences and create memories that provide a reprieve from pressures.

Pay Employees to Give Back

Helping others is a powerful way to foster gratitude and gain fresh perspectives on issues that cause stress. Companies like pipeline operator NuStar Energy and Salesforce give workers at least seven full days of paid time annually to volunteer with a charity. Fortune observed that organizations who make this investment see reduced turnover.

Offer Counseling Services

Financial stress is epidemic, and the weight of it impacts employee productivity at virtually every level of many organizations. BambooHR hosts a “Financial Peace University” course on money management as well as financial advising. They also provide help with substance abuse, care for dependents and elders, and more.

Let the Dogs In

Workplace insights provider kununu reports that people who bring their pets to work have less stress and more job satisfaction. Ben and Jerry’s, Amazon, and Proctor and Gamble allow pets to accompany their owners on the job. This would not be feasible in certain scenarios like factories or construction sites; however, where open-door pet policies can work, employers can utilize this strategy with no major cost to the company.

Provide Great Spaces to Unwind

Allowing employees time to take a break is a given. If employees have access to stress-reducing environments, they are more likely to come back refreshed and ready to focus again. Some possible ideas include meditation rooms, yoga and wellness classes, onsite gyms and paths for walking and hiking.

3 Ways Your Business Can Commemorate Victoria Day

Victoria Day, much like Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas, is an opportunity for small businesses to boost their revenues. Here are some ways you can market your business as you commemorate Victoria Day.

1. Sales in the Spirit of the Day

One of the best ways to offer value to your current and prospective customers is through a sale. Unlike Cyber Monday or Black Friday, Victoria Day has history and tradition behind it: starting out as a royal jubilee, it has evolved into a long-standing signal of the coming of summer and a time for outdoor gatherings with family and friends. Beyond just cutting prices, you can get thoroughly involved in the holiday’s joyful spirit and focus your sales event on things specifically useful on a day that sees more barbecues and picnics than perhaps any other day in the year.

2. Video Content

Video is currently one of the most influential media for marketing your business. It is also extremely effective in communicating a powerful idea, since most people find it easiest to remember what they saw rather than what they read. For example, you can create a brief video about an interesting aspect of the history of Victoria Day and tie it into your business’s mission.

You can also connect with your audience through user-generated video content. This type of content garners far more views than official brand videos. User-generated videos about Victoria Day have a higher potential for being shared, and they’re more likely to go viral. These videos give your brand credibility because they offer original perspectives regarding how relevant your products or services are to the audience.

3. Gamification

Gamification can be a powerful marketing strategy and an interesting way of commemorating Victoria Day with your current and prospective customers. It encourages users to complete specific tasks and receive recognition and rewards for their participation.

You can tie in concepts like high scores, levels, leader boards, budgets and points as an incentive for users to complete the tasks and share their accomplishments with other users. Rewards for winners include unlocking badges and special discounts.

Even small incentives can inspire contest participants to put in additional effort. A Victoria Day contest can help your brand cultivate lasting relationships with your audience and turn your online followers into loyal customers who make repeat purchases.

A Salute to Moms: Mother’s Day Promotions for Small Business

Mother’s Day is the time to celebrate and remember mothers and mother figures. Many people take advantage of this special day to show appreciation to women, treating them with extra love, attention and gifts. This presents a prime opportunity for your business to help customers honour their moms.

According to a recent RetailMeNot survey, shopping for Mother’s Day begins to spike around three weeks before the big day. However, 97 percent of moms surveyed cherish being with their families and the thoughts that go into their gifts more than the actual presents. It seems that businesses that facilitate shared family experiences have the greatest impact and a higher level of customer satisfaction.

An Ebate.ca poll indicates that Canadians spend just over $60 on average for Mother’s Day presents. They consider cost, practicality and uniqueness when shopping for gifts. The poll states that the most popular gifts among Canadians are gift cards or certificates, eating out, flowers, money and clothing or accessories. The RetailMeNot survey noted that experiences and candy are top Mother’s Day purchases as well.

How can you meet your customer’s needs and expectations for this special occasion? Most of all, moms wish for expressions from the heart. Implement some of these promotion ideas to turn customers your way for Mother’s Day.

Gift Guide

Over half of Mother’s Day shoppers wait until Mother’s Day weekend to make their purchases. At least 60 percent lament that they struggle with deciding what to buy. Gift guides can help make Mother’s Day shopping easier for loving relatives. Publish a guide and email it to your mailing list or post it on your website. You could also print copies to give to customers.

Kid-Friendly Discounts

Encouraging children to shop with you is one way to attract customers during the Mother’s Day shopping season. This would bring kids and their guardians into your business, increasing your exposure tremendously. Offer a selection of budget-friendly buys or give children a special discount on Mother’s Day purchases.

Handmade Gifts

Handmade cards and gifts touch every mother’s heart. If your facilities can accommodate young children, provide space and materials for them to create crafts for their dear moms. Consider allowing space for wrapping gifts purchased at your store too.

To steer traffic toward your business for Mother’s Day and beyond, seek ways to streamline shopping for customers, appeal to children and provide opportunities for creative and memorable experiences. Mother’s Day is an ideal opportunity to connect with your customers at the level of values and emotions and earn their long-term loyalty.