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Earl Foote And Josh Webber Talk “Cutting The Fat” On Tech Beat
As challenging as the COVID-19 pandemic has been for businesses, it also offered the opportunity to streamline and focus your company’s efforts. Discover the power of pivoting your business in this episode of Tech Beat with special guest Josh Webber.
Any significant business challenge comes with a silver lining. If nothing else, being forced to tighten the belt and focus your efforts can help to show you what is necessary, and what is expendable.
For business owners with the right perspective, this is precisely what the COVID-19 pandemic offered — a chance to get back to basics and realign their energies on the fundamentals of their business processes and factors of success.
To discover why you should be focusing more on processes and attractors, check out the latest episode of Tech Beat, in which Nexus CEO Earl Foote was joined by Josh Webber, Co-Founder, Big Red Jelly:
Get To Know Josh Webber
Josh Webber studied at BYU and the University of Utah, graduating with degrees in Business Administration and French. After working for several marketing and branding agencies, Josh pursued his dream of starting his own marketing team — enter Big Red Jelly. Co-founded by Josh, this company brings together human creativity with digital tools to help businesses of all sizes grow and develop.
In this episode of Tech Beat, Earl and Josh focused on how Big Red Jelly streamlined and enhanced everything they do as a result of their “COVID pivot”.
5 Key Lessons To Learn About Pivoting Your Business
Most businesses worldwide struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially at the start. As Earl notes in his discussion with Josh, marketing agencies, in particular, lost a lot of business when clients put contracts on hold or pulled out altogether.
“COVID hit, and for us, it had an impact mid-March,” says Josh. “In the space of two weeks, we had a third of our clientele pause work.”
How did Big Red Jelly not only survive, but thrive?
Niche Down: While certainly cliché at this point, the prospect of “niching down” is still important for struggling businesses to consider. While Big Red Jelly was a full-service marketing and advertising firm before the pandemic, it didn’t take long for them to realize that doing so came with too high a cost and too little a return. That’s why they decided to hone down to specifically what they’re best at: branding and building. These first two steps in a business’ marketing strategy were what Big Red Jelly could best manage, and so, they eliminated everything else. “For it was the chance to stop being apprehensive about this pivot — we had less to lose than ever before,” says Josh.
Do The Research: In determining what their niche was, Big Red Jelly didn’t just make assumptions and hope for the best. They gathered data, sought feedback, and made sure they knew what they were committing to before it was too late. “That led to a lot of great conversations that we started having with our founders and our team,” says Josh. “We started to put data behind our hunches and we talked to a lot of our clients.”
Don’t Be Afraid To Narrow Your Market: The most common argument against “niching down” is that you’re losing potential business. That if you limit what you do, you’ll limit who will want to work with you. While the concept is true, the potential gains of narrowing and improving your scope tend to outweigh the losses. It’s the idea of being the “jack of all trades, but master of none” — clients tend to prefer working with the master (and will pay more to do so). “You become the go-to, you become that trusted leader in the industry,” says Earl. “Generally it leads to more opportunities for you.”
Examine 80/20: In this discussion, Josh cites an interesting concept, known as the Pareto Principle. It essentially states that 80% of consequences will be the result of 20% of causes. This was key in Big Red Jelly’s analysis of their processes. They began examining all aspects of their business, determining the source of 80% of their revenue, 80% of their positive client experiences, 80% of their productivity, and so on, all to narrow in on the 20% of causes. Having determined where a bulk of their results come from, Big Red Jelly was able to reduce down and focus better on that 20%. “It was just this big light that went off, and confirmed to us that there’s value here, and we can cut away this fat and focus on 20%,” says Josh.
Be Open To Future Pivots: If you should learn anything from the pandemic, it’s the potential benefit of pivoting. That said, just because you may not be forced to pivot in the future, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it. Remaining agile and adaptable are valuable qualities for a business to possess, whether it’s after your best fiscal year yet, or during a dry spell. You need to constantly be open to making fundamental shifts to your business in the effort to become even better. “We’ve learned to ask ourselves those big pivot questions on a quarterly basis,” says Josh. “Even if your growth is where you think it should be, you should still have that hard conversation.”
Don’t Squander Your Opportunities To Forge A Stronger Version Of Your Business
In the face of hardship, some people (and their businesses) will crumble, and others will push through into something even stronger. Which type of leader are you?
Don’t forget that any challenge you face is a chance to become even better.