A simple guide for small business owners who want to pivot successfully.
When you hear the word “pivot“, what does it make you think? If you ask me, it makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. It’s one of these words small business gurus throw around as advice and something you should do without actually telling you exactly how you are supposed to do it.
At least until now.
My friend, Steve Strauss has just released a new business book “Your Small Business Boom: Explosive Ideas to Grow Your Business, Make More Money, and Thrive in a Volatile World” that should be titled “How to Pivot” because that’s really what it’s about.
Meet Steven D. Strauss
You can call him Steve. And don’t let the fact that he’s USA Today’s senior small business columnist and “America’s leading small business expert” make you think that he’s anything less than the most approachable guy in the room.
He wrote “The Small Business Bible” and 16 other books that have been translated into eight languages. This is why you’ll often see Steve partnering with brands like Yahoo, PayPal, and Microsoft. His company, The Strauss Group creates cutting-edge content for everyone from Fortune 100 companies to small non-profits.
On a personal note, the one thing I admire about Steve is his refusal to breathe that rarified air of small business celebrity. He continues to play on the court with small businesses and solopreneurs helping them solve practical problems. This is what “Small Business Boom” lays out in detail.
If Someone Else Can Do It, So Can You
Whenever you pick up a business book, it’s important to understand the underlying philosophy or belief of the author. And Strauss believes very strongly that if someone has succeeded by doing these things — so can you.
The question you have to ask yourself is — do you believe this as well?
If you DO believe this, then you have a mindset that will benefit the most from this book.
On the other hand, if you’ve had a bad experience with trying something where it didn’t work, you might find yourself giving the “I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work” excuse.
If that sounds like you, my advice is to read this book critically. And, where you see a tactic that you think will work for you, focus on what it takes to be successful with this tactic.
Let’s get started.
What You’ll Learn in “Small Business Boom”
“Small Business Boom” makes some bold promises along with examples of real small business owners:
- Create a tribe of fans, followers, and customers
- Make money while you sleep
- Use webinars, podcasts, live streaming, and funnels to make your business boom.
- Make social media work for you by going beyond likes.
- Have big clients with bigger budgets seek you out.
These are all popular and emotional talking points that every business wants. The real question is how are you going to implement this in your business?
Here’s how “Small Business Boom” Answers the “How” Question
The book is written in five parts:
In Part One, Strauss gives you six chapters of very specific ways to pivot. By far, this is my favorite part of the book as it’s powerful and practical. Again, the way to get the most from this section is to take the time to reflect on how these might apply to your business and think it through.
My advice is to make a shortlist of pivot ideas that you get from this section and then choose ONE that you most want to implement. This will help you get the most out of the other sections.
Part Two of “Small Business Boom” is dedicated to making sure that your business is taking advantage of online and digital marketing. This section of the book gives you a 30,000-foot view of what it takes to achieve that bullet list of promises I mentioned above.
You won’t find anything you haven’t seen before in this section. What you will get is a wonderful and complete overview of all the ingredients involved in delivering on the promise of 1 million hits.
For those of you who have “tried” these strategies and gotten less than stellar results and are still feeling confused and frustrated, I’ll say that your issue is one of focus and choice. You simply won’t be able to do all of these things all at once. This is why I recommend choosing a single pivot strategy to play with. Then choose the tactics that are critical to making your pivot strategy successful.
Part Three of the book focuses on solopreneurs and freelancers. Kudos to Strauss for not ignoring this segment like so many business books do. More than 90% of all small businesses in this country have zero employees and many business books overlook this group and force them to adapt strategies and tactics that work for larger businesses.
In this section, Strauss lists the most popular sites where you’ll find projects and clients. Then, in the chapter titled “Millionnaire Solopreneur,” he provides just enough structure, examples, and information to help you focus your thinking and strategizing.
Part Four is all about money, collaboration, and how to make other people’s money work for your business. You’ll love that it includes more than going to the bank, although that’s covered. As someone deathly afraid of “other people’s money” I would have appreciated some type of discussion or resource to help me decide which is best for me. For example, “Use credits cards if…” or “Crowdfunding is best for business that…”
The last part of the book is about your business superpower; that special something that sets you apart. I was a little surprised that this chapter was last. I would have put it first. But this is where Strauss shows that he knows his audience. He recognizes that small business owners are more task-oriented and want tips first and thinking later. I admire that.
Boom or Bust — It’s Up to You
Strauss covers all aspects of running a successful business by providing specific ways that entrepreneurs can grow their businesses as well as making more money through collaboration and leveraging innovative ideas.
The real question is, do you believe that you can do it too.