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If you’re Googling whether or not your business is at a pivot point, you’ve probably already got your answer. Many businesses we know and love today experienced multiple pivot points before ending where they are now, and they continue to make changes to better suit their customer base and modernize their offerings.

Did you know? AirBnB started in 2002 as a way for a couple of roommates to make an extra buck, by renting our airbeds in their apartment, they also offered a meal and hence later launched as Airbed and Breakfast. After a series of fundraising efforts, they eventually become AirBnB, and people could post their homes to be rented in part or in full. AirBnB then determined they need to charge a booking fee for others to rent their space in a similar fashion. They eventually move on to taking professional photographs and verifying the spaces, securing more bookings. In 2011, they add further verification processes. AirBnB acquires Accoleo in 2011, and receives more funding. AirBnB then moved into the app space and acquired Crashpadder. They guarantee host protection of up to a million dollars. AirBnB completes a website redesign in 2014 and new branding. AirBnB partners with Concur in order to obtain more of the business travel market and offers discounts on first business travel AirBnB booking. AirBnB offers events and classes you can book while you travel now, too.

So, while the core of AirBnB remains (you’re staying over in someone’s home), there have been many pivot points, some large and some small, throughout the few years this business has been active. Pivot points are key to success - you absolutely cannot continue in the same stagnant fashion and expect new clients or changes. There are a few types of pivot points you can manage as a small business without changing everything you have worked for and believe in, so don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Pivot Points in DevoKit

Re-branding from our original website and look was a huge pivot point for us. We created a unique, stand-out logo, and a website we loved. We decided to do a hard push on organic SEO and blog constantly, creating informative content for our clients or potential clients.

Productizing our brand was one pivot point we decided to take on. While these blogs offer great free advice to all customers, you will soon be able to purchase our ebooks. Our infographic, interactive newsletter contains curated advice from professionals and ourselves in a wide variety of industries, tailors to entrepreneurs, small and local business owners, and anyone who is interested.

We have plans to bring DevoKit internationally shortly and we are partnering with some awesome organizations to apply our skills towards helping and empowering others. You will hear about it in the near future!

Pivot Points for Rescue Crate

Our non-profit business was always going through pivot points. The re-branding was one pivot, and seems key to announce any re-launch a business. We also decided to support multiple charities/non-profits in an on-going fashion, as opposed to finding a new charitable organization each month. Finally, we learned that customers would rather have a recyclable, designed box, as opposed to a plain, biodegradable box so we made up some art up and got printed boxes. A few small changes that went a long way for our subscribers.

Many of our friends run businesses or side projects and have all experienced pivot points. When something isn’t working or isn’t going according to plan, you need to change it up. Choosing to sell across more online stores, becoming part of new online communities, or altering how you manage your customer base’s needs are all ways to do it. The best way to know how and where to pivot is to listen to your customers. The good comments and the bad can all be taken with you on your next business venture.

Having a pivot point is key to marketing your business correctly. Listen to your customers - they are the ones you should turn to for resources on how to improve your business, product, or service. The best way to pivot is right into the arms of your customer, after all!

Posted by Samantha Lloyd

Samantha is the co-founder and CEO of DevoKit. When she isn't busy running around like an overly-organized and well-prepared chicken with its head cut off, she can be spotted reading the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth time or pretending to have opinions about wine and cheese pairings (all cheese goes with all wine, let's be honest). Her goal is to encourage other women to explore their interests in technology and engineering fields.

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