Or better put: How do you know when your idea isn’t working?
Man, we love our businesses. Most of us think of our business as our baby – we feed it, nurture it, guide it, and grow it and the people within.
So it’s no surprise that when things aren’t going the way we hoped it would, we take it a bit more personally than we probably should. We get emotional. Scared, sad, mad – you name it.
The problem is, how do we know if our child is just going through a phase, or if it’s something more fundamental? Will people learn to appreciate its uniqueness, or will it be an outcast?
And finally, do we need to change things now? Or is it just too late?
While it’s a lot harder to confront these questions with an actual child, these are the questions that we really need to consider in our businesses – and as objectively as we possibly can, using data (not emotions) as our evidence.
When to Pivot
So how do we know when our baby isn’t going to fit in? Here’s a few signs that we will need to shift our business model (or “pivot”) to something better:
Too much competition
You’re adding value, but not making enough money, and there’s plenty of others in your space. Carve out a niche in your industry or forge a position in a new market.
Too many dead branches
You have one product or service producing most of your revenue/profit. Time to double-down on that, and put the rest on hold.
No-one really cares / you have to push really hard for sales
Your market is luke-warm to your advertising and marketing, and it takes a long time to get a customer over the line. This might be an indicator your sales pitch isn’t good enough – or that you’re targeting the wrong market.
When to Quit – the Hard Conversation
Now for the tough part – when is it OK to just throw in the towel? (And yes, it is OK sometimes.)
After multiple pivots, there is limited traction.
You’ve done and acted on research, changed the model a number of times in response to feedback/data, and yet the business is not generating the money you need it to. It may be time to move on to a different idea.
Your turnover rate is consistently too high.
The people you bring on aren’t motivated by your product, compensated well enough for their services, or maybe you’re too hard to work with – for whatever reason, people aren’t staying around.
Your passion is elsewhere.
Finally, if you think your time is better spent pursuing another opportunity, then perhaps it is time to pull up stumps on your current one. However, I’d add one caveat to this – make sure you have some runs on the board in the new opportunity before giving up on your current one, otherwise you may end up in the position you were in before.
Hopefully the above information helps you out a little, particularly if your business is going through a challenging period (as many are at the moment).
If you’re looking for help in pivoting your current business, exploring new opportunities, or wanting to improve the way your current business is running, then please contact us (either via the contact form, or start a chat in messenger).
All the best,