Is It Time to Pivot Your Business?

Posted on May 26th, 2016

One of the questions you might face as an entrepreneur is whether or not it’s time to pivot your business.

Changing direction can help you overcome some of the obstacles standing in your way. While you don’t want to abandon a course of action just because it’s challenging, there are times that it makes sense to move on.

What is a Pivot?

When you pivot your business, you change direction substantially. It’s basically realizing that what you’re doing right now isn’t working and that it’s time for a Plan B. There’s nothing wrong with changing things up when you realize that your initial attempt isn’t working and you need to do something different.

It might feel like giving up, but it might more accurately be called refocusing. In the long run, it might actually be what’s best for your business.

When it’s Time to Pivot Your Business

Understanding when to pivot your business is crucial. You need to know when it’s time to change direction, and when it’s time to stick with your current course of action, pushing through the setbacks.

Here are some indications that you might need to pivot your business:

  • Difficulty sustaining revenue: One of the biggest reasons to pivot is when your revenue is unsustainable. If your current business model isn’t producing a sustainable revenue stream, you might need to change the business model and head in another direction.
  • Customers are using your product for something else: You might start out thinking that your business will provide a specific product or service, only to discover that your customers use it for something else. Rather than trying to get your users to change, you can change your business to cater to the preferences of your customers. There are many examples of businesses that changed in response to the realities of consumers, from Flickr to Wrigley to Avon to Nintendo.
  • You aren’t growing as you would like: If you aren’t seeing the growth you’d like, it might be time to pivot your business. Look at your business, and figure out where the growth is likely to be, and pivot that direction.

Pay attention to what is happening with your business and in the wider market. You might need to change things up if you want to stay ahead of the curve and find success.

Tips to More Effectively Pivot Your Business

As you prepare to pivot your business, it’s important to take steps to make the transition as smoothly as possible.

Your first step is to communicate the pivot to your team. Your team members need to understand the reasoning behind the pivot, and be on board with the new direction.

Once you know your team is on board, it’s time to devote resources to your new direction. Move your financial resources, along with your time, energy, and focus, toward the new effort. You want to focus on what’s most effective for your business, and moving toward the pivot is the important thing right now.

Finally, make sure you publicize your new direction. You don’t need to make a big announcement about your pivot, but you can start marketing the new products or services immediately, and shift attention and focus in a way that highlights your pivot.

Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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