Have you ever walked down a road, so sure of your direction only to find out midway that you’ve taken the wrong path? Even in the entrepreneurial journey, mistakes and change are bound to happen. The initial goal may no longer be viable under the present circumstances, and a crossroad of choices appears before you. You can give up, continue with your original intent but with a few tweaks, go back to the beginning and redo things, or pivot and make a major overhaul of your business.
Pivoting is an option that some startups choose when faced by dangerous entrepreneurial waves. Unfavourable situations can take a toll on your business. For example, your numbers are hitting red, customers are not buying your product or service, or your business is no longer staying relevant. These are some conditions wherein you need to take a step back, review your business plan and ponder if you need to pivot and take some drastic measures in your venture.
A word of caution, however, because pivoting does not necessarily lead to the road of success at all times. It is never easy, but if business owners traverse through the shift carefully, pivoting can be their lifesaver. First, you need to look at a few things before you make a risky move in your enterprise.
Vision and goals
Is your business direction still leading you to your goals? Is your vision still relevant to the changing times? These are a few questions you need to reflect when you are thinking of doing a pivot. You have probably determined that something’s amiss, which led you to a decision to pivot your venture. Go back to the basics and revisit the purpose you want your business to pursue.
Do you have enough resources to do the pivot? The changes you have in mind may be costly to execute, so you have to weigh things based on your capabilities and funds. Calculate first how much you need to invest and the amount required to get you going for a year or so. Otherwise, you may just hit a blank wall if you don’t have enough fuel to run your business on a sharp turn.
Partners and team
Are your family members, business partners, investors, colleagues and team members supportive of your decision to pivot? Remember that the alteration of your business route will also affect other people’s lives. There may be resistance, and you might have to let go of some people. Still, it is important to keep people engaged to your cause because it will be difficult to make the shift if you do not have people behind you to help you carry the weight that comes with the change.
Will your prospects, customers and clients be receptive of the new course you are taking? Don’t forget to employ market research before you take the initial step to pivot. Some businesses experience failure because they have not made a thorough study of their internal and external environments. Data and information will be your tools to effectively plot the next steps towards the new path you are taking.
Can you compete with other players in the industry? Will you be able to carve a niche for your business in the space where you are operating? Gauge the positioning that your business is capable of taking in the market pie. Envision how you are going to survive in your industry and make your way to the top. Your pivot should give you a higher chance of capturing a better place in your field.
Certain brands achieve success because of an effective pivot that they did to their business. Cover all bases and look at things from different angles. Gather some confidence and wisdom from the stories of entrepreneurs who have made a successful shift in their businesses. In the end, you’ll never really know the outcome unless you take the plunge and try it. Who knows where the other road will lead you? Just keep moving forward until you reach the destination you have in mind.