Podcast: How to Pivot Your Business Successfully
I got my start online in 2014 as a lifestyle blogger. I’ve made several changes since then, going from only blogging and aspiring to work with brands for income, to doing both blogging and offering web design at the same time, to shutting down the blog to focus solely on web design. And now, since working in my web design business full time, I’ve shifted again to one signature website and brand design package for women who are experienced business owners in the coaching, speaking, and consulting industry.
With all that being said, I certainly know a thing or two about pivoting a business. Each time I made a change, it was intentional and based on the goals I had in mind, so I was always careful to take specific actions to make sure I was able to pivot successfully.
Below, I share my top 5 tips for pivoting your own business successfully, so you can flow smoothly into your next chapter in business!
Tip #1: Define why you want to pivot and evaluate what has and hasn’t worked over the last few months/years.
Knowing why you want to pivot is crucial for doing it successfully. You’ll have to use a bit of self-awareness and get really honest with yourself about why you want the change. This will help you create a road map to guide you as you move forward.
Have you been feeling burned out from working too much and are you craving more balance? Or are you having trouble hitting your income goals?
Are there new products and services that you’ve been wanting to add? Or are there products or services that haven’t been doing well that you want to discontinue? Was there a certain service or product that you started to dislike working on?
Also, consider if there are products or services that your audience has been asking for that you haven’t been offering. That might be a good opportunity to fill a void for them.
For my most recent pivot in my web design business, I found myself overworked, exhausted, and overbooked with a lot of projects. Plus, I’d taken on a couple of projects that I didn’t enjoy as much because they weren’t the full package that I prefer to offer. I knew working around the clock wasn’t going to be sustainable if I wanted a business that I could work in for years to come. Plus, I also had a new client process that I wanted to implement for a more elevated client experience and that’s impossible to do with too many projects on my plate.
So after considering all this, I decided to pivot my business by offering one signature package with staggered project start dates to provide my clients with the most value in a way that I enjoy.
Tip #2: Define the goals you’d like to achieve in your business 6 months to a year from now.
Now that you know why you want to change, it’s time to define the goals you’d like to hit in your business. When you have a specific goal in mind for the change, it’s much easier to stick to it. Be very specific with your goals, whether it’s to hit a certain revenue goal, to book a certain number of clients, to be invited to speak at a certain number of speaking engagements, etc. When you associate specific numbers with your goals, it’ll be much easier to evaluate your progress down the line. And it’ll also help you gain more confidence when it comes to saying “no” to opportunities that don’t support your goals.
Tip #3: Evaluate the clients you’re targeting.
Sometimes, when you’re making a change in your business, the clients you were targeting before may not be the best clients for you to target in the future. So you’ll have to ask yourself if your current target clients are a fit for what you’ll be offering in the future or if you need to zero in on a different type of client.
Also, make sure whatever it is that you’re offering is in demand by your target clients. You want to make sure you’re targeting people who have a need for what you offer and who are actually interested in what you have to offer. So you may want to consider niche-ing down to a specific segment of clients. Sometimes, a certain group of people will find your products or services more appealing that others. Plus, as all the marketing gurus teach, honing in on a niche is a great way to set yourself apart from others who do the same services as you.
With my most recent business pivot, to support the fact that I only wanted to offer one signature package and I wanted to smooth out my bookings to prevent from being overbooked and burned out, I knew I’d need to change the type of client I was working with. I decided to focus on working with experienced business owners, so my work would have a greater impact and the design process would move along more smoothly.
I noticed that designing for newer business owners is a bit harder sometimes because decision making takes longer and there’s a lot of unknowns in their businesses. Plus, projects for them end up taking so much longer, which is also bad for my booking schedule and I end up with too many projects overlapping into the same time frame. I’ve had to turn down some projects since making my pivot, but it’s been giving me more peace of mind because I know the goals I want to reach and I know by turning down the wrong projects, I’m leaving room for the right projects to come.
Tip #4: Update your website to reflect the changes in your business.
You’ll definitely want to update your website to reflect the changes that you’re making. When you’re adding new products or services, be sure there’s information about them on your website, so you can get buyers and inquiries. If you’re discontinuing certain products or services, be sure to take those down, so you won’t continue getting inquiries on things you don’t even want to offer anymore. And finally, if your target audience is changing, you may have to reevaluate your website copy to make sure it sounds like you’re “speaking to” your new target audience. You’ll need to be very clear with what you write, so your ideal clients feel like you’re speaking to them once they come across your website.
When pivoting my business, I added language on my website specifying that the clients I work with are usually in business 2-3 years and I decided to niche down to the coaching, speaking and consulting industry, so I specified that on my website, too using the words I was writing and the types of projects I showcased in my portfolio. It’s helped me to cut down on wasting time on consultations and putting together proposals for clients that aren’t a good fit for where my business is now.
Tip #5: Create a new marketing plan to help successfully support the pivot.
When you’re taking a new direction in business, you’ll definitely want to make sure the right people actually know about it. If only you know about the shift, it’s not going to help. You’ll absolutely need to create a new marketing plan to reach your target clients and to promote the new products or services. It may take a little time for it to catch on, but remember that with marketing, it’s about consistency. So don’t give up on promoting your new offers too quickly. Do it consistently in the marketing style that works for you, whether it’s audio content, video, social media, networking, a combination of all of those things, etc.
I recently started a LinkedIn marketing strategy to reach the clients I’m targeting, so I’m excited to see how that works over the next few weeks! One of my business philosophies is to stay open to new ideas and not be afraid to experiment with new strategies until you find the formula that works for you.
That’s it! Stay encouraged! Know that on the other side of change is the business you really want, so embrace this exciting time of new beginnings if your business is going through a pivot!