November 2, 2021

Why to pivot and how to do it effectively?

What do Netflix, Western Union, and Starbucks have in common? They are all the companies that pivoted their initial focus into something new and different, eventually becoming industry giants. Let's take a look at the examples.

A few years back Netflix was the service that delivered DVDs to the mailboxes, but as soon as the company saw a changing market and needs, it adapted to the situation. The same happened with western union, which initially was one of the world’s largest telegram service company from where it pivoted to secure a niche as a money wire service. Another example is Starbucks that was selling espresso makers and coffee beans, further adapting and changing happened after the founder of Starbucks had traveled to Italy and returned with a completely new vision in mind!

These famous examples show that the business pivot is a key strategic move. As the name suggests, it indicates a dramatic shift in direction of at least one aspect of the business. The effects of pivoting can be highly profitable whether for big companies or small businesses. 

Here are more reasons to pivot:

-It’s a chance to evolve into something better

Companies are run by people who grow and evolve with time, hence it’s common for founders to shift their perspective and vision as they learn over time.

-Your company has hit a plateau

If you notice slow progress or no progress at all despite all the hard work, you may consider pivoting. It does not necessarily mean to pivot the whole direction of the company but making a few shifts in your business model or market. 

How to pivot effectively?

Once you’ve decided to pivot your company, you must take into consideration various factors that will reduce the risk and increase the chances of successful outcomes. Here is how you can do it:

1. Listen to your customers 

It’s worth repeating: A customer-centric mindset will always lead you to greater success. Pay attention to the feedback from your customers and the struggles they are going through to fully understand their desires. If you’ve been experiencing lower demand, you might need to look beyond your current market by conducting a market analysis. 

2. Consider emerging trends

That is one of the most important points to consider while pivoting. Aside from crisis, it can include disruptions in technology, global events, or cultural movements. The Covid-19 pandemic alone has significantly changed the interests of people within a year. Hence, tap into the latest trends and convey consumer surveys to either confirm or deny the trends you’re seeing on a larger scale.

3. Don’t scrap the work you’ve already done

A pivot doesn’t necessarily require a radical change in every case. Rather than starting from scratch, you can work off of your current brand and aspects of a business to redirect your current resources towards your new goal.

Pivoting is meant to change your business to take advantage of opportunities. Be ready to up your game and be open to what could be the next success model.

By Maryam Z.

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