You're doing it! You've decided to go ahead and pivot your business to something new. How do you know all the things you should actually be doing to set your business on its new journey? Here's your checklist of the things you need to make sure happen to get your new business started on the right foot and make your pivot a success!
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 a another episode of Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. I of course, am your host Sasha. And all month long we have been talking about pivoting in our businesses. And so for today's episode, I really just wanted to do a quick, short and dirty overview of the actual steps that you want to take if you are pivoting in your business. So you want to make sure that you go and listen to the previous episodes this month, if you're questioning whether or not you need to be pivoting in your business, whether it's time, whether it makes sense. And then listen to the episode about how to pivot effectively. What questions you need to be asking yourself - how to make sure that you're not throwing everything away. And you're keeping the things that are working in your business and how to make sure you're not going to alienate your existing customers and clientele and things like that. So you can go and listen to this month's previous episodes for that. But today, I really wanted to get into the nitty gritty of what to do when you are pivoting in your business. Like how to actually go about pivoting. So, I of course, if you listen to the episode about when it's time to pivot, I have pivoted a lot in my business. I have changed my business, from something completely different from what it once was. And there are a couple of things that you need to be doing when you are pivoting in your business. The first that you want to do is decide whether or not you are changing your name. Now that has all sorts of legal ramifications around it. Depending on if you are a sole proprietor LLC, all of that good stuff. I'm not going to dive too deep into that. But if you are changing the name of your business, you want to make sure that you are doing several things when it comes to changing that name. One, you do want to make sure that you are legally able to do so. So that means checking trademarks, that means making sure no other websites exist, checking to see if the domain name that you want exists. If it doesn't exist, so let's say for example, in my case, I actually bysasha.com is not a website that i can purchase.Somebody has that website. So that left me with a couple of options when it came to changing my business name. Of course, I was creationsbysasha.com before, and I went to By Sasha and I really wanted it to just be By Sasha. And unfortunately, that name wasn't available. So I had a couple of options. I could have done bysasha.org, bysasha.net, by sasha.co. Instead, I just went by-sasha.com. That's the route I chose to take. But you want to make sure that if you're going to do something like that, that there's no brand confusion between the name that you're going to and a website that may already exist. So if that domain is not available, and you choose to go with a dot.net or a .org, or something like that a .co, you want to make sure that you're not causing confusion between the two brands. So you want to make sure if somebody does own that name. And if you can't get it that you're actually different enough in business that if people happen to go to that website, it's not going to be confused with your actual business. I would also suggest that you really think about the name if somebody else already has the domain. And if you do have a business and you are changing it to a domain that is available, make sure that you purchase all of those other domains. So that way, you don't run into this problem in the future. So if you are going to be bysasha.com, go ahead and get the bysasha.net, bysasha.co, get all of that stuff. So that way, you don't have to worry about somebody coming in and infringing or tarnishing your brand because they're buying something that is close enough to your name. If you have a brand that's unique enough, you can trademark your business name, you want to think about all of those things. So make sure that you are picking a name that makes sense. Pick a name that works with your business. And if you are changing your name, make sure that you're getting the domains for it. You want to make sure you're getting all of the domains, all of the accessory domains. And then you want to make sure that you get through your website hosting that you are going to redirect your website, your current website to your new domain. So for example, again, in my business, if you were to go to creationsbysasha.com right now, it's going to redirect you to by-sasha.com. And I did that for a reason, because people are still going to associate my business, my former business name with me. And until I created that new brand recognition with my name, I wanted to make sure that people were still going to the right spot. So make sure that you're setting up those redirects, when it comes with your old business names to your new business name. You also want to make sure that you pay to keep that old domain name for at least a year or two. I have had my name change for about a year now or coming up on six months actually. And so I kept my old domain, and I plan on keeping my old domain for at least the next year or two so that way, if anybody does go to creationsby .com, it still will come to my website. I am doing this because I have a lot of pins on Pinterest, that redirect to my old business name. And I don't want to lose those people coming to my website. So just making sure you're thinking about all of those redirects, when you are changing your business name. Now, again, if you're pivoting in your business, and you are changing your name, and even if you're not changing your name, I want you to seriously consider redoing your branding. Because if you are making a big enough change in your business, then it's important that your branding reflect that. So for some iterations of my business, I did not change my branding at all. I've only actually had two branding changes in my actual business. I had a logo that I made myself for Ccreations By Sasha and I had that for a lot of years in the beginning of my business. But when I pivoted directly