- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
What does pivoting mean in the business world? To put it’s simply, it’s changing the direction of your business plan. If your current products and services aren’t meeting the needs of your customers, you’ll either need to quickly reconsider the services you are providing or target a new audience demographic.
Your business doesn’t always have to be performing poorly to warrant a pivot. You may simply discover that you can address more customer pain points and use the opportunity to expand your offerings to help a wider customer base.
Today’s economical situation presents a good opportunity for businesses to pivot so let’s discuss pivoting strategies and what other’s have done.
Create a pivot strategy
Here are some suggestions to consider if you are looking to pivot your business. If you are a business owner that doesn’t seem to be meeting the needs of your customers (or want to expand on what you already offer), you’re in the right place.
Understand where you are
Where do you sit currently? How is your business performing? What kind of problems are you trying to solve? What products and services are you using to do so?
These are the kind of questions you need to answer to make sure you are in the right position to pivot your business. If your business is performing poorly, find out which products and services are not doing well in the market and ask yourself why. You may need to re-assess your customer needs and eventually re-create the product.
Know where you want to go
Once you understand where you are, the next step is knowing where you want to go. Perhaps your ultimate business goal stays the same, you just take a different direction to get there. This is where you need to pay close attention to the market and what’s already producing positive sale numbers. Layout a roadmap so that you know how to get from one point to the next, very few business owners are successful from flying blind.
Can you get there from where you are now?
Take a look at your current trajectory and decide whether it is possible to reach your goals if you stay on the current path. If the answer is ‘no’, the obvious move is to change course. This might mean ‘axing’ a couple of things and making some hard decisions but at the end of the day, it will likely be for the best.
What needs to change
This step is often quite easy if you have been tracking your progress and analysing the data. Essentially it’s time to separate the non-performers from those who are performing well. Make changes where you see fit and replace the least effective parts of your business with the new and improved (whether that be staff or equipment).
Now that you have changed your course it’s important to set some new goals. Your end goal may have stayed the same but this will not be the case for the smaller targets that you need to hit in order to get there. Set new goals that support your vision based on the adjustments that you have made.
What are some examples of pivoting a business?
Some of the most recognisable brands have pivoted their business to get where they are today. Take Netflix. Netflix saw a change in the market and quickly expanded their offering. They noticed a greater need for more content and started filming their own ‘Netflix Originals’ through the addition of their own production company.
Once upon a time, Starbucks sold espresso makers and coffee beans for people to make their much loved beverage at home. This remained the same until one day Howard Schultz decided to brew the beans in a coffeehouse based off the ones he visited in Europe. Because of this pivot, more than 31,000 Starbucks locations are found around the world today.
Why should I pivot my business?
Why go through all of this effort? To satisfy the ever changing needs of the market. Although your products and services are currently serving the needs of your customer’s, this might not be the case tomorrow. Tracking the market should never stop even when your business is booming.
Why is pivoting so important right now?
We live in a world of modern technology where things are easily accessible with many people purchasing online and making fewer trips outside of the house. Have you factored this shift into your future business plan? Pivoting is important because customer needs are always changing. Keep your eye on the current market and formulate new products and services to retain your paying customers.
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Want to know anything else?
We’re an open book so hit us up if we’ve missed anything here or if there’s something else you’d like to know.
Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell