Nicole Warner of Sarnia loves plants and collecting rare ones. And then there is the joy that comes of engaging with others to spread her passion and knowledge.

All this gave Nicole plenty of reason to launch her own shop during the pandemic. That’s What She Grows specializes in rare plants, domestic plants, pots, home decor and beneficial insects. Nicole also offers in-home or business consulting for plant care and grow-room set up.

But passion alone won’t drive a new business to success. While Nicole did get That’s What She Grows off on the right foot with a retail website and a solid social media presence, she needed help to ensure consistency with the strategy and execution of her online marketing and advertising.

Nicole considered this kind of investment particularly important during the winter months, when business is otherwise slow.

She engaged with Digital Main Street (DMS) and her local DMS Digital Service Squad – run by the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership — for access to the expert counsel, free educational resources, and $2500 Digital Transformation Grant funding that would help address these challenges.

With DMS, she has acquired the digital skills and resources to compensate for the loss of in-person contact that has defined the pandemic.

“Online marketing is the best bang for the buck for any small business where every dollar matters,” Nicole said. “Your online presence is a potential customer’s first impression of you. With a program like DMS, you can take control and make sure that first impression is always a good one.”

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