Pivoting to produce new revenue quickly isn’t easy. Here, association experts offer advice to make your journey less bumpy.
Be prepared. “Within our strategic plan, we identify things we are doing now that support our strategic goals, what’s in progress, and things we want to explore,” says Melanie Dolechek, executive director at the Society for Scholarly Publishing. “That way, we have a pipeline of potential programs that support our overall strategic goals.”
You can’t do everything. “Be careful of the scope creep,” says Jena Eberly Stack, executive director at the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. “[You have] to navigate how much staff capability you have and how many hands and feet you have to get things done. That means saying no to some things and stopping some programs to make room for others.”
Start small. “If you want to test an idea and get it out there quickly, it doesn’t have to be 100 percent integrated with your [association management system] in a huge expense,” Dolechek says. “Try it in a manual way, and you can always improve it later. Get some feedback before you start investing huge amounts of money. That really lowers the barriers to trying something new.”
Reinforce what works. “An association should look at your top two or three revenue streams, and that will tell you where to lean in,” says consultant Michael Tatonetti, CPP, CAE. “Your people are already familiar, and you can quickly pivot and give better value.”