There is nothing wrong with changing up your business focus! The longer you are in business, the more likely you are to niche down (or up or even out) and focus on a specific or different sector completely. Once you've decided that you're ready to pivot your business, it can feel like there's so much to do! But there are ways to pivot effectively without losing the focus of your business or clients in the process.
How to Pivot Effectively - Changing Your Business without Losing Focus
Welcome to Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. Whether you're new in business or find yourself in a season of change, get ready to build a strategy, create an action plan and crush those goals. I'm Sasha, host a strategy for creatives. And I help female led businesses grow their brands in authentic, measurable and meaningful ways, without the stress. There's no sugar coated here, I'm serving up real tips and actionable steps you can take to help get you organized, get off the path to burnout and grow your brand like a boss. So go ahead, pull up a chair, grab a notepad, and let's talk business. Welcome to Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. I of course, am your host Sasha and today we are continuing our conversation about pivoting in our businesses. Last episode, I talked all about how to know it was time to pivot in your business. And so if you are not sure whether or not you should be pivoting in your business, or whether it's the right time to pivot in your business, go back and take a listen to that episode. I ask some questions that you need to be asking yourself in order to figure out if it's the right time to pivot. If you think it is the right time to pivot, then today, we're going to be focusing on all of the things that we could be doing to pivot more effectively. There are ways where we can pivot in our business that will completely screw us over, right? Like it will mess up everything that we've been working for. And we want to make sure that when we are pivoting in our businesses, that we are not confusing our audience base, that we're increasing our chances that this is going to have a good outcome that we're communicating effectively, why we're pivoting because all of that will lead to a successful pivot. It would help people really connect with why you're making this change in your business. And help people understand what's changing what's going away what the difference is, and have a smooth transition from your old business into a new format of your business. So let's talk about how you can pivot effectively when it comes to changing your business up. Number one, do it as soon as you can. As soon as you feel like it's time to make a change in your business. Start making that change, right. I talked a lot about in the episode last week, how many iterations of my business I have been in, I've had at least four or five iterations of my business. And every time changing my business led to something better for me. Most businesses are going to pivot more than once. So don't give up if you feel like you're at the beginning. And you've tried things and you don't seem to be gaining traction and nothing is working. That just might mean it's time to change up your business a little bit. And so you can do it once, you can do it twice, you can do it as early and often as you need to do it. But when you feel like it's time to make that change in your business, do it as soon as you start to feel that way. Of course with a strategy in place, because that's going to help avoid wasting time, wasting your effort and wasting money on a business that's no longer serving you the way that it needs to serve you. For example, in my business, I knew that I really didn't want to do products anymore. And I wasted money on my last launch of products because I wasn't really invested into the type of products I was launching. I came up with some quick designs, I threw them on some apparel and some mugs. And because I didn't really put in the effort that I needed to and I wasn't as thrilled about it, and I knew that I had been wanting to change my business for a while, even though I still went ahead and did what my business was doing at the time, I wasted my time and effort. And I spent money that I didn't need to spend creating and coming up with products, ordering products that I didn't need because I wasn't ready. And I wasn't sure if I should be pivoting into something else. I had built my business, a lot around products, and a lot around selling physical things that I wasn't sure how I could pivot in a way that made sense to something that was a service, to something that was more not product base, not something tangible in that way. And so I wasted my time and my effort and my money and doing that. So when you start to feel unhappy in your business, when you start to feel like it's no longer lighting you up, you don't really want to do this anymore, but you're doing it because you feel like you should or you have to think about pivoting. Take that time and that energy and that effort and that money and do what you can to pivot your business into something else. Another way that you want to pivot effectively is to make sure that you are picking new goals that align with your vision. We all know that having a business is hard. It requires you to really look at the ways that you are good and bad in your business and so trying to figure out how to run a essentially a new business when you're pivoting can be a challenge. But do the extra work to step back and evaluate in this new pivot this new iteration of your business? What is your goals? What does that vision for that business look like? Because when you do that work, and I've talked about this on other episodes, when you do the work of looking at your goals, when you have that business mindset, and you have a vision for how you want your business to run, and you do that work to pick goals that make sense for where you are in your life, where your business is in your life, right now, that's going to make you want to push forward not only with pivoting your business, but being successful, and making sure that that pivot works. That you're doing all of the marketing around it to make sure that the audience is not confused. That you're letting people know what your new services are, what services are going away, that you're communicating that effectively that you're having all of the marketing and social media around your new business endeavor that makes sense to your audience, you'll do all of that work when you have goals that are aligning with your new plan for your business. So make sure that you are picking goals that make sense for what your new business is going to look like. And that it is aligning with the life that you have right now. But helping you achieve the life that you want to have. Next up, do not scrap the work that you've already done. Don't throw it away, don't put it in the bucket. Because pivots don't necessarily require a radical change. Of course, in most cases, they do not. You want to identify what's important in your business that can be saved, reused, and kept into the current iteration of your business. If you listen to the episode last week, you'll notice that essentially every iteration of my business has built on what my business was previously. So yes, I sold scrapbooks at the beginning. I did custom design scrapbooks at the beginning which led into stationery. Scrapbooking is paper work, it lead into my stationery design. Because I already did parties and I was good at it, my stationery design fed into my event styling. Because I knew what it took to sell things, my stationery design led into me selling notebooks and selling other products related to stationery and gifts. That turned into me being able to talk to other business owners about all of the strategy behind businesses and what you need to do, which ultimately led to me pivoting and to having a business around strategy while still selling