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Spreading Joy

December 12, 2023

LeftTurn Strategy team meeting posing for a photo with Santa - how small businesses can give back


How Small Businesses Can Give Back During Uncertain Times

The holiday season is a time for giving, and small businesses can play a crucial role in spreading joy and positively impacting their communities.

Despite uncertain times and economic challenges, there are numerous creative ways for small businesses to give back during the holidays.

Learn how small businesses can give back with some heartwarming ideas that won’t break the bank and will leave a lasting impact.


Support Local Causes

One of the most effective ways small businesses can give back is by supporting local causes and charities.

Consider partnering with a local nonprofit organization, shelter, or food bank.

Even if your resources are limited, small donations, fundraisers, or volunteering your time can make a significant difference in your community.

Remember, it’s not about the size of the contribution; it’s about the intention and effort behind it.


Encourage Employee Involvement

Your employees are an essential part of your business, and involving them in giving back can foster a sense of community and camaraderie.

Consider organizing a team volunteer day, where your staff can participate in a local charity event or help with a community project.

This not only benefits the community but also boosts employee morale and engagement. And if there’s anyone skilled in boosting morale and engagement, it’s Ann-Marie Burton!

Our festive LeftTurn leader planned a full day of fun and giving back to those in need. Decked out in Santa hats and Christmas sweaters, the LeftTurn team delivered: 


  • The “gift of appreciation” | We penned letters and sent morale mail to our Canadian Armed Forces.   A thank you for their selfless service and to remind them that while they may be away from home for the season, we keep them close in our hearts and minds. LeftTurn also made a donation to True Patriot Love, an important organization that focuses on veteran mental health and support. 


The LeftTurn Strategy team supporting ReStore in Burlington

  • The “gift of home” | We stopped by Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Burlington and came across some great finds! 100% of purchases go directly to those in need. The ReStore shop profits help fund building projects in the community.


  • The “gift of warmth” | We collected and dropped off gently used winter coat and boot donations at the Compassion Society  and new sock donations for Socks for Hope.


  • The “gift of groceries” | We shopped and dropped items off at the Burlington Food Bank. On our field trip, we assigned a budget and tasks for our team to purchase items to help with breakfast, school lunches, protein needs and Christmas day dinner and it was a humbling reminder about how food insecurity is so prevalent. LeftTurn is a proud ongoing supporter of the food bank.


  • The “gift of play” | We hit Walmart to purchase some of our favourite board games for The Salvation Army’s Toy Mountain, where the joy of Christmas is made possible for families struggling to make ends meet.


In addition to donating physical items and the education of our ‘field trip’, the LeftTurn team has also made a monetary donation to the charities listed above. 


Create Special Holiday Offers

Small businesses can get into the spirit of giving by creating special holiday offers for their customers.

This can include discounts, buy-one-get-one deals, or bundles that make it easier for people to save money during a costly time of year. By offering these deals, you can simultaneously attract more customers while providing them with valuable savings.

Our own special offer on now is our FREE Brand and Digital Health Check.

If it’s been a while since you’ve checked in on your brand or you’ve yet to do it altogether, this is your sign. A brand and digital health check gives you a big-picture overview of your marketing efforts and how well they support your business goals.

Learn more about the gift that keeps on giving! Check out the Brand and Digital Health Check today.


Adopt a Local Family

One of the most heartwarming ways to give back is by adopting a local family in need for the holiday season.

Your small business can work with a local social service agency, such as United Way, to identify a family that could use some extra support during the holidays.

Provide them with gifts, groceries, and other essentials to make their holiday season a bit brighter.


Promote Gift Cards for Good

If you offer gift cards, consider running a “Gift Cards for Good” campaign.

Encourage your customers to purchase gift cards with a percentage of the proceeds going to a charity or local cause. This not only generates revenue for your business but also gives back to the community.


Host Virtual Events

In uncertain times, virtual events have become a great way to engage with your community.

Host online events like holiday-themed webinars, virtual cooking classes, or crafting workshops. You can charge a small participation fee and donate the proceeds to a charitable cause.


Spread Cheer with Decorations

Decorating your storefront with festive lights and decorations not only brings holiday cheer to your customers but can also be used to raise funds for a local charity.

Encourage customers to make small donations when they visit your business to admire the decorations. You can even turn it into a friendly competition by decorating with a specific theme related to your chosen charity.


Creating A Positive Impact: When Small Businesses Give Back During The Holidays

In times like these, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a positive impact.

Small businesses have a unique opportunity to give back during the holiday season, regardless of their financial constraints.

The simple acts of kindness and donations of time or money toward a cause, education or experience mentioned above can bring joy to your community and strengthen your business’s ties with customers.