into wedding stationery, I knew that I wanted to get not just everyday weddings, but that luxury wedding stationery, those people who are having 70, 80 $90,000 weddings, because those are the people who are going to pay for expensive stationery, I knew that my branding needed to change. And so I hired a branding specialist to update my brand for me and gave me a look that fit into that type of client that I was trying to get. When I was going from Creations By Sasha to By Sasha, I did the same thing. Because my business was changing drastically. And the people I was targeting was now changing, I wanted my brand to reflect that change. And I didn't want there to be any confusion between my old branding and my new brand name. And so when I pivoted into strategy, I made sure that that branding could not be mistaken for my old business and that it reflected my new brand and what I was trying to do with my new business. So you want to make sure, if you are really differentiating in your brand, if you're pivoting to something that's a lot different than what you are currently doing, I highly, highly suggest that you do new branding. Get yourself a branding strategist, get yourself someone who does more than just a logo, who's going to ask you about your goals and your target market and what you're trying to achieve with your business and really is going to get into the crux of what you're pivoting into, and can give you a brand that's going to reflect that. Along the same lines of changing your domain name, you want to make sure that you're changing any of your email addresses, right. So everything before was previously hello at or it was info actually email@example.com. It is now firstname.lastname@example.org. That might take some work. That means you have to change all of your business names and every subscription that you have and every login that you have to your new branding. But you want to make sure that you're doing that because the point is if you're changing your name, especially to have that clean break between your old business and your new business, so make sure that you're doing things like that as well. Once you've gotten that piece down. Once you've gotten the heavy lift, as I've said, so you've gotten your domain squared away, maybe you've gotten new branding, you're doing a new website, maybe if you are changing the actual brand of your name, then make sure that you're updating your website, you're doing that redirect with your domain name to your new brands. Once you do that, it's all about not confusing the customers. Not confusing your current followers, your new audience, and really showcasing that you're pivoting into something new. So how do we do that in an effective way? I talked a little bit about that in a previous episode, but I suggest that you do it in a more... Some people will say you should do it as a clean break, right? Just today's a new brand today I'm doing something different. I think it depends on how much difference you are having in your business. If whether or not it needs to be such cut and dry clean break type thing. So if you are focusing on a new niche, for example, but your business itself isn't changing, you're niching down you decided to target a completely different audience than what you're targeting now, but your product or your service itself isn't changing. I don't think that needs to be announced per se. I think you can change your Instagram or your social media, captions and your hashtags, and change your messaging around that. And so that those who currently follow you who may be in that old niche will start to notice that they no longer fit into your new target. And that's fine. There's, there's nothing wrong with that though, they'll get the message that they're no longer who you're targeting, and that you are targeting somebody new. So you can make that gradual change over if it's something that's small like that. If you're getting rid of products, for example, you're no longer offering a service, you can have a closing out sale, or you can say, this is your last chance to get this service because now you're focusing on something different. There's nothing wrong with those types of strategies. If you're pivoting into a completely new business, then that's when I suggest that you do a big kind of launch around it and announce why you're doing it. So when I was changing my business from Creations By Sasha to By Sasha, I did pretty much a whole launch campaign around that. I had my branding ready to go, I did do sneak peeks on what my new brand was, I would show it in my stories and kind of said, hey, something new is coming. But then when it was time to really switch over, after I had redone my website, after I had gotten my emails and my redirects and all of that stuff together, I did an email campaign to those who were currently on my email list and said, hey, this is the new brand. And this is why I'm changing. And I would love for you to stick around on this journey with me but I understand that you may have been here for something else. My business changed completely, I was no longer doing events or stationery, I was no longer really selling products. And if that's why people had signed up to my list, I could get why they wouldn't want to be on it anymore. And so I gave people that option, hey, now is the time to unsubscribe because my content is going to be changing. What I'm offering is going to be changing. But I let my followers and my readers know why was changing. It was important for me that the people who were on my list understood that I thought about this and that it made the most sense for me and where I was in my life. And so I suggest you be real with your audience too. I always talk about authenticity. And so I think that you will, you are more likely to keep people on your email list, keep people following you, keep people referring you who may or may not need your services, but we'll think of you if somebody else needs it if you are open and honest with them. If you decided that something is no longer working in your business, it's not hopeful for you anymore, then tell them why that you're making that change. Tell them why you're pivoting to a new niche, tell them why you decided to let this service or this product go tell them why you're going in a completely different different direction. When I did that, I got so many emails that