The world of business has always been fluid, but fluid doesn’t even come close to describing what has happened to the business landscape in the past two years. Upheaval is more like it. Because of the disruptions triggered by the pandemic, many businesses are considering pivoting in order to not only survive but also thrive in the new normal. Are you one of those business owners who want to pivot? Here are some concepts/considerations that you need to give some thought before you implement the business pivot.
Pivot vs. Rest vs. Quit
How can you tell that you need to pivot your business as opposed to getting some rest (due to burnout) or even closing shop and doing something different? You need to get real clear regarding which of those alternatives is the right one for your business at this point in time.
For example, you may think that you need a business pivot when in reality, you need some time to rest and recharge your mind, body and spirit. In contrast, a business pivot may be the right thing if you have realized that you can better serve your client base by incorporating a different process or introducing a new range of products/services. A clear illustration of this is a car dealership introducing a line of electric vehicles in light of recent policy changes at the federal level encouraging people to abandon gasoline/diesel powered vehicles. A pivot in this case is warranted.
However, if you constantly feel tired and look forward to weekends, in addition to feeling maxed out, time off to rest is what you badly need before burnout sets in. Conversely, it may be time to bring down the curtain on your business if you no longer feel inspired, nothing seems to work or thoughts of closing shop fill you with excitement.
You need to work with a coach in order to explore those three alternatives and then make an informed decision about your desire to pivot the business.
Explore why you want to pivot
It is also very important for you to work with your business coach and figure out why exactly you want to pivot the business. Is it because you want to move onto the next exciting thing? Have you undergone major life changes that have altered your core beliefs and values? Why exactly are you considering a business pivot at this point in time?
A great coach will help you think through your motivations so that you are certain that the decision you make will be in your best interest at that point in time.
Internal capabilities vs. external forces
Executing a business pivot demands a lot. For this reason, it is imperative that you shine the torch on your business’ internal capabilities as well as the external forces at play.
For example, does your team have the skills needed to implement the pivot? If not, what plan do you have to bring them up to speed? Regarding external forces, are there any industry trends that speak strongly in favor of the pivot you would like to make? In the example of electric cars, local, state and federal authorities are putting in place measures to phase out fossil-fueled vehicles. This is an example of an external force working in favor of a dealership owner pivoting to EVs.
Always make sure that you have examined the internal competences/capabilities of your firm as well as the external forces at play in order to make the pivot as minimally disruptive as possible while positioning yourself for success now and in the future.
Be clear on what you mean by pivoting
We all see things differently, and that is why one of the major things you need to be clear about is your definition of “business pivot.” For example, a skincare company wishing to launch hair-care products can describe what they are doing as a business pivot. In the same vein, a bar that switches to only making home deliveries of alcoholic beverages rather than waiting for patrons to come and drink onsite at their premises may also accurately describe what they are doing as a business pivot.
The question for you is, what exactly do you envision when you say you want to pivot your business? The answer to this question will help you to draw an appropriate plan detailing the timelines, resources and deliverables expected during the implementation phase of the pivot.
Seek alignment with your core values
Many top performers in business and other fields say they never worked a single day. This is because they chose paths that resonate with who they are, hence work seems like play. As you think of pivoting your business, have you thought about whether the pivot takes you closer to what speaks to your spirit?
It is important to ensure that there is alignment with who you are at the core. What values define who you are as a person? Will the pivot move you into alignment with those values? Have your values changed, thereby necessitating the pivot?
Discuss these issues with a coach or trusted adviser/mentor so that you don’t keep moving in circles. You stand a higher chance of succeeding at what you do and being fulfilled when you choose a path that aligns with who you are at the core.
Challenge your assumptions before you pivot
Before you plunge into a business pivot, take some time off to challenge the assumptions behind your decision to make such a pivot. Can you come up with counter-arguments against your reasons for the pivot?
Rather than only looking for reasons to back your desire to go ahead with the pivot, look at the contrary side and have a balanced view on the matter. Examining the contrarian view isn’t to convince you out of your intention to pivot. Rather, its purpose is to enable you to make a more rational decision which will stand the test of time.
The decision to pivot your business is never an easy one, but devoting some thinking time to the issues raised above can make the decision-making process easier. The concepts above are by no means the only ones one needs to have in mind when considering a business pivot, but they will go a long way towards putting you on the path to getting the pivot right. Over to you; what else do you think is vital if one is to successfully pivot their business in 2022? Let us know in the comments!
To Your Success,