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Allison Park, PA 15101

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autumn@edmistongroup.com

A New Year A New You!

Resolutions and Vision, Near Year Strategy, Edmiston GroupAre you like the thousands of Americans who have made a New Year’s resolution?  Have you made them in the past and struggled or failed to be able to keep them?  In 2016, I made a commitment to take control of my health.  For me, a little extra motivation was the fact that my son was getting married and I wanted to look healthy and fit for his wedding.  It was a nine month journey, not without its sacrifice, setbacks, trials and times when I wanted to give up.  But with consistency, planning and focus on the goal I was able to achieve the end result.

How does that equate to being a business owner you may wonder?  For me, eating healthy, exercising and feeling better about myself was a great boost in productivity and self-confidence.  Business has grown, projects are larger and more complex.  But, I feel I can tackle them.

A New Year’s resolution can vary greatly from something personal such as being more active, getting in better shape or eating better, to performance goals at work.  Whether it is a personal goal or a business goal, you can take steps to help ensure that you are able to stick to your New Year’s resolution.

Resolutions and Vision, New Year Resolutions, Edmiston GroupWrite it down or create a vision board.  For me…I found my mother of the groom wedding dress that I fell in love with and bought.   It was a size I hadn’t seen in years.  I needed to say on track with diet and exercise to still fit into it for my son’s wedding.  I looked at it regularly, tried it on occasionally and knew I needed to stay with the program to have it zip!  Focus on the goal.

Studies have shown that when you put things in writing it is easier to stick to your goals.  Don’t just jot it down and throw it in the bottomless pile of papers on your desk.  Put it somewhere that you can see it and hold that dream, touch that piece of paper or whatever you need to do to fulfill that dream and not become complacent.

What do you want for your business?  How many new clients or projects do you want?  How much do you want to grow your retail business?  As an employee, what education or training don’t you have that you should obtain?  Is there a next level of position you seek?  If so…what qualifications are required and are you willing to educate yourself to ensure you have those skill sets?

Make your goals attainable.  Most people give up their weight loss resolution by February.  They look at the total number of pounds they want to lose instead of breaking that total number down into smaller goals with attainable numbers and dates.  As a business owner, it’s pretty unrealistic to think you will turn your start-up business into a million dollar company in 3 months.  Start out small and know that you can always give yourself new goals as the year progresses.  Shoot for goals such as to lose 10 lbs., walk 7,000 steps, then 10,000 steps and then compete in challenges with fit bits or friends.  Look to increase your business by 5-7%. Add one or two new services or products in the coming year. These are things that are attainable.

Create a plan. There is no better way to get to your destination or goal than to have a path laid out as to how you plan to get there.  It may be to cook your meals on Sunday and have healthy snacks ready.  Perhaps instead of browsing social media for the latest in what’s happening with friends, you take an online class or volunteer at a nonprofit organization.  You gain experience and expand your network.

For the business owner, simply saying you’re going to be more profitable with no plan as to how you are going to do it, will often leave you empty and discouraged.  Have dinner with trusted colleagues and discuss your plan.  Then put the plan to paper and execute.

The New Year is a great time to start a new steps in the right direction.  Be sure to set yourself up for success and create a path to follow.  Little reminders of what your goal is and being able to see the progress will help you continue down the path the success! Take time to celebrate the little victories.  I will tell you that it’s easy to slide back into old habits.  Commit to eating right, exercising and plan for your next position or business growth opportunity.  Be the best you can be in 2017!  Are you up to the challenge?

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.

Diet vs Productivity

Eating Right for Productivity, Healthy Eating, Edmiston GroupHave you had a day that you were really productive?  Think back to that day and try to remember what you had to eat, both the night before and during that day.  Did you start your day with exercise?  As humans we strive to be as productive, but often take little consideration into what we eat.

Coffee is often a staple in many workplaces, and in proper moderation is perfectly healthy.  Have you found yourself drinking cup after cup of coffee trying to give yourself that extra boost to get through the day?  Perhaps monster drinks are your thing?  The thought is that the caffeine will help to boost energy and make you more productive.  Try switching that coffee or monster drink out for water, which may actually have a better effect on your performance.  Water helps to hydrate your body, keeping you focused and awake.

