3 Reasons Why the ‘Entrepreneurial Pivot’ is More Important than EVER!

by Chris C. Ducker · 16 comments

UPDATE: Please note that YouWebPA is no longer in business. You can hear the story as to why on episode 16 of the New Business Podcast, and learn by my mistakes!

Original Post:

One of the most undeniable traits of a real entrepreneur is the ability to be flexible. To move in the right direction when the time strikes and to turn, or pivot in another, when required.

This is ‘formally’ known as the ‘Entrepreneurial Pivot’. 

I’ve experienced plenty of pivots in my career – learning something from each and every one of them. So, I thought it might be a good idea to tell you about my most recent one, what caused it, and how I handled it to turn things around and drive home another successful business launch – just in case you bump into one yourself in the near future!

The Beta Mode

Before I launched my most recent business, YourWebPA.com, we were in beta mode for around a year. We had been testing out different service packages, price points, how our processes ran, the way that we would work with and report to clients, and so on.

As someone that really believes in helping people with their outsourcing needs, YourWebPA.com is my personal answer to the issues of project-based outsourcing via the popular ‘job posting’ websites, and the hassle that comes along with hiring and having to work with people you’ve never worked with, or met before, for simple one-off projects.

Throughout the entire planning process and beta period we had our focus on putting together a line-up of 25 different service offerings. It was going to be a huge launch, with plenty of growth possibility for the future, too.

However, it simply was not meant to be that way.

The Problem

In theory it seemed fantastic to be able to offer that many services, right out of the gate. The problem, however, was that it was taking a long time to gather, train and get management processes in place for the complete, highly skilled and diverse group of people that I was going to have to assemble to be able to provide the best possible service to our clients.

Something needed to happen so that we could focus on bringing this new venture to the marketplace faster, and with a solid line-up of services that would really work well for our clients.

Enter… The Pivot

So, I grabbed my laptop, jumped in the car and went to my local Starbucks to do a little entrepreneurial soul searching.

Being around the team, as great as they are, was just clouding my vision when it came to finalizing a product line-up. Their passion and excitement to finally launch the new company was awesome, but it was really getting in the way of me thinking clearly.

An hour into a planning session over coffee, a brand new mind-map and a couple of quick tweets to people that had been utilizing the service in its beta mode, to get some quick feedback, and I had my service line-up completed.

YourWebPA.com would now feature just five different service offerings (instead of the 25 that we had been planning) for its kick-off, namely:

  • SEO Packages
  • Niche Site Creation
  • Personal Branding Kit
  • eBook Design
  • Article Writing

Clarity was immediately felt. 

I went back to the office, met with my team and told them the great news! At first I could tell they were a little shocked – but, after explaining why I was doing this, they quickly realized that the entrepreneurial pivot that I had just made was exactly what we needed to be able to REALLY start growing this new business together.

We simply needed to get going, the growth would come… And it is!

The ‘3 Reasons’ 

1) You see, if I had of carried on shooting for the 25 services that I was wanting to offer to people, it would have taken at least another 6 months to get it all finalized to the point where I felt really comfortable and confident to go live. I wanted to make sure that I had all my ducks in a line and that people would be immediately impressed with the service line-up and quality of work we were doing for them, as well as the general customer service, too.

After all, you only get ONE chance to make a first impression, right?!

2) Bringing the initial number of services available down to the five listed above allowed us to wrap things up quickly and get this new baby of ours launched and in front of potential customers all around the world – FAST. In fact from the afternoon that I performed this latest entrepreneurial pivot of mine, to the time that we launched, it was exactly 3 days.

3) We are now planning to roll out another six different services this year, with the first addition being transcription services at the end of this month. They are all being tested slowly, but surely and looking better every day. It’s given us more clarity than we ever thought possible.

UPDATE: Please note that YouWebPA is no longer in business. You can hear the story as to why on episode 16 of the New Business Podcast, and learn by my mistakes!

 

Join My New Business Bootcamp for Free!

I'LL SHOW YOU HOW TO START, RUN, & GROW A BUSINESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

  • Utilize the Power of Blogging in Business
  • Grow Your Empire Through Outsourcing
  • Attract Customers with Videos & Podcasts

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike From Maine February 7, 2012 at 17:08

Bringing it from 25 choices down to 5 was a great choice. I watched a TED talk the other day about how when people have too many choices they get confused and walk away. However if they have less choices they feel more comfortable and less like they are making the wrong decision.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:19

Hi Mike

TED talk’s are awesome. I do at least one every other week – and sometimes re-watch ones that I’ve see before, too.

I totally agree with your opinion on this, too, obviously.

Thanks for commenting, bud.

C

Reply

Frank Schwarz February 8, 2012 at 00:50

Chris –

I’m so happy for you and your pivot. We have been experiencing our own need to pivot and are helping our clients to do their own pivots.

