Why Pivoting Your Business is Not Always the Answer - Peter Boolkah

Businesses today are under constant pressure to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. As a result, many organizations have turned to “pivoting business” as a way to change direction quickly and respond to market demands.

However, pivoting is not always the best solution for every business. In some cases, it can do more harm than good.

Four Reasons Why You Should Think Twice Before Pivoting Your Business:

1. It can be expensive and time-consuming

2. It can create confusion among customers and employees

3. It can damage your brand

4. It can backfire if not done correctly

Pivoting is a risky move that should not be undertaken lightly. Before deciding to pivot business, weigh the potential benefits against the risks.

What is Pivoting Business?

Pivoting business is a process of redirecting a company to achieve better results. This can involve changes to the products or services offered, the target market, the business model, or any other aspect of the company. The goal of pivoting is usually to improve some metric such as revenue, profitability, or growth.

Pivoting is often necessary when a business strategy is not performing as well as expected. It can be a way to test out new ideas and see if they are more successful than the current approach. Sometimes, a pivot can simply be a course correction; for example, if a company’s product is no longer selling well, it may need to adjust its marketing strategy. Other times, however, a pivot may represent a more significant shift in the business change, such as when a startup changes its focus entirely.

Pivoting can be risky, leading to confusion among customers and employees. It is, therefore, essential to have a clear plan for how the pivot business will be executed and to communicate this plan to all those affected. Done correctly; however, pivoting can lead to renewed interest in a company and improved results.

Do You Need to Pivot Your Business?

If your business isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like, it may be time to consider a pivot.

A pivot is a strategic move that can help you revitalize your business and achieve your growth goals.

Several signs indicate it may be time to pivot your business:

1. Your industry is changing

If your industry is undergoing significant changes, it may be time to pivot your business strategy. For example, if traditional retail is declining and online shopping is rising, you may need to pivot your retail business to an e-commerce business model.

2. Your target market is changing

If your target market is evolving, you may need to adjust your product or service offering to meet their changing needs. For example, if you’re selling products to retiring baby boomers, you may need to target a younger demographic.

3. You’re not reaching your growth goals

If you’ve been trying to grow your business but haven’t been successful, it may be time to try a new approach. A pivot can help you reach your growth goals by tapping into new markets or segments.

4. You’re not profitable

If your business isn’t generating enough revenue to cover costs, it’s time to consider a pivot. A pivot can help you find a more profitable business models or market segment.

5. You’re bored or burned out

It may be time for a change if you’re no longer passionate about your business. A pivot can help you find new motivation by pursuing a different direction.

Pivoting your business can be a risky move, but it can also be a rewarding one. If you’re considering a pivot, be sure to do your research and plan carefully to increase your chances of success.

How to Know if You Should Pivot?

If you’re running a business, it’s essential to regularly assess whether or not you should continue down the same path or make a change. This is known as a pivot.

There are a few key indicators that can help you decide if a pivot is necessary:

-You’re not reaching your target market

-Your product isn’t selling

-You’re not making enough money

-You’re not happy with the direction of the company

-Your team isn’t working well together

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it may be time to consider a pivot. Of course, making such a decision isn’t always easy, and there are risks involved. But if you don’t make a change, you may find yourself stuck in a rut with no way out.

So how do you know if a pivot is right for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

-What’s not working?

-What needs to change?

-What are the risks of making a change?

-What are the potential benefits of pivoting?

-How will this change impact my customers?

-How will this change impact my team?

-Is there another way to solve the problem?

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you’ll be better positioned to decide whether or not to pivot. If you decide that a change is necessary, the next step is to figure out how to make it happen.

If you’re unsure where to start, plenty of resources are available to help you plan and execute a successful pivot. Remember that making a change can be scary, but reaching your goals is often necessary. So don’t be afraid to take the plunge!

Types of Pivoting

There are three main types of pivoting:

1. Data-driven pivoting

This type of pivot is based on analyzing data to identify new opportunities. This can be done by looking at customer data, market trends, or even data from your own business. For example, you might notice that many of your customers are located in a particular area and that there is potential for growth in that market. Or you might see that a specific product is selling well and decide to focus more on that product.

2. Market-based pivoting

This type of pivot is based on changes in the market. For example, you might notice that a new competitor has entered the market and decide to change your focus to stay ahead of them. Or you might see that a particular market is growing and decide to target that market.

3. Technology-based pivoting

This type of pivot is based on changes in technology. For example, you might develop a new product that uses new technology and decide to focus your business on that product. Or you might see that a particular market is shifting to a new platform and choose to focus your business on that platform.

How to Pivot Effectively?

There comes a time in every business’ journey when they have to make a decision – to pivot or not to pivot. It’s a tough call that shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, a pivot can make or break a company.

So, how do you know if it’s time to make a change? And what are the best ways to pivot effectively?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Know you’re why.

Before making any significant changes, taking a step back and assessing you’re why is essential. Why does your business exist? What problem are you solving? Answering these questions will help you determine if a pivot is necessary.

2. Understand your customers.

Who are your customers, and what do they want? Take the time to get to know them inside and out. This research will be invaluable as you decide how to serve them best.

3. Evaluate your competition.

It’s also important to understand your competition and what they’re doing well (and not so well). This will help you position yourself in a way that sets you apart and allows you to serve your target market better.

4. Consider your resources.

Before making any significant changes, take an inventory of your financial and human resources. Do you have the bandwidth to create a pivot? Do you have the necessary funding? Be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve.

5. Make a plan.

Once you decide that a pivot is a right move for your business, it’s time to start planning. What exactly are you going to change? How will you execute the changes? What are the risks and challenges associated with the pivot? Answering these questions will help you make a smooth transition.

Pivoting can be a scary but necessary step in business. By following these tips, you can ensure you pivot effectively and set your company up for success.

