The vast majority of startup owners begin their companies with a firm conviction that they have a reliable solution to a common problem. But the reality is that it isn’t always the case. In situations like this, you have only two choices: either flounder around looking for customers in an underperforming market or pivoting your business to find more opportunity.
But what is pivoting, and how can startup owners find the right way to turn? Let’s take a look at how pivoting your business could bring you a dramatic change of fortune if your company is not getting off to the start you thought it might have.
What is pivoting?
When businesses start out they do so for a reason – but their success often looks entirely different to that original idea. Take Facebook as the perfect example. It started out with the sole intention of becoming a dating site – as did YouTube, which you might be surprised to hear. Now though, they are huge social networks that have gone way beyond that original intention.
Now though, they are huge social networks that have gone way beyond that original intention. The key to pivoting successfully is to learn what is working in your business and understand what is not. Once you know that, you will have a better idea of the direction you should go towards.
Find your key feature
Your current solution to a problem could be trying too hard to appeal to everyone. It might be too scattergun in its approach, which has the impact of diluting your message. So it’s important that during your pivot you focus on the key feature that improves your customer’s lives and keep things as simple as possible. That could be defining your particular niche, or highlighting the fundamental differences between you and your competitors. Or, it could involve focussing on one particular area that is already proven in its success before slowly bringing in new features.
Update your services
Once you decide on your pivoting maneuver, it’s vital to act quickly. A business that isn’t working is one that is at high risk of failing shortly. You will need to overhaul your services as soon as possible, which could include hiring a website design agency, investing in a new SEO campaign, and changing your whole marketing plan – not to mention our overall business plan. When you pivot, you will often find that your target customer definition changes, and you will need to recognize these differences from the ground up.
Focus on changing needs
Your customer’s needs will be changing on an almost daily basis – particularly in these turbulent times. Economic disturbances, government-imposed regulations, and even variations in the world of technology can all have a huge difference to your ideal client’s pain points. Keep on top of these small changes, and you will be better placed to pivot successfully – and quickly – to ensure you keep on targeting the right people in the right way.
Pivoting your business can turn a potential failure into a real success. There is nothing wrong with accepting you were wrong in your original idea, and sometimes a simple change can be all you need to make the difference. Good luck!