Launching a new product is no small undertaking. Whether you’ll be selling SaaS, enterprise software or a physical product, it’s critical to lock down a strategy to ensure you can effectively build buzz, reach targets and hit your sales numbers.
Every company is different. Every market is different. But every successful product launch example has one thing in common:
The business had an effective strategy and stuck to it.
Here are the seven product launch steps you need to know and love before your creation can hit big time.
Launch Step 1: Go or No-Go?
A common mistake companies make is skipping the research that should be done when deciding whether or not to even introduce a product to the market. Ask yourself some questions:
Is there a need in the marketplace for my product?
Is it a unique offering, or are there others that are already being marketed and sold?
What are my differentiators and unique selling points?
If there are competitors, are there sufficient additional features and benefits to separate your product from the others?
What about pricing? What is the expected ROI?
Talking to your customers and industry colleagues can also help you to evaluate the value and market potential of your product. If things don’t look quite as rosy as you thought they would, don’t be afraid to pull the ripcord and focus on initiatives other than your product launch checklist. If it can’t be a hit, focus your R&D team elsewhere and look at other ways you can utilize and monetize your innovation, IP and work.
Launch Step 2: Pick the Right Team
Choosing the right development team is critical in launching a new product successfully. Obviously, having the technical muscle on the team is important. Equally essential is representation from the company leadership team, project managers, product users, marketing, public relations, sales and QA.
Why involve every department?
Because launch success depends on buy-in and collaboration.
Company leadership must communicate the value and importance of the project and create accountability for meeting deadlines and milestones. Project managers and product users will be able to provide valuable information and feedback on workflow. Marketing will help develop the launch timelines and will gain a deep understanding of the product’s features and benefits that will translate into the marketing campaign. Sales will be able to provide insight into pricing, customer requirements and product features, and will gain the intimate working knowledge of the product needed to effectively communicate with prospects.
Launch Step 3: Timing Is Everything
Set milestones and establish a firm production schedule and new product launch process.
Creating accountability by adhering to a schedule helps keep your costs in check and allows the marketing team to build a marketing campaign based on the product launch date. Really think about the timing. When you launch a product can heavily influence the success of the release. Timing a launch around a trade show or other event can help to generate buzz and can serve as a terrific jump-start for the marketing campaign. Making sure key team members are available during the launch is absolutely crucial for troubleshooting unexpected system glitches and hiccoughs.
Launch Step 4: Show and Tell (and Ask!)
When you’re launching a new product, it’s critical to keep key internal project managers and users in the loop, asking for feedback along the way. Asking a few trusted clients to test your product will give you incredibly valuable insight and will tell you a lot about your product. You’ll get feedback on the product appearance, usability and performance that is better learned before launch than after.
Launch Step 5: Prove it
Beta test. Validate. Load test. Ensure security. Bringing an untested product to market is a bad idea. It’s asking for system failures and bound to cause user frustration. Ensuring that each feature of the system works and that it can handle the number of users anticipated will go a long way toward launching a product that works the way it is intended to and meets user expectations. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Be sure to make it positive.
Launch Step 6: Plan Your Campaign
Building an effective marketing strategy around launching a new product involves a lot of planning and effort. The first step in building that strategy is setting the launch date because that date affects the timing of the rest of the campaign. Branding development, product positioning, public relations, digital marketing, social media, trade show attendance need to be decided upon well in advance of launch.
It’s launch day! Great! But … is your staff on board?
Properly preparing the entire team for the new product launch means more than sending out an email the day before the release. Support and sales need to know the product inside and out, and all customer-facing staff need training and should be able to answer basic user questions. Anyone talking with a client should be able to help them reset passwords or negotiate through basic functions. Taking these steps will give your staff confidence and empower them to help clients and effectively communicate with prospects.
I’m DELIGHTED to share, that after 7 years of research, engineering, testing, calibrating, and documenting. TODAY see’s the launch of:
#ADDAZERO: The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable SCALE
Just one of the many positive quotes I received from our BETA test Proofreading group regarding this book was:
For ANY entrepreneur serious about growing their business, this book will become their business bible
It’s by no means a lazy Sunday afternoon, curl up on the couch type of book. It’s an educational reference book, helping you to steer your business towards SUCCESS SUMMIT.
