Fall into a New Season of Business

Moving into Autumn means the leaves are changing – and your business may be too! As we enter the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, it is essential to consider what you may need to do differently so that your business finishes strong and is prepared for 2022.

As business owners, we must remain relentless and determined. If you find your business is not achieving what you want, you must be willing to adjust and try out new strategies. Rather than getting wrapped up in how you may have performed in the past three quarters, make this fourth quarter your opportunity to get innovative and try out something different to finish the year strong.

Is your business reaching a new cycle of growth?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, we are currently in longest business cycle on record. While this has meant consistent growth for many, it also indicates that we may be nearing the peak of this growth and an upcoming downtick. According to Harvard Business Review, applying a market-creating strategy, focused on generating new markets, will allow your business to maintain its growth even as the business cycle changes.
Rather than relying on strategies that focus solely on outperforming existing rivals, a combination of strategies can allow you to enter a new cycle of growth and maintain that growth in the future. Growing your business requires patience, but it also requires determination and focus. By strategizing and planning for the future, you can grow your business and keep it steady even in the face of an economic downturn.

Are your strategies for reaching potential customers working?

As business owners, we often must think of new ways to reach potential customers that allow our businesses to continue to grow and thrive. But we also cannot forget to maintain our relationships with our current customers.

According to the Small Business Association, you can reach potential new customers, while still nurturing your current customers by applying these 10 strategies:

  • Ask for referrals in active ways when following up with customers
  • Network through organizations and events in your industry and relevant to your customers
  • Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only and track those who redeem the offer to target with future marketing
  • Re-contact old customers, who haven’t recently purchased from you, on a regular basis
  • Improve your website to ensure it is up to date and attractive to new customers
  • Partner with complementary businesses and strategize ways to benefit each other
  • Promote your expertise through industry panels or online workshops
  • Use online reviews to your advantage, such as by linking to them on your website
  • Participate in community events to raise your profile and get your name out
  • Offer “bring a friend” deals to allow regulars to introduce potential new customers

By implementing different strategies, you can allow your business to reach a wider customer base and grow your success. These can allow you to also grow on a consistent basis and maintain a strong loyalty with your current customers. As you enter the 4th quarter and work to finish strong, keep these strategies, and us, in mind!

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.

Get Ready for Shop Small

As Small Business Saturday quickly approaches, it is important to plan ahead! Shop Small is an opportunity for you to be a community champion, increase your profits, and build up your local profile. But how should you begin to strategize for such a big day? Shop Small is all about being a champion for small business. American Express, the founders of this event, indicates 90% of shoppers who are aware of Small Business Saturday use the opportunity to try out new local small businesses and restaurants. If you want your business to be one of those that the community tries out this year, start planning now!

Be a Neighborhood Champion

Shop Small is focused on not only small businesses, but also on local communities. Participating gives you a chance to widen your customer base, as well as to build up your community. One way to do this is to become an official Neighborhood Champion by signing up through American Express. Being a Champion means also supporting other business owners in your community and spreading the word about which businesses are participating in the event.

Think about how you might utilize social media to get the community excited about Shop Small, or even consider hosting a community kickoff event to strategize with other business owners and prepare for the day ahead. Whichever route you take, being a Neighborhood Champion will give you the opportunity to remind your larger community of why it is important to shop small, while also increasing your business’s local profile.

Increase Awareness and Your Profits

To get the most out of Shop Small, it is important to think ahead and to consider if your business is reaching a wide enough clientele. Partnering with complementary businesses will allow you to share in the cost of advertising and drive increased traffic to your businesses. Working with others who are not in direct competition with you will allow you to succeed on raising local awareness of your business and Small Business Saturday. Being a team player benefits everyone!

You may also think about creating some type of special sale for Shop Small. Consider bundling products for a higher price point. By creating product bundles, you can sell more of your products while also increasing your profits! Selling complementary products together, or selling only certain products in bundles rather than individually, can convince consumers that may be new to your business to shop with you.

Make this year the year that you take full advantage of all the opportunities Shop Small offers. As November 27th looms on the horizon, you should feel confident that your business, and your community, will find this event to be successful!

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.

The Solution to the Problem

Did you ever have someone always come to you with a problem? This could be a friend, a business associate, or a fellow employee. They present a problem or in a conversation say “the problem is” … but what is the missing piece? It is a suggested solution.

I recently spoke with a nurse that was set to meet with her supervisor to discuss issues that related to patient care. Prior to her meeting, our conversation started with – the problem is when they bring the trays up, the coffee spills on the sugar and it’s gross. It bothers me to give this to the patient. Not only are we providing patient care but because meals are cold, we are having to heat them one at a time. This is affecting our capability to provide quality care and impacting the patient’s ability to heal because of unsatisfactory nourishment. She had a laundry list of issues and as I listened, I asked, “What’s the solution?”

The nurse thought about my question and proceeded to offer ways that could improve a patient’s experience and provide solutions to her concerns. Before her meeting with the supervisor, she put a wet condiment packet from a food tray where coffee had spilled in a baggie took it with her to the meeting. The supervisor was unaware of many of her concerns, but what helped her cause was the fact that she provided an example of why it bothered her to serve a patient a try with a condiment that “looked gross” as well as offered solutions. The outcome…. some of her suggestions have been implemented.

An engineering colleague spoke of an entirely different situation where a junior engineer is choosing to not step up to the plate with solutions to work situations. After a number of years of working for him, the junior engineer still comes to him wanting answers to problems he is qualified to solve. The junior engineer has been asked to get his PE, but he says he doesn’t want that responsibility. The lack of drive and the ability to want to problem solve will eventually hurt his career. The senior engineer indicated the junior engineer has the right answer, but doesn’t want to offer the solution. He would rather allow someone else make that decision for him. Many senior engineers will be retiring soon and he told the young engineer that in the not-too-distant future, he would HAVE to make decisions because they wouldn’t be there to ask.

Problems and solutions in two different industries… but very different outcomes.

What steps should you take to become a problem solver?

  • Identify and define the problem. Break apart the situation and identify a root cause of the problem. Document how the process currently flows and identify how the problem is impacting your ability to effectively perform your job.
  • Look at various software tools, operational shifts, and changes in policy that would impact the situation.
  • Offer multiple alternatives that could be modified to determine a best outcome.
  • Evaluate alternatives. Include affected parties to garner feedback and buy in for the solution.
  • Sell your solution to leadership or if you are the business owner affected staff.
  • Implement and reevaluate proposed solutions allowing for feedback and/or modification.

At the end of the day are you going to be a problem solver or a person who doesn’t want to take the responsibility to improve customer service, operations and ultimately help a business be better? I challenge you to evaluate your conversations to see if you can shift your mindset to offer solutions to today’s problems.

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 68