4960 William Flynn Hwy., Suite 6 PMB #173

Allison Park, PA 15101

724.612.0755

724.444.6176 Fax

autumn@edmistongroup.com

Back To Business!

Back to Business, Edmiston GroupWere you one of the thousands of Americans who enjoyed some time off this summer?  Did you find it difficult to schedule meetings with decision makers due to vacations or covering for staff while on vacation?  With fall upon us, it’s time to get back to business.

You may have found networking events and educational events during the summer are less attended, but now it’s time to plug back in and set up for a strong fourth quarter.

There are some things that you can do to help drive growth to your business this fall and holiday season.

  • Start attending social events again. It is all too easy to fall away from those business after hours during the summer, especially when those warm summer nights are calling you to relax and enjoy the outdoors.  Make networking events an important part of your business growth plan, but be sure to have a purpose when you go.  Follow-up with those you meet and utilize these events to grow your newsletter list.
  • Set up a holiday plan. Are you ready for the holidays?  Some business to business clients host a holiday client appreciation event, deliver a thank you gift, or identify those special clients to take to lunch.  For retail clients, prepare for major shopping days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday.  Many monthly publications will require advertising for these three shopping days be set by the first part of October.
  • Begin to prepare your marketing plan for 2017.  The first of the year will be upon us before you know it.  Identify areas of business growth, prepare a budget and a marketing plan on how you will achieve that growth.

Don’t let the hustle of the fall and holiday seasons distract you from planning ahead.   Plan, execute and get back into the groove of doing what you do best….your business!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

 

Are You Ready for the Big 3?

Holiday Marketing, Edmiston GroupWith Halloween (and Christmas) decorations in stores, people are digging out the first set of boxes from storage to put their house in the holiday spirit.  As the days become shorter and the crisp night air arrives, it becomes clear that we are preparing to run the gauntlet of the holiday season.

As a retail business owner this is a time of year where many profits can be made and sales will increase.  Having planned for the right amount of merchandise and proper staffing to deliver outstanding customer service can be the difference between setting record profits or needing to dip into your cash reserve to get by.

Are you ready for the BIG 3?  We are referring to the upcoming shopping days: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday.  These are the days when record sales are often set as consumers look for holiday shopping deals.

There are some steps you can take to help insure the most chances of being successful this holiday season.

  • Your employees are also going to want time off to spend with friends and family.  This where you have to devise a schedule that is fair, yet keeps your business properly staffed for the influx of customers.  During those BIG 3 days in particular, it may warrant an increase in staffing levels to deliver a memorable customer service experience.
  • It is a good idea to look at past years’ merchandising and business trends on these business days and determine how to prepare. Where companies run into problems is not having their financial house in order so they can purchase the right amount of inventory.  The goal is to have just enough so you don’t carry a large amount of inventory into 2017.
  • Advertise.  Yes, this may sound silly; however, it is amazing how many companies do not advertise for the special events they have coming up.  While your normal customers will benefit from a sale, you may be missing new customers that could also benefit from your sale.  Use platforms such as social media, geo targeting, email, TV or print to reach new customers.  As new people come into your store, capture email addresses and stay in touch throughout the year.
  • Small Business Saturday. Expand your reach by working with small business owners in your area to create a shopping destination experience.  Everyone wins – share in the cost of advertising and market your event to all client lists expanding your reach.  SCORE Pittsburgh is working with a group of businesses in Fox Chapel to help promote this type of initiative.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy the holidays.  With proper planning you will be able to better handle the influx of new customers leaving them satisfied and wanting more.  And…you can take that to the bank!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

Planning for an Intern or Apprentice

 

Plan ahead for a positive internship experience!

Plan ahead for a positive internship experience!

August winds down, it’s that time of year when kids and college students go back to school. An important part of post-secondary education is about getting that experience to get your foot in the door for full time employment.

Internships and apprentice programs take that next step out of the classroom and into real world business applications. As you look at your upcoming business growth for the next six months, do you see that in your future?

Often businesses will utilize these types of positions to see if an individual will be a fit both socially and/or culturally with their environment. There may be multiple individuals applying for a single position. That’s where that social media thing may come into play and for would be applicants, employers do check. More often than not, employers are checking out social media channels before choosing their candidate.

For a business owner, like anything else, having an intern starts with a plan. There is nothing more frustrating than having an eager person show up for work and not have a place for them to sit, nor meaningful work for them to do. Consider these guidelines:

  • Establish a workspace
  • Inform staff of the internship. If possible when choosing an intern for a particular department, involve others in the selection process.
  • Find meaningful projects with deliverables and timelines.
  • Create stepping stones of responsibility with the trades – increasing responsibility as knowledge grows.

For the intern or apprentice, be humble. Don’t walk through the door thinking you know everything. You may be trained on the most up to date technology in the classroom, but you will find real world experiences very different. Remember to:

  • Show up early for work.
  • Listen to what is asked of you and participate as part of a team unless you’re working on a project totally independent of others.
  • Be grateful for the opportunity to learn for this could lead to a full time position offer.
  • Stay off your phone – be present in meetings and at work.

This is an opportunity for both employer and intern/apprentice to see if they are a fit for each other and may often lead to a job offer following the internship or graduation.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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TESTIMONIALS

“Autumn has been a wonderful consultant for women entrepreneurs developing their business concepts in our 11-week MyBusiness Startup program. The participants speak highly of her professionalism, the quality of her information, her guidance and support. The Center values the expertise Autumn brings as a resource to this program and her membership in the Center for the past few years.” Anne Flynn Schlicht, Assistant Director, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University.

— Anne Flynn Schlicht, Assistant Director, CENTER FOR WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP