The covid-19 pandemic has caused dramatic market shifts and forever changed the way that we do business. As a consequence, the word “pivot” seems to be floating around the internet rather a lot lately, but is it just another buzzword or is it something you seriously need to think about?
What is a Business Pivot?
Pivoting means changing direction when your current offerings are no longer meeting the needs of your target market. Of course, this is no small undertaking and so it’s important to be sure that a pivot is necessary before you begin overhauling your business. Let’s take a closer look at the telltale signs you need to pivot.
#1 – You’re Not Seeing the Results You Want
Meaningful results require time and consistency. If your new marketing strategy hasn’t doubled your sales volume within a few weeks, that doesn’t mean it’s not working. However, if you’ve been consistent for a sustained period of time and still aren’t seeing any progress, it may be time to change directions and employ a different approach.
Equally, the pandemic may mean that the strategies that have served you well for years are no longer relevant. If your results have dropped off or your business is in decline, then it’s time to pivot.
#2 – You’re Exhausted
Of course, energy fluctuates day by day, and sometimes minute by minute. However, if your business has become a constant hard slog and you’ve completely lost the enthusiasm you once had, it’s a sign that something needs to change. As a business owner, it’s vital that you show up with energy and passion so that you can pass this onto the rest of your organisation.
#3 – Greater Opportunity
You can’t build a sustainable business by getting sidetracked every time something better comes along. However, if there is a more significant opportunity for growth out there then it may be wise to pivot and capitalise upon this. This could mean targeting an emerging market or adjusting your offering to meet a new need.
#4 – Your Customers Are Deserting You
If your customers are defecting to your competitors, it’s likely that they are fulfilling a need that you simply aren’t. This could be down to their core offering or the way that they show up with their marketing materials; are you using social media to remind your customers why they are with you?
The pandemic has caused many customers’ needs to shift dramatically and it’s important that you keep pace with this. Remember to keep an eye on your competitors and observe how they are adapting to “the new normal.”
#5 – You’re Not Growing
If you’re growing at a sluggish rate, or not growing at all despite your best efforts, it may be time to change tack and look at ways in which you can pivot. Unsatisfactory growth is often a trigger for major changes of direction. If you’re concerned that your business is stagnating, pivoting can help spark momentum once more and get your company moving forwards.
#6 – You Don’t Have a Clear Mission
Do you have a clear mission that drives you forward? Do you know exactly what kind of impact you want to make upon the world, or are you spending all of your time putting out fires? If you feel like you’re ticking boxes without achieving anything significant, it’s time to pivot and identify a new mission to create a more impactful business.
#7 – Your Staff Are Leaving
If your employees are jumping ship in their droves, then it’s a sign that there’s a big problem somewhere along the line. It could be that your company culture is becoming negative, staff aren’t being offered development opportunities, there’s no clear mission or that you’re simply behind on market trends. If your employee retention rate is struggling, then it’s a big indicator that it’s time to pivot and take a new approach.
If you identify with many of the above signs then it’s time to pivot your business but don’t take this as a sign of failure. Every business runs into difficulty or is affected by market shifts at one point or another, and the covid-19 pandemic has sparked rapid and unprecedented change. Knowing when to pivot is, in fact, a strength because the businesses who grow and thrive are the ones who are able to stay agile and adapt to changing circumstances.