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FOCUSED THINKING BRINGS ABOUT BREAKTHROUGH

The past few months have been challenging for business owners, yet some are thriving while others have given up.  What takes a business to a new level or a pivot in a business operation?  FOCUS and the ability to PIVOT your thinking to a new way of doing business.

Many businesses and organizations have shifted to virtual meetings, working remotely, and bringing about operational changes.  While one vertical line of business may not be as strong right now, other product lines are flourishing.

Manufacturing companies that have shifted to make protective equipment, are working multiple shifts to meet demand.  Distilleries and breweries that have pivoted their thought process to online sales and curbside pickups are busy.  Construction product suppliers that have picked up a PPE product line have an additional product to sell.  Clothing companies that shifted to making masks and fashion masks have developed new product lines.  The list goes on.

What do these types of businesses have in common?  They are open to new ideas and ways to grow.  By FOCUSING on the assets they have and PIVOTING their operations to utilize those assets to expand their services.   Those business owners are moving forward with renewed energy and resolve.

This challenging time has been compared to the Great Depression.  According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, those companies that continue to advertise when everyone else stops marketing are more likely to be noticed.  WHY?  Because there are fewer ads in the market.  “Firms that advertised during the recession increased in value and got more marketing bang for their buck…in some cases for up to three years after the recession had ended”.

Pulling financial support for your company’s brand can undermine revenue goals.  The better strategy is to go all in to understand customer needs and respond accordingly with tailored messaging across channels.  How do you do that?

Here are 5 tips to keep business growing:

  1. ASK

Layer these insights and information gained with the human element to get a deeper understanding of how target audiences will respond.  What is the value your company brings to the table to alleviate the pain point?  Do you even know where those pain points are?

  1. REDISCOVER YOUR BRAND

How are you different than the competition?  What new services can you offer or how can you shift your message based on the information you learn from your customers?  How can you position your brand to provide a sense of community while offering reassuring messages that demonstrate empathy?

  1. DEVELOP LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Reward consumers who purchase frequently and send targeted messaging to thank them for being a loyal customer.

  1. CONTINUE TO SHIFT AND INNOVATE

Embrace technology and commit to working ON your business instead of IN your business.  At a recent class I took, I was challenged to commit the first 30 minutes to 1 hour a day working on strategies to grow my business instead of working on other people’s businesses in their growth.  By blocking the time, I’m fresh in the morning to focus on how to grow my own business.

  1. MEASURE YOUR OUTCOMES

If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.  Know how people find you.  Advertise and be present where your potential customers are.  Be vigilant in your metrics tracking and reporting. Stay agile so you can adapt plans to reflect what you’re seeing. From there, brands can make messaging personal.

Keep a level head and commit to a long-term marketing strategy can help you flourish in the down cycle and be fully prepared to capitalize on the upswing.  Give people good things to talk about by continuing to have good products and great communication.

To quote Henry Ford…“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

Let the Edmiston Group help you strategize how you can PIVOT and GROW your business.  Call 724-612-0755 or email Autumn Edmiston for a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation.

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.

ARE YOU PREPARING FOR A BUSINESS COMEBACK?

Creative power and Powerful ideas – new thinking and competitive imagination.

When there is a business halt, are you preparing for a strong comeback or sitting paralyzed in the silence? Because business owners are fearful of what is to come next, we often will sit back and do nothing. A business may never return to the way it was and just like the businesses that failed to embrace social media, those that choose to stand still and do nothing will lose.

Savvy business owners are taking this time to think of the future and what new lines of business or target clients they want to reach out to. Should their sales pitch change and if so what would that look like? Will the presentation desk, social media channels or website need updating? How will these changes impact their sales staff and will they need retraining? Could staff training be done remotely while the sales force team is working at home?

Try to work down the line deals. Now is the time to negotiate. If your conference has been canceled, negotiate rates on a tentative date to rebook the conference in the future. Pass along the savings to your customers to relaunch a successful event. Instead of doing nothing, you’ve become a problem solver.

If your fundraiser was postponed, can you create a go-fund-me campaign or an online event? There is so much need, you want to be certain your mission stays top of mind.

Meet your customers where they are. Yoga studios and gyms are providing online classes with instructors via Zoom and staying connected to their tribe through private Facebook groups. Chambers of Commerce are offering free classes on how to use Zoom. Restaurants have shifted from dine-in to take out and brick and mortar stores have opened on-line stores. Think about it. They have provided a solution to our present-day situation that could result in an additional revenue stream in the month’s ahead post COVID-19.

Barbara Corcoran, self-made millionaire, real estate mogul, and ‘Shark Tank’ star believes there is great opportunity in every crisis. She has survived 9/11 as well as other critical times in her business. “But here’s what I’ve learned on all these crises through all the years, Corcoran recently shared on her Business Unusual podcast. When things go south, they come back like gangbusters.”

Are you ready to breathe in and move forward to polish up your business? Let’s chat – give me a call at 724-612-0755 or email autumn@edmistongroup.com.

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.

NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL – COPING WITH COVID-19

New Ways to Do Business Post COVID-19

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of business. For retail establishments, many doors are closed to customers. Restaurants have shifted to take out. Essential businesses are operating in an adjusted work environment. Business operations have shifted online and business development personnel are reaching out through phone, LinkedIn, video and voice conferencing, and email. Health care personnel and first responders are on the front lines of the pandemic and are stretched beyond belief.

What does all of this boil down to? Do you wonder if life ever goes back to the way it was? Fear of what is happening and what may be yet to come fills your mind. Will you be able to pay your bills? Will your family be safe? Will kids ever go back to school? Will you have a job? The changes all amount to loss and the grief you feel about things lost.

I have also read positive things with social distancing. Families are once again gathering around the table, life is existing at a slower pace, families are hiking, businesses are helping each other by supporting one another through online gift cards, and manufacturers are shifting operations to provide health-related products and sanitizer.

Many business owners are pivoting and thinking outside the box to stay top of mind or to prepare for opening their doors again when the time is right. They are part of a solution to a problem. A supply company instituted an online order system that not only will work during this challenging time but can also be utilized as a sales tool for their salesforce moving forward. A consulting company set up call times for monthly lead exchange meetings. A construction company is leveraging this time to update records and connect via LinkedIn. A construction labor force company is taking this opportunity to update their website and set up processes for a newsletter.

These businesses and many others are looking at the situation as an opportunity to continue to reach out, or prepare for a major push once we are able to be “open for business” again.

As you look at your current situation, is the glass half empty or half full. Here are some tips to make the most of your new norm.

  • Review your goals – we’re still in the first quarter of 2020. Did you set goals for the New Year such as developing a vision board, writing a blog, or taking a class? If you haven’t set goals with target dates, perhaps now is the time to do so.
  • Learn something new – a new platform for online meetings such as Zoom or how to create branded images using Canva.
  • Read – books, online publications, and a little fiction just for fun. The most successful entrepreneurs are avid readers.
  • Listen – to podcasts from thought leaders and business coaches.
  • JoinTed Recommends and receive TED programs and initiatives sent to your inbox.

I challenge you to step up and try something new. If your business has been stuck for a while, perhaps a business strategy session is in order. Maybe your website needs a refresh or marketing materials that need updating. Pick up the phone and give me a call at 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.