21 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Define Pivoting

Pivoting in business is sometimes needed to meet the dynamics of the targeted market. It's often considered the last resort when other options fail to produce the desired results. It requires one to make extensive research before making the tough decisions.

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they define pivoting and here are the responses.

#1- Shifting to a new strategy

Photo credit: Thomas Fultz

Sometimes it involves changing the entire idea behind the company. Pivoting sometimes has to be happy so that your company can go in the right way. Pivoting could be changing the products you choose to sell or even your branding. Anything will change the dynamics of your company and how you are seen by your customers, but without pivoting, sometimes things will die a slow death. You have to know when to kill your darlings. There is nothing worse than a stubborn idea that will not budge.

Thanks to Thomas Fultz, Coffeeble!

#2- Adapting to change

Photo credit: Laura Gariepy

It's an adaptation to forces that impact your business both external and internal. You may change how you deliver or price a product due to customer feedback. Or, you might start a completely new business because your heart and gut tell you that you should. Pivoting is a natural part of being an entrepreneur and being alive so it's to be embraced and celebrated. It helps us keep moving towards our goals and dreams.

Thanks to Laura Gariepy

#3- Structured course correction

Photo credit: Stewart Dunlop

I was reading a book called The Lean Startup that defines a pivot as A structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth. Businesses tend to undergo various pivots in the early stages, as they are still getting to understand their target market and its requirements. Organizations will remain to pivot as these needs and demands change or the companies identify new opportunities for the business.

Thanks to Stewart Dunlop, PPCGenius!

#4- Shift in focus

Photo credit: Alicia Daugherty

This shift could be redefining the targeted customer base. In my coaching practice, I initially defined myself as an executive coach and was focused on engaging clients exclusively at the executive level – that's the world I came from and the group I intended to impact. Having taken on a handful of more junior leaders, I found that work hugely satisfying and decided to redefine myself as a leadership and executive coach. A pivot can also mean a change in offerings. While my business started out as strictly one-to-one coaching, I found that working in groups not only provided efficiency to me as the service provider but offered a significant value-add to my clients by virtue of a connection with others. While in some businesses, it's necessary to stop doing something in order to pivot to something else, in a service business, the pivot can mean a broadening of focus, rather than a binary choice.

Thanks to Alicia Daugherty

#5- Change of direction in terms of business

Photo credit: Sylvia Manman Kang

A business starts with one particular idea with a business model wrapped around it. As the business grows and gains momentum, somehow that start-up idea just stops working.. Somehow, the outcomes and expectations that were envisioned just aren’t working out. Therefore, a shift in strategy or the business model is required- focused on a new direction

Thanks to Sylvia Manman Kang, Mira!

#6- Make a sharp and assured move

Photo credit: Kevin Miller

Pivoting, in essence, is the ability to make a sharp and assured move when you are at a turning point. If you want to be successful you have to accept that not everything you think up will work; not every idea you have is actually bright. Pivoting is a pertinent skill that is mandatory for progress. In situations where what you're producing is not producing the results you seek, you must be able to pivot and allocate your attention elsewhere to proceed with your venture. The ability to head in a better direction when you’re met with a dead-end is essential to making progress.

Thanks to Kevin Miller, The Word Counter!

#7- Recognizing a need for something in a particular market

Photo credit: Chris Vaughn

In this world, it is important to keep an eye out for trends and changes in consumer wants and needs. With my brand and services, I was able to recognize that alcohol is one of the most widely consumed beverages on the planet and pivot my business idea to align two specific consumer needs— liquor and convenience.

Thanks to Chris Vaughn, Saucey!

#8- Being open to change and new ideas

Photo credit: Omid Semino

When you are willing to change the direction of your company, you’re taking a huge risk— that risk won’t always pay off. However, in many cases, the risk is worth the reward. I believe it is important to be open to pivoting in the business world. If you aren’t willing to adapt to changes, you aren’t growing as a company.

Thanks to Omid Semino, Diamond Mansion!

#9- Shaping your business

Photo credit: Venese Lau

Pivoting is about understanding the situation around you and your target audience, and discovering the best way to adapt and adjust your business according to the change. It is about modifying your marketing efforts, your message, and your promotions. It's not enough to just address the situation, but also think about what your target audience is going through, what do they need, and how you can help them.

Thanks to Venese Lau, Your Entrepreneur Resources!

