The one thing that's certain in business is that nothing stays the same for long. As we find ourselves halfway through the year, now is the time to assess how you are doing with the goals set at the beginning of the year. It's great if you're on par to achieve these, but the reality is that things change, and it may be necessary to adapt. As you're revisiting what you aim to accomplish this year, here are four tips to help you identify when it may be time to pivot.

1. You blend in with the competition

Distinguishing your business in any industry is the first way to stand out from the competition. This can be a challenge if there are multiple businesses offering similar services to your target audience. For example, many businesses offer printing or postal services, but our dedication to innovation, convenience, and world-class personalized service are what keep the UPS Store at the top of the business services industry.

There are many ways to subside this challenge and differentiate yourself. The first goes back to your unique selling point (USP), which is the essence of what makes your services or products better than competitors. A USP should define what makes your business compelling in the marketplace. To stay ahead of the competition, prioritize your competitive edge.

Another vital way to be more competitive is to emphasize customer service. Customers are essential to keeping your business afloat. Focusing on providing the best service possible ensures they have a reason to continue doing business with you.

2. Your growth has stabilized

Growth plateaus are common for many businesses. Business growth can come to a pause after a period of great upward mobility. However, this doesn't mean growth is no longer possible. Most businesses reach a plateau at some point. Part of the journey is overcoming such hurdles.

Businesses must find growth strategies to ensure profits are being made. Strategic solutions may include acquiring startups or adding new products or services that address the current market and ensure relevancy.

Upskilling employees can also fuel growth. Encouraging and providing employees with resources to grow their skills can benefit your organization in key ways, including driving more innovation. Employees become more motivated and productive at work when businesses acknowledge their full potential.

3. You're falling behind the trends

One of the most significant indicators of needing to pivot is noticing when your business model is outdated. Adapting to change and evolving to meet the dynamic needs of small business owners and individual customers is nothing new.

Throughout the years, The UPS Store has set its franchise network up for success by expanding services to meet consumers' evolving needs, including shredding and printing. Most recently, retail owners across the network made pivots to highlight their return services as the pandemic accelerated online shopping.

Adapting to trends is key to staying relevant, but you must identify the trends that properly align with your company's values and messaging. Companies can hire a trend expert, conduct research on market trends and assess the competition to enhance the brand in the long run.

4. Feedback suggests it

We know that customer satisfaction must always come first. Customers expressing dissatisfaction with your current product or service can indicate that your business needs to pivot. Even in instances when customers aren't being direct, a lack of positive feedback can indicate a need for change.

If you're not eliciting customer feedback, go out and ask for it. There are many platforms available for businesses to conduct customer interviews, surveys, and usability tests. Gathering customer feedback is the best way for you to learn what they think of your offerings and thus determine if there is a need to pivot.

If you're not tracking against the goals you set for your business at the start of the year, take some time to identify why that is. Whether those reasons are because you are blending in with your competition or not being receptive to consumer feedback, it is through pivoting and implementing the necessary changes that will ensure your business gets back on the right path.