What kind of food you put into your body can also have an effect on your performance.  Certain foods help to boost metabolism while others can cause you to feel sluggish. Foods such as pasta, bread, cereal, and pop release glucose quickly.  This results in a burst of energy that is then followed by a slump as the energy wears off.  Ever want to close your eyes at 3:00 every day?  Foods that are high in fat such as cheeseburgers and BLTs, provide a longer, more sustained energy but require the digestive system to work harder; therefore, reducing the oxygen that is available for the brain to use.  This can leave you with a groggy feeling.

The lunch options that are most convenient and cheap are usually the ones that are less healthy.  How do you avoid them? Start off by making the decision of what you’re going to eat before you get hungry.  Perhaps packing your lunch for better options may make sense. It all goes into the planning.

Snacking throughout the day will help to stabilize your blood sugar.  This will also help to reduce the feeling of being hungry, which can cause your mind to be less productive.  Place a container of things at your desk such as almonds, baby carrots, or fruit to give you healthy snacks throughout the day.  Keep in mind that foods higher in protein will give you more sustained energy and carbs, while foods with more carbs will give you an initial boost and then will leave you feeling tired and groggy.

You many wonder what does all this have to do with productivity?  EVERYTHING!  The better you feel, the shorter bursts of energy and focus you have.  Tackling a complex project on an empty stomach won’t get you very far.

According to Forbes Magazine, successful people adopt some smart habits on Sunday to ensure a productive week because Monday is going to happen whether you like it or not.

These three tips are what they shared:

  • Take an hour on Sunday to look at your calendar for the week and get organized.
  • Fill your plate with healthy food. Indulge on Friday and Saturday, but eat 3 balanced meals and limit alcohol intake on Sundays.
  • Add meaning to the day. Do something fulfilling for yourself.

Make subtle changes to your diet.  Take breaks between tasks and make time to exercise.  Put exercising into your calendar as a scheduled appointment.  You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and watch your productivity increase.

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.

Five Star Customer Service

5-star-customer-serviceDon’t you just love it when a company goes out of their way to make sure that your wants and need are met! It makes you feel as though you are more to the company than just a number or another dollar in the bank. As a business owner, knowing how to make customers feel important and appreciated will help to drive your business and a great reputation for your company. It makes people want to buy from you.

There are many ways that you can show your customers your appreciation, most of them costing a little extra time and effort. Taking that extra time for the small things will go a long way.

I’m already stretched so thin.” you might say, “I don’t have the time to take the extra time.” While it may seem impossible, taking things one small step at a time will make the impossible seem possible.

Here are a few ways that you can show your appreciation.

  • Remember details about your regular customers or clients. Things such as names, preferences, or even to the way they like their food. This will help to make them feel more comfortable in doing business, by you providing that personal connection.
  • The lost art of hand written cards. Whether they are thank you cards, birthday cards or sympathy cards, it is important to send a hand-written note. This type of correspondence will be remembered. In this day in age when computers run most aspects of our lives, hand writing shows the receiver that you have taken the extra time to show genuine concern or gratitude. I once sent a sympathy card to a client and he told me my card was the only one he received from business associates that was hand addressed with a personal note.
  • Don’t be afraid to give out your personal number. As a business owner, your number is already out there. Being able to be reached is important aspect of keeping an open communication line with your clients/customers.
  • Reach for the stars and go above and beyond normal service. Sometimes this means giving customers a little extra. Some examples of this are
    • Office: Have occasional days where you bring in a snack, fruit trays, a sandwich ring, or doughnuts.
    • Landscaper: After all the landscaping is complete incorporate something such as a bird feeder, give away a lawn tool to help maintain the yard, or add a little something extra such as a plant or shrub.
    • A nice gift from your realtor after purchasing a home.

Employees are part of the customer service experience as well. Train them on products and services so they know how to most effectively serve your client base. But also take the time and recognize employees for a job well done. A ‘Thank You’ and ‘I appreciate all you do for our customers’ can go a long way toward employee morale. A thank you and a Starbucks gift card or gas card for a job well will let your employees know how much you appreciate their efforts.

Part of being a successful business owner is demonstrating your appreciation to your clients, customers and employees. Doing this will show them that they are more than a number on the payroll or a dollar in the cash register. Most of the extra effort costs little to no money, just time and thoughtfulness.

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 a unique ability to utilize her marketing talents by combining the business aspects of her clients with creative genius, often taking the mundane and making it spectacular. She is very talented!” June 22, 2010

Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative

— Ken Eisner, Eisner Law