Direct mail marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.

Top 3 Reasons Your Business Needs Direct Mail

When it comes to marketing in today’s digital era: social media, email marketing, and content are often the go-to. While these methods are certainly effective in different ways, these digital methods often ignore a massive segment of potential customers. Strategies like direct mail and marketing offers have a long history of success with steady conversion rates, but they are often overlooked in favour of the newer, flashier campaigns. Direct mail in the Greater Toronto Area can reach a massive audience for a fraction of the cost of most digital marketing tactics. Here are the top three reasons why your business needs direct mail:

Physical and Tangible

Studies have proven that physical collateral is much more memorable than its counterpart. Direct mail flyers deliver physical coupons, menus, and other marketing offers directly to potential customers. They provide customers with a tangible offer to look through, as opposed to a simple online ad that will likely be closed or ignored.

Demographic Analysis

Direct mail marketing also can help your business reach certain demographics that have a smaller online presence. Many older homeowners spend less time on the internet, so online ads have less of an effect on them compared to an envelope of relevant marketing offers.

Localized Targeting

Digital marketing for local businesses can be tricky since it’s hard to ensure that your ads only reach your intended audience. If your ads are mostly appearing to an audience outside of your region, chances are they won’t be interested. With direct mail in the GTA, you can ensure that all of your recipients are potential customers, maximizing your conversion rates.

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Franchise Agreement: Arbitration Clauses

Every franchise is governed by a contract between the licensor; the franchisor; a licensee; and the franchisee. These contracts are called Franchise Agreements. With franchise businesses accounting for 40% of all retail sales in Canada through 78,000 franchise units, mediation and arbitration clauses are becoming increasingly prevalent. While these franchise agreements may offer significant advantages in some disputes, they may be inappropriate or even increase the complexity, time and cost in other scenarios. Here’s what you need to know about arbitration to determine if it is an appropriate franchise agreement for your business.

Franchise arbitration is one of many clauses that can provide advantages during in-court litigation proceedings. An arbitration clause is a stipulation in your franchise agreement that requires the parties to resolve their disputes through arbitration, outside of court. The outcome of a dispute is decided by one or more persons (“arbitrators”, “arbiters” or “arbitral tribunal”), which renders the “arbitral award”. An arbitral award is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts. A significant advantage of arbitration is the choice of arbitrator and the opportunity to specify that the arbitrator must be experienced in arbitrating franchise disputes.

However, disputes over the arbitration clause or agreement, especially over the enforceability of certain provisions or the choice of arbitrator, can prove costly and time consuming. In these cases, the complications often negate the expected advantages of these franchise agreements, since they are designed to be a quick resolution of a dispute. Law Works Waterloo specializes in franchise law and offers a variety of solutions to franchise disputes.

franchise mediation in Guelph.

Franchise Agreements: Mediation Clauses

Franchise agreements are the ticket to a fair and healthy relationship between franchisee and franchisor. Without a proper franchise agreement, either party may be treated unfairly if a dispute arises. There are a variety of stipulations that can be included in franchise agreements to ensure disputes are resolved in an efficient and fair manner. Mediation and arbitration are two effective tactics that repeatedly provide amicable solutions. While these clauses often provide substantial benefits over litigation of disputes, there are situations where they may be inappropriate or counterproductive, increasing the complexity, time and cost of diffusing the situation. As a franchisee, it’s up to you to stay informed about the fine print of your contract, which includes understanding the different tactics involves in dispute resolution. To give you a head start, here is what you need to know about mediation.

Including mediation clauses in franchise agreements can provide a wide range of benefits to both parties, and can be very effective during the early stages of disputes to encourage a timely and cost-effective resolution. Particularly, mediation offers the greatest advantages for disputes between franchisors and existing franchisees when there is a mutual interest in preserving the franchise relationship.

With that being said, mediation is most effective when it is voluntary, and agreed to by both parties. In the absence of a mediation clause in franchise agreements, parties may agree to mediate without having to comply with a specific aspect of the franchise agreement. Additionally, a mediation clause can act as an obstacle to a franchisor who would rather proceed immediately to court instead of considering mediation. If you have any other questions, Law Works Guelph specializes in franchise law and can help guide you through the intricacies of your franchise agreements to help achieve a resolution.

winter road salt

Essential Tools for Safe Winter Driving

In the winter, even a quick trip to the grocery store can be quite the challenge due to the slippery conditions. As we shift seasons, the decrease in visibility, slippery roads, and consequently, nervous drivers, can make the roads much harder to navigate. In order to keep roads safe during the winter time, it’s important that winter road salt is generously applied to problem areas. Businesses and municipalities are generally responsible for the use of winter road salt, but it’s always helpful to take precautions; here are a few necessities for safe winter travels.

Small folding shovel

If your car is exposed to the elements overnight, you may be forced to dig it out before you can get on with your day. Unfortunately, your hands aren’t a great solution, especially without gloves. Keeping a small folding shovel in your car can help you get out of a tough situation.

Tow and tire chains

Without winter road salt, snow and ice can build up on the road, creating an extremely dangerous environment. If you end up off the road due to a situation like this, the only solution is to be towed out. It’s essential to keep a tow and chains handy so that someone can pull you back onto the roadway.

Winter road salt

No matter your destination, it’s always useful to have winter road salt on hand to navigate the icy pavement. Whether you’re stuck in a parking lot, driveway, or just need to help someone out, winter road salt or even cat litter in a pinch can cure your winter woes.

Snow and ice removal solutions for a winter road.

Best Snow and Ice Removal Solutions

As the temperature drops, snow and ice begin to accumulate on roads, driveways, stairways, and just about any other form of solid pavement. Year after year, we witness car accidents, injuries, and embarrassing slips and falls from unsuspecting pedestrians. While most of us look forward to the light fluffy snow and relief of cool winter weather after a scalding summer, car accidents and injuries are no jokes. Deicing salt is one of the many solutions to combat the buildup of snow and ice, but it’s certainly not the only one.

Deicing Salt

Traditional road salt is the be-all end-all of deicing salt solutions. It can be used as a preventative AND curative solution, and it’s easy to obtain. It’s cheap, effective, and safe, and can even be delivered (1.888.907.SALT(7258) if you find yourself in a pinch.

Salco-18

Salco-18 is an alternative to traditional deicing salt, combining crystals and flakes from sodium chloride (salt) and calcium chloride. The compound is effective down to -18 °C, making it a great option for dire situations. The only issues are that it’s not always safe; it can be damaging to cars and people as it gets kicked up by spinning tires. It can also be a little harder to get a hold of, compared to your usual deicing salt.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is a curative solution for snow and ice removal, meaning it’s most effective when applied after the snow and ice have accumulated. Like Salco-18, Calcium Chloride is an effective variant of deicing salt, even down to -20 °C. However, be careful as it can also harm people, pets, and cars.

Franchise agreement for Tim Horton's top franchises in Canada

Franchise Agreements: The Top 5 Franchises in Canada

If you are thinking about purchasing a franchise, it’s important to ensure you thoroughly understand the franchise agreement prior to making a decision. A franchise agreement is a legally binding contract which details the franchisors terms and conditions for the franchisee. Canada is home to many top franchises, so it’s important to evaluate your options.

To help with your decision-making process, here are 5 of the top franchises in Canada:

Tim Hortons

A Canadian coffeehouse favourite, Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario and has grown into the largest quick service restaurant chain in Canada with over 3,600 stores nationwide. The franchise is headquartered in Oakville but restaurants can now be found in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Sub

This popular sandwich shop was actually founded in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood in 1968 and has grown to include 317 units.

Second Cup

Though Second Cup has not grown as large as Tim Hortons, the niche coffee chain has certainly established a following. Headquartered in Mississauga, Second Cup was founded in 1975 and now has over 360 store locations.

Pizza Pizza

For many Canadians, Pizza Pizza has grown into somewhat of a Friday night tradition. The chain was founded in 1967 in Toronto and now has over 700 units spread throughout Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Western Canada.

Canadian Tire

Founded in 1922, Canadian Tire is the only retail franchise to make the list. With over 350 locations, the brand has certainly become a “go-to” for various automotive items, home goods, and sport and leisure products.

If you have questions about your franchise agreement or have become involved in a franchise dispute, contact Law Works in Mississauga.

 

Franchise business agreement opens business to customers.

How Franchises Will Be Affected By Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review

There are new changes happening to Ontario’s employment and labour laws. On May 23rd 2017, the Ontario government released its report to the Changing Workplaces Review. This is one of the most comprehensive and largest changes to the labour laws in the last 30 years. The Review covered broader employment issues to protect workers. They consolidated three acts: the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act into the “Workplace Rights Act.”

Key takeaways to consider for the Changing Workplaces Review:

  • Minimum Wage Increase
  • Overtime and Hours of Work
  • Leaves; personal emergency, bereavement, sick days.
  • Equal Pay
  • Enforcement
  • Specific sector changes to labour relations

The Review has peaked interest among franchisors, as changes to the prevailing legislation could have imposed joint employer status on franchisors for employees of their franchisees. To the relief of the franchisors, the Report does not recommend a franchisor be deemed to be a joint employer with its franchisees. However, it does make recommendations to allow employees of multiple franchises (of the same brand) to bargain centrally with representatives in one geographical area.

Are you a franchise owner? Unsure d how these recommendations may affect your business? Stay informed. Contact Law Works, one of Canada’s leading experts in business disputes, including debtor-creditor rights, class actions, lease agreements, professional negligence, trademark infringement, shareholder disputes, joint ventures, misrepresentations, injunctions, insolvencies and receiverships.

Law Works franchise lawyers are happy to discuss how Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review may affect your franchise operations.

Closing swimming pool before the summer ends.

Pool Closing: 10 To-Do Steps Before Winter Hits

When the leaves start falling and the temperature begins to cool, those are the signs you’re in pool closing season. But before you say goodbye to diving boards, cannonballs, and Marco Polo, there are few things you should consider before closing up and putting the cover over your pool.

