Context is Everything: The Key to Pivoting Your Business Effectively

There’s no short supply of advice on how you should run various aspects of your business and your business life. That’s exactly what we aim to do at 13p5. But too often when we’re reading and writing all these tips and tricks and strategies and “quick, easy ways”, we lose track of the simple fact that no situation is the same.

Every business has its own marketing position, its own challenges, and its own advantages. Context is everything, and when you can recognize your own context, that’s when you can make the business decisions that are going to catapult your business to the next level.

It’s true that we can learn a lot from the experience of others. It’s also true that there are certain essential truths that every business can and should take to heart. But most of all, it’s true that your business is unique, and the thing that you need to understand most is what your own business needs above all else.

This is a problem that FirstRound tried to tackle. Hiten Shah, co-founder of startup advice monoliths like KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quicksprout, penned a blog for them recently, sharing his personal revelations on the power of situating every piece of advice in context.

What he realized was that every problem takes a personal touch. If you’re in need of help, reach out to someone that can learn your business and its challenges and who can meet those needs. He found so much more success when someone came in to identify the problems and simulate solutions that were up to that unique task.

If you’re not in a position where you can reach out for that kind of personal touch, the most important thing you need to do is recognize your own context. Ask questions. What are your unique challenges? How do they relate to the advice out there?

Do research, and when you can recognize that your problems are the same as those that you see in the world, that’s the time to take the solution offered and use it for your own benefit.

In many ways, this is another take on the concepts we outlined in our look at the value of niche marketing. Businesses are made on their keen awareness, the ability to recognize where you stand and how to maximize that position to full effect. That means understanding your audience. That means recognizing your problems and using all the advice out there to build a solution that works for you and you alone.

Hiten Shah believes that the way to adopt this kind of strategy is to have what he calls a “growth mindset”. Every decision should be tooled toward the purpose of growth. Ask questions about your growth challenges and see what that sort of investigation reveals. Once you’ve got that context in mind, use the resources out there to build toward a new decision. 

At the end of the day, no one can make the decisions for optimal growth, but you. The “growth begins with the advice seeker”, as Mr Shah puts it. If you know what you’re looking for and how it’s going to help, that advice will be exactly what you need to make those strong choices, and to make your business into exactly what it needs to be.   

— ZK

Ed Lynes13p5Comment