Website Development Strategy for Small Business

Website-Development-Strategy-for-small-businessStrategy is a key component in the development of a new website. Often business owners will determine they need an updated site or don’t have a website at all. Perhaps new products or product lines have been developed and without the marketing strategy, the website lacks the ability to demonstrate your message and have an effective call to action.

When the Edmiston Group works with a client on a new website, we first determine what the GOAL of the website will be. We ask questions such as “What are your product lines or service offerings? Will you bundle services for a higher price point? How will you utilize social media and third-party testimonials? Why do you do what you do? How does that solve a problem for YOUR customers? Answers to these and many other questions during our initial strategy session will help us design and develop the sitemap and framework for the new website. We ask thought provoking questions that help a business owner determine their unique selling proposition.

Our team recently worked with ATK Design Studios to help them create a new look and tell their story utilizing video and other forms of imagery. Small unique ATK branded design elements were incorporated into the various photos and images and the imagery was locked to help in the prevention of others from copying their photos.

We reviewed website content and assisted in wordsmithing their messaging to provide a better client experience. Linking to their social media sites, particularly YouTube which is owned by Google will also help in their search results.

TESTIMONIAL

“We place emphasis on designing each commercial kitchen with its’ own unique identity. The Edmiston Group grasped that immediately. They saw our passion for communicating each project’s story. We wanted something distinct that reflected our brand. Edmiston Group did a fantastic job of bringing our vision to life. Sincerely a great team to work with.” Terri Kidwell, President – ATK Design Studios.

If your website is in need of a makeover or perhaps you’ve recently changed your product offerings and the website doesn’t reflect the new services, email us or call 724-612-0755 to learn more.

Communication Crisis Planning

During 2020, businesses were thrust into pandemic mode in communicating with staff, clients, vendors, and their customers. The fluid changes in operations were dictated by the government’s mandates of the current pandemic situation.

According to HubSpot, when a business goes into crisis, it generally falls into one of five categories:
  • Financial – Financial loss such as announcing a bankruptcy or store closures.
  • Personnel – Changes to staff that may affect operations or reputation such as employee furloughs or layoffs.
  • Organizational – An apology for misconduct or wrongdoing as a result of organizational practices.
  • Technological – Technological failure that results in outages causing reduced functionality or functionality loss.
  • Natural – Natural crisis that necessitates an announcement or change of procedure. For example, defining safety precautions in the midst of a health crisis.

By preparing to address how each of these areas will affect your business operations, business owners will be able to quickly to execute a crisis communication plan. Lack of planning for a given situation will leave a business owner trying to figure out in those first critical moments who to notify, what information is needed, how the business will rebound and what long-term effects the crisis has.

For example, because of the pandemic, Christopher & Banks decided to close their brick-and-mortar stores and shift to online operations. Many big box chains reacted similarly. They notified customers via email and other sources of store closings.

Personnel crisis communication occurs when a person affiliated with the company makes statements or takes actions that don’t align with the company’s brand. An organizational crisis occurs when operational procedures aren’t followed. Ellen DeGeneres faced crisis from both personnel and operational fronts in 2020 amidst revelations of a toxic workplace culture and sexual harassment issues regarding senior executives.

How many times does technology and ransomware attacks hit the news? Most recently Microsoft faced backlash for its lack of transparency in a recent hack into their exchange networks exposing millions of businesses to hackers.

We have seen countless news reports over the past year on COVID-related policy changes.

What does this have to do with your business? You may think you’re a small business and these major things won’t happen to you, but in some form or another, they can and often do. As a business owner, preparing for these types of situations will give you the framework to structure your efforts and prepare your contingency plans accordingly. Building a plan that includes communicating with stakeholders, informing employees, and creating adaptive solutions once the crisis has happened will enable you to react quickly.

Being prepared today will enable you to react to adapt and remain open for business tomorrow.

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.

Q2 Spring Planning

strategy-planning-sessions

The first quarter of 2021 is over, and many businesses are recovering from 2020 one of the most challenging years in business. Some business owners were devastated and were not able to shift thoughts and processes to stay open or adjust to a new way of doing business. They closed their doors for good.

Not all is lost. These businesses and many more have gone outside the box to create opportunities to grow by creating new ways of thinking and delivering business. As businesses start to return to some sense of normal, some of these business strategies will continue. These new services will increase revenue and market share.

Event planners, keynote speakers, and conference centers no longer had events that drew in crowds. Some keynote speakers became certified virtual speakers and conference planners figured out how to how to prepare for virtual and hybrid events. Conference centers adjusted their space planning and technology to host hybrid events featuring in-person and virtual opportunities.

Restaurants pivoted and began offering curbside pickup, bundled meals for special occasions and more. A local winery increased its wholesale business by expanding its reach into multiple Giant Eagle and Walmart locations. This action allowed them to stay afloat during mandated restaurant closure.

A furniture company created an office in a box as many people shifted to home offices. They developed products that shipped easily keeping in mind what someone would need for a home office setup.

Regular networking groups offered zoom and hybrid meeting options to keep members engaged and referrals flowing. As a result of more remote office work, people are picking up the phone more to make a connection.

National Small Business Week is May 2-8, 2021. Are you planning to highlight the event through customer loyalty programs, special sales, employee recognition, aligning with other small businesses and more?

Perhaps you’re stuck in a rut and need a strategy session to get you going strong again. As you move into the 2nd quarter of 2021, how is your business positioned to continue to recover, adapt and be innovated to grow in 2021?

Need some inspiration? Our strategy sessions are designed to guide you to new ways of thinking and business growth. Email us to schedule your session today.

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.