edmiston

1 2 3 57

PLANNING TIPS FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2019

holiday-planningWith the 4th of July closing with a bang, it is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that it is time to begin planning for the fall and winter holiday seasons as you end 2019. Whether you offer B2B or B2C services, planning is essential for growth.

As a B2B, identify your target companies in your given verticals. Know their business cycles. For example, if you want to work with government entities, know that they are already starting to think of their budgets for 2020. If you wait until October to establish a relationship, chances are you have missed the budgeting window for the next year.

Although July may be prime vacation time, it can also be a time to reflect on the first half of the year and target potential prospects for the remainder of 2019. Perhaps there are networking events to attend and with potential businesses follow-up. Add people you meet to your newsletter list to regularly touch base with them. Set the reoccurring events in your calendar and regularly attend to establish a business presence.

For B2C, the holiday season is one of the largest spending holidays for consumers. Consumers are shopping online more than ever. Give them a reason to come into your store. Look how Kohl’s has established a relationship with Amazon returns. They are betting when people come into the store with an online purchase return, they will also purchase from Kohl’s.

With shopping days such as, Back to School Sales, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and all the other special sale days, it’s important to have a plan in place. The Edmiston Group has already planned a B2C sale for one of our clients for their August/September ads. It’s hard to think about Back to School in early July.

There are some important steps and planning that are required to have a successful holiday season.

  • Set clear, obtainable goals. It gives both you and your employees something to work toward. Have different rewards for reaching company goals. Keep everyone focused on the prize while working together to achieve the goal. Determine and communicate to your staff the different reward values for achieving larger and smaller goals. This will help keep everyone motivated and excited about the holiday season. Be certain to deliver the promised rewards. A pizza party or some Starbucks gift cards can go a long way. Always remember to thank your employees for a job well done.
  • Financially planning for the holidays is important to being successful. Most businesses or companies have inventory in stock, especially if you are a storefront or goods-based company. Perhaps establishing a line of credit will allow you to have extra available finances that are important to be able to purchase holiday inventory. Moving into the holiday cash strapped can leave a company short on funds to purchase the number of goods needed to get through the upcoming holiday.
  • Plan out any special events for each holiday. Will your office or business have a party for each holiday? If so, what is your budget for the party, where and when will it be held? How will you notify your customers about the special event? Do you offer customer reward programs and VIP events such as early bird sales or special discounts for family and friends?
  • Make sure your team is educated. Holidays are often a time of stress for consumers. Enable your customers to enjoy a pleasurable shopping experience with you by delivering a strong customer service experience. Keep your employees educated on your company’s goods and services, along with any specials or sales you plan on having. This type of communication enables them to deliver a strong customer experience to frenzied customers.

In summary… B2C make sure you have a plan in place for the delivery and sale of the newest, most popular products on the market. Financially prepare for purchase of needed inventory. Educate your employees on new products and upcoming sales. Communicate upcoming events to your customers.

B2B know your client verticals and their sales cycles. Target your message and identify pain points to become a problem solver. Be consistent in your marketing efforts – via shared articles, newsletters and social media.

You will find that with proper planning and execution, your business will yield the results this upcoming fall and into the holiday season.

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 strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

SCALING YOUR BUSINESS

scaling-your-businessAre you ready to scale your business but don’t know how to bring on the right team? Don’t base decisions on where you are – base them on what you want to become. One of the first things to determine is what type of company do you want to become.

Most of us can remember a time where our parents questioned our friends as we grew up. While it was an annoyance, it taught us the important lesson of making sure that we surround ourselves with the right people. By selecting a strong group of friends, you create a circle of people that are there to support you, cheer your big accomplishments and help to pull you up when you fall. That same mindset of surrounding yourself with the “right” people is extremely important as a business owner.

Trusted business partnerships can be an important part of small business growth. Recruiting might not always be the answer. Often it can be better to outsource tasks and functions to ensure the best outcomes. Also, realize when you need to delegate responsibility. Perhaps you can outsource particular functions to a fractional CFO, Marketing Director or HR professional. You can build a virtual management team that can offer focused services and strategy for company growth.

