Time to recalibrate?

Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC
Photo by Shutterstock

Pivoting can be expensive, time-consuming and sometimes over-rated but so can the consequences of not adjusting the trajectory of your business venture at the optimal time. Sometimes re-evaluating your current approach is exactly what your enterprise needs to do to ensure future success. But how do you know when it’s time?

Here are three telltale signs business builders should watch for as early indicators of the need to reassess, realign and rethink your venture:

1. You’re in a dry spell.

Momentum is everything so if you’re not on a growth path you can’t hit that next level. “Moving the needle” may require you to shift employees into different roles, allocate resources differently, or explore new adjacent market opportunities. Likewise, growth may also call for innovation in terms of products or services, especially when they add value to your current menu of offerings. Product, process, business model, customer experience or other innovation methods might just mean new customers, repeat customers, more market share, greater product differentiation, and new channels. Incorporating customer feedback and leveraging marketing research might lead to new insights and new ways to reimagine your business.

2. The market has changed.

When you first launched, customers might have wanted X, but months or years later they might want Y. The key is to solve pain points and stay relevant. The data frames the story. Stay on top of metrics and key performance indicators like return, service calls, churn rate, etc. to keep up with changing customer needs. As mentioned above, talk to your customers to get a handle on their expectations and experiences. Then revise your plan accordingly so you can better align and connect the dots.

3. You need full-time people in contractor roles.

In the early stages, you might rely on freelancers as the engine of your business. This contingent worker can augment your staff resources, provide you flexibility as you pivot your business model and fill in important gaps.

You don’t have to trudge through growing pains alone. The NIIC is a resource for businesses facing similar challenges. Our mentor network ranges from serial entrepreneurs and c-suite executives, to subject matter experts and professional service providers. Their involvement is transactional, typically consisting of one-to-three meetings. Continuing the working relationship afterward may occur if you and your mentor consent to do so.

They’ll work with you to provide guidance on mission-critical matters, such as:

·       Financial analysis, including investment and access to funding

·       Business development and sales strategy

·       Marketing strategies

·       Human resources

·       General management

·       Strategic planning

·       Partnership agreements

·       Networking

Mentorship programs at The NIIC are flexible and available at your convenience, at every stage of development of your venture. The length and frequency at which you seek mentorship are entirely up to you and your mentor.

Reach out and schedule a meeting today to discuss a possible mentoring relationship.


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