Early Market Signals and Later Pivots

At a lunch last week (yes, I believe in never eating alone) the entrepreneur and I were talking about places to eat. He offered up three nearby places for us and mentioned that one place was always empty at lunch time. After I asked why, he said that when they first opened they were dinner only and didn’t serve lunch. The restaurant’s early market signal that they weren’t open for lunch made it exceptionally difficult to later pivot and get into the minds of the local business people that they were an option. My friend’s guess is that the restaurant will be closed within six months.

My recommendation is to pay special attention to market signals, especially at the launch of a new business. Some signals include:

  • Hours of operation
  • Pricing
  • Target customer
  • Brand / design

I’m a fan of making decisions quickly and constantly iterating based on new information. The one caveat: take more time on decisions that aren’t reversible.

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