Just as the best sports teams know how to make mid-game corrections to change defeats into victories, good companies know when to pivot. These five signs may indicate it’s time for a change.
- You’ve Lost Your Spark
While we all need to push ourselves sometimes, there’s only so far you can go in that regard. Business isn’t going to be exciting 24/7, but in the early stages especially, that spark of passion is essential. Lose that and your business is lost. If working on a startup feels more like a chore than a passion project, something has gone horribly wrong and you need to pivot away from it ASAP.
- Your Employees Have Lost Their Spark
See above, but on a bigger scale. Teamwork makes the dream work, so if the team is lagging, it’s time to hold a meeting, suss out the source of the problem, and correct it before the malaise spreads too far.
- Poor Client Feedback
The customer may not always be “right,” but they’re usually the best test of how your brand or idea will actually be received by the consumer base at large. If you’re getting a ton of poor customer feedback about something, consider pivoting away from it with the necessary changes.
- Poor Brand Attractiveness
Sometimes brands and ideas just don’t catch on. Just ask Gretchen Wieners who, in Mean Girls, keeps trying to force “Fetch” to Regina George’s famous rejection “Stop trying to make ‘Fetch’ happen!” People can tell when you’re trying to force something to “happen.” If a branded image or idea isn’t taking off, instead of trying to force something to be “Fetch,” pivot to something fresh.
- You Get a Brainstorm
Not all reasons for pivoting away from your current product, company, or idea are bad ones. Sometimes you’re struck with a bolt of inspiration that shines through so much brighter and clearer than your current one. Don’t block out such “lightbulb moments” just because you already have a direction. While changing your mind or direction every few weeks may be a mark of indecisiveness, embracing eureka moments when they happen is critical to success.
Identifying when pivots need to occur is the first step in ensuring that your company can make the changes it needs to survive and thrive.