#10- Recognize and take leverage to new business opportunities

Photo credit: Daniel Snow

You want to recognize what are the most profitable areas of your business and how you can improve those areas, how you can develop your business in areas that need more help. It is really rewarding to see brands flourish, employ all kinds of people, and see how their products have a positive effect on their customers all because you took the time and effort to pivot on your business

Thanks to Daniel Snow

#11- Using innovation to your advantage

Photo credit: Derin Oyekan

Changes in the industry occur every day, you have to be prepared to stay ahead of the curve. Building your business model to reflect your ability to use innovation in your favor will propel you to be a disruptor in your industry. Analyze the market and gather data, always have your finger on the pulse when it comes to market shifts. Be the business that shakes things up!

Thanks to Derin Oyekan, Reel Paper!

#12- Taking on a business model

Photo credit: Jason Wong

Pivoting is taking on a business model and pursuing all potential opportunities. Being in the beauty industry and competing against some of the most innovative brands out there, you have to look for opportunities and find ways to innovate products that already exist. Understanding that change is a positive thing is essential for pivoting.

Thanks to Jason Wong, DoeLashes!

#13- Finding new ways to solve challenges

Photo credit: Alex Keyan

Pivoting is finding new ways and opportunities in every challenger or obstacles that you come across. Customer experience and social proof is a huge driving force for any business. Pivoting on social media has allowed our customers to come together and share stories about our products. Being able to look at the challenges that came or way helped create and innovate our business strategies and leverage new opportunities.

Thanks to Alex Keyan, goPure Brands!

#14- Being versatile

Photo credit: William Schumacher

To pivot as not only a business, but as a business owner, is to be adaptable and versatile. In my first ideas for my company, it took quite a long time to perfect the product I wanted to put out. A lot of running a business is trial and error. If something doesn’t work out for you or your consumers, change it.

Thanks to William Schumacher, Uprising Food!

#15- 360-degree turn of events

Photo credit: April Maccario

As a website founder, my definition of pivoting is that moment when you hit ground zero and you were able to turn back to the top. Like in many businesses, they experience failures and challenges that make them feel they cannot rise up anymore but then in a snap, with the right strategies and resources, you can get back up once again. Pivoting is like a 360-degree turn of events and generally, you end up being successful in the matter.

Thanks to April Maccario

#16- Evaluating your business

Photo credit: Vishal Gupta

The key to successfully re-position your business is taking the time to evaluate what can and can't work going forward. Although evaluating your business should be done regularly, this time you need to focus on forecasting. How are we going to adapt to the current norm? How do we reach our customers and deliver our product/service in the safest way? The key is to make sure you, your staff, and your customers are taking every precaution to avoid extended exposure. In the end, you need all those people to be able to make money. In our business, this meant moving to virtual consultations & showings, in addition to altering our lead generation methods. We also realized there is a new opportunity to reach a new set of potential clients who can benefit from our services, so we started implementing techniques to reach out to them to see how we can help.

Thanks to Vishal Gupta, We Buy Houses In The Triangle!

#17- Reevaluate current situation

Photo Credit: Shaun Taylor

Through research and looking at trends, decides to direct new business to current and perceived future trends, but still maintaining current business offerings to secure their current customers. Further to this, a sign that you need to start pivoting is when you lose new business to businesses that offer a modern, more user-friendly option. A secure, long-standing business should never pivot by rates alone as your business has a standard and reputation to uphold at that stage.

Thanks to Shaun Taylor, Moriti Private Safaris!

#18- Mind the business

Photo credit: Daniel Shapiro

In my view, pivoting simply means mind the business that pays you, that serves you, that suits you. If you see an opportunity that suits your needs, go for it without question or doubt. Pivoting requires you to be vigilant when it is clear you need to head in another direction. There are many points in an entrepreneur’s career where you won’t always have the best idea but pivoting allows you to recover from your bad judgment and come back stronger.

Thanks to Daniel Shapiro, Fourlaps!

#19- Fuel to progression

Photo credit: Jeff Goodwin

In both professional and personal spheres, there will come a time when you make the wrong move or go the wrong way. Pride usually comes in at this point so you try to make it work. Instead, choose to pivot your energy and focus so that you continue down the right path.

Thanks to Jeff Goodwin, Orgain!

#20- Act of courage and belief in your team

Photo credit: Rishi Kulkarni

The ability to pivot is imperative for any business owner or leader. It's an act of courage and belief in your team. You have to recognize the inevitability of making the wrong move and being able to recover and redirect your intentions without missing a beat.

Thanks to Rishi Kulkarni, Revv!

#21- Ability to think outside the box

Photo credit: Sam Lowy

For me, pivoting is about a business owner’s ability to think outside the box and on the fly in terms of their response to a sudden shift or a crisis. It’s easy to find an answer to a problem, but to find an actionable solution that will not only save you but move your forward is another. And in this time of crisis, the latter is more important. If you decide to use this — let me know and I’ll promote the article via my channels.

Thanks to Sam Lowy, Life Insurance Star!

How do you define pivoting? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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