You can order either the paperback or Kindle version by clicking here.
(The AUDIOBOOK is due for release within the next 2 weeks also)
Have you reviewed your current offering(s)?
How effective are they at meeting and surpassing your client’s/Customers needs/expectations?
Do they go ‘elsewhere’ to purchase things you could provide?
Today, shortly after 3.20pm (Local) I received an important package from Amazon!
Inside the cardboard box, was a gift-wrapped bag, with a label that read:
Congratulations Jay, you did it.
On further examination, I was able to discover the first printed copy of my new book:
And I can’t BEGIN to tell you how exciting that feels!
This journey started in late 2008, with the sudden collapse of Woolworths.
We began researching in 2012, and by 2016 had a team of 9 data analysts working on the cause of more than 150 Big Business Failures.
Then 18 months engineering a series of ‘Questions’ task of ANY business (New or old, modern or traditional, product or service) to determine if the business leader implements THESE suggestions will it reduce/remove the risk of failure?
A further year of BETA testing, then analysing the results, before 15 months spent correlating all the data and writing it all up.
Today marks a new #milestone of achievement on our quest to support 1,000,000 Business Owners #ADDAZERO to their Personal Disposable Income!
Not turnover, or any other vanity matrix, but CASH in THEIR HANDS to transform them, their families, their business and their community.
Well, at the time we first launch BETA testing, there were approx 6M SME businesses in the UK.
I remember, years and years earlier when the Federation of Small Businesses had run a national marketing campaign entitled “Just get ONE”. The idea was for every member to introduce one new member to the association, thus doubling their membership in one year.
I’d already seen (through our BETA test group) that during the course of applying the #ADDAZERO methodology to their business, and the subsequent SCALE it enabled them to achieve. There was a growing need to take on more staff. (On page 253 I share the formula to follow for your first NINE hires!)
At that time, there were approximately 960K unemployed people in the UK seeking work. So I determined,
If we could support 1,000,000 Business owners to significantly and sustainably SCALE both them and their businesses
Not only would that enable them to #ADDAZERO to their personal disposable income
But it would also generate in excess of 1,000,000 new vacancies!
And collectively, we could eradicate unemployment in the UK!
Offering employment to EVERY person that was seeking work!
Last week, I was gifted a book to read by a friend in Wealth Management, called ENOUGH: What’s YOUR number? It shares many examples as to how so many people are working hard, putting money away for when they retire, with little to no idea as to how much they actually need TO retire!
The idea was that everyone has a “number” that defines how much they need to retire. While it’s absolutely true that you need to set clear retirement savings goals for yourself, it’s also true that you have a “number” right now that perhaps you don’t even know?
That’s right, in this stage of your life, you have an “enough” number. That number defines the total income you need in order to meet your needs, reach your goals, and enjoy life.
It’s key to define what your “enough” number is, as quickly as possible and how that goal aligns with your personal and professional priorities. When you have financial goals that are actually tied to your lifestyle goals, you’ll be able to start working with your “why” in mind.
Too often, people fall into the trap of setting arbitrary income goals for themselves. While it may sound amazing to have a six-figure salary or to run a multi-million-pound business, you have to ask yourself whether those numbers will actually move you toward the life you want to build.
Sometimes, the arbitrary financial goals you set for yourself are coming from a place of vanity. For example, a seven-figure business may sound better to you than a business that grosses £300,000-400,000 each year, but do you actually need that much revenue to support yourself and your team? It’s only when you have absolute clarity on both your and the business goals, that you can ensure they are aligned and are working effectively to achieve them. And not at risk of achieving one, at the detriment of the other!
It may feel good once you are able to generate a 6 figure salary, but will that income be enough to move you toward your goals? You may find your “enough” number is actually more or less depending on your unique vision for your life.
In order to calculate your “enough” number, start by reflecting on your goals and priorities both during this season of life and in your future. Prior to setting these priorities, it can be helpful to do a values check-in. Jot down the 4-6 core values you live your life by. Not sure where to start? Take five minutes to run through a free program like the Life Values Inventory to determine what you and your business value most.
