By Alan Irazoqui.
Has it ever happened to you that someone gives you a gift and they tell you before you open it that “If you don’t like it, you can return it and get something you actually like”? And then you open it and, indeed, you don’t like it and can’t wait to go and exchange it for something else? If you’re thinking “No”, please stop lying to yourself.
Well, this situation happens in the business world as well, but instead of getting a gift you get a weird-ass product or service that you don’t want to ever use, much less spend money on. The origin of this is that a person got the idea of creating that and just made it without getting real and valuable feedback from potential customers. If you are en entrepreneur that is currently worried that your business is not as thriving as you expected it to be, maybe it’s time for your company to pivot.
Here are some telltale signs that you don’t have to shut the company down, you just need to pivot:
1. It is rejected by users.
Your users reach out to you or post on social media that they do not understand your product, don’t like it or can’t find it any real use. Now, this is heard to hear (or read), but you need to keep a cool head, control yourself, and ask them (in the nicest way possible) to give you feedback on why they don’t like it. Maybe you just need to change the design or even the name; in other cases, maybe you need to rethink the whole thing.
2. It is not understood
If a big part of your day consists on explaining to a lot of people how your product or service works, it is likely that you need to make some changes. Your customers need to understand easily how it works and how their lives are better when using it. If you need to tell them over and over again, bro, just…do the right changes to make it simple.
3. Investors don’t get you.
An essential part of entrepreneurship is getting investors on board so you can fully develop your idea into a successful business. But, if they don’t understand how you make money or how it really works, you’re not gonna get any mullah. And, you can kiss your ideas goodbye if you don’t work to improve this. Tip: have a very clear idea, from the beginning, of how your business is going to make money; this way you can control how this happens and not have to compromise your values over money.
4. Your target market is not responding well.
Most likely, you envisioned a certain type of person to use your product/service. But now, you realize that they are not using it. Keep your head high, and reassess your business, this way you will be able to find a new target market that will actually enjoy your product/service. For example, in my company, Swapwink, we decided to change our target market to restaurants and this proved to be a good strategy since more and more users downloaded the app because they wanted special food promotions.
5. The business model is not quite right.
Your business is solving a problem or pain, right? Here’s the thing…there could be problems or pains that are more excruciating than the ones you are solving. The more excruciating, the bigger the market, the more revenues you’ll get. So, it might be time for you to revise your business model and change your focus to solving another bigger problem.
The key is to always listen to the feedback. And, from there you will able to determine which direction to take.