When you start up a new business, the thrill of being an entrepreneur and bringing your vision to life sustains you through the initial traumas. You figure that in time you will fix the problems, work out the bugs and enable your ship to sail more smoothly. However, if after a reasonable amount of time your plan is not working, you need to assess whether it is time for your company to pivot. Pivoting does not mean abandoning your original vision, but rather changing your business model to adapt to realities you have encountered after commencing your journey. Here are some signs that your business may need to pivot.
1. You Are Lagging Behind
If you are consistently lagging behind the competition, it could be an indication that something needs to change. Whether your competitors were in the market first or they came along after you, it is imperative to do something to distinguish your business from the pack. Perhaps you need to narrow your focus, expand your focus, revamp your product or even reconsider your market. You need to head out in a new direction so that you are out from under the shadow of your competitors and can be seen as uniquely indispensable.
2. You Have Lost Your Inspiration
If you and your employees have lost your enthusiasm, it is a good sign that something needs to change. When your team encounters obstacles you need the passion and enthusiasm of realizing a vision together to see you through. If you do not have that anymore, maybe something is wrong with the vision. Be sure to ask your colleagues and employees for ideas. Make the pivot a collaborative effort. Create a task force to examine every facet of your business to determine what needs to change, why, and in which direction it should go. Come up with a new plan, and then make sure everyone is behind it and has a stake in seeing it through.
3. The Money Is Not There
It is one thing to launch a viable product, but another to make it pay. Maybe you have overpriced it, or maybe you need to rethink the revenue model. You may be proud of your product, but for your business to succeed it has to make money. Sometimes you are targeting the right market, but to fit the specific niche you need to make some changes to the product. Sometimes the product has value as it is, but you are targeting the wrong market. Maybe your product and targeted consumers are both correct, but you need to change the way you are branding and marketing. You might need to tighten the focus of your product or service so consumers grasp its importance.
Remember that many of the most successful businesses in the world have had to pivot multiple times to ensure their continued growth and relevancy. Keep a cool head when assessing your business's prospects so that you'll recognize the need to pivot should it arise.