said, hey, this makes so much sense. I'm so happy for you, I love that you're doing this, I hope you do well. I did get some unsubscribes. But I did have a surprising number of people who stayed on my list. And then I made sure that my content going forward, really dove into what my new focus was. Sometimes we have a tendency to tiptoe and to go back and forth. And we don't want to confuse people too much. So we keep throwing out a little bit of that old business while we really want to focus on that new business. If you can, once you've done that introductory piece, and you've explained why you're pivoting in your business, make a clean break. Focus entirely on your new messaging on your new target audience on your new services or products. Because you don't want to confuse those who are on your list of who are following you. You want to let them know what they can expect from you. So start leaning into that. Make sure also if you're going to change your socials that they're available, this goes back into when you're looking at domain names and business names and things like that. So if you wonder why my Facebook name, and my instagram name is Strategey by Sasha, that's because By Sasha is not available, right? So I had to find something that made sense. And I actually own the domain name Strategy by Sasha, my business is by Sasha because I didn't know what I wanted to really focus on at the time. So it kind of gave me that latitude to do different things. I focus, obviously much more strategy now. So it makes sense that all of my social media is strategy by Sasha, that says exactly what I do. So make sure if you can't find a social, that is your exact business name that it lends into what you are doing in your business. Because when people think of me, they'll think of strategy by Sasha and it tells them exactly what I do. So you want to make sure you're doing the same thing. Make sure that you're updating those highlight images on Instagram and things like that. So that way it reflects your new branding. If you're doing that. Make sure you're changing your name. You're updating any links that might be pointing to your old website or your old domain and linking them to your new website and all of your new links. Make sure that you're directing people to freebies or offers that are with your new business and not your old business, a lot of times we forget to change those things. Make sure if you have an email marketing workflow set up, this was one that I forgot about when I pivoted. If you have some sort of welcome sequence set up in your business, make sure that you change that, so that it reflects what you're pivoting to in your business. So a lot of those things we tend to forget about when we're changing our business over to something else. But it's those little things that can make the transition into a new frame of our business go more smoothly. So if you are in the middle of pivoting and your business, really this episode is a big action item for you. I want you to go back and essentially create yourself a checklist of what you should be doing. When you're pivoting in business. If you're not changing your branding, or your business name, make sure that at the very least that your website is communicating what your target is, and what you're pivoting into. Make sure that your branding does reflect the new targets that you're going to. A client of mine did not change her business name, but her target audience and who she was trying to pivot into. She actually niched down, she got rid of some services. And she focused more on corporate clients. And when she did that we had to...she did a whole branding, change around that. So that way, it spoke to those new people that she was trying to get. So none of her website or email, none of that changed. But her whole branding did change. And that was the pivot, that step and her pivot actually helped her secure some new clients. Because as she started doing proposals, or as she started, having people come to her website, they could see what her new brand reflected and who it was targeting. And if it was targeting them, it gave that sense that she was ready to serve them in this new capacity, and that they were the people that she was actually trying to target and not her old audience. So make sure that your website is speaking to those who you are trying to target. Make sure that you have calls to action on your website that lead to discovery calls, or leads are products that they can add to cart, make sure that functionality is easy. And overall, I said this in a previous episode, but when you are ready to pivot, just do it. Don't try to wait. Because you're nervous or you're scared or you're not sure it's gonna work, I get all of that I get that sometimes it can be scary when we're changing our businesses, believe me, I get it. I've done it a lot. And every time I've been nervous that my new iteration of my business wasn't going to be as successful as my last part of my business. But if you know that your current business isn't working for you any longer, and you know that you want to change and pivot into something else, do it. Get all of your ducks in a row, write yourself a checklist from this episode of the things that you maybe forgot about, or you didn't even think about doing, make sure you're changing those domains or getting your website rebranded. Make sure that all of your social is linked up the right way. And then just pivot and focus on that new target or pivot and focus into that new service or product. Because I promise you, you will be so much happier when you are moving your business into a place that serves you better. The whole reason, and I always say this, the whole reason why we have businesses besides trying to make money is to do something that we enjoy doing. If we wanted to do work that didn't fulfill us all the way, that's what 9-5s are and I say that as someone with a 9-5, yes, there are 9-5s that can be fulfilling. I'm not saying that. But if we are starting a business, it's because we want to do something that we like doing on a day to day basis. And so if you find yourself in your business and you don't enjoy it anymore, before you throw the whole thing away, think about whether or not it's time to pivot. Think about how you can pivot effectively. And then just go ahead and do it. 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.