Why You Might Need to Pivot Your Small Business

To have a successful business, you may need to make changes to your business plan along the way. You might need to make a change. Specifically, if you are disappointed with the results of your marketing, audience, and sales traction, you will need to pivot. Some business plans are far past revival and are just ready to bite the dust. But if you think there are changes still to be made before the last checks are deposited, you might want to pivot your business in a new direction.

When to Pivot Your Small Business

First, you need to consider if it is time to pivot. If your business is getting a limited response from your marketplace, point blank, if people aren’t buying what you’re selling, something needs to change. The hardest part about this is just biting the bullet and accepting the fact that what you had initially thought would be a home run, isn’t working. It sometimes may not be as visible; you may be in a situation where your company has hit a plateau. Maybe you’ve lost interest, there’s no momentum, or sales aren’t increasing as like your projected earnings showed. These some situations in which you might want to pivot.

Successful Businesses Pivot When They Need To

Another big one that many small businesses have faced and chosen to pivot is when there is only one thing about your business that is gaining traction. For example, YouTube started as a dating website, but when they saw that people were only uploading videos is when they pivoted to a video website. Flickr (and Slack) started out as an online game; one of the features of this game was uploading photos. When they saw that that was the only thing the players were doing, they pivoted to a photo posting website. Pivoting should only be done when necessary; When all other options have been attempted. But when you are in a situation where it becomes apparent it is the only option for success, do not hold yourself back with this idea you once had, and become aware that the most successful companies can pivot without changing their destination. Remember this key point: To pivot is not to amend the destination; it is to only change the route to your destination.

Things took a serendipitous turn when Butterfield (who founded Flikr) noticed that the photo-sharing feature of the game was surprisingly well-received. In 2004, he decided to take a pivot and launched Flickr – an online photo management and sharing application. It was acquired by Yahoo one year later. – Jumpstartmag.com

Maybe there isn’t anything having to do with the company; maybe your perspective has changed; You have found and researched a new niche that may be more for you than the one you have already planted for yourself. This one is a bit harder to decide if it the right decision to pivot, but if you’re not invested in your company, there are plenty of other entrepreneurs who are, so the choice is yours.

How to Pivot Your Small Business

Now once you have established it is in your company’s best interest to pivot, how do you effectively do so? Well, you must start ASAP. Waiting for any longer after you know you must make a change in your business is a waste of your time, and everyone’s frankly. It is also good to remember that pivoting is not always a radical change. Pivoting can be something incredibly specific to where it wouldn’t seem like a massive change to changing the entire company. Either way, it’s essential not to throw away all the work you have already done, reiterating the point that pivoting isn’t a change in destination, just a change in route. Now is also time to write new goals for this new business plan, and also remembering you could pivot from these too, so never get too attached. It is all about the result, and how fast you can get there.

Pivoting is something every successful business has mastered on the route to their destination. A great way to explain pivoting in an analogy is you get in your car, or you start your business, you then find out on the way to your destination there is a roadblock, do you continue to drive and risk the reputation of your whole company, or do you find a new route and go around (pivot)? The answer is clear. The key is never to get too attached to a business model. As great of an idea as you have, you never know the response of the consumers until the product has been launched, and you get real data, and in a lot of cases of companies, the answer isn’t right. Your job is to listen to your customers, figure out a new business plan, and pivot.


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