Let’s make this holiday season one of hope, love, and giving back! 

How To Unleash Agency Awesomeness: Did We Just Become Best Friends?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the ever-changing landscape of marketing and advertising? Unsure of whether your current strategies are truly resonating with your audience? Perhaps you’ve considered working with an agency but are hesitant due to past experiences or misconceptions about cost and necessity.

Whatever your objections, we’ve both heard and felt them at one time or another.

We’ve been at this for a while, and trust us when we say we have seen some things. We won’t kiss and tell; however, we will share the essence of the lessons, so you’ll be better off connecting with an agency that makes sense for you and your business.

Join us as we sit in on a captivating conversation with Ann-Marie Burton and Tanya Garcia, the visionary leaders and loud thinkers (and sayers!) behind LeftTurn Strategy.

In this candid episode of the Turning Left Podcast, they tackle common pain points and myths surrounding agency collaborations (hint: not everyone plays nicely in the sandbox!), offering insights that can reshape your approach to marketing and advertising.

Whether struggling to navigate the digital landscape, feeling constrained by rigid agency structures, or simply seeking a fresh perspective to revitalize your marketing efforts, our Why You Need A Marketing Agency episode is a game changer.

However, if you’re pressed for time, you can bookmark that one and catch the Coles notes below.

Here are 5 key takeaways to vet your next agency relationship and find the right fit!

1. F.I.F.O., In The Best Way Possible

Beyond typical agency objections: they’re too expensive, we have an internal team, and our business is too small for outside help; in our experience, it all comes down to finding the right fit and working with people you like. 

The right agency will know how to seamlessly manage your budget and expectations while keeping your business moving forward. Our favourite way to work is as an extension of your team. We act as a fractional CMO for many of our clients, helping to lighten their load and provide strategic direction when needed

That’s right. We don’t create work for the sake of work and don’t pressure our clients to do more than they’re comfortable with; the only thing we’ll be pushy about is getting results. Need to dial back or scale up? You tell us, and we’ll be there when you call. 

2. No Egos Allowed: Collaboration Trumps Competition

In a world fixated on competition, collaboration emerges as the true winner.

We’re big fans of the “no a**holes allowed” philosophy. It just makes our work (and yours) more fun, We’re all about teamwork and fostering partnerships that transcend egos and silos. We’re more than happy to be at the table regardless of the size of our role.

When you’re confident in what you have to offer, there’s less need to get your elbows up and more focus on the work at hand. That being said, we can throw down if need be.

Whether it’s working alongside existing partners, internal teams, or other agencies, we believe collaboration breeds innovation and synergy. The goal? To achieve collective success by leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise.

3. Know Your Audience to Grow Your Audience

If you’re going to nail one thing when it comes to marketing, know who you are talking to.

In a world cluttered with noise and confusion, clarity reigns supreme. You must understand your audience inside out. It’s not just about selling; it’s about speaking their language and addressing their needs. Effective communication hinges on this intimate understanding, guiding businesses through the marketing maze with precision and insight.

And guess what? Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t and shouldn’t be a process that costs 30K and takes a month to complete. That is one of the main benefits of finding an agency like ours. Free from the overhead of a traditional agency model and with a team that can expand or contract based on your current needs, we can think big and act small to keep your business evolving.

4. Without Strategy, Everything Is A Great Idea

At the heart of effective marketing lies efficiency and purpose. It’s not enough to create buzz; campaigns must be aligned with tangible business goals.

By marrying strategy with objectives, agencies like ours ensure that every marketing dollar is spent purposefully and precisely. It’s about driving results, increasing ROI, and making every marketing effort count.

5. Be Nimble and Knowing

Businesses often find themselves at a crossroads, unsure which path to take. Left or right, straight or zigzag? 

With the ever-evolving digital landscape, agility is key. But just being quick on your feet won’t always cut it! You need an agency that’s all about those real-talk sessions, ready to pivot at the drop of a hat—sometimes even before you realize you need it.

Still wondering if an agency partnership is right for you?

Consider this an invitation to explore new possibilities. Whether you choose to partner with LeftTurn or embark on your own journey, the key lies in finding the right agency fit and embracing clarity, flexibility, collaboration, and purpose-driven strategies. 

Book a call with Ann-Marie to learn more about the LeftTurn way. We think you’ll be a fan.

Turn Left Here

There’s no exact path in The Left Way. Wondering if we are too different? Or not different enough? Curious about a second opinion or if LeftTurn can help? We never shy away from a chat to learn more about you.

5063 N Service Rd
Burlington, ON
L7L 5H6