There are some great little towns in Ontario, and to many, Bradford West Gwillimbury is certainly one of them. Just big enough to have a crowded GO Transit parking lot at the height of the morning commute, and yet also so close to Ontario's rural farming communities, Bradford attracts a variety of residents who call the town home.
New Development & Old Bradford
One of our past clients cited challenges with attracting new customers from the west end of Bradford to their east end business. No matter the prominence of your business on the town's main strip, businesses in the east end often get overlooked as a consumer destination due to the perceived lack of convenient parking options. Visibility of your business is also reduced when customers simply don't have a red light to stop at to let their eyes wander. Bradford is very much a growing town in the sense that businesses who tap into social trends of younger generations seem to achieve much more success.
Anyone who has lived in Bradford for any length of time knows that there is a large social community that has developed on Facebook, most prominently throught the "Welcome to Bradford, Ontario" Facebook group. Residents share personal stories as well as announcements about local events, and the group is monitored in such a way that it does not become overly commercialized.
At Least Offer Something
Yes, yes, everyone is allegedly "excited" for you that you have opened up a new business in Bradford, but once the 3-4 month honeymoon period for your business is over, you're going to have to think of some creative ways to keep residents interested in your business. Bradford is a community of people who aren't shy to drive a few extra minutes to a place where they know they are going to get a predictable quality customer service experience, and let's not forget that Yonge & Green Lane is a hub of activity now with the wide assortment of staple large-chain businesses.
Businesses who fail to offer an incentive for customers to engage in their business haven't lasted long in Bradford. Restaurants in Bradford are incredibly competitive, and only those who play the marketing game well seem to survive. Being able to structure promotions in such a way that remains profitable yet still are sufficient enough to draw in crowds is certainly a balancing act. If you operate a full-service restaurant, never underestimate the power that sitting guests at the windows has on your business. Seeing a completely empty dining room can be toxic for your walk-in traffic, because customers will hesitate to enter if they are wondering in the back of their minds why locals don't see a reason to visit your restaurant.
Restaurant Menu Design
If your business happens to be a restaurant, pairing your hard work with that of a graphic and web designer can often be the key to putting your best foot forward. Having a professionally-designed menu will not only help residents acquaint themselves with the identity of your business, but will also put them at ease. Just like with web design, customer experience of menu design is largely affected by customer expectations. Customers expect to see prices, expect to visually be able to digest the layout of your menu in a short period of time, and should be able to logically make the connection between your menu items and their options (if any).
Using menu science to direct your customers to your most profitable items, and also inform them of what your restaurant's specialties are go along way to building momentum with your customer reputation. Are you emphasizing items that take longer to make in the kitchen, thereby eating up man-hours, or are you visually directing customers to choose options that are quicker or simpler to make for your staff? Are your customers frequently ordering your signature menu items or are they gravitating towards items on your menu that may not be as strong? Any restaurant owner who truly believes "everything here is good", is not being honest with themself. Every restaurant has a core selection of menu items that consistently deliver the highest quality of customer experiences, and recognizing what parts of your menu do that for your business is essential.
Restaurant Web Design
You won't find a lot of tech options to support local restaurants in Bradford, well not yet anyway. If you pop open the JustEat app, you'll notice less than a handful of restaurants available on the service. Having a website that supports the moulding of your brand and drives online conversion could make or break a successful takeout or catering component of your business. You need to find a web designer that understands the restaurant market, and can deliver on quality features that support your business success at an affordable cost.
Most web designers will work with you on pricing, and may even offer you payment plan if you really pressure them for help making the numbers work. At Keddy & Associates, we can even take it a step further by offering you all the advanced features we have already developed at significant discounts, giving you access to enterprise-level email marketing tools, SEO, and so much more!
Engaging customers in Bradford to attract them to your business is certainly challenging with all the other options available to them. What this means for all successful businesses is that customer service must be at the core of your business. If your customers have anything less than an amazing experience, there are alternatives to your business where they can receive that amazing customer service and hence will go elsewhere.
We hope that more businesses in Bradford will take the next step towards a professionally-designed website, but we understand that not all business owners are prioritizing their marketing in that way. If you think your business could benefit from some feedback on what you can do to improve, reach out to us and let us know! We cherish the opportunity to provide you with our services but we won't sell you something that your business doesn't absoutely need.