For those of you that have had the pleasure of being able to see your business grow further than the first draft of a business proposal, you’ll know that one of the most common questions you’re asked — be it your friends, family, the media, partners, and even competitors — is “How did you come up with that idea?”
The original vision for the business is something that we all hold close to our heart; whether for weeks, months, or years, you’ve put money, time, sweat and every ounce of creativity you can muster into turning this idea into a viable business model. This kind of commitment is what makes for successful entrepreneurs and successful businesspeople, but if we hold on too tight, it can also be the thing that prevents us from pursuing even greater opportunities that we may not have ever considered within reach.
The most important lesson I’ve learned with my business Divvy Parking is the need to remain open to new ideas that may fall outside your original business model. The goals you had for yourself, your business and your team when you started out should be a guide, but not a shackle that stops your business from innovating or entering new conversations or markets. They should continue to grow and adapt over time as welcome new circumstances and opportunities arise, and in response to unexpected challenges and roadblocks.
Divvy Parking began as a peer-to-peer service, enabling Australians to lease out their unused and vacant parking spaces to other commuters desperate for affordable and long-term parking. It was in response to my own fascination with the global collaborative consumption movement popularised by Uber and AirBnB as well as my personal frustrations with the lack of affordable parking options in our CBDs. Today, we are proud to be engaged in new exciting partnerships with major commercial property groups such as Knight Frank and GPT after expanding from the peer-to-peer space into something quite different. We realised that the problems we wanted to help solve — congestion, expensive parking rates, pressure on our existing infrastructure — all had to be addressed on another level as well, not just by individuals.
We’re still solving the issues that we set out to when we started, but by not confining ourselves to one particular box, we have opened up so many other avenues for implementing solutions and relieving the pressures on our existing infrastructure through the adoption of smart tech. Allowing yourself to pivot, and to look at totally new solutions and approaches, is the best thing you can do to keep your business and team innovative, whether you choose to push forward with them or not.
Written by Divvy CEO & Founder, Nick Austin