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December 22, 2022

16 Tips For Successfully Pivoting Your Business

Whether you’re facing a change in the market or just see a new opportunity, there may come a time when you decide to pivot your business. However, committing to a pivot is just the first decision in a line of many. You’ll need to both plan and implement each step of this change, all while keeping your company and your team afloat.

If you’re considering pivoting your business, here are 16 tips for doing so successfully, as shared by the members of Forbes Business Council. Follow their advice to ensure a smooth transition.

1. Keep People’s Interests At The Core

A successful pivot relies on one word: people. Then, two questions emerge: how is this pivot helping the people (customers) we serve better and/or faster? Who are the people on our team to pull this off, and how? Pivoting without considering people’s interests at the core can result in a pivot that falls apart. A pivot for the people is a likely win for all. A selfish pivot risks a backtrack. – Jeremy FinlayQuantiem.com

2. Know The ‘Engine’ Of Your Business

To pivot your business, one must have a deep understanding of the business being pivoted. The key to planning and implementing an effective company pivot is knowing the “engine” of your business—in other words, what makes it run. If you cannot effectively communicate to the company’s key people how each segment is run and the strengths and weaknesses of the business, a pivot will fail. – Blake FortuneHamilton Capital Partners, LLC.

 

3. Conduct People-First Marketplace Research

Do people-first research paired with a review of both existing marketplace opportunities and emerging ones. From there, you’ll have what’s necessary to design products or services in a tailored way that can create inspiration to drive enterprise understanding and alignment. That allows for the development of systems and structures needed to support process and accountability so things ultimately move forward. – Christine MarvinMarvin

4. Start Small

The implementation is key. Production comes before perfection. Getting started with a small budget is usually more effective when compared to planning forever. For instance, if somebody wants to have a personal brand online, just getting started with videos and other content—and getting better as you go along—is more effective for most than overplanning because that can lead to analysis paralysis. – Adam Fayedadamfayed.com

5. Get Your Team Behind It

There are the three key things that matter the most when considering a company pivot. First, communicate the strategic rationale for the pivot in a simple concise manner so you can get everyone behind it quickly. Next, ensure people and culture are not heavily disrupted, as people are your most powerful asset. Share the vision and ambition behind the pivot to ensure everyone will be marching in the same direction. – Hemal SomaiyaPharmaForceIQ

6. Consider The Impact

The key to an effective pivot is twofold, including both the gain from the pivot and your ability to execute the pivot. A pivot should draw your company closer to its true purpose. Whether you’re serving a new market or hyperfocusing on a niche, the value of a pivot comes from a more meaningful impact. The best pivots are those with the highest impact based on the operational and financial risks you take. – Marcos RiveraPricing I/O

7. Gather Perspectives Across The Company

First, truly understand why the pivot is necessary by gathering perspectives from people in various positions of the company who see what’s truly needed (not just the C-suite), as well as analyzing relevant data that supports the pivot. These steps will help ensure it’s the right move and there is buy-in from company employees so that they’re on board to help execute it once it’s set in motion. – Melanie AmmermanVaVa Virtual Assistants

8. Understand Your Role In The Industry

Do the research. You need to live in a world that you can reasonably anticipate, but be solidly grounded in a firm understanding of your current role within it. In the field of higher education, tuition policy, government oversight, consumer preferences, technology and demographics play into a decision to pivot. It becomes simultaneously an opportunity, challenge and a question of survival. – Brian MitchellAcademic Innovators

9. Stay Ahead Of The Market

The decision to have an effective company pivot is one that must align with your goals. The key is to stay ahead of the market and keep up with company trends so the decision is not lightly made but one of great thought and planning to achieve the outcome you need. – Kirt LiningtonLinear Roofing & General Contractors, LLC

10. Consider The Timing

I believe pivoting a company is one of the hardest decisions an entrepreneur might have to make. A successful pivot must be properly planned and implemented. One great key to planning a pivot is ensuring the pivot is happening at the right time. The new idea must also be well thought out, and the calculations and predictions must be right. – Abimbola AmusanVesti Technologies Solutions Inc

11. Communicate Changes

Pivots are part of startup development. Think about what will be changed in your product or service. Try to focus on the main features. It is also very important to prepare proper communication. Start with the team to ensure they understand and support the pivot. Then, bring the information to partners and customers. – Igor RyabenkiyAltaIR Capital

12. Commit Completely

Commit all the way or no way! You as the business owner, the board and whoever else makes these very important and necessary decisions for the company must be all in once the decision is made—there’s no turning back. If there is faltering or questioning, it sends the wrong internal message. Everything must happen as a team and as one—all must buy in. – Dana NeigerHIVE Talent Acquisition Firm

13. Embed Strategic Innovation Into Company Culture

As a leader or a senior exec, one needs to have the ability to perceive and understand where the market is going and steer the ship accordingly. Having strategic innovation processes embedded in the company culture will enable businesses to keep thinking with a “pivoting” mind. More than a sudden and drastic move, pivoting a business can be part of a long-term strategy. – Andrea d’AgostiniSalesJet & Monarchy Media

14. Create A Committee

Create a committee. This team’s input is essential, and they can work together on how to best articulate the change to the rest of the employees. Encourage employees to ask questions and have easy access to any information they need regarding the change. Presenting the “why,” the supporting data and garnering input early on helps prevent resistance that may lead to unwanted turnover. – Colleen WernerLulafit

15. Reconnect With Your ‘Why’

Reconnect with your company “why.” Make sure that any decision being made is to support larger company goals, as well as the reason the business was created in the first place. From there, it’s about effective communication with the larger team, a strong go-to-market strategy and keeping things as simple as possible. – Ravi SwaminathanTaskHuman

16. Get Clarity On The Full Picture And Future Of The Business

When taking any business decisions, especially big ones like pivoting the business, the first thing you need is clarity or a selfie of the business, meaning a clear view of the present situation and a clear view of business future goals. Once those two points are clear, the map of strategy, including tactics of how to get there and resources or people who can get the business there, reveals itself. Consistency is mandatory for implementation. – Magda PaslaruThe RainbowIdea SRL

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