The choice of whether to pivot or keep going is no easy one, especially in today's environment where things can quickly change. However, in today’s article, we’ve got some handy tips for you to ease that burden, thanks to Paul Lancaster, the founder of Newcastle Startup Week, Trybes, and Plan Digital.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the ultimate question, 'How do you know if you should keep going or pivot?’, as well as how to switch up your approach, how to start, and if communities are an important asset in periods of change. Keep reading to find out more!
How to know if you should keep going or pivot
In the current marketing environment, things can quickly change regarding the current tastes and preferences of your customers, finances, and even your key messages and values. But how can you keep track of all these things? The best thing for you to do is to regularly review all features, getting into a routine of checking what’s working and not so much, so that you’ll quickly find out whether there’s something you need to stop altogether or change before it starts to have a negative effect on your business, marketing, or product.
Nothing stays the same forever, and that goes double when it comes to people's tastes and preferences. With so much content being made at an insane speed, your audience's wants and needs can change almost instantly. That’s why you must monitor trends and tastes so you can apply them to your content or products so you’re not falling behind.
Being on top of trends and changes within your industry can be a difficult task, and that’s why it’s essential to try and develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which means acquiring the ability to adapt and innovate with the environment you are in both as a business and as a person. This will make being aware of your industry's environment so much easier for you to shape your business and products.
An essential aspect you need to be aware of when it comes down to pivoting or staying with a feature is that you need to be prepared to ‘kill’ something off. It might seem like an exaggeration, but when it comes to it, it can be a lot more difficult than you think. This is because you’ve spent the time to develop a certain feature or product only to see that it’s not being received as well as you thought it would, and the only solution to it is to remove it fully from your vision. This can be a tough pill to swallow. However, with that space, you can develop something else that fits both your goals and the tastes of your customers.
How to switch up your approach
If you had to make a choice and that was to pivot, you might wonder what next. Sometimes it’s good to reflect on why you set off on this path in the first place and why you’re doing it. Does it still relate to your beliefs now that you’re here? Are your motivations the same? If they’ve changed, that’s okay; this can happen throughout your journey, but if you’re creating something your beliefs don’t align with, you shouldn’t do it anymore and focus your time and energy on something that does and to the best of your ability.
A mission statement is needed for any business or project. It's a small statement of text that tells you why the organisation exists and what its goals are. When looking back at this, are you still doing what was originally stated? If not, then you need to figure out why and if there’s something you can do to get back to following the original goal without jeopardising your motivations or beliefs. If you can't, then it’s essential to start revising your mission statement and figuring out what you intend to do as well as the goals you want to achieve.
How to start out
Beginning your project or business can be the most difficult and daunting part; however, there are multiple ways to get you started. You need to remember that this might be your goal or project, but that doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. If you know anyone who’s already been through the process, ask them for advice or a direction to follow. You don’t have to follow it word for word, but it’s good to get ideas from others who’ve had the experience and figure out which is the best way for you to start.
Online communities have seen a wave of interest over the years, and that’s not slowing down any time soon. With members all telling each other their stories, processes, and ideas of how they succeeded, this is perfect for you to plant yourself in; all you have to do is find the best one that relates to you and your needs. After that, make sure to get yourself involved, whether it's a simple comment or two on someone’s post or networking and finding other individuals who have a similar mindset as you. Once you get comfortable with that, you’ll see opportunities opening up, such as the potential to cross-promote while helping others with their projects, and in time they’ll do the same with you.
Are communities important to use in periods of change?
When going through a period of change, it can be hard to figure out what to do next on your own. That's why it can be good to be part of a community, so you can ask members for advice on what you could do next or if anyone else has been in a similar situation as you find yourself in. Nine times out of ten, they would have and would be happy to share it. It's worth noting that this will be the best time to get honest opinions on your business or projects. These will be the individuals who will give you honest opinions of what they think you're doing right or wrong and give you the best opportunity to either ‘kill’ aspects of your business off for something new in their place or to keep going as before.
Depending on the community, they can let you promote your business, giving you that exposure you might very well need. Other members may come as customers, which is great, but others have the potential to come to offer potential partnerships with you to drive your business forward and get you back on track with your vision.
We hope you found this article helpful, making those choices about whether to keep going or pivot a little easier when it comes down to it. It’s okay if something isn’t working as well as you thought it would. You can develop the ability to adapt and innovate, letting you understand what you should keep in your business and marketing and what you should let go of to drive the best result.
Want to find out more about whether it's best to keep going or to pivot? Watch our webinar with Paul here to find out more!
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