It’s possible that even after you do all of your research and market testing, your product or service might still not perform well with customers. This could be due to the way in which you marketed it, bad timing, or perhaps your product or service is great but geared towards on the wrong demographic. Either way, here are some key tips when it comes to making a pivot midstream:
Ensure the Data Matches Your Decision
- Before you change any kind of strategy, make sure your data supports the need to pivot. Current feedback from your current customer base and market is crucial, as is research into your intended new customer base and market. It does you a disservice to change directions on your road trip if you don’t study the map thoroughly first.
Get Approval From Your Stakeholders
- Pivots can be scary, so if you don’t have the faith and support from your stakeholders you can run into some serious internal problems. This includes your board, your investors, your existing customers, your vendors and anyone else who’s an integral part of your company. If for whatever reason you fail to convert their belief system, then at the very least make sure they understand why you’re making this decision and convince them to believe in your leadership.
Communicate With Everyone
- Chances are, there will be a small but very vocal minority of your customers who won’t agree with this pivot. The more you communicate with them up front about what is going to change and why, the less likely they are to react negatively once you change course. But don’t stop there. Keep communicating with your customers before, during and after the pivot. Include them in your decision making process from beginning to end and you will diminish any backlash significantly.
- There is a lot of understandable apprehension inherit with any major change in strategy, but it’s important to be bold. If you’ve done thorough research, if the data supports your decision and you’ve shared your thought process clearly with everyone from your board members to your customers, then don’t let fear get in the way of moving forward with your pivot. There will always be naysayers but there are times to listen and times to ignore. Reinvent your vision with confidence and don’t back down.
Changing the direction of your company can be a daunting and intimidating task, but if you follow the above tips then you can be assured that whatever decision you make is a sound one.
Anna Barber, Strategy Coach at AnnaBarber.com, offers expert tips on how to do a pivot and radically shift your business model when your product doesn't appeal to your market.