Your company feels stuck. Perhaps things went well at first and you had a lot of sales and customers. The customers you did get were happy to tell people about you. But then something happened and now it seems like you’re struggling to retain clients or struggling to get new customers interested in what you have to offer.
Some business owners decide to throw in the towel and move on when the going gets tough. Others look at rough patches as an opportunity for growth. If things have slowed down or your company feels stagnant, a business pivot can help breathe new life in your company and get it out of its rut. Working with a virtual CFO can help you understand which direction to pivot in and how doing so can help your business.
There are a few reasons why you might decide to pivot your business. One reason is to do so based on what your customers are saying about your company. For example, if you offer multiple product lines, but only one or two of those product lines are popular or get positive feedback from your customers, you might decide to cut back on the number of product lines and focus on enhancing the ones that are most popular.
Another reason to pivot is if the area you focus on becomes crowded. When you started your company, you might have been one of only a few companies offering a particular product or service. Several years later, the field might be crowded with similar products or with services offered by a lot of competitors. It can be difficult to stand out in a crowd so you might decide to focus on creating a service or product that has less competition.
You might also pivot your business because your beliefs have changed or because you want your company to focus on a new mission or vision.
Signs It’s Time to Pivot
Usually, the signs that it is time to pivot are difficult to ignore. One sign that it’s time to change course is if your company’s products or services are indistinguishable from your competitors. If customers can’t tell that they’re using your brand versus another, or if they don’t care that they’re using your company’s products instead of another’s, it’s time to shake things up. You don’t have to abandon the product or service you offer, but you might want to seriously think about what changes you can make to differentiate it from the rest.
Another sign that it’s time to pivot is if you’ve lost interest in what your business is doing or if your team members seem disconnected and disengaged. It’s difficult to grow a business when you have no interest in doing so. It’s also difficult to grow when your team is simply going through the motions each day.
Finally, it might be time to pivot or try a new course if your business is losing clients and customers steadily. Although it’s likely that you’ll lose a customer or two from time to time if people are working with you once and then never again, or if people who previously used your business regularly have suddenly disappeared, that’s usually a sign that something is going on.
How to Pivot Your Business
How you pivot your business depends on a variety of factors, including your reasons for wanting to pivot. You can start the process by hiring a virtual CFO to evaluate your company and assess your needs. From there, your virtual CFO might work with you to rewrite your strategic plan or to create one for the first time. The virtual CFO can recommend directions to take with your company, such as adding a new product line, trying tap into a new market or streamlining your products and services to focus on what performs the best.
Depending on the type of pivot you do, your business might emerge from it as a completely new entity, or it might come out of the process slightly different from how it was before. Even if pivoting seems like a drastic change, it’s often the best step to take as it can refresh your business and allow it to start growing and thriving once again.