In basketball, you pivot to find a way to achieve the ultimate goal after you’ve run into an obstacle, but in one condition — whatever you do, you remain standing firm on the ground with one foot. Imagine what would happen if NBA stars gave up in shooting for the score just because there’s an obstacle. They’d fail. That is why they have to pivot.
Now apply the same logic to your business endeavors: in order to keep up with market surprises, competitors’ moves, buyers’ desire, and your company’s needs — you must always be ready to pivot.
In a nutshell: As long as you pivot, you don’t lose. Let’s dive straight in.
It doesn’t hurt to repeat: when your business is not meeting its revenue goals, and no solutions spark the sales rise, you change one of the structure fundamentals to try and make the market work in your favor. That is, you pivot.
Knowing what pivot actually is, let’s distinguish what pivot is certainly not, but comes disguised as one. Frantically swapping directions hoping one of them will work at a certain point is not how you pivot. It’s how you fail your audience, your investors, your partners: in short — it’s how you fail.
While it’s strongly encouraged to pivot, it is strongly advised not to do it before doing a thorough data analysis, market research, feedback summary, and last, but not least — building a good strategy.
Gather your team and join the forces to come to the core of the issue. Where did you get stuck? Is it your business model? Is it the product itself? Is it the sales maintenance? Is it pricing? It is important to put your ego aside when adopting the issue. Objectivity is the key, and admitting to mistakes is the first step to resolving them. Once you decide what’s holding you back, work through a thorough strategy of focus change. Work with your team to prepare them for what’s to come, so you can smoothly sail in the newly chosen direction.
When everything is ready, pivot as fast as and smooth as possible.
Pivoting also means staying up to date with technology and innovation. For example, big mobile companies adapted to the rise of Android OS and changed the core of their product — the mobile phone, turning it into the smartphone to meet the consumer needs — and those who thought it through not only maintained, but improved their place on the market.
As long as you want your business to stay in the game and be a relevant contributor, there will always be a point where you will have to pivot in order to strike. Play smart, and always be on the lookout.
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