Nearly every entrepreneur starts out with a mega conviction that they have the perfect solution for their target market. They set out with white-hot desire for success, and none of them admits that they may have to ‘pivot’ before they find their groove. More often than not you will have to pivot your business and sometimes, change course.
Business pivots are not uncommon and especially for new ventures. Therefore, expect them and embrace them rather than try to avoid them. In fact, if you have had to pivot your business at any point, then you are in good hands. Famous startups such as Facebook and YouTube pivoted to something more unique along the road. Their earlier intentions were actually forays into the dating market, which they found to be incredibly crowded.
Early pivots in the startup world are rarely mentioned. However, many of them are more effective, and entrepreneurs should draw valuable lessons from their experiences. Entrepreneurs should regularly contemplate pivots in their early stages of growth.
Here are 7 ways you can pivot your business to accelerate growth:
1. Switch competitive pricing and positioning to improve traction
Most of the high-margin-low-volume startups are compelled to consider the volume-price trade off to kick start growth. This kind of move puts them into the realm of new and bigger competitors that probably have a larger marketing war chest. They include some of the big-box retail store and e-commerce vendors. You’ll have to decide on which end of the spectrum you are better off playing.
2. Adapt your business to an emerging customer need or pain
Many markets evolve over time, and the economic and regulation conditions change. Therefore, many businesses are always on the lookout for new tools and processes for reducing risk and accelerating growth. It may be extremely valuable to pivot your business from productivity to compliance. That way, you’ll be ahead of the pack as the inevitable changes take hold of the market.
3. Review your definition of target customer demographics
Business pivots are an excellent and necessary ways to establish new lucrative growth paths. By picking up cultural and demographical shifts, you can pivot your business to another demographic group that is growing. Again, Facebook is a very good example. It targeted college students initially but later on consumers in general and more recently, businesses.
4. Change to a more lucrative and attractive business model
Entrepreneurs often begin with direct-to-customer business models. However, they soon learn that certain markets work best with distributors and value-added resellers. Other business models worth trying out include the subscription models and free subscriptions that are supported by paid ads. Don’t be afraid to switch to a more lucrative business for your particular market.
5. Strip down the solution and focus on a key feature
You may set out to provide a solution that addresses all the current needs in the market but in the process, confuses your customers altogether. It also waters down your marketing impact. Pivot your business to a specific key solution and keep it simple. Later on you can you can bring back more features after initial traction.
6. Consider alternative technology platforms for the solution
Sometimes, startups have to pivot to new technologies to remain competitive or improve their margins. You may find the need to pivot so as to leverage alternative forms of energy or simply meet environmental directives. The world is rapidly changing, and entrepreneurs will need to have their ears to the ground to take advantage of any potential changes.
7. Position your business as a social venture rather than a commercial one
Changing the world requires money. While social change may have been your passion at the outset, you can also pivot your business strategy to make money. Those two objectives can still run side by side and are not mutually exclusive.
Pivoting is natural and even necessary for any startup. Rather than wait for a crisis, start thinking of how to pivot your business. A pivot is not a sign of weakness but rather, redirection and a tool discover new growth that you might have otherwise overlooked. All businesses have the ability to outgrow their initial dreams by reimagining their possibilities and thinking broadly about their markets.
Are you considering pivoting your business? What are you still waiting for?