What is pivoting?
When it comes to startups, pivoting means making changes to your initial company strategy or product offering. Businesses can pivot in big and small ways, and it often occurs as companies discover what resonates with their users and what doesn’t.
Examples of Pivoting
Pivoting can come in many different forms. These are a few examples you’ve probably heard of:
- Changing your product or service offerings
- Focusing on one product or product feature
- Switching financial models
- Positioning your business to align with a different target audience
As you start to build your company, you might find that things make more operational and economic sense if you make a change. That’s why being open to pivoting is essential to your company’s success.
How can pivoting help your company?
You might be wondering how pivoting can help your company succeed. There are many reasons, from generating more revenue to providing a product that’s more appealing to your user.
Less is Sometimes More
Entrepreneurs usually have an epic vision that their product is going to solve a lot of problems for a lot of people.
Truthfully, having a product with too many features can confuse and frustrate your users. That means it might make sense to abandon the product altogether.
Sometimes, focusing on the one thing that’s resonating with your users can make all the difference. Yelp, for example, started as a peer-to-peer recommendation service. When the founder realized users were leaving reviews for local businesses on the platform, he pivoted it to a social networking site for business reviews.
Adjusting Your Target Demographic
When you initially start a business, you might know exactly who your demographic is. You’ve developed a product for them, they’re using it, and all is great in the world.
Until it’s not.
That might mean it’s time to adjust who your target demographic is. Facebook did this several times. First, starting with a platform only for college student before eventually growing into a worldwide social network and business partner.
Being open to change, especially when it comes to your customers, can generate growth and help you discover an untapped audience for your product.
In most successful instances of pivoting, companies found their path of success by paying attention. This meant paying attention to their customers, to market trends, and to their own employees. Think about how you’re approaching your business. Are you keeping an ear to the ground? Remember that having a vision is important, but you should never stop listening and questioning.
Pivoting requires an open mind and an understanding of your users. When you know what’s working, you can use that knowledge to transform your product into something that makes better business sense.