With those values in mind, you can start to clarify your priorities and set clear financial goals that support them. Looking at the values list above, you may find that your priorities are:
Having a job that allows you to spend more time with your family.
Having the flexibility to travel both now and in the future.
Earning enough income to successfully send your kids to college debt-free, and to go back to school yourself.
Being able to donate to charity, or support family members in need, as part of your annual financial plan.
Once you prioritise your goals, you know what “enough” looks like, and you can work backwards to determine your “enough” number.
Determining Your “Enough” Number
Wondering how to create a clear income goal based on your priorities? Start by adding monetary values to the priorities you’ve already set. Carrying on our example, you might say:
Having the flexibility to travel both now and in the future. £16,000/year for your whole family now through retirement.
Earning enough income to successfully send your kids to university debt-free. Circa £70,190 for each of your kids in the next 5-15 years (depending on when they graduate)
Being able to donate to charity, or support family members in need, as part of your annual financial plan. £6,000 per year dedicated to charitable donations.
Then, add those figures to your other financial goals (like retirement savings or debt repayment), and current living expenses. Your equation should look like this:
(Annual Priorities Costs) + (Annual Living Expenses) + (Annual Emergency/Retirement Savings + Debt Obligations) = Your “Enough” Number
How Does Your “Enough” Impact Retirement Savings?
Are some of your priorities going to impact the amount you spend in retirement? If you want to travel the world during retirement or continue to donate to charity as a retiree, you may need to add these expenses to your savings goals. Remember to add them to your total retirement cash flow needs, and plan accordingly. You may find that you need to save an extra amount each month or set a lump-sum of money aside to achieve your goals as a retiree.
Having trouble figuring out what your ideal retirement savings are? A good rule of thumb is to estimate that you’ll spend 80% of your current income during retirement. Ideally, you’ll have paid off your mortgage and other debt to free up additional cash flow.
What If “Enough” Doesn’t Feel Achievable?
Does your “enough” number feel like an unachievable goal? It’s time to assess what roadblocks are holding you back from your dream life. A few questions to ask are:
What would my business need to look like, do, generate, for me to receive the income I deserve?
What do I need to change in my business for me to reach those goals?
Do I need additional education or training?
Making a Plan
Once you know what your “enough” number is, you’re able to create a plan with confidence for how you can achieve that income. If you’re uncertain about how to reach that goal, reach out to a financial planner. Together with your advisor, you’ll be able to discuss your current priorities, how they translate into financial goals, and what you need to do financially to move the needle.
And whilst they are working on your “enough” number, we can get to work reviewing and revising your business plan to SMASH IT!
Have you got what it takes this winter to survive and thrive?
Yes, it’s not quite April, and I’m talking about winter, but not in the traditional sense! It may be the first days of spring, and with news of lockdown restrictions slowly being lifted, and the continued roll-out of the COVID-19 Vaccine, much anticipation of a more positive summer than 2020? And whilst I do not wish to be the bearer of bad news; we are on the very cusp of an exceptionally bleak economic winter, that if you are not preparing for, could prove to be exceptionally difficult to survive!
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) – which keeps tabs on government spending – said that UK borrowing would be £355bn for the current financial year (April 2020 to April 2021), before falling back to £234bn over the next year.
That’s the highest figure ever seen outside wartime.
Now before we go any further, what does this even look like?
To demonstrate, I want you to consider it in seconds.
What long are a million seconds?
About 11 days.
How about a billion seconds?
about 31.5 YEARS!
So when we talk about BORROWING £355Bn. In seconds, that’s the equivalent of 11,182 THOUSAND YEARS! And although we borrowed it at a very reasonable interest rate, that’s still FAR more than we could ever consider in our lifetime to payback!
The tide is turning
So although the news is becoming less doom and gloom right now, with stories of ‘opening back up’ and ‘vaccine completion percentage the fact is, there is a colossal debt we (as a country) have incurred to get through 2020, and the economy (the world over) is being propped up with borrowing and quantitive easing! In the USA, COVID is expected to have cost $16Trillion (that’s the seconds equivalent of over Half a Million years ago).
