Justin Waldrop
Jun 25, 2023

How to Pivot Your Purpose-Driven Business Towards Greater Success

In the ever-evolving world of purpose-driven businesses, adaptability is the name of the game. We all have our mission, vision, and driving purpose – that core philosophy that informs every decision we make. But what happens when, despite our best efforts, our business model needs to deliver better? It may be time to pivot.

When to Pivot

Recognizing the need to pivot can be challenging. It’s natural to believe that things will turn around with a little more time and money. However, clinging to an unsustainable business model can result in significant financial loss and missed opportunities.

Key indicators that your business may need a pivot include:

  1. Stagnating growth: Growth is the lifeblood of any business. It might be time to reassess if you’ve hit a plateau or are facing declining sales or engagement.
  2. Lack of product-market fit: Are your products or services genuinely meeting the needs and wants of your market? If not, a pivot might be in order.
  3. Increased competition: An influx of competitors can signal market saturation. If you need help differentiating your brand, a pivot could help you stand out.

Consider the famous example of Twitter. Initially, the company, known as Odeo, was a platform for podcasting. However, when Apple iTunes started to dominate the podcasting space, Odeo knew they had to pivot. They turned their attention to a small, internal project — a social networking platform. The rest, as we know, is history.

How to Pivot

Pivoting is no small feat. It requires careful planning, a deep understanding of your market, and the courage to make significant changes. Below are some steps to guide you through the process:

  1. Assess your current situation: Gather as much data as you can. Survey your customers, look at market trends, and examine your business metrics. Understand what’s working and what’s not.
  2. Identify new opportunities: Look at the needs of your market that are currently unmet. Are there ways your business can meet those needs?
  3. Plan your pivot: Outline the changes you need to make. This could involve changing your product or service, targeting a new market, or even overhauling your brand. As the saying goes, “Plan the work and work the plan.”
  4. Communicate: Be transparent with your stakeholders. That includes employees, investors, and customers. Explain your rationale for the pivot and how it will benefit them in the long run.
  5. Implement, Monitor, and Adjust: Execute your plan, monitor the results, and be ready to make adjustments as necessary.

The journey of Starbucks offers an instructive example. Initially, Starbucks didn’t sell brewed coffee, but only espresso makers and coffee beans. However, the company’s CEO, Howard Schultz, saw potential in pivoting the business towards becoming a coffee-serving cafe. This pivot radically altered its business model and set the stage for Starbucks to become the global brand it is today.

The Potential and Promise of a Pivot

Pivoting a purpose-driven business is about staying within your mission. It’s about finding a better, more sustainable way to fulfill it. It’s about ensuring your business can continue making a positive impact. And it’s about embracing the potential and promise that comes with change.

As we’ve seen, the pivot process can be challenging. Still, it also represents an opportunity to innovate, reinvigorate your business, and, most importantly, better serve your purpose and people. A successful pivot requires courage, adaptability, and a clear vision of your company’s role in the world. But with these qualities, you’ll be well-equipped to steer your purpose-driven business toward tremendous success.

We Can Help!

If you’re looking to improve efficiencies, reduce redundancies, and increase your social impact, we’re here to help. Our team of experts can work with you to develop a tailored solution that meets your unique needs and helps you achieve your goals.

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