products that help with strategy. So you don't have to change or get rid of everything that you've done in your business. You can use some processes or systems or things that you have already spent your time your energy, your money on building your business in, and redirect it towards your current iteration of your business. It does not have to be 100% or 180 flip from what you were doing before. There are very likely things that you are using right now in your business that you can continue using in a new iteration of your business. You also want to listen to your audience, listen to your customers to your clients. Because the feedback that you get from them is going to be a great indicator on whether or not it's the right time to be pivoting in your business. So of course, you'll get negative feedback, especially if you've heard things like it's too expensive, or you're not offering enough or I don't like this process, that's fine. Everybody's entitled to their opinion. But take the feedback, all of the feedback, the negative feedback, the feedback about what you're offering, and think about whether it makes sense for you to be pivoting. One of the things that happened in my business, while, during COVID, when I was getting really into strategy, and I was helping other businesses grow in their own businesses, I kept hearing a lot from the people that I was talking to from my audience, that I was really good at it. That I was really good at helping people see the big picture and breaking down things that they needed to do. And that even though they love the products that I was selling, when I mentioned "Oh, I'm thinking about pivoting this way" 100% of the time I heard "Yes, that's what you need to be doing. That makes sense for you". And I heard a lot of people say I love your products. But I think this suits you better. I think this is more geared towards what you're doing. So listen to your audience. Put it out there say hey, you're thinking about making changes in your business. I asked your audience, if they could change one thing, what would that look like for you. You're thinking about offering a new product or going in a different direction, or getting rid of a product? How does your customers or your audience feel about that? And then take that feedback and put it in with everything else. They're not the end all be all. So what our audience says isn't the only thing that we should be thinking about. But listen to them because most likely, if they're really good audience, if they're really good followers of your business, they are going to support your business even if it transforms into something else. And if they don't need what you're transforming into, they are still likely to recommend you to those that they know need it because they already like and know your business. So listen to that feedback that you're getting. Lastly, you want to make sure that whatever you're pivoting into has opportunities for growth in your business. So of course, pivoting to what we want, and what we like to do, and what we want to grow more in is exciting for us. But we also need to think about whether or not what we're pivoting into makes sense as a business. I talk about this all the time, businesses are meant to make money. And so we can pivot in a way where we say I want to do this in my business, and only this in my business, because I like to do it. I love it. And this is the only thing I want to do. But does pivoting into that limit your growth opportunity? Is it limiting you in your business too much? Are you not going to have areas of opportunity where you can expand your business, where you can grow a bigger customer base, where you might have such a niche down audience, that there's either too much competition or not enough audience for you to sustain your business. You want to consider those types of factors. When you're thinking about pivoting in your business, whether or not it actually makes sense. And whether you can grow in your business if you decide to take it in a new direction. So a lot of this episode, I focused on how you can pivot effectively the things that you need to be thinking about when you want to pivot in your business. So your action item for this episode - if you are at that stage in your business, where you are ready to pivot, I want you to go through this episode, look at the things that I talked about and make sure that you are doing all of those things. Give yourself a plan so that you can pivot as soon as possible. And what makes sense for you. Don't worry about coming up with new services, or products or things like that, if you know that your business is no longer headed in that direction. You can start to slowly transition certain things in your business. Highlight certain features in your business that are showing where your business is going. So when I knew my business was transitioning to strategy, if you went to my social media at that time, then you would see how I slowly started phasing out showing products and I slowly started phasing in offering business advice on my social media. You can do the same thing as you get ready to transition to the new iteration of your business. Make sure that you are having a goal setting session or two or three so that you can align what your new business will be, and what it will look like with what your vision for your life and your current iteration of life is. I say this all the time, we can have lofty goals of what our life wants, what we want our life to be and how we envision it. But we have to be realistic in where we are right now in our lives. And so make sure that you are picking goals, and you have something that's attainable for where you are right now, that can set you up for that future vision. But don't put too much on your plate. And don't don't try to come up with too many goals for a new business that doesn't make sense for where you are in life right now. Don't scrap completely everything you've done in your business. Look at what processes or systems or people you can take with you into your new iteration of your business. Make sure that you're not just getting rid of and wasting all that time and money and energy that you spent creating your business. Take the pieces that will still work and use that into your new business. Make sure that you are talking with your audience and gathering their feedback for what a new business can look like. Take all of their negative connotations or even their positive ones with a grain of salt. Because ultimately, you should do what's best for you and what you want. But listen to the feedback that they are giving to you. And make sure lastly that you are pivoting into an opportunity that has growth potential. Don't limit yourself too much to a type of business or running your business in a way that isn't going to effectively serve you and that will be hard to grow from. It can be scary pivoting in business. We know that taking chances and risks a lot of us as entrepreneurs, that's what we do. But anytime we make changes, it is scary. But we can approach changing our businesses and pivoting in our businesses in such a way where we are doing it almost seamlessly to our audience and in effect making it so that it helps us it helps relieve a lot of our stress. We get excited about our businesses again, and we just really look forward to what our businesses can be when we get ready to pivot. So make sure that you are taking the necessary steps in order to make your business pivot effectively. Are you ready to uplevel your business? Join the five day be your own CEO challenge. All the details are available on the website at www.by-sasha.com. If you liked what you heard, make sure you rate and review. It really helps other people find the show. And of course, following subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms. Want to follow me on social? I'm on Instagram and Facebook at Strategy By Sasha. Make sure you tune in next Tuesday for more business tips.