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What Does It Mean to Pivot in Business? A Complete Guide 

What Does It Mean to Pivot in Business

Not always the first business plan works, most of the big businesses took a pivot to take their business to heights, so what does it mean to pivot in business? 

A flexible mentality is a quality shared by successful business leaders, which is helpful when it is necessary to change the direction of the company to seize an opportunity. Companies evolve as they expand with time. They identify their target market, discover their competitive advantage, and recognize their special capacity to satisfy a need in the market. 

Pivoting is and probably always will be a component of your innovation toolset, whether you’re a new or a successful entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur requires embracing changes to benefit your business, product, or even yourself as the founder. It also entails staying true to your vision and your gut feelings.

Continue reading this blog to examine pivoting’s function and definition. Additionally, we discuss when to pivot and how to do so flawlessly.

What Does It Mean to Pivot in Business?

Pivoting in the startup sector refers to switching to a new strategy, and is frequently misunderstood to mean fundamentally altering the entire business. However, this is not always the case. Often, a company only needs to change one key aspect of itself to resolve a huge problem. Here are a few instances of pivoting that you might not have previously assumed to pivot:

  • The act of putting a company in a new market or industry to focus on a different consumer.
  • Converting a platform, such as from software to an app, or vice versa.
  • Using a new business model to boost monetization. For instance, a business may discover that an ad-based income model is more lucrative than freemium.
  • Putting together a product using various technologies, usually to cut down on production costs or create something more robust.

There are undoubtedly many more examples of pivoting than those presented here, but now at least you realize What does it mean to pivot in business, and pivoting can take many different forms for a startup.

When Should You Pivot?

After knowing, what does it mean to pivot in business, you must know when you should pivot? It’s important to remember that pivoting is a severe step that business owners usually take after exhausting all other possibilities. This is due to the high risk involved in significantly altering a firm. Therefore, before making a change, do as much research as you can and ensure it is for the betterment of the organization.

Here are some pointers for determining when to pivot:

Too Much Rivalry

Your concept might appear unique and creative initially, but there’s always the potential that a larger firm with greater cash, resources, and an existing customer base will develop a service that is superior to yours. Since you don’t have many options, your startup would probably be better off choosing an entirely another course of action.

There is One Aspect that Stands Out.

One aspect of your product, service, or business model may perform significantly better than the rest. If that applies to your business, you should consider whether you could pivot to focus only on that one component, this is also known as a zoom-in pivot. Your objective is to be as effective as you possibly can, so work smarter and maximize the results of your efforts.

An Item or Service Receives Unfavorable Market Reaction

This may be among the clearest signs that pivoting is required. If a product is not well received by customers or is openly rejected, it may be important to reevaluate the basic strategy and alter the price, target market, or entire offering. 

Before presuming that customers do not find the product and service worthwhile, it is important to evaluate the possibility that there is an issue with marketing the product and service. There’s a good probability that pivoting may be helpful if the business product doesn’t get traction within the first few months.

Your Viewpoint Has Been Modified

Your objectives, ambition, and values may alter after your business has launched and has been operating for a while. You can discover that there are alternative, more profitable options for you to pursue and that your current course is simply not for you after researching a field and experiencing it.

The Best Way to Pivot

Once you’ve decided to pivot your business, you must consider many variables that go into a successful pivot. Here are some pointers to make sure you lessen the dangers connected with pivoting and raise your chances of a successful result:

Choose Objectives that Fit your Company.

Define new objectives that fit your newly refocused firm as you pivot your enterprise and alter the way it runs. Set new revenue targets and metrics for consumer traction. You won’t have a comprehensive understanding of how well your firm is going if you evaluate it concerning the same old objectives.

Keep What’s Working

A firm can change its direction without necessarily abandoning what it has already accomplished or generated. Even if other components of the company aren’t functioning properly, you can research to find out what people like about the company if it’s not already clear. This allows you to build upon existing value rather than beginning from scratch, which can help you preserve previously created value and lower some risks related to pivoting.

