When you’re starting up as a company, you likely have a strong enough vision to encourage you to take the plunge into actually going ahead with your idea, assembling a team, and trying to get some funding. A critical lesson that almost anybody who has run a successful start-up will be able to tell you is don’t be obstinate about that idea, so your startup pivot
All ideas change, and part of the contemporary start-up lean philosophy is that you need to be prepared to pivot when you have evidence your concept isn’t working.
The only problem is, it can be quite challenging to make that call. Here are some signs that you should think about a pivot.
Problems with Pivoting
As a start-up, your team is typically small and flexible, but if you have been working on an idea for a long time and your team members are all fully dedicated, it can be difficult for everybody to get on board.
If you feel like the change will negatively impact your employees, don’t be dissuaded from the pivot if you think it’s the right call. There are change management techniques or even change management plan software options that can help to minimize the damage accompanying the change.
You Have Evidence that Part of your Solution Works
If you have evidence that part of your solution works, why should you change tack? Well, because only a part of it works.
Your whole product should perform consistently well, so if there is only a part of the product that users are finding useful when you have enough evidence for this, you should scrap the rest of the product and only focus on the part that is actually delivering value. This can improve your productivity as an organization and increase profitability and your general chance of success.
There’s no Switching Benefit vs Competitors
If your product or service is competing against an existing product or service, and you think your company does it better, you should expect immediate traction once people have been exposed to your product. If that’s not the case, it could be due to high switching costs that dissuade new customers from engaging with your product.
Switching costs can come from your competitors’ many creative strategies. Maybe they get customers used to their interface, making others seem clunky, or perhaps they have a unique notification system tailored to give users a burst of excitement. Either way, you should pivot and try to deliver more value than the negative value that comes from the switch’s cost.
Where’s the Scale?
Part of what makes a start-up a start-up is the ability to scale massively when you have the cash injection. If you feel like your product won’t be able to scale as soon as you press go (assuming some time for you to buy the requisite infrastructure like server space), you might want to pivot.
You might be able to scale, but you need to do so profitably (and don’t point fingers at Uber, who have never turned a profit – they’re a rare unicorn).