The fact is, this virus has cost the earth more than we can ever expect to repay, both in terms of lives and financially. The amount of money that has been poured into ‘propping up’ economies around the world, is the highest since the second world war (A debt, we only finished paying back in 2018!)
For the first time ever, it has been government policy to close entire sectors of the economy down in order to save lives. Industries, the employers that form them, and the employees that work in them have all had to put actions once regarded as routine on hold for the best part of a year. A collapse in confidence and demand has led to capital expenditure falling off a cliff, with people preferring to sit on their cash rather than invest in an economy that has suffered the biggest decline in its fortunes in over 300 years – a contraction of 9.9%.
Added to this, the extent of the health emergency has fluctuated constantly, with a lull in cases over the summer of 2020 before the 2nd wave of infections hit society over the winter months – leading to an even longer period of closure.
However, from the moment a vaccine was announced in November, the seeds were planted for a route out of the pandemic. Since then we’ve seen this clarity translate into confidence. Capital is returning, and recruiters are seeing an upsurge in vacant positions with their clients. Activity that would usually occur over 12 months is being squeezed into companies’ post lockdown plans in the second quarter of 2021.
At all levels, consumers and employers are looking to make up for lost time. The UK economy is projected to grow at its fastest rate since 1948 as government stimulus combines with the release of investments and a consumer spending boom. Society has become frustrated by lockdown after lockdown, and this is likely to a far more care-free attitude to activity in 2021. Almost a return to Bryan Adams ‘Summer of ’69’.
The anxiety of 2020 that people have become accustomed to will translate into determination in the second half of this year in particular. When the health situation finally returns to some form of normality, activity will rise exponentially. After a lockdown-enforced lull in Spring 2020, the market grew rapidly at the end of the year as people used the pandemic to reflect on their housing priorities. We might expect to see similar growth in the leisure and hospitality sectors, as once again people appreciate the opportunity to socialise with their family and friends once again.
One of the most important and quite unique elements of 2020, is also one of the least spoken about. After year after year of doing the same thing and having very little time to assess. 2020 gave us all time to reflect. Pre-pandemic, working life was like a treadmill, trying to keep things going on a day to day basis not knowing whether our potential was truly being maximised.
The pandemic has brought about new, innovative ways of working that put many businesses in a healthy position to recover quickly from the crisis. I have seen countless business owners that have been forced to think outside the box in order to survive.
And whilst all of this paints a positive and encouraging picture for the next 2-3 quarters, it is set against a backdrop of such huge debts and the need to recoup losses.
I can’t help feel the news will turn quickly now to many positive stories of success and recovery, to lift peoples spirits ahead of what is yet to be realised!
Let me offer one final example if I may, that might make all of this far clearer:
When you first learn how to drive, your particularly nervous, there is a lot to take in, and you listen intently to your instructor who guides you as to where, when, how, why. When we are taught to observe, use our mirrors, anticipate, we are often looking 1, 2 on occasion three cars ahead. And, eventually, we are deemed competent enough to pass our test.
Years later, and with many thousands of miles of experience, I was fortunate enough to partake and pass my Advanced Driver Licence, and subsequently my C1 Emergency driving test as a frontline Ambulance personnel. and although you shall be driving a large and cumbersome vehicle, all your training is conducted by the Police Traffic Rapid Response Driver Training Team. The speed of reaction, consideration, observation and anticipation is on another level and enables you to anticipate and respond far quicker than ever before.
At speeds well in excess of 100mph, determine you are looking far further ahead and responding instinctively almost subconsciously to anything that on your first driving test would be in your line of sight!
And it’s the same now. I’m encouraging you to view the news and the positive stories ON the backdrop I’ve shared. I’m inviting you to do well this summer, but be aware of the fact the economy is being bolstered to the sum of Billions of pounds right now. When the tide turns (which it has to and shall) you ALSO need to be prepared and ready to survive the economic winter and come through the other side.
There are already those who are ‘taking stock’ building reserves, investing in opportunities now to diversify their risk, and preparing for the storm. If you’d like to learn more as to how YOU can move from survive to thrive? and make them ost of ALL the seasons, click on the link to grab a call with one of our SCALE Sherpa’s.
