Pivoting in a Pandemic

This week’s article is about pivoting in difficult times: i.e. changing the way your business delivers a product or service, or changing the product or service. Pivoting has been a thing since COVID-19 first struck, and never has it been more urgent than in recent weeks as small businesses across Tasmania have been hit with pressure, seemingly from all sides. These are trying times for small businesses, especially early stage startups and those relying on the Visitor Economy.

Never has there been more need to check in with Business 101 before pressing go on a pivot, and so Seedlab brings you: 12 ways to Pivot Perfectly. Also known as 12 Business Resolutions NOT to break this year.

Your People. Without people, you don’t have a business. Even if “people” is you.

  1. Firstly, to leadership. Are you leading by example? Are you looking after your own health: are you taking time to breathe, to keep some semblance of work/life balance, especially around social media, and are you making efforts to eat properly and get some exercise? Are you treating yourself and your team the way you would treat your customers? Are you communicating clearly and taking time to share your vision with your team, or simply to discuss options for the future, together? Sometimes the best innovations and ideas come from the most unlikely sources. Provide an opportunity to discuss options with your management and support teams. Listen. Be open. Even if your “team” is family.
  2. Check in with your team: Are you ensuring that their health and wellness is valued? Apart from the obvious COVID-19 protection and awareness of support structures, how about keeping a bowl of fresh fruit in the staff room, or organising a vegetable box for each team member once a week, or a team BBQ or special morning tea with cake (it doesn’t all have to be healthy). Are your team on the same page as you and are they up for the challenges and journey ahead? Do they have the necessary training for the future venture? Are your OH&S plans up to date and in place?

Your Proposition. So you have a new idea! Perhaps it’s a new way to get your product to customers, or a different format for your product or service, or a new product. You absolutely need to check the new idea isn’t going to be a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

But what if you don’t have a new idea? Now is the time to do some research, thinking outside the box, brainstorming and talking to people. Are there new ways of getting your product to people? Can you do more to promote online sales direct to your customers? Can you team up with other businesses with a complementary product or service?

Here are some crucial things to check before pressing ‘go’, and it’s the three C’s: Customers, Competition, Costs.

By the way, before you pivot: have you checked if there is anyone who owes you money? Check your invoicing is up to date and send statements. Sometimes the simple things get overlooked.

Your Processes. So you have decided to press “go” on developing and delivering a new format, a new product, or some other new approach to doing business. What do you need to do now?

Future-Proof. How can you future proof your business for success? There are many businesses out there actually succeeding despite the pandemic. Sometimes it’s just a case of finding the right niche and focusing on it.

If any of the information in this article confuses you, or is news to you, then check out www.seedlabtasmania.com.au because we are planning some amazing workshops and webinars, and a few Bootcamp programs, in 2022.