Dickie’s Cooking School Stirs Up Virtual Learning
Dickie’s Cooking School is a Toronto-based, you guessed it, cooking school! The business is run by Lisa Dickie. Lisa is a passionate chef and teacher who works with people of all ages, and dedicates many classes to kids with disabilities. Dickie’s Cooking School is a wonderful business that is helping to bring the joy of cooking back into the kitchens of Torontonians. Unfortunately, when the pandemic struck all classes came to a halt. That’s when Digital Main Street came in – to help pivot it’s business model online and help keep these classes going. DMS main focus for Dickie’s Cooking School was organizing the website to increase the quality of user experience, as well as advising on a marketing campaign that included Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, and social media.
“The team members were knowledgeable, excellent listeners and provided me with detailed information, steps, rationale and instructions about how to improve Facebook Ads, Google Analytics and manage Social Media to my benefit.”
Dickie’s Cooking School offers a wide range of programs – from children's classes to corporate events. With so much variety and information, the DMS team identified the importance of organizing all the classes and descriptions into the most user-friendly design. The UX leader put together recommendations that included new website menu design and a more upfront call–to–action.
The marketing of Dickie’s Cooking School was all-encompassing and included Facebook, Google Analytics, and social media strategy. The team came together to create examples of Facebook ads with a strong call to action and taught Lisa to focus on selling the benefit of the products to garner more interest. Google Analytics can be overwhelming for a small business owner with little digital experience, but the team was able to walk Lisa through Google Analytics training, and teach her how to track and measure her own success. Through these simple and easy-to-read variables, the business is able to see when to make changes accordingly. Fundamental learning across the board is essential for small business marketing – and then it can grow from there!
“They provided me with extensive documentation and information so I can continue to build my knowledge base and improve my digital business practices.”
Another huge piece of the puzzle was social media marketing. The team’s graphic designer created beautiful – yet simple – examples of social media posts and stories. Learning easy tips about what makes a social media feed interesting and engaging is key to the success of a small business, and so important because organic social media can be executed without a budget. Lisa was very receptive to learning as much as she could.
“I think it is an excellent program. Many small business owners have no budget to pay or hire a marketer. It's essential they know how to manage that end of their business. The caliber of the information was exceptional.”
The Digital Main Street program accelerates small businesses into the digital world. It is a quick and concentrated program to teach business owners how to succeed and finally make those changes they have been meaning to.
“Transformation Teams require you to look at your business and look at what is working and what isn't. Weekly meetings require you to be accountable. And if you want your business to survive, you need to be accountable and you can't bury your head in the sand and ignore what isn't working. Transformation teams provided reasonable steps and detailed information on how to follow through.”
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.