Knowing when to pivot — to make a significant change in strategy or tactics — is a vital business skill. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs have real difficulty understanding the signs and signals that tell them when a substantial change is due. Failure to detect these clues and the sunk cost fallacy can lead many businesses to waste critical finances, time, and human resources. In this article, tech entrepreneur Ahavel Aborishade discusses some of the red flags all companies should be on the lookout for.
1. Growth Has Stopped
The best indicator that what you are doing is working is growth. The earliest sign that you are ready for a pivot is the moment that growth stops. Developing and understanding measurable metrics that are meaningful to your business will help you keep a finger on your business’s pulse. When productivity or profits stop, it is time for immediate action.
2. You Notice Turnover
When employees, other team members, investors, or partners leave a relationship with your business, it could be for virtually any reason. However, when you notice group turnover or any patterns, a closer look at the reasons why is called for. Losing even one vital partner, vendor, or investor could spell big trouble for your business. Always strive to understand why people move on.
3. You Aren’t Getting Media Attention
Popular and trade journalists spend their time looking for stories and people that are newsworthy. You should be tuned in to the types of media that your business should be attractive to, whether that is ordinary news coverage or specialized trade coverage. If you are not being covered by the people who report the news in your industry, your competitors probably are taking that space from you.
4. You Are Spending All Your Time on the Same Tasks
When getting the same results seems to take more and more effort, or when everything you need to get done feels bogged down with menial and repetitive work, there is a good chance that your time management is suffering. Inefficient operations are a signal that systems need to be revamped or redesigned completely. Often some simple higher-level planning can get your business out of a rut.
5. Boredom Has Set In
If your energy and desire to hit the ground running every day is suffering, it’s time to assess where you and your business are heading. Spend time thinking about why you feel bored with work. Usually, there are opportunities for growth and expansion that you are missing because your imagination has fallen into neutral. A pivot in your business’s focus can send a jolt of energy into your daily process and bring back your spark.
6. Your Target Market Seems to Be Moving on Without You
Customer tastes and preferences are always changing. It is a certainty that the way any target market prefers to be served will evolve with time. When you notice that your existing or prospective customers are looking for products or services delivered in new ways, or that they aren’t where you are used to seeing them, it’s time to either adapt your business or find some other niche market to focus on. Pivoting effectively means understanding–and anticipating–trends in your marketplace.
7. Your Intuition Tells You That it’s Time for Change
As an entrepreneur, in many ways, your business is you, and you are your business. As you grow and change personally, your business should change with you. If your feelings about your personal goals and satisfaction aren’t matching up with what your business is doing, it is time to ask whether your business needs to change direction and grow with you.
About Ahavel Aborishade
Ahavel Aborishade is a business leader, tech aficionado, and an emerging entrepreneur. Ahavel uses her passion for technology and community to create applications that enhance daily experiences in nuanced ways. She enjoys the demanding life of an entrepreneur by balancing helping people around the world with their tech dreams with riding motorcycles and practicing yoga.