As a startup founder CEO, when do you know that it’s the time to pivot?

I think in SaaS, it’s when you have a handful of customers, and they are happy, and it’s been 9+ months … and you are growing, but slowly.

If you have no customers, it’s not really a tilt, it’s a restart.

But in SaaS what can happen sometimes is you are close to a product the market really wants, close, but not quite there. You’ll close a handful of customers, and do whatever it takes to make them happy. But even after 12, 18 months the demand won’t quite be there. You’ll be growing a little bit, but not enough.

It’s a frustrating time. You may have a 60 NPS and a neat piece of software, but you are stuck at $10k, $20k, $40k a month and not growing much.

The good news is you are usually close-ish. Oftentimes, you just need to build something broader. Or deeper. In the end, often something more valuable. A bit more a solution. And/or, a bit closer to a version of the solution that is close to a bigger pain point.

Take a pause and listen. Your prospects, the deals that almost close, will have some of the answers. So will your existing customers, who are happy, but aren’t buying more.

Then go built that tilt, and make your existing customers even happier. You can get there.

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Published on September 5, 2018

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