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Take the Time to Know Your Community and Expand the Reach of Your Business

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Credit for the Dragon Mural Project

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Our group gathered under a Dragon mural that spanned the entire length of the building.

Doing business in your community is more than just making sales. It’s getting to know who your neighbours are, where they shop, and what has them talking. Basically, it means being an active member of your community. Do you know who your neighbours are? We had the opportunity to meet some of ours recently. It was an eye opening and tasty experience.

There’s  this organization called the China Benevolent Association, a.k.a. the CBA, that holds tours of Chinatown for newcomers and the otherwise curious folks. Since we’re taking on some new projects in Chinatown we figured there likely wouldn’t be a better way to get to know the neighbourhood so, we tagged along. We met a group of youth from an association called IFSSA, Islamic Family and Social Services Association, a mother and daughter on a fact finding mission, and volunteers from the CBA. Despite the rain and cold, everything turned out pretty copacetic.

Now, we could flap our gums about the gift shops we first toured with all the ducky gift ideas and unique items you can’t get anywhere else in our city but, to be honest, the real highlight was the Dim Sum and the bakeries. Since the dawn of time the best way to connect with people is through food. This day was no different so, we sat around two large tables at the Dynasty Century Palace restaurant and drank our jasmine tea while the servers put plate after plate of Dim Sum choices in front of us. Spring rolls, Chop Suey with mushrooms, Vegetarian Rice Rolls, Lotus Seed Buns, Cocktail Buns….it was a good lunch. It was so good that no one seems to have any food pictures but, we did get this nice group photo just outside the entrance on the way out. The last stop was the Garden Bakery where Lotus Cakes and other treats await.

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The history of Edmonton’s Chinatown

Some of the things we learned about the area surprised us, though they really shouldn’t have. It’s odd that it seems so out of place that the Italian Bakery exists in the middle of Chinatown. After all, other neighbourhoods have many other cultures represented in them too. We made a pit stop here for some cake. We didn’t hear any complaints from the tour guests as they walked back out into the street with their lady fingers and mocha chocolate goodies. The history the tour leaders gave is what was nifty. They told us what businesses first existed in the shops, if they’d changed over the years, who had or is operating them, and some of our guides were even pivotal in helping establish the area and many of it’s businesses. Then there were the cultural discoveries. For example, the Lantern that sits in the middle of the Chinese Zodiak signs outside the Lucky 97 Market. Find your year and learn all about yourself! There’s a lot of significance to the markings on the statue as well but, we don’t have that kind of time here.lanterncomp

Here’s the bottom line, you can’t properly see to the needs of your clients if you don’t know who they are or where they come from. Trust us, they’re going to know the effort you put in because that’s the results they’re going to get from working with you. Engaging people and building a community that is loyal takes time and effort. Yeah, of course you’re going to get those people that call or email you from your website or a referral. If things go well, they’ll be your next clients. If you want them to be your long term clients, show them some appreciation and care. Keep in touch, find out how to best communicate with them, and make note of any milestones happening in their lives. Showing your interest in them as people won’t take much effort for you but, it could just put them over the moon as your clients.

Now that the tour of Chinatown is done, we can go back to our office and apply the things that we learned to our planning. We now have new contacts within the community that can answer questions and speak on our behalf to those that don’t know us yet and aren’t sure they can trust us. We’ve started becoming a part of the neighbourhood and, we think that’s the cat’s meow.

So, get out there and meet some new people. Experience some new cultures. They’re right next door to you so, there’s nothing to stop you. Welcome growing your business and your community for the future.

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**The Promo Syndicate is working with Diversus Media Group Ltd. and the Chinatown and area Business Association to bring greater awareness of the Chinatown area and all it has to offer through presenting events and festivals. Our first event is on June 15, 2016 and will be hosted by Sai Woo Gardens. Guests will be treated to Traditional Chinese Comfort food and will be served a menu not offered anywhere else in the Greater Edmonton area. Just click here for more information and to register.

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2 Responses to “Take the Time to Know Your Community and Expand the Reach of Your Business

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    • admin_shabe
      10 months ago

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