Five Signs It's Time to Pivot your Business
In basketball, a pivot is the act of keeping one foot firmly planted while moving the other in search of a better shot, staving off your defenders in the process. Making a business pivot is similar—it’s an opportunity to reassess where you need to be as a company, and to determine whether the path you’re on is the best way to get there. As Eric Reis, author of The Lean Startup, puts it, a business pivot is “a change in strategy without a change in vision.”
The consumer goods sector as a whole has pivoted from the brick and mortar model of yesteryear to what is now an omnichannel marketplace prime for rapid innovation. In the beauty industry, this transformation has created a hotbed for independent and entrepreneurial businesses to thrive by delivering the unique, on-trend products consumers want, often before they even know they want them.
At a time when brands are able to hit the market faster than ever before, how can you be sure you’re consistently driving conversions and remaining at the top of your game? We’re breaking down some telltale signs it may be time for you to make a business pivot.
Obviously, if you’re losing money, it’s probably time to rethink some things. Balance sheets are like those deep-cleansing peel-off masks—the ones that unearth all the dead skin cells, blackheads and other pore-clogging gunk obstructing your otherwise perfect complexion.
Gratuitous analogies aside, a dip in revenue is usually a sign of a more deep-rooted issue that you’ll need to get to the bottom of before you can begin to course-correct. Even if you’re not technically losing money, it’s important to reevaluate your metrics to determine if you’re where you should be in the context of the market. If your sales are up five percent over last year, great. Should that number be higher? What exactly is driving that growth—and if it’s a specific product line, how can you focus your efforts to triple that number next year?
In the beauty industry, things move quickly. Trends come and go. Consumer preferences change. Beloved products are sent to their untimely graves (RIP Naked Palette). But as painful as these changes may be for adoring consumers at the time, progressively refining your business and product strategies is critical to remaining cutting-edge in an industry fueled by innovation.
Even the most established, high-end beauty brands must evolve to remain ahead of the game and avoid falling irrevocably behind. For example, Estee Lauder’s recent pivot toward a digitally-focused sales strategy over the traditional department store model led to a share rally of more than 60 percent in 2017.
Bridging the gap between what you believe your brand to be and how the market actually perceives you can be a difficult task for even the most introspective of business owners—but it’s a critical one nonetheless. There’s a very real possibility that your original value proposition is either not as relevant today as it was when you first started out, or that the message simply isn’t resonating with your audience the way it should be. Gaining a full understanding of your brand’s awareness and perception—the good, the bad and the ugly—will help you better align your offering with the demands of the market.
Talking to your sales team is one of the best ways to keep a pulse on the market, as these are the people in the field gathering direct feedback from your target customers. It’s also a solid way to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing and business development efforts. If your sales team feels they aren’t equipped with the resources to close business, it’s time to figure out what exactly needs to happen to change that. In the beauty industry, sales are being driven significantly less by the feet-on-the-street methods of the past and more by strategic marketing, so figuring out how you can bring that expertise into your organization—whether it be internally or through an agency—is key.
This one may be a bit subjective, but there’s something to be said for simply looking around and realizing you’re not the cool kid anymore—i.e., you’re being surpassed by the competition. There’s a constant influx of game-changing tools, technologies and formulations hitting the market every single day, and if your brand isn’t a topic of conversation, it’s time to make a pivot before you get left behind.
At Buzz Beauté, we’re obsessed with achieving victory for our clients through a 360-degree approach that aligns your unique value with the demands of the market. Over 30 years, we’ve led our customers, some of the most recognized names in the industry, through successful pivots. We are a trusted partner committed to your growth.
If you think it might be time for you to change course on your strategy, or if you’re simply interested in chatting about what a pivot might mean for your business, contact us here to start the conversation. To learn more about Buzz Beauté, visit us at buzzbeaute.com.