While Angela Yee is best known for her radio shows, The Breakfast Club and Lip Service, she's also a successful entrepreneur. Four years ago she opened her first fresh juice bar in New York. And shortly after opening this brick and mortar store, she began selling juice online as well.
The online portion of her business became problematic, however. Shipping juice wasn't economically effective.
Packaging and shipping the products required a lot of time and attention. It was also expensive to sell to one customer at a time online. Since her fresh juices have a short shelf life, managing inventory was tricky.
The company didn't have the funds to hire more people. And Yee didn't want to risk wasting investor's money.
She believed in her product, however, and wasn't ready to give up on it. So she decided it was time to pivot.
She completely restructured the organization and its business model. And she's feeling more confident than ever that her business is going to succeed.
She's going to focus more on selling her juices at fairs, stores, restaurants, and festivals. Then, she thinks an online component can be bigger and better than before.
I recently spoke to Yee to learn more about the changes she's made to her company. Here is her best advice for any entrepreneurs who are looking to pivot in the same way.
Deal With the Emotional Attachment
She had a plan in her head of what the business was going to look like. So when that initial plan didn't work, she felt like a failure.
But she had to focus on the lessons she'd learned so that she could move forward. This meant letting go of the emotional attachment she had to her original dream to make room for new possibilities.
Make Sure You Have a Good Product
Yee admits that pivoting wouldn't work if she only half-heartedly believed in what she had to offer. But she felt strongly that she has a good product that can help people live healthier, better lives.
Put the Right People on Your Team
Yee's pivot required a major shift in her team. She had to let some people go, and she had to hire new team members.
One team member owns a store, another has a distribution connection, and one has a background in sales. She says each new hire was a strategic decision, and everyone is now clear on their role within the company.
Talk to Someone With a Similar Business Model
You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Look for someone with a business model similar to the one you're hoping to achieve.
Many entrepreneurs spend the bulk of their time talking about their products and services--so often times they welcome an opportunity to talk about their business model. It can be helpful to look up people with different models, ask questions, and get their advice.
Hire a Consultant
Hire a consultant who can assist you with the transition. An outside person might be able to give you the objective advice you need to avoid mistakes and build the best business you can.
Communicate With Your Team
An open line of communication is key. Discuss your concerns, talk about your role, and bring up issues as they arise. This can keep the team together and ensure that everyone is working on the same goal.
Take Yee's Advice and Pivot
Like Yee, you might decide it's time to restructure your business. So don't be afraid to change your business model. Press pause on the things that aren't working, and explore new opportunities for growth. You might find that it's just what you need to grow your company and expand your reach.