A crisis is never a good thing for your business, but it is an opportunity to pivot your virtual assistant business. It’s referred to as seeing the glass-half-full kind of mentality prominent in motivational speaking
As Rahm Emanuel once said, "you never let a serious crisis go to waste." Emanuel believed that "a serious crisis is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
And as it so happens, there is always an opportunity in every crisis. However, not every entrepreneur is placed to identify these opportunities in a time of crisis.
Currently, the country is facing an economic crisis, and it’s not odd to hear people say that we’re in a recession. Hence, this may be your perfect opportunity to pivot your virtual assistant business.
What It Means To Pivot Your Business
Pivoting a business means changing certain aspects of its core products or services. You pivot your business when you shift its strategy to accommodate changes in the industry, customer preferences, or any other factor influencing its bottom line.
A great example of a business pivot is the case of Netflix. If you remember, Netflix started as a business for delivering DVDs to your mailbox. But the market shifted from DVDs, and Netflix quickly adapted by pivoting towards the video streaming and production business.
Based on the case of Netflix, you can see pivoting helps your business adapt to the changing business environment. As a prudent entrepreneur, you should know when this shift is necessary and implement the change effectively.
In this regard, the following are signs that you need to pivot your business model.
When the market fails to respond as anticipated
If you are always playing catch up to your competitors
When a single service, product, or business model performs exceedingly better than others
When the business isn't financially viable
When you want something different for your business
Now, let’s discuss how you should approach pivoting your virtual assistant business.
Develop New Goals That Align With Your Business
Pivoting your business means taking a strategic shift from how you have been doing business. The first step is to define your new objectives for the strategic direction your business has taken.
As mentioned earlier, business pivoting is not a decision you wake up and make without research and numerous considerations. You have to consider various factors and plan carefully.
For example, one of the reasons for pivoting your VA business is that one of your services is performing exceedingly better than the others. Your new objectives should align with the idea of maximizing your business's competitive advantage.
Refocus Your Target Audience
Another change your business experiences due to pivoting is that of the target audience. A new strategic direction for your business calls for a refocus on your target audience.
That means going back to the drawing board and performing a new market analysis. The market analysis should help you identify a new target customer for your VA services.
Once you have identified your target audience, you will need to create a buyer persona. Remember, each customer group is unique, and you must understand their needs to serve them better.
Therefore, you will have to be open to the idea that targeting a new audience may require adjusting other aspects of your business strategy. For example, it may require you to change aspects such as
Streamline Your Processes
You will be surprised to learn that your competitors are giving you a run for your money because of your reluctance to automate. Your VA business is incurring huge operation costs because of the inefficiencies brought on by your manual processes.
You cannot expect to compete with the best VAs in your niche if you still haven't automated your business systems. For example, you are missing out so much on cost savings by not automating your email marketing.
Not to mention the lost opportunities of developing better relationships with your customers. Also, you could be missing out on customers because of communication breakdowns brought about by your inefficient manual systems.
Listen To Your Customers
Your customer's feedback could inform your business pivoting decisions in a major way. The feedback may also inform you of the strategic direction to take. For example, consider customer feedback such as this: "the purchasing process is too complicated." That is a signal that your VA business needs a business automation overhaul.
Customers will also provide you with the best signals when you upgrade your virtual assistant skills. Their new preferences and project requests may require you to learn new skills to adapt to the new market changes.
Keep A Close Eye on Competitors
Your competition is a good source of information when pivoting your business. As Peter Drucker once said, "what a business needs most for its decisions — especially its strategic ones — are data about what goes on outside it. Only outside a business are there results, opportunities, and threats."
Your competition is one of the excellent sources of this data. Therefore, benchmarking your competition will inform you of the strategic directions other businesses in your industry are taking.
Then you will research to find answers on why the other businesses are taking that direction. That should effectively inform your new objectives as you pivot your business.
Studying your competition is also relevant if you plan to offer new services or products as part of your new strategic shift. For example, it would help to learn their pricing strategies before settling on a pricing model for your new services.
Learn the Secrets to Pivot Your Virtual Assistant Business from an Expert
The decision to pivot your VA business is not a light one. Sign up for the Free VA Mixer hosted by Marie to help you and other virtual assistants make decisions that align with your business goals. She’ll share tips, tricks, and that may impact your pivoting decisions.