In a little over 48Hrs, the clocks will once again strike Midnight, people will say a final farewell to 2020 and wish in the New Year.
And whilst 2020 hasn’t been the year anyone of us expected or planned for, and with much of the country re-entering a TIER FOUR lockdown, there is much in the way of uncertainty as to what 2021 may unfold. So I rightfully pose the question:
2021, Have you got what it takes?
I consider myself exceptionally fortunate right now!
You see, back in 1992 I joined the British Army. And after completing Basic Training, and Corps Training, joined my first regiment as a Combat Medical Technician. Over the next 12+ years, I continued to serve my Queen and my Country; assigned to whichever regiment was about to deploy, wherever in the world it was deemed we were required.
From Jungle Warfare to Artic Warfare training, we visited every environment imaginable to practice and prepare for the ‘What if’ scenario. We practiced again and again and again on what to do, how to do, when to do, with whom to do, in order to achieve the mission and all its objectives. The British Army, has a great saying, to which we all have almost ingrained within us from the moment we first join:
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
And although I’m no longer a soldier, I’ve maintained the same attitude to risk, to uncertainty, to challenge. What we were presented with in Early 2020 was a ‘new set of circumstances’ a new environment on which we have all had to learn how to work and live.
I’m also fortunate enough to be relatively well read. And with a background in Psychology and Sociology, more than familiar with the work of Bruce Tuckman, and his 1965 study into operational effectiveness. Tuckman determined there are 4 ‘stages’ to change, and that each member of a team has to go through these in order, for the team to develop and perform to its optimum.
Form, Storm, Norm, Perform
And whilst I have witnesses’ times where this theory can be challenged. Where a team HAS to perform instantly after forming, it can also be said and agreed that once the ‘necessity’ has passed, the 4 stages do still occur prior to the team performing as well again!
However, the same can be said for business teams, communities, towns, cities, regions, and countries when faced with a Pandemic!
We have all witnessed first-hand how people have been forced to form a new behaviour (wearing of a face mask etc), and how some have objected to this (Storm), and that eventually the objections subside (Norm) as it becomes ‘normal’ to wear a face shield. Allowing us to once again PERFORM in the new environment.
But it should also be recognised, that whilst this over simplified example is valid, that we have ALL gone through this individually, and that we all go through this at our own pace. We have certainly seen examples within our own workplace where some have ‘moved’ from STORM to NORM whilst others are still within the STORM phase and not yet ready to accept!
And the same can be said of businesses also. Some have quickly moved through the Form, Storm, Norm phases. Adapted quickly to the new environment and traded successfully throughout 2020. Others have not done so well at finding a means to ‘pivot’ or ‘diversify’ and found 2020 exceptionally difficult and challenging to get through.
What does 2021 have in store?
As we ‘welcome’ in 2021. There remains much uncertainty as to the environment we shall be working in? With much trepidation as to a ‘new strain‘ a ‘third wave‘ and the NHS under instruction to ‘make every possible bed available‘ for the anticipated surge in new cases, whilst we desperately wait for the 200,000 vaccinations a week, to rise to the predicted 2,000,000 a week requirements (as per the latest medical Thinktank report).
And whilst we acknowledge Tuckman for his work on behavioural change. There are also 4 main considerations for businesses to consider in 2021:
Mission Changes: Has the pandemic impacted the mission of the business? If so, How? Is it necessary to amend the mission? If so, to what?
Strategic Changes: Has the environment, determined a need to change the way in which we do business? What are the key strategic advantages for doing so?
Operational Changes: Does the company need to amend, upgrade, diversify the way in which they do business?
Technological Changes: Does the technology we have in place still support the Mission, Strategic and Operational requirements? Is there new technology available? What are the advantages/disadvantages of this?
If 2020 has taught us anything, its been to initially to ‘Improvise, Adapt and Overcome’. To find resilience, and a means of survival. And then, to rediscover values, and what is actually important to us both personally and professionally. As we move into 2021, there is going to be a lot of importance placed on the value of who we are, what we do, why we do, how we do.
