Here is what you need to know about pivoting in our little world of tech.
It is my view, if your business is already a great idea and its working to the degree that it’s washing it’s face – adjust, don’t Pivot!
Think about why you want to pivot – or, reinvent your business model.
Are you doing it because you think you are failing or the consistency of the work you really want to do is dropping off and you don’t think its seasonal so you may think ok, what’s the next best thing I can do. Or, are you simply bored of grinding and grinding IN the business and your satisfaction level with your business is approaching Zero! Remember, people that sell their businesses often do it because they are bored and want to move onto something else.
Of all the things I think why people pivot – boredom with what they are offering and having to deal with on a daily basis is pretty high up on the list.
You have been doing what you do for a few years – you are just about breaking even, you may even be turning a small profit and be able to enjoy a latte or two with friends and the odd week away but, your staff seem to be getting paid more than you and for doing less work, taking on less responsibility and taking a day off sick or a rest day just a little too often.
You have turned into a support system for people that you feel don’t really care if you succeed or fail because they can get a job at anytime or move suppliers in a heartbeat.
But you, yes, you the entrepreneur, have to battle through cashflow issues, client delays, clients who want more and more for less and less and yes, its all getting a bit too much.
The risk/reward of running your own business, growing it from the ground up and dealing with the day to day is taking its toll.
Take a breath.
- Take a good look at what is failing – is it the offer?
- Do you have more competitors invading your space?
- Has the pandemic affected the way your clients spend money on marketing and promotion?
- Are you so tired of running the business that rather than pivot, you actually want to quit and do something totally different?
Is your offer relevant to todays needs and wants of an ever demanding client base?
Ask your current clients what they love about you and what they don’t love about you and your service offering. By doing ‘internal’ research and taking on board the pro’s and cons – you won’t need to come up with fantastic new ideas (to Pivot) you may just need to massage your current offering with a few small additions. You may even, like a recent coaching client of mine, improve your offering by taking stuff away!
If your competitors are invading your space, take a good look at what they ‘seem’ to be offering that is ‘better’ than yours and think about amending your offering to be able to compete with the new players in the market.
The pandemic has undoubtedly had a massive effect on a lot of businesses – particularly restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other brick and mortar businesses. Accountants and Lawyers who were used to an office environment had to spend money on a Work from Home package that they were not expecting to pay out for. No matter a lot of companies were helped by various governments to address this – its still a cost and a management situation that they were not prepared for – this took away the fact that they still needed to market their product and service. Maybe now, is the right time to remarket even to your own client base and see what profitable work you can generate from your already existing relationships.
Sometimes, we make the mistake of being or feeling tired for being depressed – there is no shame in feeling depressed about your business/life or lack thereof. Cash is tight, customers are hard work, staff just don’t seem to get it – it is, and can be frustrating.
If you feel tired, have a chat with a close friend and open up about how you are feeling, in general and about your business – it really will help you to decide if in fact, you are depressed – then, you can take action towards fixing that first, rather than reinventing your business for the sake of ‘A Change is as good as a rest’.
As an entrepreneur and multiple business owner, I have faced every single point I discuss here.
There are no easy answers, but, there are some quick wins.
Look at each and every aspect of your current business, your personal life and of course, as a coach, I advise trying to find someone you can relate to, who you can afford and who has a proven track record of success and the odd failure too.
Talk to your staff or freelancers and ask them what they think can be improved in the business and the way it is run. Ask them if they feel if they are in the right place at the right time and what they can do to improve not only the way the business is run but how THEY contribute on a day to day basis. I did this recently, be ready for some harsh words!
Look at your costs – Including staffing costs, can they be trimmed or better utilised.
Look at yourself – can you run a business, do you need to look at employing an operating manager to allow you to do what you do best?
The temptation to pivot is strong – but, the true definition of Pivot – particularly in our industry is : to adapt or improve by adjusting or modifying something (such as a product, service, or strategy).
Make small, almost indiscernible adjustments to your current business if its doing OK but not brilliantly.
Look at your competitors, ask your current clients what they love and don’t love. You may well find there is not a lot wrong. It could just be your perception of everything is going to the wind, nothing is working and nothing can put it right unless I make fundamental changes.
Be smart, think about how you as an advisor to your clients do your very best to help them, how about using that skill set on yourself, face your fears, re challenge yourself to fix your business, just like you promise to fix issues for your clients.
Look at your offering. is it too broad, does it offer modern solutions?
Can you trim it down to save you and your team precious hours but charge more for physically doing less but giving better, perceived value?
Can you productize some or all of your offering?
Are you taking advantage of the latest technology to help your work flows and processes?
There is so much you can do to improve your perception of your successful business so don’t try to reinvent the wheel, just pump the tires up a bit – right? .
Good luck and I wish you well in your endeavours to make the best out of your already successful business, remember though – you come first – always, so take care of yourself and the business will grow with you.
Andrew is an investor, coach and business seller. He has been in the marketing, print and web world for more than 30 years. He enjoys helping business and people grow and make a difference in life and playing as much golf as the UK weather will allow!