Change Your Business's Direction
As an entrepreneur, it is important to keep up with the needs of your clients and the changes in your industry. In today’s business environment it will help your bottom line if you can pivot and offer different types of services. The ability to shift quickly, dig into your toolbox for new skills, and offer unique and innovative services shows true entrepreneurial agility. How can this happen in a way that is efficient, effective, and ensures that you stay ahead of your competition? Follow the steps below so that you will not lose customers by being late to the game!
Listen To What Customers Want
Pay attention to even the smallest rumble or grumble from your customers, or within your industry. What are you hearing? Put yourself in their shoes and think about pricing, convenience, added value, their problems and pain points, and what is keeping them up at night. Collect feedback from customers by asking open-ended questions about their life, kids, needs, and work. Open-ended questions allow them to speak freely and without fear of judgement. Then do a good job of active listening, using empathy. This shows your customers that you really care about what they need.
Assess Your Passions
Set aside some time to reflect on what makes you happy and what gives you the most joy. Providing for your customers should be an act of service that comes from your heart. Think about other services that you could provide that would be fun for you. Write these down and keep adding to your list. Brainstorm once or twice a year so that you are being proactive. Plus, your passions might change as time goes on, keeping an ongoing list will capture this shift and keep your ideas fresh.
Tap Into Your Strengths
What comes naturally to you? What do you do on a regular basis, with minimal effort, that happens without even thinking about it? What feedback have you received from others about things that you are good at? These are your core strengths. Know what yours are and leverage them to create new products and services. If you have trouble identifying your strengths take one of the many free assessments that you can find online.
Execute Your Skills.
Skills are different from natural strengths. Skills are things you have learned or can learn. Think about what knowledge you need so that you can offer a new service or product. This could be as simple as an online class or it might mean an in-depth certification. Continue your professional development on a yearly basis so that you can stay current in your industry.
Once you have reflected on all four of these steps, brainstorm about them with someone you trust and gather even more feedback and ideas. You can even offer a pilot program or a new product to a select group of customers to see if it takes off. The key to being able to pivot quickly and not being LATE is to go through this exercise proactively on a regular basis. Align with all four steps so you can stay ahead of your competition and keep up with immediate changes in your industry.