Business and Operations
From the Editor’s desk: December 2014
A leap of necessity
By Colleen Cross
Growing pains can certainly be stressful, Pizza Nova president Domenic
Primucci said in his keynote speech at our recent Canadian Pizza Show.
Growing pains can certainly be stressful, Pizza Nova president Domenic Primucci said in his keynote speech at our recent Canadian Pizza Show. “But every once in a while you have to hit that refresh button because the system needs updating, and we need change.”
Pizzerias, like all businesses, innovate every day by necessity and by entrepreneurial nature: they develop new recipes, adopt new business models and try new marketing strategies. All this is aimed at pulling in more and different customers, and presenting an image of keeping up with the times.
These days change often brings to mind the steady stream of online and electronic innovation that, depending on your age and outlook, you have come to expect, eagerly anticipate, tolerate or fear. This area seems to be where many business owners need education, support and motivation to try something new.
All this talk of apps, devices, operating systems, social couponing and mobile wallets can be a little bewildering.
It can also be very exciting. Canada is a nation of early adopters, as a Canadian Internet Registration Association report from last June asserts: “Canada has among the highest Internet penetration rates in the world – 87 per cent of Canadian households are connected to the Internet (ranking second among its G8 counterparts, behind only the United Kingdom).”
Canada ranks number 1 overall in the number of web pages visited per month and Canadians are second only to the U.S. for the average number of hours spent online per user, says a new report from the Internet Association, a group that represents major Internet companies such as eBay and Amazon, as well as users.
The report paints a picture of a pretty wired population: “Canadians buy and sell on eBay, find flights on Expedia . . . search for restaurants on Urbanspoon . . . send text messages while using the TimmyME mobile app to locate the closest Tim Hortons, refill their Tim Card or even pay with their mobile phone.”
But consumers, not small businesses, are doing most of the adopting, and this trait does not filter down, the report says: “While Internet usage in Canada is high, only 41.1 per cent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses have a website.”
A StatsCan report, “Digital technology and Internet use, 2013,” says only 10 per cent of small businesses are selling online, compared to 30.5 per cent of large firms.
One of the association’s more interesting recommendations may sound familiar. Remember the Home Renovation Tax Credit that motivated us to retrofit our homes? Well, it suggests a similar “Digital Renovation Tax Credit” would encourage businesses to retrofit their online presence. Eligible expenses might include getting a website, advertising online, optimizing an existing website for smartphones, app development and setting up online pay options.
This kind of financial incentive is needed by Canadian pizzerias ready to take the next leap in technology. Plenty of pizzerias have an online presence, but wouldn’t it be great if such incentives extended to the more cutting-edge tools? Social marketing strategies such as Virool and mobile wallets like Apple Pay are just some of the tools highlighted by Jason Harris of Garlic Democracy during our pizza show panel.
There are other creative tools out there that can help your pizzeria grow and thrive. It’s time to do a little research and put them to work for your business.
It’s no longer a leap of faith but one of necessity.