Entrepreneurs often start a business with one particular idea. They are convinced that the idea will be successful and move forward with dogged determination. However, start-ups have a greater chance of prospering if entrepreneurs pivot in business and change the company’s direction.
Coach James Gels tells Small Business Trends that pivot is best explained through a basketball analogy, where a players changes direction without lifting the foot when he or she has the ball.
“Pivoting is done on the ball of the foot,” he said. “You do not want to become flat-footed or have your weight back on your heels. The ball of the pivot foot must be in contact with the floor at all times and must not slide sideways. When you pivot, just actually spin around on the ball of your pivot foot.” (Source)
A player who pivots is not passing the balling and giving up control of the play. The player is merely looking at the court from a different angle. The same is true for a start-up. The company is not looking to completely abandon the current opportunity, but it might need to slightly change the approach.
Entrepreneurs must realize that pivoting is not a sign of weakness. It shows that a business owner understands the business and wants to thrive. The successful company learns must mistakes and makes minor adjustments.
Here are four reasons that a company must pivot in business and change direction.
Too Much Competition (via Small Business Trends)
A company might have a great idea, but the market could have too many other players or players with deep pockets. It will be challenging to penetrate the market when a Fortune 100 company has a huge presence in the space. An entrepreneur might need to pivot slightly in a way that keeps the company from having to go head-to-head with larger companies.
Limited Response From the Marketplace (via Small Business Trends)
Sometimes a product can test well prior to entering the market, but it does not gain traction in the marketplace. That is a sign that something is not right. The business owner might need to pivot the company’s branding or marketing strategy to reach the necessary customers. The owner might look at other ways for people to become aware of the product.
Your Perspective Has Changed (via Small Business Trends)
A business starts as an idea, but a business owner learns a lot once a business is started. The real world looks and acts a lot differently than paper. That is why a business owner might get a different perspective on the product and the business after the business is started. A business owner might need to pivot a little once the business owner has that new perspective and sees opportunities.
One Part Works Really Well (via Small Business Trends)
A business can market many different products, but one product might work better than the other. Three friends started the beach towel company Sound Cloud. They originally wanted to market a beach towel with a built in pillow. They found that beach towels with unique prints sold better. The friends eventually abandoned the pillow beach towel and focused on beach towels with fun prints. They didn’t abandon the company. They just pivoted slightly.
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