What does ‘Pivot’ even mean for a business?

I am researching a new direction for my business: MarketStart™ a business plan writing and advising service for start ups using the lean canvas approach.

Business has been very easy for me because the expectations are very clear. How much variation can there be with a business plan? The client expects a 20+ page document that defines the business model, goals and strategies to achieve these.

Who knew a business plan could evolve?

With the introduction of the Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder, the business planning process has shifted. The canvas helps a start up test the assumptions of its business ideas early on before building an entire business model. It is while testing these assumptions that a company recognizes that their hypotheses are incorrect and therefore they need to pivot.

To pivot means the original idea or concept did not make the impact in the market that was assumed and a shift is required. The shift could be engaging a new target market, a new traction (marketing) channel, improving products or services, sales strategies or developing a new business model.

It requires a lack of bias to acknowledge this and be able to take action. For me this process is not necessarily about making the impact I projected, but looking forward to the future of my business and how pivoting or researching a pivot could help me work smarter.

The future of business plans like newspapers is evident; adapt or become obsolete.
In a book I am currently reading, ‘Social Intelligence Demystified’ by Julie King for CSAE, she writes (Good leaders) “may want to respond with resistance but make the intentional decision to fully consider the change anyway.”


Proud mom of 5 and founder of the amazing company MarketStart.

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