One of the hardest lessons we have had to learn is when to pivot. Lacey and I had worked so hard on A Sweet Pea Chef and while we were seeing some traction on traffic not a whole was working financially for us.
But, how do you know when it’s time to move on or pivot?
How do you figure out what to pivot too?
These questions where a big dilemma for us.
Since then we have learned that everyone faces these questions in their entrepreneurial journey. Sometimes more than once.For us we were almost at a breaking point. Again. Click To Tweet
For us we were almost at a breaking point. Again.
Tired of making a bunch of unhealthy foods, not being really passionate about our work and all the while not really making a living we were at a crossroads.
We talked about changing to something else. Lacey had been using Facebook a ton to grow her audience maybe we could try teaching that.
We could shift and focus on healthy food, lifestyle etc.. Over the years we had gradually changed our diet and lifestyle but weren’t really sure how to incorporate that into A Sweet Pea Chef. It had always been a how to cook and/or easy cooking blog.
Finally, we talked with our business coach Jason Van Orden and he asked the question, “what is stopping you from pivoting?”
I quickly answered we didn’t really want to start over. It took 5 years to get A Sweet Pea Chef to the size it was now.
His response was a glass shattering moment for me.
If you’re thinking about doing something different but don’t want to start over why don’t you just try something different with ASPC and see how it goes.
And so we did.
How to know when it’s time to move on or pivot?
This is a hard to question to answer when you’re stuck in the weeds. For us it was no longer really having our business align with what we wanted to do. Our life had really changed to be more around whole foods, clean eating and weight lifting. I mean I eat cold lunches outside the gym rather than eating out this didn’t line up with cooking cinnamon rolls 3 times to make sure we got it right.
Something had to give.
This was especially true since we weren’t really seeing income growth at a rate that worked for us.
I think the best way to tell for this is to first ask yourself does the current work line up with where you want to be and what you want to do.
Make sure that you aren’t pivot happy jumping from thing to thing never really committing.
The best way to do this is to set a reasonable goal and then do everything you can to get there and see if you can make it.
How do you figure out what to pivot too?
So, now that we know we need to pivot how do we figure out what to pivot too?
For starters you want to make sure it’s profitable niche. For us we knew that people were making money in the healthy food niche.
If you think about it people have a major pain point. Having a hard time eating healthy, wanting to lose weight or at least be healthier.
We had a lot of examples that this niche would be better than easy cooking.
If your niche is different though there are a few ways to check out if your ideas will start to work.
- Other Peoples Funnels
How To Test Using Amazon
So one of the tricks I have learned after reading a bunch of different recommendations is to go on amazon and look at books in the topic your interested in. How many books are there? How much do they charge? How many reviews do they have?
Now, depending on these answers and your niche you will have a much better idea.
If you look up dog surfing and see there are no books or reviews or anything this is going to be harder to make a living off of.If you look up dog surfing and see there are no books or reviews or anything this is going to be harder to make a living off of. Click To Tweet
So we looked up Clean Eating and saw that there were a lot of entry level product offers with good reviews and hundreds of them.
However, if you want to make an SEO tool and see there are a ton of books on SEO you know that this field can make a living. The trick here is to also be realistic about your skills, ambitions and time.
One of the harder things to do is go into a competitive niche and expect to be successful right away. You usually need to be ok with making less and struggling a bit to start as you figure everything out or try a smaller more focused niche like maybe SEO for Food Bloggers and know this will work better but won’t make as much money as a wider topic will.
There are pros and cons to each position, but ultimately I choose what I think will make me the happiest and make the largest impact on the audience I am trying to help.
For instance the goal of Married to Your Business is to help couples and families. I don’t feel like there is a lot of onlines marketing and business actually helping this demographic. From my experience I know it’s hard to meet people who are juggling all this and trying to grow a business.
Having done a little of both I know that there is a lot more stress on time and exhaustion from 9-5 once you get married have kids etc.
There are competing priorities from your wide, boyfriends etc.. Not everyone “gets it.”
So, will this resonate with everyone that wants online business help?
But, that’s okay. My goal is to help the people it will resonate with the best I can. I will leave money on the table for sure, but it will also be a little easier to break into a competitive market.
Other People’s Funnels
Wait isn’t that cheating?
Any good business is always aware of what their competitors are doing. When you are getting into a new market you have to do some market research.
So, one of the ways you can do this is find someone who does what you want to do and then buy everything they make (within reason) and see how you work through the funnel.
You can also test other funnels you think will work with your audience. I dive into this a little bit in this post on our sales funnel.
Ultimately, your goal here is to evaluate how they build their business and of this is something you are capable of. You don’t need to worry about doing it right away you can build your pieces one at a time and grow out to a funnel that looks like this.
Survey. Survey. Survey. This is key and then pay attention to your survey results.
We totally fell into this trap. After sending out a survey we didn’t really listen to it and built out a product that took us 3 months and then released it to crickets.
Afterwards we looked at the results and wondered why we didn’t see it before.
Make sure you use the results to build your product not the other way around. Ugh.
It is even a good idea to get on a call with people from your audience and ask more questions. This will really help with your pivot.
When we looked at the survey results during our failed product post mortem we saw that people wanted healthy food. Which was what we wanted to do lol.
Why didn’t we see that? I mean look at all those healthy eating responses. Clearly, people were interested in this topic.
Starting The Pivot
To start our pivot we created some healthy recipes and did some posts and emails that focused on healthy topics. Like Lacey’s struggle with weight loss, what is clean eating and how to eat healthy at restaurants.
The response was overwhelmingly positive.
Sure there were some people that weren’t happy and didn’t like this change but overall most people loved it and we’re stoked to see more of this content and started engaging across all of our platforms better than ever.
So Then we built out a custom opt-in for this content focusing on clean eating. Again this went real well.
We also updated our email sequence(s) to stay inline with this new focus.
We pivoted our products that could be pivoted and closed down the ones that didn’t fit the new brand.
Finally, we created a starter product rather than a giant time consuming product. When this did well we knew we had a winner.
So with any topic I try to read up on it before I get started. Our business coach recommended the book Zag when we were going through our pivot and I found it helpful in determining how to pivot and really stand out.
FYI, we are an affiliate of some of the links in this post. However, all these suggestions are based on our experience and extensive research.