Is it Time to Pivot in Order to Stay Viable?

Angela McDonald • 25/09/2018

At some stage in your business’ life you will probably be faced with the question, is it time to make a change? Making a change and pivoting will have a massive impact on the future success of your business. If done well, the possibilities are endless. If done poorly, it could set your business back.

The decision to pivot should always be made because you believe it will improve your business and increase your bottom line. There are several signs and tasks you can undertake to determine if your business is in a position where change is needed.

Listen to your customer

The logical first step in pivoting successfully is to understand what your customers want or need from your offering that you aren’t already providing. The best way to collect this information is to simply ask. In most cases, your customers will be more than willing to provide accurate and meaningful feedback, if they believe it will improve your business’ ability to help their company.

There are countless means for collecting feedback, from sending out a survey in next months EDM, posting a question or poll on your Facebook page or simply giving them a call and having a conversation.

If you are able to gather feedback from enough customers, you will be able to see patterns emerge in the feedback. Matching these patterns with other variables will help to guide the future direction of your company.

Analyse your finances

While customer feedback is great, it is prone to be affected by personal bias of the individual depending on your relationship with them. However, as they say, numbers never lie.

Take a look at your financial records to get a clear, unbiased picture of your business’ position. This will provide a clear outline of where your business’ revenue is coming from. While you may think your most successful product is X, the numbers may demonstrate it is actually Y. If there is consistent, long-term evidence that Y has been the major breadwinner, it may be time to redistribute resources to focus on Y.

Is there an untapped stream?

As you are reviewing the patterns that arise from the feedback your customers provide and your financial records, try to find if there are any untapped streams that may be ripe for the taking. While it is important to still focus on providing and improving your core offerings, it would not hurt to invest in expanding your operations.

For example, while X and Y are the biggest contributors to your bottom line, you may discover your customers are screaming out for Z. If you have the financial resources to invest into Z a little at a time, you may find that in time, Z could become a sustainable and profitable revenue stream.

While this isn’t a hard pivot, soft pivots are often a great way of expanding your business’ offerings to your customers.

Change and analyse

Whether you decide a drastic change is needed or a gradual expansion is ideal, make sure you track and record everything. Tracking and recording the success of a pivot is almost just as important as conducting a change in the first place.

Make sure you are continuously tracking and recording your customers’ feedback, your market share and financial figures. If your records are overwhelmingly positive, you are on the right track. However, if they are less than desirable, you may need to slow down a little bit. Before you make any rash decisions, make sure the figures you see are consistent over a decent period of time.

The decision to pivot should always be made because you believe it is going to improve your business’ ability to compete within its market, and eventually increase the bottom line. However, the decision to make a change is not one that should be taken lightly.

 

If you are looking to improve your business’ ability to meet customer demand or improve your financial sustainability, outsourcing could be for you. At Deployed, we specialise in building offshore teams for local businesses that create positive and tangible impacts on their success.

Pivoting doesn’t have to revolve around providing a new offering or completely changing your approach, it could simply be the decision to improve and streamline your internal capabilities. In order to then improve your offering to your customers. Outsourcing allows you to do this by satisfying the time-consuming tasks that detract from your ability to focus on growing your business or build relationships with your customers.

If you would like to find out how Deployed can help your business, I’d love to hear from you.