A Website’s Worth a Thousand Clicks And More
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then Group of Seven- and Monet-inspired artist Robert Alan Lariviere’s collection of contemporary fine art spares no detail in conveying the beauty of Canadian landscapes, rural scenes, and wildlife. Robert Paints is a small business that showcases the talents of this Orillia-based painter and artist, allowing for fine art lovers worldwide to enjoy Robert’s work.
As with many things in life, we’re often faced with two options: to move forward or not, to dare and try or to put off.
Evan Perrie, who initially came up with the idea to bring his father-in-law's fine art to light through an online store, was also at a crossroads when contemplating whether or not to start a business, and, if so, how.
“I struggle with wanting everything to be in its place and perfect before showing it to others. I found that this can lead me to wasting so much time sitting and thinking if I should move forward.”
To make this decision even more difficult, the prospect of starting up and managing a new business from scratch can be daunting. Launching an online shop as opposed to a brick-and-mortar store may be a more feasible option for many aspiring entrepreneurs, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Once we decide to pick up the paintbrush and make the first stroke on a blank canvas– like Evan did when he started Robert Paints– it can feel like we’re left to our own devices.
Fortunately for Evan and other small business owners, the ShopHERE powered by Google program exists to help make it easier and less stressful to trust the creative process. Digital Main Street offers this free eCommerce tool to eligible small businesses located in Ontario.
So, what are the views like from the other side of the fence? When we asked Evan after completing the program, here's what he had to say:
“This service, I would say, was invaluable to my business. When I first began trying to work on it prior to this program, I had been drawing a blank. I knew what I wanted to achieve with the business, but it was the steps from A to B that were giving me trouble. I am very thankful that this opportunity came my way as it helped teach me what those steps are. I feel confident that if I were to do this again with this newfound knowledge, I would no longer be drawing a blank.”
Evan also had a few words to share about the final product:
“[When the] ShopHERE program and Simon, my eCommerce Coordinator, got involved, they took me from drawing a blank to painting a masterpiece of a website! Now everything is up and running and I couldn't be happier! It brings such a strong feeling of accomplishment to go onto the website and say, ‘This is my store!'”
ShopHERE Coordinators, like Simon, know that the challenges facing every small business are unique, and they aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves to find the right solution for each business owner. Well-versed in eCommerce development best practices, Coordinators apply their expertise to help build websites of good form and function. For Evan, this meant finding a way to effectively manage and sell prints of Robert’s artwork, including best-sellers like the Georgian Bay #1 and “Gone Fishing” canvas paintings.
“The store was built BEYOND my satisfaction. Even with a slightly more complicated app integration for print on demand services, I know I can easily add more products as Robert Paints grows and get them prepped for printing. I know I can change promotions, headline deals, and more for when I get a variety of products going.”
Upon completing his time in the ShopHERE powered by Google program, Evan didn’t need to think twice about giving advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who are still sitting on the fence:
“If I had one piece of advice in general it would probably be this: Take initiative! Get started! Don't worry if your idea isn't perfect right at the beginning! It is important to make educated decisions for sure, but you do not have to be the one person in the world who knows the most about something before making a choice. If you make a bad choice, you can grow from those experiences and learn along the way so the next time you can do it better. If you make no choice at all, then nothing gets done. So get out there! Create your art or business! Publish it on social media, let people find you and follow you as you progress through this journey of bettering yourself, your craft, or your business. If I can do it, truly anyone can.”
If you'd like to learn more about Robert Paints or explore his collection of fine art prints, please click here. For more information about the ShopHERE powered by Google program and getting started in eCommerce, please visit us on our website.
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, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.