A business pivot happens when there is a change in strategy due to industry trends, unhappy customers, change of leadership team within the organization or it could be focus on increasing the bottom lines. But it gets really tricky to understand when the pivot needs to happen, how much of a change in strategy should be implemented and how. What does it require of you as the process of pivoting begins? These are some of the questions that have always made me edgy when it comes to decision making related to a pivot in business.
It also took me a long time to forgive myself as I could not adopt to a pivot in my previous venture, even when the challenges were on my face and my wait did become one of the reasons for its failure.
It takes a lot for a leader to make a choice to change business strategy(ies) knowing that it can go either way, leading their business towards growth or failure. We tend to wait out the challenges with an hope that it would pass, but most often it does not.
When do we Pivot?
- Something you are offering, just does not seem to fit. Your customers keep coming back with rejection for your one product feature / service offered.
- Your assumptions on how your Target Group would react to your offering did not match. Businesses are run by humans, not machines & humans can be wrong.
- The numbers don’t seem to stack up. Various GTMs seem to fail. The sale closures, user acquisition just does not come through as per expectations
- You need more or something different. As leaders, we evolve along with the business. The values change, the goals change & it is absolutely important to align the strategies accordingly.
How do we Pivot?
- Identify the Need – This stage is mostly like the initial phase of starting out to understand your markets, identify the TG and the gap that exists. The difference now is that you use the data that you have collected within your business from your customers you catered to while you were running the business. You run the analysis of understanding the present market trends, your offerings vs your target group needs to identify the right change that you would want to bring about.
- Design the New Offering – You now have understood the gap that exists, you are clear with what you want from your product / service. It is now that you head back to the drawing board to design your offering that fits the needs & hopefully brings the result that you desire
- Test the Market – Just because you have been running a business does not mean, your new approach will be 100% hit. You have to run a quick market test. See how soon the first few customer acquisition happens, how easy was it to close the sale, was the price negotiated, was acceptance easy and how is the feedback
- Get a PoA – With your test run done and your results to that market testing with you, it is now time to put down a Plan of Action. Projections on what can go to become your game plan on this new approach. The best case scenario & the worst case scenario in place.
- Getting started with Execution – This is when a PIVOT is set to roll out. Get on with the execution of the plan. This phase requires you to give your full for the changed approach without fears, doubts or questions.
Focus on what works, as you follow the above process. Inform & surely involve your team / stake holders from the first step mentioned above. Prepare yourself if needed be, get trained, sign up for more courses, meet the experts. Be fast on your decisions. Sitting on thoughts to decide on things will only make it harder for you as the leader. Last but not the least, be comfortable with change. You as the leader will have to build the values & culture in your business & it all begins & ends with you.