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Here's How to Know When It's Time to Pivot Your Online Business

Pivots are normal, but don't pivot from a place of fear.

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Even if you have an absolutely perfect idea, there will inevitably come a time in which you have to pivot. Pivoting is a normal, natural part of the business development process — particularly for service-based entrepreneurs.

With that said, we should also keep in mind that pivoting can quickly become an excuse. If you’re tempted to pivot every time things start to feel tough or you’re having a rough week, you’ll never develop the momentum you need to get your dreams off the ground. Remember: Momentum happens in small increments at first. Pivoting can be expensive and disruptive, so when you put excessive pressure on yourself to nail things on the first try, you’ll be more tempted to abandon your idea at the first sign of failure, when in fact a small tweak might be all you need to make magic happen. 

As a business coach and strategist, I focus not only on helping female business owners grow their businesses, but doing so without struggle and stress. Bro has us brainwashed into thinking the only way you can propel a business forward is to hustle and sacrifice rest, peace and all time available. This simply isn’t true. Making decisions from a place of confidence rather than fear will help you both build a business you love and start making a whole lot more money along the way.

Related: If You're Using These Marketing Tactics, You're Hurting Your 's Credibility

Why you will always be pivoting

According to a popular report published by IBM in 2008, 98% of CEOs admit they moderately tweak their business model on a regular basis. Say it with me: Pivoting is a normal step in growing your business.

It’s time to throw out the notion that when you get your business model right, you’ll never need to tweak it again. Your business will constantly need to be adjusted and tweaked. Your market will change. Your skill set will change. Most importantly, your lifestyle needs and desires will change as well. The only constant in business is change, so it’s time to embrace it! 

A classic example is former CEO Indra Nooyi. Before she was chief executive officer, she was tasked with restructuring PepsiCo’s different sub-brands. Nooyi made aggressive moves to acquire brands like Tropicana and Gatorade, and these acquisitions more than doubled PepsiCo’s annual profit. PepsiCo had already been around for over 30 years, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t reinvent entire departments in order to be more profitable and aligned. Develop the same willingness to change in your own business. 

Related: 4 Tips for Setting Up a Successful Pivot Strategy

Customers buy on vibe

Think about the last time you splurged on a purchase. Why did you do that? The product or service itself was probably a factor, but often the bigger reason we buy comes from how a brand or person makes us feel. If you’re constantly stressed out about finding the perfect business model and forcing a square peg into a round hole, that dissonance will show up in your energy. This pressure is noticeable, even if you think it isn't, and it can absolutely deter people from wanting to work with you.

Resist the urge to put a ton of pressure on yourself or figure things out immediately. When you try to go at top speed and burn the candle at both ends, you’re being shortsighted and setting yourself up for failure. A business that does six figures and beyond has to be sustainable, and sustainability comes from energy.

How to pivot successfully

If you’re considering a business pivot, ask yourself why. Do you actually like serving your clients? Perhaps you just need to offer your genius in a different way. Does the marketing part wear you out?

Try a different marketing platform, as there are many to choose from. A successful business often involves the right offer being promoted to the right people in the right way, which means there are lots of different variables. Before you burn everything to the ground and start anew, focus on small tweaks and see how that shifts or changes your energy. 

Then, after making these tweaks, if you still feel called to move in a different direction, look for ways to make it easier on yourself. What content or assets do you already have that you can repurpose? Would your past or existing clients be interested in coming along for the ride as you evolve into something even better? Again, when you feel energetically aligned and excited by your offer, your audience will pick up on this energy and be drawn to you.

The services you offer will change and evolve over the years. Pivoting is a normal, natural stage of business, and it’s important to pivot from a place of power rather than from feelings of scarcity or fear. Dial in your energy before you make big decisions, and your entrepreneurial journey will be smooth even as you enter different seasons of change.

Related: 9 Ways to Attract Good Energy Today and Every Day

Christine Hansen

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

A TEDx speaker with over 80 media appearances, Christine Hansen is a business coach for female entrepreneurs. She’s worked with over 500 clients and stands for businesses that have a higher purpose and crave authentic marketing along the way. She resides in Luxembourg.