Follow these 10 Pool Closing Steps to guarantee your pool is properly sanitized and set for the cold winter months ahead:

Preparing pool closing supplies

Don’t get stuck rummaging through drawers and storage at the last minute trying to locate that one specific return plug or attachment piece you just can’t find. Prepare your items ahead of time.

Organize pool equipment

Check off a list of all the pool accessories you’ll need; everything from the anchor hex key, brass anchors, winter pool plugs, or water bags and air pillows.

Balance the pool water

Probably the most important part of closing your pool water is to care for the pool’s chemistry. Make sure the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels are properly aligned.

Add stain and scale prevention

Use a metal chelating agent that protects against staining. Wait a day to ensure the chelating agent has activated with the scale before supplementing with other pool closing chemicals. Once it’s set, give the pool a thorough scrubbing to remove any stains before closing.  

Use chlorine

Increase the chlorine levels to a stronger level. This will shock and kill off algae and harmful bacteria. After adding chlorine, brush the pool and vacuum sediments the following day.

Over-filter the pool water

Run the pool pump for 24 hours for a few days before closing the pool – add a dose of clarifier when running the pool pump. Over-filtering makes sure the pool water is as pure as possible (a neutral pH balance) which can reduce stains and potential algae development during the fall and winter.

Shock the pool with non-chlorine shock

After running the pool pump filter, give the pool a non-chlorine shock. This helps oxidize contaminants in the water without affecting the winter algaecide.

Add algaecide to the pool

Prevent algae from growing in the upcoming winter months. Lower the pool’s water levels and add an algaecide before covering up the pool.

Close the pool with a mesh cover

Once you’ve completed the above steps, grab a partner to close your pool. It’s best to use a mesh safety cover which will keep snow and debris out of the pool.

Once you finish these steps, your pool will be officially closed for the season!  

These steps should be part of your regular pool routine. But if you’re unfamiliar with pool closing techniques it’s best to get a professional to close your pool. Total Pro Pools are the pool experts who understand and are experienced in the steps leading up to closing your pool. Contact Total Pro Pools to help make the winterizing process smoother and pool opening easier too!

Direct mail advertising in Greater Toronto Area mailboxes.

How to Use Direct Mail to Target Customers in the GTA

If you are looking to grow your business, direct mail advertising is a highly effective way to target customers in the GTA. Unlike digital marketing which employs a mass-mailing approach, direct mail is much more curated and personalized, thus giving it an advantage in a world where consumers are constantly being targeted by email ads and other forms of digital advertising.

Find out how direct mail advertising uses a strategic approach to target customers and why it generates a higher response rate than conventional digital advertising.

Understand your target market

It’s important to understand your target market before devising a direct mail campaign. This means familiarizing yourself with the demographic that is relevant to your good or service. For instance, a company that offers residential interior decorating services may wish to target homeowners between the ages of thirty and sixty who have a certain level of disposable income. Furthermore, understanding the shopping behaviours, attitudes towards trends, and lifestyle habits of your target customers can help you determine the best way to communicate your message.

Determine a targeted mailing list

Your direct mail service provider can help you use the leads you have acquired through market research to target customers who will likely be interested in your product or service. As well, they can work with you to determine which particular direct mail medium, such as a flyer, brochure, or magazine, is most likely to resonate with your audience. Targeted mailing lists may be more research intensive than a mass-market approach, but they often generate a better response rate and foster a sense of brand loyalty. Most importantly, they enable you to pinpoint your best leads so there is less waste and a higher response rate.

To expand your business’ reach in the GTA, find out how to launch an effective direct mail campaign today!

Little Pumpkin Fall Kids Birthday Party

Kids Fall Birthday Celebrations in Toronto: At-Home Party Tips

Now that fall is in full swing and the warm weather is winding down in Toronto, the days of outdoor parties and backyard celebrations are behind us. We know that it can be hard to think of fun and creative ways to celebrate your kids birthday indoors without getting too stressed out with all the logistics, planning, and cleanup involved.

Here are some at-home party tips to help you plan an enjoyable and memorable birthday for your child:

Strive for easy cleanup

Planning a kids birthday party is enough work on its own, so you want to do your best to minimize post-party cleanup. Do your best to bring in entertainers or caterers who will take care of the cleanup for you so long as it falls within your budget.

Incorporate the season

The weather can be unpredictable this time of year so if you want to avoid last minute plan changes and minimize disappointment, indoor parties are your best bet. Rather than thinking of the cold weather as a party pooper, use the season to your advantage; take advantage of the abundance of fall decorations in store, or if your child’s birthday party falls close to Halloween, consider a “spooky” themed celebration.

Plan creative activities

Planning activities ahead of time is the best way to ensure your kids birthday party is a success. While adults don’t need constant stimulation, kids enjoy participating in the action so they don’t get bored. Depending on the age range of your guests, popular ideas include arts and crafts, painting, and cake decorating.

If you live in the Toronto area and are looking to plan an entertaining and delicious kids birthday celebration with no prep work or cleanup,  contact Chocolate Tales Kids for a chocolate making party that comes to you.