A pivot is a shift from a fixed point to gain an advantage. Essentially, a pivot is a change in strategy to focus the company on an existing internal strength or a gap in the market, it is equipped to meet.

Here are 5 things a successful pivot can improve for your business.

Target the area of highest traction. A pivot is a move toward your business’ strength, so part of the process is an objective evaluation of where you are getting the best traction with your customers and finding ways to increase it.

Create a clear differentiation. As you develop your pivot, you can construct it in a way that makes its distinction demonstrable.  Differentiation built into the product (or service) is easily discernable, less replicable, and ultimately more convincing.

Improve the value delivered to your customers. Value doesn’t come from the product can do – it comes from what the customer is able to do with it. Value is enhanced by its implementation, support, packaging, mode of delivery, availability, even payment terms.

Create near-term sales. A pivot into an area of highest traction, with clear differentiation, and enhanced value moves your product from what the customer wants to what the customer buys.  A well-designed pivot will result in a quick market reaction, including near-term sales.

Develop a new market. A pivot may result in developing a newly defined market.  Often this is simply focusing on a segment of the existing market and creating a niche product for a specialized market.  It is better to be dominant in a small market than merely being a player in a large one.

Pivots are useful tools to improve one’s strategy to optimize the opportunity for a company or organization.  However, pivots cannot solve all problems.

For example, a pivot cannot fix:

  1. Unclear vision. A correctly performed pivot will result in a clear and executable strategy. If the company vision is not clear, it won’t be successful.
  2. Weak execution. A new idea cannot overcome an inability to execute.  Execution issues must be to fixed to avoid wasting the potential of a  great pivot.
  3. Lack of expertise or talent. A pivot to one’s strength presumes the knowledge and skill to make it happen.

Pivots are often used to regain momentum after plateauing, recover from a severe economic period, or to survive after new competition or other factors make the current business model unsustainable.  Pivots can be permanent or temporary.

If you’d like to know more about pivots, including a couple of case studies (one for the competition, the other for a weak economy), check out our new webinar, “Pivot Points: The What, Why, When, and How to Pivot Established Businesses.” The webinar is on Wednesday, July 15th starting at 10 am CST.  Register by clicking here.

Or if you’d thought about executive coaching and want to discover how it might work for you, click here set up an hour with me, and let’s get to work.  The first hour is always free.




“A key factor in success is knowing when to pivot,

to rethink your plan, while still maintaining the mission.”

– Camille Sweeney & Josh Gossfield



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