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.
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.
The future of YourWebPA.com is looking bright… and a lot less complicated!
Have you performed an entrepreneurial pivot on a business venture? How did it go? If you haven’t yet, how do you think you would have handled my situation above? I’d love to hear your comments below.