In the world of business and trade, not all businesses are created equal. Obviously, some businesses are more successful than others leaving folks who are struggling with questions about why they’re not doing as well as the competition.
Different industries go through the same things. Car parts manufacturers, cosmetic contract manufacturers, food processing, grocery stores, retail shops, and almost every business known to man. No one is safe from it. It just has to do with how a business is managed. That and a little bit of luck.
But if you’re counted among the less fortunate ones, it’s not yet the end. You don’t need to throw in the towel yet. Perhaps you just need a new strategy or a pivot.
What is pivoting?
Pivoting a company or a business technically means changing its direction or course, especially if its products or services aren’t making that much of an impact on its market. Pivoting helps struggling businesses survive and stay afloat or improve their revenue.
However, the way a pivot is executed will either make or break the business so if you’re considering it, you need to do your homework and plan for it carefully and thoughtfully.
When should you consider it?
A lot of struggling companies have successfully turned things around because they opted to pivot. However, it’s not always the best thing to do. You should only decide to do it under the following circumstances:
1. When your business is always trying to catch-up
If your business is constantly playing catch-up and is progressing very slowly despite all the energy and effort you put into it, perhaps it’s time to consider pivoting.
2. There’s an oversaturation in the market
When there’s too much competition in the market for the same products and services you’re offering, you can shift your company’s focus to something else instead.
3. You’re on a plateau
If your business has somewhat reached its peak but has plateaued, you could consider pivoting to give it a much-needed boost and make your business relevant once again.
4. Only one aspect of your business has traction
In some cases where businesses have several key products to offer but only one of them does really well, you can take that single product and rework your organization around this particular item.
5. Lukewarm and limited market response
If the products that you offer only elicit a lukewarm response at best, this doesn’t look good for you, especially in the long run. As early as you can, gather and analyze data and see if it’s worth keeping or if you should change your focus.
6. You’ve changed your perspective on things
Lastly, a pivot may be your best course of action if you as a business owner, have had a change of perspective about certain aspects of the business.
How do you pivot your business?
1. Do it immediately
Pivoting does not guarantee immediate success. Sometimes it takes a company a few times to get it right. But don’t let this stop you, especially if a pivot is needed. Once you’ve done your research and concluded that your business needs it, don’t dilly-dally and get to work immediately. Every minute counts.
2. Set new goals that are in line with your vision
Changing the course of your business will require a few adjustments to your overall goals, mission, and vision. As you make some changes and start implementing them, write down your new goals to help you measure your progress and see if your pivot is actually working. Again, it’s hit-or-miss. Evaluate constantly and adjust accordingly.
3. Don’t tear down what you’ve built
We understand that it has cost you a lot to launch and establish your business. Pivoting doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to throw everything out that you worked hard for over the past few months or years. Take time to evaluate which aspects of your business can be salvaged and reused in your new direction.
4. Listen attentively to your market
One of the main reasons why you’re doing a pivot is because of market relevance. Make sure that you know what your target market’s needs are. Ask questions. Conduct polls and surveys. Listen attentively to what they have to say regarding their needs. This level of sensitivity to your customers will help you determine their pulse thus giving you a better idea of how to meet their needs and keep your doors open.
Pivoting a business is not something that you should approach lightly. You have to give it plenty of thought because the life and success of your business will depend on it.