It’s important to always be ready to pivot in your business.
I shared a little bit of our story, about how we started our business in 2002 with an online camping gear store, how we used dropshippers, how we went from doing $0 to $3,000 a month, and how we went from $3,000 to $30,000 a month. But I haven’t shared the story about how that all came crashing down…
As it usually happens in business, you have ups and downs.
I joined a coaching program called “Stompernet”, which cost about $9,600 a year, and we joined for three years. We started to hire people, train them, and build our team. About that time, something changed in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry. What changed was that the big brands, specifically Coleman (and we were selling a lot of their products), figured out SEO.
Back in the day, SEO was a lot easier than what it is today. All you basically had to do was get links. “He who had the most links won” was the name of the game. Those were the good old days to easily get high rankings and sales.
Coleman and the other brands started to figure this out. And because they have big budgets and deep pockets, what they started to do was purchase large amounts of advertising online and they made sure that their advertising all included links back to their website.
In the past, I could get a top rank just by getting a bunch of links to the site for very cheap. But now that big players like Coleman were in on it, I was simply getting outspent. They were spending probably hundreds of thousands of dollars on PR campaigns just for branding — and that was something I couldn’t match.
That branding also helped them with SEO. As a result of that, it was no longer profitable for me to continue to invest money into SEO because they could just outrank me with their huge budget.
What we found is that as we begin to drop in the search engines, we shifted our business model and put all our products into Amazon. We set up an Amazon Storefront and also utilized their fulfillment center to ship our products as well!
At the same time, we also figured out that there were a lot of other businesses that we could help with their SEO and rankings because, for them, they weren’t being outbid by $100,000 budgets to get top rankings for their products and services.
That’s where we did a pivot from the e-commerce business into marketing as a service for other people who were members of the same communities we were a part of. This pivot led us to the formation of our first agency, “Start Ranking Now.” It started as a SEO company, but we don’t really do that anymore today. The last couple of years, we pivoted again to a new brand called, “Nicole Munoz Consulting,” where we focus on coaching and training.
The bottom line is that you always have to be ready to pivot in your business. One of the mistakes I made was that I waited too long to pivot. The camping gear store was our first “baby.” It was online, exciting, fun, and successful. We waited almost two years too long before making that change, always thinking we were going to figure out how to do it and how to beat the others. Of course, the reality was that we did not have the budget to do that. The other thing with pivoting is that when you do make a pivot, it allows you to open up yourself to bigger opportunities and for other opportunities, as well.
I thought we were being very successful in e-commerce but I found out that, while I was good at that, I was really good at helping other people to grow and scale their businesses. When someone wanted to work with me, we built up a system where we were able to get the rankings on demand because we had already created such a robust content and link generation system.
My question for you is, “Is it time for you to make a pivot in your business? How can you open yourself up to other opportunities and not just focus on one thing?”