I was chatting to one of my VIP coaching ladies the other day and we decided that she needed to exploit an opportunity that appeared in front of her, even though it wasn’t part of her original plan.
It wasn’t a full-blown rebrand or anything like that, just changing the focus of her business to target a specific type of woman entrepreneur whom she’d previously not considered. She literally needed to change a few words on her website and swap her list-building freebie for something slightly different.
And this quick, simple shift in focus means that all of a sudden, she can target a big group of women within her existing networks who would LOVE to hear from her because she can teach them how to build a business that lets them travel or even move abroad, if that’s what they want. It’s a market that is waiting for her to teach them.
We both knew it’s a no-brainer but she got a major mind-monkey attack. Her fear was that all of her previous work had gone to waste, that she’d wasted all the time and money and energy she’d spent on her business until so far. She felt like she’d somehow be betraying herself if she changed focus.
So I had to get her to understand something.
Running your own business, especially when it’s just you plus maybe a couple of helpers, is a strange and unique situation in which to find yourself. Unlike a big corporate, you don’t need to plan 5 years ahead. You don’t need to enter into lengthy contracts and you don’t need to stick to what you thought you were going to do last week.
It’s your business. So you can do what you want.
I call it being able to turn on a sixpence. It’s what London cabs can do. Time is money for London cabbies – they need to be able to deliver one passenger and turn around quickly, with the minimum of fuss and WITHOUT complicated 3-point turns. They can literally spin around in a tiny turning circle, otherwise know as ‘turning on a sixpence’. It’s a brilliant thing to be able to do because it means they can change direction in seconds if they hit a traffic jam.
Do you know the best thing?
You can do this too! You can adopt the London Cab approach to your business. How?
Well, because your business is small, it’s also agile.
You can change direction now. If you hit a metaphorical traffic jam or dead end, you can change direction immediately.
[Tweet “Your biz can turn on a sixpence because you’re tiny and agile”]
And that’s a scary thought for lots of people.
They fret because they don’t want to waste money they’ve spent, or lose time and effort they’ve put in. They stay stuck in a business that’s not working because they are scared to admit that something needs to change. They feel committed to ‘giving it one more try’ even when better opportunities are staring them in the face. They keep doing things the way they’ve always done them because it’s too late to change. Except it isn’t.
The thing is, they could be using their tiny-ness and agility to their advantage.
- Being tiny and agile means you can change the focus in your business today if you feel that it’s not working.
- Being tiny and agile means you can spot and seize opportunities that bigger companies would have to overlook because it would take them too long to change their processes.
- Being tiny and agile means you can decide that you’re going to do things differently, starting now.
I do it all the time.
I have a plan for the products and programmes I’m going to sell this year, so that I can work out what I need to promote, when, and how much I expect to make from it. But it’s not set in stone.
I’m tiny and agile so if I decide to drop one of them and replace it with something I’d rather do, I can do it.
Just like that.
Without asking anyone’s permission.
If I spot a gap in the market that’s a brilliant fit for my lovely ladies, I can add in a new product within a couple of weeks. I can change my focus today.
And so can you.
You’re tiny and agile. You can turn your business on a sixpence, like a London cabbie. Whenever you want. Without asking permission. Without feeling like a failure.
So, you tiny, agile little business, you – Now would be a great time to look at your business and see what’s not working – what can you change, today? What can you shift your focus around? Where can you turn on a sixpence? Get spinning, awesome girl!
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.