The word pivot is used a lot in business circles.
Many people use it to describe any major change or shift in direction that occurs in a business…or even giving up on the business entirely.
But is that really what it is?
In this post, we’re going to look at what a pivot actually is, and how to know if it’s time for you to pivot in your business.
What is Pivoting?
The term pivot is actually derived from the game of basketball. A pivot is when a player takes a step with one foot, while still keeping their other foot on the floor.
Another definition I really like is this: “to cause to rotate, revolve or turn”.
From a business perspective, this definition makes a little more sense!Pivoting in business simply means shifting direction to become more effective, productive or successful. It doesn’t necessarily mean changing everything in your business…in fact, it rarely means this. Rather, it usually means changing one part of your business that’s just not working for you anymore.Click To Tweet
So, how do you know when it’s time to pivot? Let’s take a look.
5 Signs it’s Time to Pivot in Your Business
Part of having a business mindset is constantly paying attention to red flags that signal your business may be in trouble. The following are 5 signs it may be time for some business changes!
1. You’re Losing Your Passion.
When you started your business, you probably couldn’t wait to get up in the morning and go to work.
But if you’re noticing yourself dragging your feet or even dreading going to the office, it may be time to pivot.
Keep in mind that pivoting doesn’t mean throwing in the towel. Rather, it means keeping the good parts of your business and shifting direction on the other areas.
So whatever you do, don’t feel like pivoting is giving up: it’s just making something even better!
2. You can’t see a clear path forward.
It’s easy to lose your focus when you’ve been in business for a while.
You can get so caught up in day-to-day tasks, that you forget to focus on the growth and evolution of your business.
But what if you just can’t see a way to grow or evolve in your current business model? What if you’re totally stuck, and you just can’t find a way to get “un-stuck”?
This is a definite sign you should consider pivoting.
3. Your sales of a particular product have declined significantly.
One of the most common signs it’s time to pivot is when your sales fall, even though you’re doing all the same things you’ve always done.
This is a good indication that the needs of your target market have changed…and that you need to pivot to keep up with them.
A good example of this is Disney’s recent pivot to focusing directly on the consumer market. With cable TV subscriptions dropping in recent years, leadership at CEO knew they needed to make big changes to stay competitive – like putting more focus on their product, Disney+.
While your pivot may not be as drastic as Disney’s, it will likely mean adjusting your product offering(s) and your goals so you continue to meet the needs of your customers.
4. One part of your business is exploding.
Not all signs need to be negative ones!
If you notice one product, service or aspect of your business has become particularly successful, this is definitely a sign it’s time to pivot.
It can be scary to let go of parts of your business, especially parts you feel passionate about.
However, letting go of these things can free you up to focus on what’s working…making those things even better!
5. Your customers or clients are asking you to pivot.
Okay, so they probably won’t come right out and ask you to pivot!
But if you start to notice they’re consistently asking for changes, improvements or new products or services, it’s definitely time to think about how you can meet their needs.
Keep in mind you’ll often not hear these requests firsthand, so make sure you’re paying attention to back channels too: like social media comments and website and social media analytics.
Your customers may also be telling you something via your return rates and complaints, so definitely keep an eye on those too!
The process of running a small business isn’t always straightforward. Expect turns, windy roads, and even backtracking sometimes…and definitely expect that pivoting is a real possibility!The process of running a small business isn’t always straightforward. Expect turns, windy roads, and even backtracking sometimes…and definitely expect that pivoting is a real possibility!Click To Tweet