Pivot for Progress – University of Scranton Small Business Development Center ( SBDC )

Pivot for Progress
How to know when the right time to pivot your business is

If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve heard the word “pivot” this past year as you’ve tried to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the word itself may evoke memories of different things for different people, in the business world, pivoting a business means changing your direction when you realize your current offerings aren’t meeting those of the market. According to Forbes.com, the main goal of a pivot is to help a company either improve revenue or survive in the market.

Think of Netflix—when the company first started out, it was a service that delivered DVDs straight to your mailbox. When the company realized that DVDs were becoming passé, they decided to pivot their business model and add a streaming service to their offerings. Today, more homes have Netflix than DVD players.

Pivoting your business can’t and won’t solve every problem you have and should be a last resort when all other options have failed. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if now is the right time to pivot your business:

  • Can you see progress? If you don’t see your business progressing, even though you’ve put in a tremendous amount of money and resources, it might be a good time to pivot.
  • Is there too much competition? Analyze your market and determine if there are too many competitors out there for your business to have its own unique place in the crowd.
  • Has your progress plateaued? If you’ve done all you can with your business and it feels like it is stagnating, it might be time to rethink your business plan.
  • Have your customers gone silent? If your customers are no longer responding to your products like they have in the past, it could signal changes in the market that you need to address.
  • Has your perspective changed? If you have lost your passion for your industry and don’t see a way to get it back, you might need the fresh perspective that can be gained by pivoting your business.

Before you make the decision to pivot your business, talk to your employees and key stakeholders to determine if they feel the same way you do. Then come up with a strategy for executing the pivot— how long will it take? Will a full rebrand be necessary? After you’ve come up with your strategy, decide on how it will be implemented. Remember, the more planning you do before you pivot, the more successful you will be!

As always, if you are interested in pivoting your business and would like to discuss it with any of the small business consultants at The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center, our team is just a phone call or a click away! Get started by calling (570) 941-7588 or by visiting www.scrantonsbdc.com today!




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