What does it mean to Pivot?

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We have been hearing and using the word “pivot” a great deal in the past few months.  In basketball, when a player plants one foot as an anchor, and turns using the other foot, the move is called a pivot.  But what exactly does that mean to your business? 

The pandemic and civil unrest in our communities have changed how and when we do business.  In some cases, it has changed demand for products, and it has certainly changed delivery methods.  We have also changed when and where we work.  Businesses are facing new circumstances – will my employees come back to work? Will my customers come back? How do I make my employees and customers feel safe? These are questions that most of us have never had to answer before. 

Enter the Pivot.  Your business needs to make changes to adapt to the current circumstances.  Remember the basketball player? It is important that you keep your anchors in place – your mission, values, core products, and service levels. Shifting your product mix to meet demand is something a business should always be prepared to do.  The challenge today is the number of additional things that need to shift.  Other turns you may need to make are adjusting the hours that you are open, offering contactless delivery, hiring additional staff for extra cleaning and controlling the flow of customers.  In office environments adjusting workspaces and staggering work hours might be the pivot needed.   

The circumstances of the past few months have also highlighted the need to be nimble financially.  The challenge here is to pivot in the direction of profit and stability.  Rebuilding cash reserves and paying close attention to the terms of loans will allow you to pivot in other areas of your business.

Another area to pivot is marketing.  Your marketing message needs to highlight that you are open for business, will keep people safe, and then what products or services you are offering.  Haven’t updated your website since 2017? Make that pivot now.  Customers will be checking your website and social media for information on hours and protocols. 

A pivot is actually a very secure way to make adjustments in your business.  You can stay anchored to your core values, employees and customers while you shift products and processes.  Planning for change makes the changes manageable.  While we still have a great deal of uncertainty in our world, you have a choice: pivot with control or keep spinning in the wind. 

If you need help adjusting your business and would like a free pivot advising session, please click HERE.

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What does it mean to Pivot?