edmiston

1 2 3 47

Are Your Ear Muffs On?

setting-goalsHow well do you hear when your ears are covered? As we endure these cold winter days – are you listening or are you intent in trudging along with status quo? Perhaps you wear hearing aids and realize how much conversation you miss when you don’t have them in. The same is true with your customers. Are you really listening to what makes them buy from you? Do they have wants or needs that you could adjust your business services to meet? It is less costly to nurture your existing customer base rather than go out and find new customers.

With January marking the start of a new business year, there is never a better time to set goals for you and/or your company during the upcoming year. With new goals in mind, talk to your customers. Every business owner should have goals set in order to achieve success.

Setting goals can follow any number of different processes, however it is important to have short term and long-term goals, along with a path of how you plan on getting there. Not only is it important to look at your processes and internal operations, but also forecast sales, how to grow your current customer base and develop new business. Remember that the biggest part of arriving at your destination is knowing which roads to travel to take you there.

Identify your goals. These should be long term, as well as short term goals. Create a project timeline and assign tasks with outcomes and responsible staff. You may have a new service to offer current customers, but don’t have a way to reach out. Create a plan to accomplish that process and forecast sales expectations to go with the plan.

Write down your goals. Putting pen to paper, or marker to the white board makes it real for all to see. If employees are part of the vision for growth, they have more of a buy in to help you achieve the goal. Regular progress updates allow everyone to share in the success of the group effort. Be sure to include both short-term and long-term goals and by all means, cross them off when you accomplish them!

This process demonstrates success and will help the team to feel the sense of accomplishment with the overall company direction. Ultimately the workplace success and team buy in helps to make for a pleasant work environment.

Track your success. As you reach your goals don’t be afraid to celebrate. It can be something as simple as a free lunch, a hand written thank you, a gift card or maybe an extra bonus in the next month’s check. It is important for your employees to see that not only is what they are doing making a difference in the company, but that they will be rewarded when the company succeeds as a whole. By tracking the goal, it becomes more exciting to see that goals are being met.

So TAKE the earmuffs off and put your hearing aids in. LISTEN to your customers and your employees. HEAR what they are telling you. ACT when possible to adjust services to meet their needs. MAKE your company a place where employees want to come to work. ACHIEVE sales success through expanding your offerings to current customers and REACH new markets. BE REALISTIC in setting goals and CELEBRATE success.

We offer a business evaluation and recommendation package. To learn more, email us or call 724-612-0755. Wishing you the best in 2018!

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.

Network In The New Year

As another year has come and gone it is time reflect and improve upon what you did as a business person this past year and set new goals for 2018. These goals should include steps to learning new things to improve services or personal skills. Networking is an area that is easy to overlook. There are so many events out there – you can network till the cows come home, but are you being effective? Are you involved in groups or events where your referral sources or potential clients may also be? Your sales reach expands by having a well-established network of referral sources both professionally and personally.

Have you ever needed a plumber, electrician, or even a carpenter? When you are in a pinch and don’t know a service provider yourself, who do you ask or what do you do? For most people, the answer is your friends, family, colleagues or more often I see this on social media. How often do you look at Google Reviews or Yelp before buying? Having a solid network of referral sources will help to ensure that you are the person they recommend for the job when the time arises.

Let’s be honest: networking isn’t always at the top of our priority list. Networking is WORK and at times can be awkward, time consuming and usually the last thing you may want to do after you finish up work for the week. In today’s world, third party validation is more valuable than you telling others what you do. When someone else shouts your praises buyers listen.

Millennials have grown up with the internet being just a click away and a cell phone in their hand. Socialization, whether online or in person is more common and easier than ever before. You need to take the time to connect with others, be outspoken about your interests and career goals and build relationships with people you might not otherwise have even met.

There are several things you can do to help make your next networking event a success.

  • Break the ice. It can often be stressful and overwhelming to walk up to stranger and introduce yourself. Have a line ready such as, “What brings you to this event” or “What do you do?” Can help to break the ice and make conversation easier. Truly listen to what they are saying. The initial introduction isn’t the time to “Sell Your Services.” Get to know a bit more about the person and if you think you might be a fit – set up a time to get together for coffee or lunch.
  • Have a purpose. You want to avoid simply collecting business cards. Set a goal for yourself and find a networking event that meets that goal. Perhaps an association or nonprofit event will put you in touch with potential clients or business contacts.
  • Share your goals. This allows you to connect with others who share the same ideas or thoughts as you. Working together with those who share the same goals allows you to benefit from each other, expand your network and reach. I’m certain a colleague will know people you don’t. I belong to a networking group and when someone posts a LinkedIn article, they ask others in the group to share their post. This expands the reach and views of the post.
  • Follow through. If you find that you have clicked with someone at a social networking event be sure to get their contact information and follow up. It never hurts to mention something specific you enjoyed about your encounter with them. I have a process with my digital marketing program that adds these new contacts to my newsletter list. I then touch them once a month with our newsletter.

As you take time to set new goals for the New Year, be sure to set a goal to network in the right venues. Be where potential clients hang out. Gain new referral partners. People do business with those they know, like and trust. Let that person be you!

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.

Year End Planning

goals-and-plansAs the holiday season quickly approaches it has yet again become time to plan for 2018. Part of determining your level of success is being able to look back and see which goals you have met, and where you fell short.

Being a business owner means that you are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of not only your company but also your employees. To be successful takes strategic planning and operational structure, all things that should be looked at before the next fiscal year begins.

What do you want to accomplish in 2018? Is it a new line of product, so many new customers, a revenue goal, social media activity, a digital newsletter or a different market segment that you haven’t worked with before? Your goals should be reflected in what you want to achieve.

Setting your goals. It is important when setting goals to make them obtainable and write them down on a vision board that you and/or employees can see. Review where you are in the goal at the end of first quarter. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a multimillion dollar company. Be realistic in goal setting; however, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself into new personal and business areas of growth. Remember that success is not always measured in the amount of revenue you generate, but it is how you also feel as a business owner. Can you put your head on the pillow and night and say, “I’ve done right by my clients and staff?”

Make a plan. Now that you have set your goals for the following year, you need to make a plan as to how you are going to reach your goal. Give yourself a road map to get where you want to be and write it down. This plan should include timelines and assignments of tasks. You may also want to determine who is going to hold you accountable for meeting your goals. In many cases, a friend, business coach or mentor can help to ensure you are doing what you set out to do. Personally, I have 2 very close friends/business owners that I meet with a few times a year to review where I am in my business growth.

Execute the plan. The most important step is to regularly review the plan, timelines and responsibilities. If you need to adjust – do so, but do something. As a small business owner we wear many hats. But in order to grow properly, you must step back and work on your business and not just in your business.

Did you notice something above? It’s a 3 step process. From young children, we are taught to learn in 3’s. ABC, 123, Red/Yellow/Green. That’s why there are only 3 steps – set, plan and execute.

As we approach the end of the 4th quarter, there has never been a better time to set a plan for the upcoming year. Be sure to talk to your employees when setting goals and be reasonable when setting expectations. Their opinions matter and if they feel part of the team to grow your business, their buy in to accomplishing new things and stretching their abilities won’t be met with opposition.

Ready…Set….Grow in 2018!

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.

1 2 3 47