When You Need (Or Want) To Pivot

  • Category: NichingRunning Your Business

There comes a time in every authority business when you know you need—or want—to pivot.

To make a big shift (switching up your niche) or maybe a small one (refocusing your message), because you know that it’s time to grow and change.

But how do you minimize the disruption to your business while maximizing your opportunity for success?

Think strategy plus consistent, thoughtful execution. In that order.

Because whether your pivot is a bet-the-business move or a less risky refocus, you will soar or face plant based on the thought (strategy) and action (execution) you put into it.

Look at strategy as your very high level plan to achieve your mission.

Your mission is why you’re here, transforming your ideal audience. Like this one from a safety expert: “Save kids from drowning.”

So if you’re going to pivot, you’ll want to start with your mission.

Let’s say you’ve been consulting to tech product sales executives about incentive pay, but you’ve become fascinated with sales team performance (and you notice that client after client complains about theirs).

You study it deeply and pitch a few existing clients who are thrilled with their outcomes from your work. That experience lights a fire to pivot your mission toward sales team performance.

Step two is to consider how this pivot might touch all the aspects of your business and decide how to integrate it moving forward.

That means getting specific on your client and audience base, the products and services you’ll offer (including their price tags and outcomes), how you’ll market and sell them (including your key messages as you build authority in this new space).

If you struggle pulling your big picture together, hire yourself a business coach or strategist—it may be more cost-effective to get it done fast with help than slowly solo.

Here’s the thing: don’t be tempted to skip the strategy and jump right to tactics. Ready, fire, aim inevitably means you’re going to miss the target.

Of course the most brilliant strategy will fall apart if you don’t execute well.

So to ensure you’re on the right path, write down what needs to happen, by whom and when—an action plan.

Then bring in at least one other person to review and critique your plan—it might be your business coach, a member of your mastermind, or even a savvy VA.

The decisions are always yours, but we all have blind spots that someone a bit removed from the plan will see faster than we will.

And if you know you need an accountability partner to keep you focused, get one right away. Why wait until you go off the rails?

Finally, once you start executing your plan, monitor how it’s going with a new scorecard: a set of metrics and qualitative observations on what matters most to you.

Pro tip: when you pivot, your financials may look worse before they get better—so you’ll want to track more than simply revenue and profit to keep you on track.

Pivots are normal and natural as you grow and evolve your authority business—and the more thoughtfully you make them, the faster you’ll reap their rewards.

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