Pivoting is powerful stuff. It’s where the magic lies and knowing when, where, and how to pivot is crucial. When we don’t change, we set ourselves up for future failure. Pivots help us correct course when like Marty McFly we end up going 88 mph in the wrong direction.

Pivots can happen naturally through market changes or be orchestrated by business owners to create a better advantage for the business. The underlying goal of a pivot is to change the business’s position to some degree allowing it to stand out from the competition and increase sales. Pivots are natural parts of a brand; brands change and shift with their surroundings.

What gives us the tools to adjust and get through the pivot without going over the edge though comes from our data and our brand foundation. The central foundation, to me, of a brand is the things that don’t change. A strong central core of values, ethics, and a major mission help to guide us as we pivot. For example, my major mission is to create a community through empowering small businesses. How I do this has changed here and there over the years. I currently focus on helping established businesses rebrand because keeping small businesses going for as long as possible enriches the community. It fills their mission and mine.

The second big piece that helps us pivot smarter and smoother is our data. All those spreadsheets that everyone says it’s a good idea to have. Successful business owners read and act on data quickly, while others (myself included, but improving) may prefer anything over reading a spreadsheet. Despite our feelings towards them, we need to collect the data and read the reports. These reports show us our strengths, and weaknesses, who is buying from us, and what is shifting in our industry. If you’re ignoring it then you’re setting yourself up to get blindsided by your competition who do use these reports.

When your data, your industry knowledge, and your core brand foundation combine, you have the beginnings of a pivot that could take you further into success.