Have you got what it takes?
Throughout 2020, My TrueNORTH spent an extraordinary amount of time supporting Business Owners to review, revise and amend them and their business. To show them how to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome, and how amending the model doesn’t mean amending the business in order to move quickly from survive to thrive.
In 2021, (and remaining true to my former military survival training) we start the year with a series of BATTLEPLAN workshops, masterclasses and webinars. Sharing with customers old and new how to devise, test and implement a robust ‘battleplan’ for 2021. Ensuring it remains in line with your goals, vision and values, and meets the needs of your clients/customers in these most unprecedented times.
And, within the first quarter, I’m super excited to announce the launch of our latest book: ADDAZERO – The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable SCALE (Foundations) the first of 2 books we’ve spent well over 4 years researching, to aide Business Owners to Know, Understand and Avoid the pitfalls of so many other businesses we have researched. (Which ultimately leads to SUCCESS!)
On Friday, we welcome in 2021, a new year full of new possibilities. It really doesn’t matter HOW you and your businesses ended your 2020. But the attitude, aptitude and integrity you embrace 2021, the people, systems and processes you have at your disposal and how to best utilise them, and the willingness and ability to adapt, will determine not only if you survive and thrive, but if you have what it takes!
My New Years gift to you…
Start with an advantage over all your competition, simply CLICK HERE to receive your free in-depth, bespoke SCALABILITY report on the current scalability of you and your business (Based on 4+ years of research, and surveying the scalability of more than 115K SME businesses).
I’m Jay Allen, Business Scale Mentor and founder of the #ADDAZERO Business Challenge. We’ve made it our mission to support 1,000,000 Business Owners to #ADDAZERO to their Personal Disposable Income.
I’m not sure many businesses had a significant, well thought through, tested contingency plan for a global pandemic?
I’m reminded of the quote often attributed to Darwin (although actually originated ten years earlier from Megginson)
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself”
Therefore, whilst there is much to do in a pre/during/post COVID era, our natural behaviour is to quickly move from long term planning to immediate survival, and yet by doing so, we forget to determine if we are simply firefighting our way into extinction rather than stopping for a moment to determine where the future lies and how to guarantee we are within it!
I’ve taken a few months to really examine the manner in which those who have ‘pivoted’ well and those who are really struggling to understand Why, What and How! Before writing this practical guide to things to consider in order to effectively and successfully move from survive to thrive.
Things aren’t going according to plan. That business plan you put together looked great, but now you’re headed for a big decision. Keep going? Close shop? Try something different or new? If you decide to go a new route, that’s a business pivot. So, how do you know when to pivot or how to pivot?
What is a business pivot?
A “Pivot” is usually associated with a start-up business. A start-up spends the first year or two testing the market, making adjustments, analysing numbers, and finding the right path. Sometimes, that path is just wrong, and the business needs to go in a new direction — the pivot.
This can happen with established businesses as well. When the market changes, technology changes, or new competitors show up, it might be time to pivot.
So, what is a pivot? When a business makes a significant and deliberate shift in its overall strategy, that is a pivot. You might go from making typewriters to computers to business services (IBM) or from making desktop computers to smartphones (Apple). Pivoting a business is a big decision. So, how do you know when it’s time to pivot?
Clear Signs You Need to Pivot
Grey hair and short tempers aside, there are some clear signs that your business might be ready for a pivot. Here are some clear signs you need to pivot:
A Changing Market: A change in the market might be industrial — coal to solar. It might be the tastes of a new generation (think Millennials).
Low Morale: Is your team showing signs of burnout or, worse, apathy? That may be a sign that you’re headed in the wrong direction and a pivot is in order.
No More Raving Fans: Have your customers lost their enthusiasm for your products or services? This is more than Google or Yelp! ratings. This is about the passion your market once had for your business.
Customers Just Don’t Get It: Do you know in your heart that you have a great product, but your market just doesn’t get it? You might be spending too much time and money trying to demonstrate your value.
The Support Nightmare: If you’re seeing products getting returned, customers churning, or your whole team having to focus on making your customers happy a second time (after initial purchase), then it might be time to look for a new path.
