The term “pivot” was first applied by Eric Ries, creator of the Lean Start-up method, to describe how a new business can shift its activity in a new direction in response to customers’ behaviour.
It is a tactic used by many entrepreneurs when it becomes clear that the original business offer is not attracting the predicted level of business.
One example of a pivot was a company that was set up to sell online marketing products such as website design and found that this activity was not delivering so instead set up and promoted a Business to Consumer (B2C) shopping App, which generated much more business.
While it is necessary for a start-up to be committed to and believe wholeheartedly in its product or service, especially when it has done some market research to find out whether there is a sufficient level of demand, in a rapidly changing market it makes no sense to remain wedded to that product or service if it does not generate the projected sales.
Continuing to spend money on promotion without achieving any improvements sooner or later will lead to cash flow problems and a business in difficulty.
So while commitment is of course a fundamental ingredient for success when starting a business, flexibility and an open mind about what can be fashioned out of the core business skills are essential.
Sometimes it is necessary to pivot the business model by implementing fundamental change to achieve a transformation of the business’ prospects.