Where You Start Is Not Where You End Up
For those who have read a few posts on my blog, you would have noticed there is a certain message each post tries to convey. One message I really hope you get in each post is you have to make a start.
No matter what it is you are trying to do, no matter if you have doubts on if it would work and no matter the outcome. You really do have to make a start.
Afterall, you would not want to be lying on your deathbed, thinking, ‘I wish I had… ’
If the idea of death is a bit morbid for you or it is not something you want to think about at this point, then I say ‘get over it’.
Death is one of the very few certainties in life and whether we like it or not, it is going to happen to each and every one of us.
In case you are wondering if I follow my own advice, the answer is yes. I take leaps of faith and make a start.
Making a start is not always easy for me to do, as I think too much before acting. You could say I am a planner, not a doer. Nevertheless, there comes a point when I literally can’t think anymore. When I get to this point, I throw my arms up in the air and ask myself ‘what is the worst that would happen?’ and then guess what I do next?
That’s right, I make a start and I keep going.
There is a podcast I listened to a few years ago, that struck a chord with me. While listening, the guest on the podcast said ‘the business you start it not the one you end up with’.
This is so true.
The easiest explanation I can give is, after making a start, business owners keep an eye on what their customers are doing, what they are buying, problems they are having etc. From this, they are able to make their current customers lives easier by providing products, services and solving problems.
In other words, rather than constantly chasing new customers, once a business has attracted a certain type of customer, everything is done to keep hold of that customer. This is done by creating things that makes these customers become repeat customers.
When you look around at all businesses out there, you end up seeing a different type of business than what the owners initially intended.
This isn’t just because a decision was made to change direction, it happens because an opportunity presented that could be monitised relatively quickly and easily.
I am going to go out on a limb and say all businesses look different now to when they first started.
Here are 3 brief examples of a business pivot done by well known brands
Starbucks started selling espresso machines and coffee grounds before they became a coffeehouse
McDonalds started off selling fast food, moved into Franchising and then into real estate, where the franchisee rented the premises the restaurant stood on. This is really how McDonalds’ makes their money.
The initial business started by the founders of Pinterest was called Tote and it was ahead of its time. Tote had a simple concept of a person being able to follow a retailer and to get informed of when a products went on offer. The issue with the app was there wasn’t a convenient way to take payment. This didn’t seem to phase those who used the app much, as rather than shop using the app, they started saving what they liked and shared it with friends.
In some instances, a business pivot is done out of need. In others it is done out of wanting to offer the current customer base what they didn’t realise they wanted, as in the case of Pinterest.
What is certain, is as we learn more about running a business, who our customers are, what they need, issues they have, how they interact with our current business etc. we start to adapt our business plan to cater for the additional knowledge we gain.
Regardless of how a business pivot occurs, it is essential you are open to pivoting your business. This is really the only way to keep growing.