Pivot For Profit

Believe it or not, most successful business owners don’t get their business model right the first time. Part of the secret to their success is they quickly identify the aspects of their business model that aren’t working and act decisively to fix them.

Entrepreneur Steve Blank describes a start-up business as “a temporary organisation in search of a scalable, repeatable, profitable business model”. As such, in a few years’ time you’ll probably find your business bears little resemblance to what your original plans were when you started out. Your operating environment continues to change and you need to adapt to different economic conditions, new regulations, technology and innovation in your industry.

You need to ‘pivot’ to adapt to these market conditions which could be as simple as changing your pricing structure due to an increase in supplier prices, or as complex as realising you’re targeting the wrong customers and need a total overhaul of your marketing strategy and website. In any case, every business needs to continually review their business model and search for the most profitable and scalable model. You might find you need to pivot many times along the journey, some will be minor tweaks and some major adjustments. In the digital age, if your business is standing still you’re effectively going backwards.

Start-up business owners particularly need to pivot to adapt to their changing conditions.  Here are some tips to help you:

1. Be Open

While passion is a key ingredient for business success, don’t let it blind you to the needs of the business.  If you are over protective of your business model you might find you miss essential changes in technology, marketing or customer habits. You need to accept and embrace change.

2. Know What Your Customers Want

By looking at what potential customers need you might identify a niche that your competitors are not satisfying. Establish a feedback process with your customers to identify their needs and how you can provide better solutions for them. Having open discussions with key customers will help you identify new opportunities and future trends so you can pivot early and become a market leader.

3. Leverage off Technology

Technological change creates opportunities all the time. The internet has opened up global sales opportunities and smartphone technology will take that a step further again. In your industry, are there developments that could create additional opportunities or open up new markets?

Don’t be afraid to test new things in a bid to stay in tune with your customer’s needs. Identifying opportunities, testing and delivering what the market wants is the essence of entrepreneurship.

Click HERE to download the full edition of The Business Accelerator Magazine for  December 2014.

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