I saved this image a long time ago because I thought it was fitting for entrepreneurs to see. Today this is what I am reading. Plan A is no longer an option so we pivot to Plan B. This is the life of the boss. Changes do not stop the plan, they just change it. If you want to be the boss you have to be able to adjust and pivot when things do not go as planned. If you are a smart boss you have B, C, and D already to go based on what you have learned from Plan A.
So here we go, onto Plan B. Truth is that Plan B is not more difficult, it is just not as much fun.
When you start something be ready to change. Be ready to accept that your original idea may not be the right one. Be open to input. Be open to the fact that you may be wrong.
Let me give you a couple examples.
Red Bull was devised by the son of a Coca Cola Executive. He came up with the idea for a high energy drink that he could market to truckers. He pitched the idea to his father as a product Coca Cola could take on. His father said he would personally bankroll the idea so long as his son did it himself and made a few changes. One change was not limiting the market to just truckers. I think everyone has seen the success in that change.
Wedding Day Sparklers, one of my companies, was envisioned as a company that we would set up booths at wedding shows and then sell sparklers to brides. We may even have to travel to other shows around the country to do it. After doing two wedding shows we came to the conclusion that we were going to lose a lot of money. Wedding show booths start at around $1000 for the bigger shows. We spent $1200 on each show for booths. Ordered $5000 in inventory. Bought supplies and decorations. Ordered business cards and set up a website. Now we are a good $10,000 into this.
Total sales after doing two wedding shows…….$140.00.
Doing the math you would see this was a loser. So what to do? You can:
A- Fold up shop and cut your losses
B- Keep doing shows to get more data
We chose C. We stopped doing the shows and started advertising on Google Ad-words with a small amount of money to see if we had a market or not. We learned how to use google ad words. There are a great many websites and videos to do that. So we set it up and launched the website with online sales. With a small effort our first week generated $1250.00 in sales. We ran for 30 days without making any changes and then tweaked the content and price we were paying for advertising. The following week we did $2500 in sales. So we spent the next year gathering data (Google makes it easy to do) and making tweaks and adjustments.
In 2012 Wedding Day Sparklers sold almost $400,000.00 in sparklers. We did so by being able to pivot, adjust, and most of all learn our market.
None of that happens without a plan B, C and even D.
Adjust, adapt, overcome.