It’s unfortunate, but I get a lot of questions about why it’s not working, it’s not like it used to be, and you can’t seem to connect with your clients. Well, all relationships take a certain level of nurturing, and this includes your business. However, one thing you’re going to have to get familiar with if you want to sustain your success is the pivot.
I was inspired to add a little more depth to a post that I wrote, “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” which these show notes are a slight adaptation of that post. Let me say I’ve received quite a few emails on this one. Most of the responses are that even though it’s tough information to hear, it’s a lesson worth learning.
Getting overly romantic about the way you started in your business and with your clients may sound like a sustainable connection, but if you’re not moving forward in this relationship and willing to pivot where you need to may result in you getting stale in this endeavor.
“This may not be good for me anymore.” The first task at hand is taking a look at your current clientele. There may be some clients who have been with you from the beginning of your business venture, but are they still providing your business with what it needs to thrive? Are you (or they) still excited about the services you’re providing, are they profitable, and are they an integral part of your business growth?
Nurturing these client relationships is essential, but if things are dropping off between the two of you for a variety of reasons and there doesn’t seem to be a congruent solution, then it may be time to see other people.
“I think I need to branch out a little?” Second, if you’re noticing that your services are excellent at filling just one (or two) needs, then is there a way to pivot just a little and expand your offerings without adding too much overhead in the initial phases of this process? When I first started my company I remained steadfast at providing one type of service for the first year, and we became “rockstars” in the industry. I may be a little biased here, but the brand became the go-to solution for many organizations.
Of course if you know me, then you know that as an entrepreneur I’m never settled, and I was ready to take some risks. As we started to branch out I wanted to remain lean and agile while diversifying our offerings and our revenue streams. I wanted to build a community with other types of clients.
What we found was that by stepping out of what we became really
comfortable complacent with, that we actually discovered that we could be just as passionate about our new target market and provide a high level of services that pushed us even harder for excellence while it also became a more profitable endeavor, which made it even easier to over deliver on our promises.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.” So, if your revenue is plummeting and the connection to your clients is suffering, you might want to assess whether you may be experiencing some communication breakdown in this relationship. Whether your client is utilizing social media and blasting out feedback, or if it may be a little more subtle, you need to make sure you’re listening.
When we get complacent we may not be listening, therefore we aren’t tuned in to any early issues that may arise. Maybe your client just wants a little more time from you, or rather, to ensure they’re getting the same kind of value out of this relationship that they have from the beginning. The landscape is ever-changing and your client may be noticing that other businesses are providing a higher quality or service for the same price, or possibly even less.
“What do you mean you want me to change?” If you’re listening and you’ve got your head on a swivel, then you know you need to be thinking about the evolution of this relationship. There are going to be several occasions where you’re going to need to pivot in your business and rethink your strategy. I always recommend an investment of at least 10 to 20% of your time to think about improving your service delivery or product.
What steps are you taking to make sure you’re “all that and a bag of chips in this relationship” and sustaining your business endeavor?
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