In business terms, pivoting means the shift from a strategy to another, many entrepreneurs are afraid of making changes to their businesses strategies and while it is easy to understand why as shifting plans can require time and money.
Being able to know when and where to pivot is an important aspect of every successful entrepreneur, as it is a skill that will help in identifying problems within plans and rearrange everything to address them, these are actions that will save anyone from many hours of headaches, financial problems and big disappointments.
Many new entrepreneurs won’t have the money to do a full turn on their plans, so they better know when to make a needed turn on their business plans, as if they put all their effort in a product or service that doesn’t make returns then it might be the end of their businesses.
But pivoting doesn’t always involve mistakes and problems, some companies will do it just because they found a new approach that will help them further reach their goals, like better marketing campaigns, new researches or not wanting to compete with an already established company.
Being able to identify when to pivot requires a mix of gut feelings and research, here’s what you should be aware of:
- You won’t be able to compete and win. If you have an idea that is just too good to be true, then the chances are that another bigger company, with more resources and a bigger following already did that.
Take Twitter as an example, this micro blogging platform started as a startup called Odeo, a podcast subscription platform that the moment it realized that it wouldn’t be on par with iTunes they decided to change their goals. You can still offer something that another company already sells as long as you add a unique twist to it.
- You found something better to offer. Companies just like people are able to grow over time and just like people, their visions and goals can change over time. If your company has found a better and more lucrative option to make profit than your current one, then it is a good to make the change.
Starbucks is a company that did a good turn because they found a better option. They started as a company that sold espresso machines and coffee beans until its founder Howard Schultz, got some inspiration from a trip to Europe and decided to open a chain of coffee shops to sell his own coffee.
- A bad response from your customer base. If your intended audience isn’t giving you the feedback you expected then start rethinking your selling strategies, there are times in which not even a good marketing campaign can bring back to life a frowned upon product.
This happens all the time in the video game industry, sometimes a company launches a video game that is so badly designed that it flops really hard, like No Man’s Sky that failed due to not having the features they promised or Star Wars Battlefront II that had so many hated paid options that made its developer company rethink its micro transaction strategy.
If your instincts are telling you that you need to make changes, start paying attention to them. A well thought plan is the only way to reduce the chances of risks of any business, this is why you should start scheming before you decide to take your company towards a new road.