You can track your registrations, revenue, lifetime value of each customer. You can figure out if a marketing campaign should be repeated or how many trade shows you should go to each year. In fact there are thousands of things you can track within your company. Yet there’s one decision you can’t really base on the numbers, repositioning.

That’s what makes startups so fun. They’re doing something new, they’re doing something no one else has done. Or they’re doing it differently, better. They don’t usually have data to back their decisions. And if they do, it’s one of those fun spreadsheets which shows how taking just .5% of the market will give them $100M in yearly revenue. Yet even without any supporting data they still go full steam ahead, ready to take on the world.

But how about if you’re not a startup? What if you’ve been in business for years, how do you justify a reposition then? You have no data to prove it’s better than what you’re currently doing. You might have a few customers in your new market but that’s nothing compared to the thousands or hundreds of thousands of customers you currently have. You can’t prove the new revenue will supersede your current revenue. You can’t prove your new market will even like you. And if you can prove the new vision is better, then you’ve already repositioned.

So how do you reposition? Same as a startup, you just do. You sit down, figure out what you absolutely love to do, and do it. Of course you want to take into account as much data as you can. Is there anybody out there who will give you money right now who resides in the new market? Are you in this new market? What part of your current customer base fits into your new market? How knowledgeable are you about this new problem you’re trying to solve? Why don’t you like the current problem you had been solving? How do you repostion without running out of money? The list is really endless. But at the end of the day, it’s not possible to absolutely prove one way or the other. There’s no right answer. You just have to go with your gut.

Have you ever repositioned a company or been part of a company which has repositioned? How’d it go?