How to Pivot to a New Business Model


Thad King

Aug 7, 2023


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No matter what type of industry your company serves or what types of products or services your business produces, you likely have a business plan – but what happens when your business model and all of the plans that go with it get interrupted in a major way? What happens when your target market is suddenly out of reach or you discover you’ve been after the wrong target all along? These can be times when it pays to know how to pivot to a new business model.

Lessons Learned From the Covid-19 Pandemic

Business closing due to Covid-19

As was seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, major interruptions to a business strategy can be devastating. It’s believed that Covid-19 caused countless small businesses to close their doors for good and disrupted the plans of millions of business owners across the world.

Restaurants, entertainment venues and other types of businesses that relied on in-person customer experiences found themselves unable to operate normally due to pandemic restrictions and a hesitant customer base. Many others were affected by supply chain disruptions and a lack of available resources.

Why Your Business Needs the Ability to Pivot

Although Covid-19 represented a once-in-a-generation public health emergency, it demonstrated the need to have plans in place to pivot your business to quickly overcome challenges. Many businesses that survived and even thrived during the height of the pandemic were ones that were able to pivot to new or reformed business strategies. Being able to remain resilient as the needs of customers and business partners changed rapidly made a difference in the ability of these businesses to keep their doors open.

Pivoting doesn’t necessarily mean changing course entirely, but instead, it means changing trajectory. When you pivot a business strategy, you can often keep aspects of your current course, but by adjusting the trajectory, you’re able to make adjustments in response to changing conditions. This can keep your business afloat when the unexpected puts roadblocks in the way of your plans.

Flexibility Remains Important for Growth

Although emergencies like the Covid-19 pandemic may cause a business to pivot, the need to change your business strategy doesn’t always necessitate an emergency. In some cases, you can prepare for major changes and successfully pivot without much interruption.

Employer offering health insurance

For example, higher healthcare costs and related insurance premiums for your employees may be a reason to engage in a pivoting strategy. In many cases, your business has an opportunity to plan ahead for these types of changes.

Rising healthcare costs that affect employee insurance benefits can usually be tracked by analyzing historical data and economic trends, allowing you to see the point where costs will become too high to support your bottom line and a pivot is needed. Pivoting in this scenario may mean switching insurance providers, making adjustments to employee benefits or changing your pricing structure to make up for cash flow that needs to be redirected toward employee benefits programs.

Likewise, changes in customer demand may signal that it’s time for a pivot, and you may be able to plan for these events as well. Examining economic data to see where pain points have shifted or where customer expectations lie as a result of an economic downturn can help your business to successfully pivot and make the most of business challenges in the long term.

Preparation is the Key

If you’re wondering how to pivot to a new business model without disrupting your current operations, consider that preparation is the key. Having plans in place now for each element of your business model can help your organization make both small and large changes later.

Keep in mind that pivoting may be a slow process. Dramatic shifts don’t need to necessarily be part of pivoting to a new business model or taking on a new business strategy. Instead, slow, methodical changes can have just as much of an impact.

When you plan ahead and have processes in place to pivot, you often have the chance to take things at your own pace. Failure to plan ahead may mean your organization has to scramble to pivot in an emergency.

Keep Up With Your Target Audience

Target Audience

As mentioned above, gathering and analyzing data about your customer base is also central to pivoting. Changes in customer buying habits may signal a need to pivot, and you can catch changing trends early by having the right data available and analyzing it often.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to engage in intensive data collection or in-depth analysis, but your organization should keep its finger on the pulse of your customer base at all times. Take notice of changes in buying habits, and watch for shifts in brand perception and loyalty.

Much like with any other type of relationship, the bond between your customers and your company may experience small changes over time. If you aren’t paying attention, you may miss the opportunity to pivot until you find that your customers have already started moving to a different brand.

Contact E-Marketing Associates for Your Personalized Business Report

If you’re concerned about the potential need to pivot your business in the future or you just want to see how your business measures up to the competition, contact E-Marketing Associates to get your personalized business report today. This free resource provides insight to help business leaders make informed decisions and includes key data about the strength of your company’s digital presence.

Whether you want to know how to pivot to a new business model or you're seeking guidance for an existing digital strategy, trust the experts at E-Marketing Associates for personalized marketing solutions!

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