Declining Profits: The most obvious sign — lack of profits or growth. Sometimes, the financials will show you, plain as day, that it’s time to make a change.
New Technology: The market is shifting, or has shifted, to a new technology, and your company is left trying to do things the old way. If the change in technology is significant enough, it might call for a pivot.
Pivot or Persevere…or Quit?
When making the decision to pivot, persevere or quit, the first thing to do is analyse the foundation of your business. That includes your financial standing, your team, and your own drive to continue. If any of those are too vulnerable to keep going, then quitting might be the best option (but don’t make that decision without talking to an expert!).
If the business is still in good financial standing, you’re passionate about the business, and your team is with you, then the decision comes down to pivoting or persevering. We’ve covered the signs that it may be time to pivot. When might you persevere?
You’re still a start-up. Start-ups need time to really test the waters. Give it a year, or at least nine months, before you pivot. No need to panic.
You haven’t tried everything. If you still have options with your current product line, your sales channels, or marketing plan, then give yourself a chance to try those.
You haven’t given it the proper effort. Your gut will tell you if you’ve really given your all to the business. This takes some deep honesty and is tied to the question of your passion. If you’re passion for the business is strong and you’re not putting out the associated effort, then give the business a chance by stepping up.
Here are 6 things you may wish to consider as means to pivot your business:
Strip it back
Are we now expecting too much from our clients/customers? If EVERYONE is currently in the HERE and NOW mentality, selling extensive products/services, with payment plans and 12/24/36 month contracts might be a lot for them to bare right now. If the going isn’t so good, customers are likely to be wary about committing to long term contracts, when they are uncertain as to the impact this is having on their business. Therefore, is it possible we can cut back, strip out, reduce some of the signature products/services we offer, and return to ‘bit size’ bits?
Build it up
The opposite side of the coin (almost) is packaging products/services together. We’ve all seen the exception success Amazon continues to have with the ‘Other people who bought this, also bought’ feature. So do you have something similar? Could it be that you package a number of items together for a bundle deal, and help the customer gain better value than individually purchasing these? It might be that you ADD something extra to a current product/service as an ADDED VALUE offer? Remember, the cost to you, is not the same as the sales price to them, and so the ADDED VALUE goes far further than the cost to you of delivery!
It might be you need to ‘pivot’ your target market, and package your products/services differently in order to gain the interest of a new audience. Remember, everybody is a customer of somebody. So who else COULD buy your product/service and why do they NOT currently do that? By working on client persona, will enable you to identify other potential markets for your existing product/services.
This is a Biggy, but also potentially a life saver. You see, it might be the business model you are operating within simply doesn’t work as well as it could in the current environment. If you are still predominantly a ‘bricks n mortar, 9-5, M-F’ kinda business. This may not be what your customers want in a ‘lockdown’ pandemic environment. We’ve seen literally millions of people forced to move to digital purchasing quickly for things like grocery shopping, medication delivery, home schooling all as a result of the pandemic. And whilst this wasn’t something they wanted to do; they are now doing. And the longer they do that, the more comfortable they become with it, that returning to a 9-5, M-F environment becomes foreign to them!
Park it, and Drive on
It may be that your most profitable product/service PRE pandemic, is NOT what they want right now. So, what is? What do YOU have to do, in terms of adapting what you offer, how you offer, where you offer, to whom you offer in order to remain in business? Pivoting might not simply be offering a hole delivery service. It might be, adapting what you offer completely in order to maintain a steady cashflow.
Be and remain the Number 1 priority
This is not about you, it never was! It is ALWAYS about THEM! – If you don’t have customers, you have no business. And so, what do YOU need to do, in order to remain front of mind EVERYTIME they are spending money? Because they are. Everyday customers everywhere are spending money.
If it’s not with you, it’s because they have forgotten who you are, what you do and why that is relevant to them RIGHT NOW! – So be relevant! And if that means partnership, Joint venture, Collaboration, Affiliation, Referral then do whatever it takes. Because the alternative…..is join the long growing queue to get a job!
If you’d like a complimentary conversation with one of our Global Award-Winning Big Impact to Business SCALE Mentors, simply click on the link below to book a call: