When you started your small business, you did all the necessary research and preparation. You found a problem that needed solving and you wrote a business plan that solved it. You found a small customer base in your target market and your business seemed to be moving in the direction you had planned.
Lately, however, it looks like your company growth has hit a plateau and sales are flat. Your team is still committed to the product but frustration is setting in due to the lack of results. You are starting to question your business model, as well, and the stress is not pleasant.
You know what a pivot is, but what does it mean for your business? A pivot is when a business owner takes all that they have learned, along with their resources, and focuses on solving a different problem for their customers. As a smart business owner, you have been diligent in asking your clients for feedback. Use this feedback to identify a fresh business opportunity. Do your customers say they like your product but they think they would love something different? If your customers are talking about a problem that is important to them instead of your product, it’s time to pivot with your business. Take that information and run with it!
The business pivot process involves experimentation while moving away from elaborate planning. Your customer feedback becomes paramount, while the iterative design will be key. No more intuitive decisions or traditional design development; listen to your fans.
In the new year, you should be looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your business environment and model. This is a SWOT analysis, and it is a popular way to assess the status of a business.
You may need to pivot if:
- You can’t tell the difference between your product and that of the competition – you can bet your customers can’t either.
- If you are spending more on your marketing budget with no growth in client conversion – pivot.
- If you produce 15 products yet only sell 2, understand what your customers are telling you – only 2 of your products are good solutions.
Pivoting can be challenging since you have to continue to operate your existing business while planning for the changes. Explain the coming changes to your staff to generate excitement and energy. If everyone is passionate about the product then it will translate to your customers as you move forward. There’s a lot of information out there that can help you grow your business, but sometimes it can be helpful to work with someone that can cut through the noise by coaching you on what your business needs to do to move forward. If you have decided that it’s time to pivot with your business, I am here for you! I offer both one-time review sessions and long term programs created especially for your business that will get you going in the right direction.