Sometimes things change – that’s just the way the world works. But what happens when that change affects your entire business? What do you do when you need to implement a new business model?
Doing this successfully is very challenging. You can’t pivot half way- you have to be able to go all the way and leave the ways behind.
Dynamic Business asked experts about the best ways to implement a new business model.
CEO of FlexCareers, Natalie Goldman
First and foremost you need to be open to doing things differently. You can’t pivot in half measures and you must be prepared to truly leave the old ways of operating behind. The reality is that there are many business models as well as multiple variations on the one business model and to stay stagnant is to cut yourself off from huge revenue potential.
“When we moved to a subscription model our clients took to it like ducks to water. Not only is it better for our customers, it’s better for our bottom line. A key learning from that experience is to always respond to the market – and to respond quickly. However, it’s also important to realise that you usually can’t pivot in one fell swoop and that it’s a matter of testing and evolving your product and services with feedback. Keeping an open mind and staying flexible is really important to be able to stay responsive to the changes of the market, our clients and our community. If you stay on one path and don’t pivot quickly you can miss big opportunities and not grow.”
Sarah Moran, CEO & Co-founder, Girl Geek Academy:
The key to successfully implementing a new business model is knowing exactly how the system works and where to position yourself in that system. Another key factor to consider is developing your startup skills which include technical skills, pitching and business acumen. There will be countless decisions that you will encounter and having good instinct built on this foundation of knowledge and skills will be extremely handy. That’s why having confidence is also effective, along with communicating directly and unapologetically.
Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers:
In today’s ever-changing business environment, many business models are being adapted or even changed altogether. The key is agility. Implementing a new business model starts with open communication across all parts of the organisation with the goal of building understanding and collaboration. It’s only by approaching change from an agile and collaborative perspective that employees will understand and support change in an organisation or business model.
Emily Young, Resident Experience Manager, Inspire9 Coworking Space:
Running a co-working space is quite different to many other businesses, our community changes sometimes even daily and what each business within the community needs differs substantially. In applying a new business model or structure it is critical we ensure the needs of all our residents are considered and met to the best of our ability. This is no small feat as instituting changes with so many stakeholders requires clear communication and honest direction.
In order to ensure that our service offering and business continues to meet the needs of the community we regularly need to review our business model. For us this means looking at flexible membership offering, changing the way we apply perks and benefits and also where our partners sit within the model. Most critically to apply these changes in our business is stakeholder consultation and a clear future direction. This ensures that change is viewed as opportunity rather than attack.
Steve Layton, Founder, Sofa Brands:
I’ve worked with most of the large furniture retailers over the past 30 years and witnessed first-hand the changing face of the industry. In my view, when most are losing, conditions are ripe for a system break.
Pivoting should centre on innovation. Act like a startup again and ask: how can I disrupt the sector? How can I solve problems better? Define your goal, the core problem you are solving, and the customer needs you are meeting.
Innovate the model to offer the consumer something different, something that represents real value for money, not just the cheapest price – you’ll stand out and create a new standard.
Pivoting doesn’t mean changing your business completely. It is an advantage to use your experience and existing relationships to maintain your core business and offer high quality service, while tapping into the energy and agility of startups as you try something new. Done correctly, it’ll give your business a new lease on life.