Does Your Business Need to Pivot?

It’s a funny thing, running a business. After working on Summer Business School for the past few months, I’m the one who got schooled!

While the original purpose of Summer Business School was to provide an online course for small business owners, I soon learned that I was missing out on the tribe of small businesses and start-ups based in NYC.  My new friends wanted Summer Business School lessons, but not necessarily online.  What to do, what to do?

Well, one of the words that I’ve heard a lot of lately is “pivot”. Hell, Skillslate.com is even having a “Pivot Party”:

In the vernacular of New York’s start-up world, to “pivot” is to acknowledge that the current model one’s company is using simply isn’t working, and thus, to change direction to try something new.

In other words, to pivot is to do something different with your company. To pivot doesn’t mean that you abandon your idea, or even your vision, although it may mean changing your business model. And that’s okay. Sometimes, we approach our business with such blinders that we can’t always see how our idea could be changed or even improved.

But it’s always good to get perspective. Often, that means listening to our customers and mentors. That especially means listening to the objections we receive. Not to say that every objection raised is relevant, but to pay attention for the nugget of wisdom that might be hiding behind it.

If you are thinking about pivoting, here are three methods to consider:

  1. Pivot Your Target Market
    Maybe your original market was unable to afford your rates? Maybe you need to better define your target market.
  2. Pivot Your Business Model
    Look at your product and service and brainstorm new ways to add value.
  3. Pivot Your Marketing Strategy
    It might be time to switch things up, and choose a new marketing message. Or you could try new marketing methods, such as networking, public speaking, or creating online videos.

So Summer Business School has pivoted to become a workshop series for small biz owners, startups, and freelancers. After realizing that there were over 20 co-working spaces serving NYC freelancers, I booked an in-person workshop at The Hive at 55 for August 18th, and I’m excited by the possibilities.

I’d love for you to share your pivot stories and strategies!

Author: Moxie Maven

Carla Lynne Hall is a social media specialist and trainer in New York City with over 12 years of experience in online and social media marketing and training. She runs Moxie Maven Marketing, a social media and internet marketing agency which creates content and online marketing strategies for entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Moxie Maven Marketing sponsors Summer Business School, a series of summer marketing courses for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Carla is also the author of Twitter for Musicians, and co-author of Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook and Twitter.

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