“Kill your cash cows, or someone else will.”
– Steve Jobs
Welcome to the Big Leagues
Congratulations! Your hard work has begun to pay off. Now that your business has begun to pick up steam, it’s time to pivot and execute your game plan. The whole idea behind Early Growth was to build a solid foundation so that this pivot could happen.
Pivot is the stage in business when your focus pivots from building your foundation to grabbing real market share. You have talked the talk and now you get to back it up with financial success. You pivot your focus to financing your own growth to stay ahead of the competition.
Pivoting is not easy, but complacency allows the competition to pass you. Every company experiences change. It’s important that as a company you create a culture that accepts and encourages fundamental changes. Every successful company evolves. Hanging on to the past and avoiding change is a sure fire way to sink the ship.
Pivoting: Trial and Error
An essential quality to grow your business is to have confidence in your vision. This means knowing that not everything will work and that some failure is to be expected. Being able to learn from mistakes and shift directions shows your company is formidable.
An example is Netflix Vs. Blockbuster. Two companies with an original goal to rent movies. While Blockbuster stuck to their guns, Netflix pivoted and flew past the competition. They made major changes not only when they moved from DVD delivery to streaming, but when they decided to start producing their own shows.
Pivots that changed America
The pivot is not a new concept. Visionary leaders have been doing it in America since our country was formed:
John D. Rockefeller
Rockefeller’s Standard Oil built its original fortunes refining petroleum to produce kerosene for lamps. When electricity came on the scene and started cutting into his monopoly, Rockefeller started looking for a new market for his sizable infrastructure. And he found it in automobiles, also just starting to come of age. This was a different kind of pivot. He took the product he knew best and found a new market.
Not all pivots are successful. Even companies like Apple have had major failures. Look at the Apple Newton for example. The message pad was put on the market before its key feature, handwriting recognition, was fully tested and ready. It was one of Steve Job’s biggest flops.
Starting with a $100 loan from his parents, Vanderbilt took all that he had learned about boats and amassed the biggest fleet of steamships in the country. Then at the peak of his dominance in steamships, Vanderbilt pivoted and started investing in railroads. It helped that he took this leap of faith just before the Civil War. He transported troops all over the country and went on to become the richest man in America for his time.
William Wrigley Jr.
Wrigley started as a soap company that gave away chewing gum with its product. When the requests for the gum became greater than the requests for his soap, Wrigley pivoted to meet his customers’ demands and delights. The Wrigley Chewing Gum company was born.
The important part is to learn from your failure and continue to take chances in and pursue different ways to disrupt markets. It’s important to plan for misfires and be ready to bounce back with other innovative ideas.
Dynasty Leadership Consulting
Dynasty Leadership Consulting helps companies like yours pivot for the future. The DynastyLC focus is on helping visionary leaders map out their strategy and take real market share necessary to grow their business.