COVID-19 has likely changed our world forever and as businesses we will need to adapt to the changes if we want to thrive in these uncertain times.
Pivoting is not new, Starbucks started out selling espresso machines and coffee beans in the early 70’s and then realized that there was a large opportunity they were missing to provide coffee in a Eurostyle coffee house. Businesses need to be innovative, creative and pivot their businesses to stay relevant, adapt to changing technologies, ways of doing business and communicating with their customers.
Over the last few years, we have been working with our businesses to help them automate and integrate software, business processes and business models so that they can potentially scale their business, deliver service online, provide customers a way to engage online with their business or have a flexible lifestyle business.
Well, necessity is the mother of invention, start with asking yourself some questions:
Start with your value proposition – what value do you deliver through your product/service. How do you solve a problem, or save your client time, hassle or money?
- Create complete solutions to meet people’s needs?
- Fulfill a gap in the market – (in home services, online education etc)
- Expand your services to include the current COVID-19 situation (e.g. cleaning company – offer sanitation services, mobile auto detailing – sanitizing cars, concierge service – shopping for seniors, Fitness – offering online classes)
- Can you bundle your services so that they are your products – (yoga teacher offering yoga therapy sessions for back/neck issues from home office set up)
- What have your customers said they love about you? Offer more of that or turn it into a revenue stream
- Can you set your customers mind at ease with your protocols for keeping them safe?
Business Process & Systems:
- Different revenue models – subscriptions, different payment models – offer Paypal and Apple Pay
- Create new products and services with your existing resources, pivot to coaching programs, try things your customers may need. e.g Freckle Face Jewellery – selling “make your own kits”
- Connect with partners and together deliver extra value e.g. Kendal Farm Virtual Market bringing together independent artisans, makers and farmers, 12welve Bistro – online food market from local butchers and farmers. Markets by Dream Day curating gift baskets from local artisans
- Find a better faster supply chain – restaurants using local delivery services
- Deliver your service in person / online or direct to the consumer, e.g virtual physiotherapy like Joint Action Physio and Fundamentals Physio, online networking events
- Automate and integrate software to remove manual processes
Other pivot ideas to get you inspired and fired up:
- Puzzle and Board game delivery, or create some form of entertainment
- Help make cocktails and smoothies portable – providing clients an opportunity to create an experience for themselves at home
- Offer cancelled customers a deal too good to pass up
- Teach remotely – Outschool, Task Rabbit, Takelessons.com
- Create virtual hangouts, online support for those working from home
- Many businesses are moving online – can you be a tech person for hire to help them transition
- Create Tutorials based on your expertise
- Teach businesses how to transfer to an online business
- Rent gym equipment if you are a fitness boutique, studio, virtual classes
- Help companies work remotely tech, office set up, staff etc.
- Can you be a cost cutter consultant?
- Offer experiences – date night, kids parties, family fun nights, diy kits for adults and kids, virtual baking lessons like Frantastic Treats & Events
- Curate and aggregate Netflix to certain groups (Chick Flicks, Action Heros)
Being under stress can kill your ability to be creative, crowdsource the solutions by hosting a session with clients and friends looking at opportunities to pivot your business. Sort through the ideas to see if they could conceivably work for you and select the best options to investigate further. Make the decision to try out some of those ideas, don’t be afraid to fail, it’s just an opportunity to find another way to make it work. People are understanding at this time of the struggle everyone is under and this allows you the grace to try different ideas.
- Jotform for contactless pick up and delivery forms
- Create your own chatbots
- Zoom – for web conferencing (significant security fixes)
- ecommerce – check out Digital Main Street Shop Here program
Do you have any ideas to share about how you pivoted your business?
Written by Teresa Shaver