Stop disrupting everything! No more blue sky thinking you! Forget that hustle and bin those hacks!

In case you haven’t heard, the new word on business street is ‘pivot’.

If you’re not quite up on what this pivot thing is all about, it is referring to adapting your business to survive these ‘unprecedented and challenging’ times.

Some companies have ‘pivoted’ with great success. For example, accepted their current market isn’t there for now and used manufacturing capability to produce vital equipment for the front line, whether PPE, ventilators or hand sanitisers.

Others, such as restaurants and food suppliers, have turned their efforts to online provision, take-aways, food boxes.

Many organisations have put their whole offering online, often for free, from youtube videos a la Joe Wicks, to online courses to Garden Centres offering click and collect for plants.

So what can you do? It may simply not be possible to do a major pivot. Your business may be impossible to operate in this environment, or you may not have the funds to develop an online e-commerce site overnight.

But if your business is to survive through this, you’ll need to do something. Here’s a few ideas.

  • Post on your social media or on youtube with any useful tips, advice, information that will help your customers while they don’t have the benefit of your usual service or products. Or offer customers the chance to call you or email you with any questions – if you’ve offered help through all this, they are more likely to remember you.
  • Explore whether you can provide any services or products online. It may be less expensive than you think to add an e-commerce plug-in onto your website and with the help of a web designer you could get this up and running quickly.
  • Is there anything you can provide via Zoom or Skype? Something you can charge for e.g. consultancy, courses?
  • Use the time to build up content and put together a marketing plan to keep in customers’ minds ready for the end of lockdown. If customers have gone without what you are offering, they’ll be chomping at the bit for it as soon as it’s allowed.
  • Revisit your business plan. Look at your competitors, research any new services you could offer, get all the paperwork in order, update your website, tidy up your customer database. In other words, a business spring clean where you get on top of all the tasks you usually struggle to do.

If you’re seeing other companies pivoting like ballerinas, don’t despair. It won’t work for everyone. But there are some things you can do to use this time effectively and be ready when we come out of this crisis.

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