How to pivot your business for success during the pandemic
December 14, 2020
Businesses across our area and the UK have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, over the course of two national lockdowns, which has unfortunately meant an untimely drop in revenue for many of us.
With social distancing looking like it will be a part of our lives for many months to come too, you may be left wondering if there is a plan B for your business at this uncertain time, perhaps temporarily, or maybe even permanently.
What trends are we seeing?
We’re seeing plenty of examples in the news every day of businesses that have been able to pivot their working methods to target new revenue streams.
In fact, some businesses have been able to completely overhaul their business model, which has meant they’ve been able to thrive.
According to the latest CNN data:
- Sales of video games were up 21 per cent to $1.52bn in the first quarter of 2020
- Disinfectant product sales, unsurprisingly, increased by 230 per cent in March and April
- Exercise brand Peloton saw revenue growth of 66 per cent
- Slack were successfully able to add 9,000 new paying customers (up 80 per cent from 2019)
- Zoom stock increased by 120 per cent in 2020.
These, of course, are examples from international brands, but there are plenty more local examples, such as restaurants and cafes providing delivery and takeaway services.
If you’re considering pivoting your business, then it really is worth taking the time to think through a few things before you do. Obviously, changes to products, sales lines and new equipment will often require some investment.
This is why we’ve put together this guide containing a few different things you should consider before you dive in.
What to consider before pivoting your business
It can be quite challenging to know where to start when you’re literally taking your existing business back to the drawing board, but this is a fantastic opportunity to make constructive changes.
“I’m a big believer that when times are tough, there’s something positive just around the corner, and often in business that can mean newer and bigger opportunities,” says Mary Gilbey linguistics, international business expert and Managing Director of Anglia Translations.
“At Anglia, we’ve been talking about the merits of digital transformation for many years, and the pandemic has been just the thing to push this forward for many.” Mary continues.
Take Your Time
Many of the pivots you’ve seen taking shape over the course of 2020, would have needed some form of investment to execute correctly. Just as you did when you started the business at the beginning, you need to have some confidence that what you’re offering to a vastly different market has value.
Take the time to discuss your ideas and thoughts with those closest to you, and maybe even think about running a trial period before investing. As we mentioned earlier, you need to also think about whether your idea is short-term – until the economy begins to find its feet again – or a more long-term solution.
Take Advantage of Technology
The abrupt shift to working remotely and reducing our time spent with co-workers and loved ones have seen a significant change in how consumers are interacting with products and services online. Going digital won’t work for all businesses, but if you haven’t solidified your online presence yet, now is the best time to be doing so.
For example, you could choose to market your product directly to the consumer, through sites like Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Etsy and similar online stores. The Government has helped businesses in this regard too, by allowing restaurants, cafes and pubs to become de facto takeaways, through sites like Deliveroo and Just Eat, or even custom built smartphone apps, until 2022.
Of course, this step requires taking a look at your niche and thinking about how technology can help you to serve your customers as efficiently as possible.
Use What You Already Have
Investigate some of the sectors that are thriving during this period; we’ve already cited a couple at the outset of the article, in fact.
“Consider that you might actually already have something of value to one of the sectors that are performing well; it’s just about finding creative solutions to use what you already have in-house.”, says Mary.
Fitness could be one such example. With an increase in home workouts via Zoom and Skype, perhaps some personal trainers may require robust IT support, such as extra security and maintenance, for instance. If you operate in the IT sector, this could be a perfect opportunity to market yourself to a new and unexpected demographic.
National & Local Causes
During 2020 there has been an enormous demand for seemingly every day, mundane products. The Government, local authorities, charities, emergency services and other organisations supporting communities are all on the lookout for resources as this pandemic continues.
Take the example of the independent brewer BrewDog, who were able to pivot their business from beer to begin producing their own range of hand sanitiser when authorities were in desperate need.
If you can do something similar to produce products or services that are needed, it will not only provide you with a substantial temp market but also give you satisfaction knowing your business did its part to help.
Pivots Are Commonplace
“According to recent research, as many as 20 per cent of businesses undertake pivot projects at some point in their lifetime,” says Mary.
“While the pandemic has expedited this process, these stats tell us that pivoting a business is actually quite a normal thing to do and that it can be made into a success no matter the circumstances.”
There’s no question that this year has been a tough one for many businesses, but there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel if you and your business are open to aiming your business towards a different trajectory.
By embracing the digital landscape, businesses can extend their appeal even further and, in some cases, they can even reach into international markets. That could be anything from delivering training, selling products or providing services.
Due to confinement, statistics show that online orders across Europe have increased by 50 per cent this year and cross-border deliveries are predicted to increase by 63 per cent during this festive period alone.
This just goes to show that there is a very real appetite, even in such strange times, for businesses that can deliver products, domestically and even internationally too.
If you require any assistance with expanding your online presence into major international markets, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Anglia Translations Ltd to find out what we can do for you.