Speak in Your Audience’s Language.

Offering a new good or service is how pivoting is envisioned frequently. This isn’t always the case, though. Even a brilliant idea might be overlooked if your message doesn’t resonate with your audience, thus effective communication is crucial. Consider highlighting a weak point to maximize your value. Your target audience may connect with this new branding much more than your message highlighting your key feature.

When you Realize it is Necessary, Act Right Away.

As soon as you realize you need to pivot, get started right away to prevent problems from getting worse and wasting more time and money. A business might not achieve success by pivoting in the first go, it may need to pivot twice or thrice for that. For these reasons, when a business needs to pivot, it should do so right away.

Be Persistent

Even the best-laid ideas will inevitably run across obstacles since change does not happen overnight. Any new initiative’s implementation is difficult. Business owners can alter the business as per the inputs they take from their customers and remain flexible. Keeping patience and perseverance while the business irregularities are ironed out is significant.

Companies That Successfully Pivoted

Here are some examples of businesses that understood what does it mean to pivot in business, made changes early on, and achieved incredible success:


Myntra, a Bangalore-based company founded in 2007 by Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania, and Vineet Saxena, started by offering custom gifts made on demand. In its early years, it mostly used a B2B business model. After 2011, however, the fashion brand was compelled to change course due to the rising popularity of eCommerce retail. 

It started offering fashion and lifestyle items instead of personalized gifts. Myntra was acquired by Flipkart in 2014, yet it still runs as a separate brand. Myntra has a devoted customer base that has helped it achieve great success and recognition.


Instagram is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, but before it gained thousands of users, Instagram was a prototype called “Burbn,” which included check-in options, photo posting options, and the ability to accrue points in addition to many other features.

The founders, Mike Krieger and Systrom, quickly realized that the UI was too complex to be useful and made the decision to change course. They developed only the posting, commenting, and liking functions for their Instagram startup software, making it one of the most basic visual platforms available.


One of the most well-known examples is Netflix, which successfully repositioned itself twice in response to changing market trends. When Netflix was first established in 1997, it offered DVD rentals by postal mail before switching to a digital streaming service in 2007. The company then made a second shift in 2013 by creating its content.

With the help of these cutting-edge tactics, Netflix has managed to uphold its original goal while being immensely profitable.

We hope that now you know what does it mean to pivot in business, when to pivot, and how to pivot! 

The first and most important thing for business owners who are considering a pivot approach is that they should assess the viability of their long-term business plan. Business leaders need to consider the goods and services their organization provides and how they will stay relevant to clients in the long run. 

If a pivot looks like a good plan of action, moving forward with caution and a flexible mindset can keep your company ahead of the competition and aid in consistently scaling on an upward trajectory. 

If you want to learn more about such interesting things, visit our site, Purple Pennon, to read other enlightening blogs on startups and entrepreneurship.


What elements are necessary for pivoting to succeed?

Maintaining constant contact with your clients and truly comprehending their changing needs and wants is necessary for a successful pivot. Pivoting necessitates ongoing adaptability. If your pivot fails or circumstances change, staying adaptable and nimble is necessary to keep up with customer habits and larger trends.

What is the importance of pivoting in business?

To increase your chances of success, adapting to your changing environment is important. Pivoting is a crucial step in the business development process. A pivot can help you to boost sales, drastically reduce expenses, or respond to market opportunities. Pivoting done at the right time ensures the long-term growth and success of the business.

How to Decide Whether to Pivot?

Considering pivoting may be necessary if your business is moving too slowly despite the effort you are putting into it. Although the business may not need to change, you may need to change your business model, product, or market.

Give some examples of startup pivots

Some of the most famous examples of startup pivots are Youtube, Instagram, Netflix, Twitter, Shopify, Paypal, etc.

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