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How to Successfully Pivot as a Female Entrepreneur

How to Successfully Pivot as a Female Entrepreneur

There’s a bond of sisterhood between fellow women entrepreneurs and a sense of trust when discussing business with one another. As women, we feel inspired when we see a fellow female trailblazing a path before us and wanting to share her experience and advice to help others succeed in the path before them.

Unfortunately, due to the past year's events, some haven’t built their businesses quite as easily because of a lack of resources, or they have had to quickly and effectively pivot. But even though “pivoting” may have a negative connotation, sometimes it is the best possibility for your business.

Here is advice from three successful entrepreneurs who understand the art of the professional pivot. After all, as Business Coach Abby Schultz says:

Change happens because you are growing, learning, and evolving. You will change, your clients’ wants, needs, and desires will change, and your business will change with that.

Be honest and transparent.

Anastasia Ovtchinnikova is a designer and the owner of Ana Kova Atelier, a design practice that has had to pivot tremendously over the years to fit with current trends and styles. Ovtchinnikova says:

We are currently in the process of pivoting our business model as we have been taking on more work. As a small interior design company, we needed to develop a better strategy for ultimate efficiency throughout the design process. By analyzing our work methods, determining the best way to manage clients, contractors, and project deliverables, we have been able to improve the experience which we provide.

Ovtchinnikova contends that she has found success with her pivots by being honest and transparent with her clients and breeds trust with all:

We have created a system to maintain clear communication with clients/contractors for feedback and approvals. We have a team of employees where we outsource work overseas, which allows us to work around the clock without pulling brutal all-nighters for aggressive deadlines. As a result, as a new company, we are constantly experimenting with different approaches that allow us to perform with more efficiency and accuracy.

[Related: Secrets to Success: Tips for Growing Your Business]

Listen to what the market needs.

A business needs to be able to listen and hear what a necessity for their target audience is. Entrepreneurs want to make sure they are bringing the best product to the table and that demand for their product or business is high, and sometimes pivoting is the only way to find success.

Stephanie Obi, an online course strategist, believes that entrepreneurs have to listen to what the market needs. Obi says:

To figure out what direction to go, get on the phone with your target audience and listen to their needs and what they really want. This might be the key to unlocking what direction you should go in.

[Related: How to Be a Great Leader and Have Loyal Customers in Any Economy]

Go with the flow.

Things don’t go as smoothly as anticipated in business, and therefore veering a bit is sometimes necessary. Business coach and founder of Biz-Building Fairy Godmother, Abby Schultz, feels even though her advice may be cliche, it is derived in truth. Her advice?

It’s simple: Go with the flow...change happens because you are growing to learn and evolve.

Both Schultz and Obi believe that pivoting your business might be the key to success. In fact, Schultz believes that “pivoting is not even a bad word.” She has pivoted more times in her business than she can count and believes that:

Everything is working out for the highest level of good. Just because something is ending doesn’t have to mean it was a failure.

Obi agrees that pivoting creates much uncertainty. Two ways you can figure out what’s right for you are repurposing your assets and testing out your ideas. She believes that some of your assets can be used in a different way to serve your clients (even better than they did originally!).

However, before completely reviving your company’s mission, test out your ideas in a small way to see if there is interest in the market. Obi, for example, tested a new product with a pre-sale as she was pivoting. She grew a waiting list of people interested in this new product and made an introductory offer to her clients. The number of responses she received from that resale gave her the green light to go ahead and move forward with this pivot direction.

[Related: Responsible Leadership is More Important than Ever]

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Olivia Liveng (nee Balsinger) is an experienced storytelling coach, brand strategist, entertainment producer, and Liveng Public Relations CEO, an agency amplifying hospitality, tourism, and female voices. She's also an award-winning travel journalist, with bylines in Fodors, Forbes, New York Post, and Business Insider, and LA Style. Find her on Instagram at @livliveng.

Carly Orris is a freelance writer and publicist based in New York. Her writing focuses on female empowerment, travel, entertainment, and lifestyle. Find her on Instagram at @carlyorris.


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