I wish I would have been on the beta team, but will be more happy to say I’m a client. Very soon as our projects move forward!

Best wishes to a great guy!

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:18

Hi Frank

And we look forward to a great, productive relationship with you for many years, my man!

Thanks for dropping by.

C

Reply

Joshua Van Den Broek February 8, 2012 at 05:43

Hey Chris, another great post.

Narrowing your focus to fewer service offerings allows you to improve the quality of service that you deliver on each one. Not only that, (as you know) too many options leads to client confusion and effectively no sale (which at the end of the day does not help you nor the client as nothing will get done).

I gotta say I love your use of Starbucks and wish I did more of that myself… there is none near where I am so probably a good thing as I would drink them dry!! :)

Cheers Josh

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:17

Starbucks is awesome. Great jazz, good coffee and no kids or employees around!

Can life get any more perfect….?!!! :-)

C

Reply

Benny February 8, 2012 at 05:51

Great to read some insight. Reminds of the MVP , the Minimum Viable Product. It’s getting the product out there good enough and get feedback from your customers. Then go and improve it. It’s not waiting for it to be perfect.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:17

Hi Benny

Thats what it is, right there… Great additional mindset on this.

Feedback is certainly the way to go, and in todays social world, the EASIEST way to get your offering bad ass before going gangbusters marketing it – if you’re happy to give it a go, without perfecting it all the way!

Thanks for injecting your opinion, bud.

C

Reply

Dave Starr February 8, 2012 at 16:19

Interesting article. I just an hour or two finished reading Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” biography.

In addition to his massive ‘pivot’ he made when he got canned ny Apple and revised the film industry, one of Job’s’ important pivots was when Apple invite him back (how many of us might have said, “up yours, Apple, I\m not letting you trample me again”?) was his first design meeting.

He threw out every project the engineers had on the drawing boards except three key, focused machines, which later became the iMac family and brought Apple back to the top iof its game.

Gordon Ramsey, the “terrible-tempered” chef of Hell’s Kitchen and other cooking shows has a highly-paid sideline wen he isn’t making the plates fly and the contestants tremble.

He operates an exclusive restaurant consulting business. His standard practice is, go into a troubled restaurant, make the owner list every dish on the menu ranked in order of profitability, and then immediately throw out the entire bottom 50% Cutting 50% from the menu often returns the restaurant to profitability before he even makes any other changes.

Just say goodbye to the low-performers and the confusion-enhancers, and bank the results.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:26

Hi Dave

You bring some great insight and case studies to the table with this comment. Thank you.

Hope all is good, and you’re continuing to love doing what you do – that’s what its all about, right…?!!

C

Reply

John Colley February 8, 2012 at 17:20

Hey Chris
Very interesting article and as ever, great comments from the community. It is always worth reading your blogs to get the full conversation. Benny has referred to the MVP – Eric Ries covers this in the Lean Start Up with which I am sure you are familiar.

I think you have done a very smart thing – start with a clear focus on a limited range of products – get them right and sell them successfully, then grow the business by selling more services to your existing customer base (who can serve as a beta platform as these new services rollout). The result is great products and services and much greater speed to market with much less risk. Your a Genius mate!

Wish you a lot of luck with WebPA.com. Best wishes
John

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 16, 2012 at 13:24

Hi John

Thanks for the comment.

LSU is a great resource.

I’m not sure I’m a genius – but, I’ll take the compliment any day!!! :-)

Thanks again, bud.

C

Reply

Anshul February 11, 2012 at 05:24

Great post Chris. As an entrepreneur I faced similar challenges at the start (& still do although to a lesser extent), always striving for perfection and then trying to do many too many things at once was a real hinderance to my progress early on.

Focus and clarity can often be the difference between average success and grand business success.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 16, 2012 at 13:23

Thanks, Anshul.

You just can’t underestimate the power of focus. It’s huge. Why do you think there are so many books out there on the subject!

Appreciate you commenting.

C

Reply

Brett Jarman February 11, 2012 at 11:07

Nice work Chris.

You may not have noticed but you’ve also unconciously applied the Pareto Principle to the business. The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, basically says that 80% of your results usually come from 20% of your efforts. Even if you had pulled the other 20 services together it’s unlikely your sales volume would have been 5 times higher.

Whether you picked the ‘right’ 20% to keep remains to be seen but that’s where entrepreneurial instinct and the thrill of the chase kicks in. With the homework you’ve done and your past experience I’ve no doubt you’d be pretty close to the mark.

Thanks for sharing it. A great example I will no doubt refer clients to in the future.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 16, 2012 at 13:22

Hi Brett

Ah, I knew it was in there, my man, trust me!

But, thanks for bringing up the importance of the 80/20 rule. It’s never let me done yet! :-)

C

Reply

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *

Previous post:

Next post: