This post has been requested by quite a few folk from our community of digital entrepreneurs. These are some uncertain times right now and many people are faced with having to pivot their business, ready or not. Our Business Advisor, Nichol Lachen, is here to help you get organized and take control of your goals so you can pivot your business without losing time.
1. Give Yourself Permission
The first thing you need to do is to realize that a pivot is not a failure. This is an exercise in being adaptable to change in order to meet new or evolving needs in your market. That’s just good business.
Give yourself permission to pivot. Don’t give up, don’t quit, don’t get stuck, it’s OK to pivot! You’ve put a lot into your business and it might be hard letting go at first. But remember, you might have to let go of an old idea in order to bring a new idea into this world.
Massive amounts of people have gotten laid off all at once and are now being faced with pivoting into a remote or digital nomad career. Those of us who are already digital nomads, work remotely, or own businesses are now forced to take a step back to reevaluate things. If you don’t give yourself permission to change with the times, you will be left behind. Don’t get left behind.
2. Think Laterally
You have a very particular set of skills, skills you have acquired over a long career. How else can you use your skills to pivot? Let’s look at a few scenarios and what I’m going to call its Pivot Perspective:
Were you a hobby-baker with a (now nonexistent) office job or are you a potential owner of a doorstep-delivery (to comply with the current social distancing best practices) of baked goods ordered from your new website?
Maybe your consultation business is halting as clients are cutting back spending right now. However, with all the school closures in the country, perhaps you could use those teaching skills as an online tutor to help overwhelmed parents manage until the schools reopen.
You don’t have to start over. You don’t have to turn your back on your skills, just use them in a different way.
3. Focus on Your Personal Brand
Your clients are buying into YOU, not just your products or services. Your personal brand reinforces the trust and relationships you have already built. You will also be free to change and evolve as you see fit without taking away from your core business.
It’s best to start with your skills and build up from there. If you are starting from scratch or a hobby this is a great opportunity to turn that into a source of income. As they say, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
If you’ve been laid off but still want to stay in your industry, you can pivot your career path by taking professional development courses online, earn a new degree/certification, and set yourself up as an expert in your field. This is especially true for those who’s jobs are not guaranteed once this is all over. Take a look at HBIC HQ’s Pave the Path to Success free e-learning series for more info.
4. Retool Your Resources
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. By rethinking the way you leverage your resources you can open up new opportunities for yourself.
Reach out to your client base to see what they need, right now. They already trust you and if they aren’t buying what you’re selling, figure out what they are buying or what they need. This will keep you on their radar, and by asking their input they will feel their voice will be heard.
You can turn your pivot into a brand-engagement by getting your clients and customers on board and excited by having them help you come up with your new line of services or products to fit their needs. Take the guess work out of it and go right to the source.
Do the same for your network. You put a lot of time building those relationships too. Chances are, you can go to that same network for support during your pivot. Definitely make sure to “reintroduce” yourself after your pivot. Even if your new business has nothing to do with the market or industry of your current network, more than likely they will find it interesting and you will find them supportive.
5. Reach Out for Help
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a secret treasure map, guiding you straight to your goals. Luckily you can get the next best thing. Save time by working with someone who has taken that journey and knows all the ins, outs, twists, and turns along the way.
An Advisor or Mentor will provide you will the skills and tools you need for a successful pivot. With all the changes going on, there is a lot of confusion out there and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Especially if you are one of those who have been forced into this situation before you feel ready.
This can be a very emotional and difficult time. Be patient with yourself and know that it is ok to reach out for help or support.