Partial Pivoting vs Full Pivoting

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a pivot is a change in direction of an entity’s operations in response to changes in market conditions. A pivot is typically made by changing the overall strategy of a company. Partially pivoting your business means that you are changing your strategy, but you are not doing so by completely changing your direction. This type of pivot is a more gradual process.

A business pivot is a way to change and grow in a new direction. However, there is a difference between partially and fully pivoting your business. When you partially pivot your business models, you will keep your current business model but expand into a new market. However, with a full business pivot, you will change your current business model and start operating in a new market.

Difference between partially pivoting your business vs fully pivoting your business

The difference between partially pivoting your business and fully pivoting your business is that with a partial pivot, you are only pivoting part of the business. With a fully pivoted business, you are pivoting the entire business. A partial pivot is often done when you start a new company or expand your company. A fully pivoted company is when a company is starting anew.

A partial pivot is when a business owner decides that they want to focus on a different aspect of their business. They may decide to focus on a different type of service, or they may decide to change the type of products they offer. This can be a great way to grow your business, but it can also be risky. One benefit of a partial pivot is staying relevant and keeping your customers happy. However, the risks of a partial pivot are that your business may lose momentum and you may lose some of your customers.

A partially pivoting business is one that has decided to pivot its business in one area, but not all. It’s a business that has decided to change its focus to a different industry. For example, if you were a fashion designer, you might decide to pivot your business to focus on jewellery. It is important to note that a partially pivoting business can still be successful. This business is just focused on a different industry.

A fully pivoting business is one that has completely changed its focus and has completely moved away from its original industry. For example, let’s say you were a fashion designer and decided to pivot your business to focus on interior design. At this point, your business is no longer a fashion designer but the owner of an interior design company.

Pivoting in Business Examples

Pivoting in business refers to making a strategic change in direction, usually in response to new information or market conditions. In some cases, companies may make a complete 180-degree turn, while in others, they may adjust their course slightly.

There are many reasons a business might choose to pivot, and perhaps the most common is that the original business model is no longer working as well as it once did. In this case, a pivot can help a company stay afloat and continue to generate revenue.

Other times, a business may pivot to take advantage of new opportunities. For example, if a company learns of a new technology that could revolutionize its industry, it may choose to pivot to adopt this new technology.

Whatever the reason, pivoting can be a risky move. After all, a business is essentially starting over, which means there is no guarantee of success. However, if done correctly, a pivot can help a business stay relevant and grow long-term.

Some famous examples of businesses that have successfully pivoted include Twitter, which began as a podcasting company called Odeo before shifting its focus to micro-blogging, and Groupon, which started as a social networking site called The Point before becoming the daily deals powerhouse it is today.

Final Words

Pivoting became a popular buzzword during the global lockdown, with many companies forced to reinvent themselves overnight.  Many did it with great short-term success, such as companies supplying PPE equipment and anything covid related.  However, let me stress short-term, as the pandemic has eased and many companies that ditched their core business are now suffering.

Some hard pivots work like the case with Twitter; however, in most cases, a partial pivot tends to lend itself to more tremendous success.

If you want more help with deep diving into your business and finding where you can make it stronger then contact me, or if you want to learn more about pivoting business head over to my podcast When Not To Pivot Your Business – The Transition Guy.



How do you successfully pivot your business?

To successfully pivot your business, you must clearly understand your goals and objectives. You must also identify your target market and understand their needs and wants. Additionally, you need to have a solid marketing strategy in place. Finally, you need to be willing to adapt and change as needed. By following these tips, you can successfully pivot your business and achieve success.

How do you pivot a small business?

There are several ways to pivot a small business. The most common way is to change the focus of the company. This could involve changing the products or services you offer or shifting the target market you serve.

Another way to pivot a small business is to change the business model. This could involve moving from a traditional brick-and-mortar model to an online model or vice versa.

Finally, you may need to pivot your small business in response to changes in the marketplace. This could mean adapting to new technology or changing your pricing structure to remain competitive.

No matter what type of pivot you need to make, it’s essential to have a plan before making any significant changes. This will help to ensure that the pivot is successful and that your business can continue to thrive.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider speaking with a business consultant or coach. They can help you assess your current situation and develop a plan for making the necessary changes.

Pivoting a small business can be a challenge, but it can also be an excellent opportunity to take your business to the next level. With careful planning and execution, you can make the necessary changes to keep your business moving forward.

What does pivot mean in a Startup?

In a startup, the term pivot refers to a change in strategy made in response to feedback or new information. This usually happens when a startup’s initial assumptions about its product or market turn out inaccurate, and the company needs to adapt its plans accordingly.

Pivoting can take many different forms, but some common examples include changing the business model, target market, or even the entire product itself. Ultimately, the goal is always to make the necessary adjustments so that the startup can continue moving forward and achieve success.

While pivoting can be difficult for any startup, it’s often necessary to ensure long-term viability. And in many cases, it can lead to even greater success than the original plan. So if you’re ever in a situation where it seems like your startup needs to make a significant change, don’t be afraid to pivot. It could be just what you need to get back on track.

When should a business pivot?

There’s no easy answer to the question of when a business should pivot, and it depends on several factors, including the company’s nature, the market, and the competition.

That said, a few general guidelines can help business owners decide when it’s time to make a change. First, if a business is struggling to find customers or generate sales, it may be time to consider a pivot. Second, a pivot may be necessary if the market changes and the current business model is no longer viable. Finally, it may be time for a different approach if the competition is eating into market share.

Ultimately, it’s up to the business owner to weigh these factors and decide whether a pivot is necessary. Sometimes, a pivot can be the difference between success and failure; other times, it may not make much difference. Either way, it’s essential to consider all options before deciding.


“Remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.” 

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