When your business starts to scale up growth, it is hard, and things can begin to creak. Weaknesses can be exposed, and you can’t always fix them quickly once the journey is started. You could be held back by your IT system, processes, cash flow, team or all of the above.

Do you know the difference between management and leadership? While managers plan, organize and coordinate, leaders have a vision; they persuade, inspire and motivate others. Think now about how you can build your leadership capacity to grow your company.

Create the right culture and an environment where people want to be and want to excel – then get out of the way and let them get on with it. All team members must be properly engaged, valued, motivated, recognized and rewarded. Everyone must pull in the same direction.

Small business is a fast-paced environment. With the onslaught of social media and other changes in technology, it’s a never-ending quest to stay abreast of new trends. Hiring the wrong person or a non-team player may take your already overwhelming workload and increase it, causing more pain than relief.

  • References. It is amazing how many companies ask for references and never even look into them. References are an important part of finding out who the person is that you are looking to hire. It’s also important to check out the person’s social media platforms. Find out who they are outside of the workplace. This will help to determine if they are right for your company’s culture.
  • Proper interview. As you interview your prospective employees, take the time to find out who they are. Questions like: What are you passionate about? What is your greatest accomplishment? How do you handle conflict or challenge? Why should I hire you over someone else?
  • Trust your gut. While the prospective employee may seem “nice”, what does your gut tell you? As a business owner, you have followed your gut on many occasions and it has led you to this point in your business career, so don’t stop listening to it now.
  • Multiple rounds of interviews. Be sure to have more than one interview with the person. Include other people in the interviews such as other employees, partners, or mentors. This will help you to get a better perspective on the person being interviewed. Remember that your employees are the ones who will be working with the recruit every day and valuing their opinion can help to make a more cohesive workplace.

While being a business owner is a rewarding experience, surrounding yourself with the right people, can help you take your business to new heights. Take the time to properly vet consultants and prospective employees. Building a strong team and leading with a vision to inspire your team can help make your business a success.

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 strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Content-MarketingWe create original articles for a number of our clients to help them keep their name in front of potential referral sources, current customers and potential customers. Working in tandem with business development staff, we have helped businesses systematically grow their email lists in given market segments.

Content marketing with a targeted message can help you stand out, but are you solving a problem or pushing your own agenda?

Are you asking the right questions to identify the problem and offer a solution? If you are not listening to your customer, then how can you identify what they need? Here are some things to think about.

Are you original? There is certainly a place for stock photography, but customers want to know the person behind the business. When we share staff birthday photos or photos of the owner’s children – it puts human elements into the business. Many of our construction clients share job photos that depict their work. Show what you do and be proud of your work. Share reviews others leave. There is nothing better than a third-party telling others how great of a job you’ve done.

What Do You Know? Sharing knowledge helps to set you apart as an expert. Sure you may share tips that others could use, but how often will people go to the extent of replicating your process when you’ve already figured it out. The exposure of this process and your expertise will help grow your business.

Who Are Your Customers? Know who your ideal customer is. I challenge you to write down your top 3 customers and then list why they are your best customer. Once you know your ideal customer ask them what keeps them up at night. Offer a solution to their nighttime worries and don’t be afraid to give away some of your secret sauce. Some of the most successful business consultancies in the world give their entire process away in book form or an e-book.

Is your Content Meaningful and Engaging? By allowing your potential clients and referral sources to know you as a person and your company’s brand, it makes you reachable. Keep your audience engaged, curious and wanting to learn more.

How Are Your Providing Value? Content strategy is important in providing value to the consumer. Are you communicating in a clear and concise manner without utilizing terminology that your audience may not understand? Does your message offer insight into what, why and how? Does it represent your brand message?

Not only is content important, but the importance of regularly touching an audience with valuable information keeps you and your business top of mind. By housing your blogs on your website, it also prevents your website from becoming a static site and when done correctly is beneficial for SEO.

Regular content, relevant information offering solutions to what keeps your BEST customer up at night is key to an effective content marketing program. Need help developing a strategy, give us a call 724-612-0755.

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 strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

1 2 3 57
CONNECT WITH ME
Link to my Facebook Page
Link to my Linkedin Page
Link to my Rss Page
Link to my Twitter Page
FIND US ON FACEBOOK