How to Pivot Your Business
Alcohol distillers that started making hand sanitizer.
Restaurants that turned their dining halls into grocery stores.
Personal trainers who became vloggers.
Hundreds of companies pivoted their business models due to the Covid19 pandemic. A crisis can force change and provide opportunities to think outside the box. Companies that are willing to pivot may be in a better position to survive, or even flourish, until the economy recovers. What does it mean to pivot your business, and how do you do it?
What is a Pivot?
The term “pivot” is often associated with startups, but any company can make drastic changes to its business model. The move could be brought on by a tough period, changing demand, new competition, or other factors. Here are some examples of pivots:
Focusing on one feature – Instagram began as Burbn, a check-in app with gaming, planning, and photos. Creators realized it wasn’t gaining traction, so they stripped all features except photos.
Targeting a new set of customers – Fabulis was a social network marketed towards gay men. The social site flopped, so creators tried a new direction. They began selling clothing, accessories, and hand-picked home goods through Fab.com
Changing a delivery platform – Netflix pioneered the DVD-by-mail model, which displaced brick and mortar movie-rental shops. When internet bandwidth increased, Netflix pivoted to streaming services.
How to Pivot:
Clarify your business purpose. Companies with a clearly defined purpose are more successful in the long-term. What if Polaroid preserved precious memories instead of just selling film? What if Blockbuster delivered movie entertainment, regardless of format? Figuring out your core purpose can lay the foundation for a successful business pivot.
Commit to being agile. Erase the mindset, “we don’t,” “we never,” and “we can’t.” In this new normal, every option must be considered to survive. Try approaches you have resisted. The situation may require frequent pivots as health directives change.
Examine every aspect of your business. Take a close look at your products, your customers, your method of production and delivery. Are your product offerings still relevant? Has your customer base shifted? Is your technology out of date?
Find new ways to deliver. Can you provide digital versions of your product or service? What about pick-up and delivery? Will a video conference work as well as a face-to-face meeting?
Repurpose assets. Can you create new products or services with existing resources? Brainstorm new ways to use your real estate, technology or inventory.
Communicate. It is vital to keep everyone informed of major changes. Begin with staff and team members. Let your current and prospective customers know about the changes through a variety of platforms – signage, email, website, pr campaign.
About Marketing Logix
Tracie Welch-Brenton is the founder of Marketing LOGIX, a sales and marketing company that encompasses both digital and real-world sales & marketing strategies. Tracie brings more than 26 years of experience with hundreds of small to medium-sized businesses across a range of industries. The fast pace of today’s marketplace requires successful companies to switch tactics or change directions when needed. Find out how Marketing Logix can help your organization’s sales and marketing efforts.