The art of the pivot: Work closely with investors to improve your odds

As an entrepreneur, you’ll find yourself adjusting your business as you encounter opportunities and obstacles. Adjustments are a natural part of growing and operating a business, and you’ll find that most of the time, slight refinements and tweaks can keep your company going and thriving.

There may be situations, however, that require more significant changes to your long-term plans. You may even need to explore ways to pivot your business entirely.

Since early-stage companies have limited time and money, it’s essential to work closely with investors and other stakeholders early when you’re planning a pivot as well as throughout the process so that you get to the correct pivot point sooner and accurately.

When planning a pivot, it’s your job to develop and explain your plan of action to all stakeholders, including investors, board members, members of your team and advisers.

Partner with your investors before a pivot

A pivot is no time to fly solo, so approach the pivot as a team effort. Investors have a vested interest in the success of your business. After all, it’s their money that’s at stake!

There’s no shame in pivoting. On the contrary, it’s a sign of strength.

You should also remember that as the founder, you’re extremely close to your business. The idiom “You can’t see the forest for the trees” is applicable here. You need input from your investors, board members and other stakeholders because they can see the broader picture.

When your investors are part of your pivot plan, they’ll have the opportunity to provide valuable perspectives, ideas and connections to others who can help make your pivot successful.

Best practices for working with investors

Quite often, the CEO will be the first to realize that the company needs to pivot. When you’re beginning the planning, be sure you’re ready to let go of the status quo. You need to embrace the mindset that your company may not thrive or survive if it doesn’t pivot.