Women In Business

How pivoting your business can help it grow (big time)

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As people we evolve. And eventually our businesses will, too. 15 to 20 percent of companies have undergone a transformation that made them radically different than when they first started — which isn’t surprising at all!

Your audience evolves. Your mission changes. Your skillset as a business owner expands. Or you decide to aim for a new market altogether.

So you pivot.

It’s fun to talk about when to pivot, and the pivot success stories. But the reality? Pivoting is a heart-stopping, gut-wrenching and soul-searching process. You’re scared of starting over. And you also know you can’t continue with the way things are.

Once they’ve decided to pivot, most entrepreneurs focus on surface-level changes. The first thing they do is try to update their logo. Choose new colors. Tinker with a new website. But they aren’t getting to the root of the problem.

A pivot is a unique opportunity to dig deep and figure out what you want to create moving forward. And it starts with thinking of the NEW message you want to share.

Here are my 5 tips to pivot your business for more income and impact:

1. Figure out what’s not working — and how you’ll fix it.

If something feels wrong, there’s usually an explanation. Why are things not working? Why doesn’t it feel good right now?

There may be plenty of reasons, so write them all down. Ask yourself a series of “whys” to uncover the real reason why things no longer feel great for you in your business.

Then ask yourself, how are you going to get there? What needs to change? Write down all your ideas for getting to a future version of your business you’re happy with, and come up with a plan of action.

2. Hit zoom out and establish your new business vision.

Revisit the plans and goals you first had when starting your business. What got you excited about launching? Who was your audience? What was your plan for growth?

Remember that these goals are not set in stone. A pivot is a chance to start over, and you may need to scrap your original goals to make room for a new definition of success for your business.

Take some time to either revise your old goals or start over completely. The sooner you let go and start doing, the faster you will be able to set yourself up for post-pivot success.

3. Define your new audience.

Maybe you have the right product and business model, but discover that your current customer base isn’t lucrative enough to support your business. Or your product may attract real customers, but not the ones in your original vision.

Many of the clients I work with realize that they’ve outgrown their audience, or that they want to expand on their existing audience. Moving forward, you need to find a customer who deeply feels the need for a solution to their problem — and can afford to pay you for it. And it should be a group of people you feel excited about serving.

One of the easiest ways to understand your new target audience is to pinpoint how they differ from the audience you currently serve.

4. Establish your new plan of action.

Once you’ve established your new audience, start talking to them to get an idea of the new offers you can create for them. Take time to sit down with the people you want to serve moving forward, and really listen.

Then go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan for your business. Create your new offers, products and services.

Share your plan with your partners, your team or co-founders. Give your team a clear sense of direction and purpose as you implement this change.

Commit to channeling all of your creativity, energy and dedication into this business moving forward.

5. Communicate your new message.

When you have clarity on your new ideal customer and offers, it’s time to upgrade your message.

Let your existing audience in on the journey. Share they why behind your pivot and what led to this new direction. Invite them to join you as you move forward in this direction with your business.

Re-orient your brand story and your visual brand so your new target customer recognizes themselves. Re-focus your content marketing and ongoing communication toward this new audience you wish to serve.

Conclusion

It is possible to pivot to help your business grow. A pivot is essentially a second chance. You can change things in your favor and get back on track. 

Four years into business, I came out of my own pivot. Now the new clients I attract are much more aligned with my mission, and I’ve been more profitable than ever before. I was able to pivot in a way that didn’t confuse my audience, but rather set me up for success immediately after I shifted things in my business.

If things aren’t working, remember that you always have the power to rewrite your story.

Learning to pivot could save you from burnout and your business from failure. And investing time to pivot with purpose will allow you to succeed in the long run.

About Kay Fabella

Kay Fabella is a storyteller and business strategist, who crafts words for purpose-driven entrepreneurs to pivot with purpose and connect with the people they were meant to serve. She's a world-recognized speaker, author and trainer who's been featured in international media like the Huffington Post and El País.  Download Kay’s free About Page Audit here to rewrite your brand story today. Follow Kay on Twitter here.

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