When you find that your current business model is not nearly as successful as you had hoped or needed it to be, you can pivot your business. Since COVID-19 is going to be around for some time, now would be a good time to think about whether or not you need to make some changes. Four things will help you to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Determine the Extent of the Pivot
Pivoting a business can be done in two ways: either partially or completely. You can make the pivot as an addition or extension of your current business, or you can start a new business altogether.
If you decide to pivot completely, it may mean losing investments you have already put into your business, and you may also lose all of your current customers. If you are unsure about the proposed new business, it would be wiser to add it in some way to your existing business – if that is possible.
Realize the Type of Pivot Needed
In some cases, you may not need to pivot your business at all. If you are already making some sales and believe that you can easily make more by making some simple changes, then that would be the way to go. It may be that you just need to pivot your marketing techniques or expand your outreach to include new groups of customers – such as targeting B2B instead of just B2C.
The pandemic has forced many people to spend more on essentials. You may have seen a drop in sales because your products may be more discretionary than essential. By adding more essential items to your inventory, you may be able to recover lost sales.
Finding out what your competitors are doing (or not doing) is another way to consider how to pivot your business. They may be doing something that you could easily add to your business without the need for a large investment.
Pivot to Selling Online
The majority of sales and money has been flowing to companies that are selling online – particularly Amazon and Walmart. Since COVID is expected to be around for at least another half year, you need to copy their model and make it easy to buy your product online. Customers also prefer the speed at which they can get the product delivered – sometimes the next day.
In order to increase your online traffic, you will need to add a constant flow of online content. It also means that you need to increase your use of social media to interact with your target audience and promote your content.
Make sure that your website can be viewed on mobile devices and that ordering products can be done easily. Having several payment options can also enhance your sales.
Selling online will enable you to keep money coming in even if you need to shut your doors. Having essential items in stock will help ensure that customers need what you are selling even when money gets tight.
Plan the Pivot Carefully
Be careful not to make any sudden changes without spending some time thinking and making thorough plans covering everything that is involved. You do not want to make the pivot and then discover that your new products have a much smaller demand than you hoped. You also need to be sure that your staff is on board and get opinions and tips from them about how practical your plans are and what changes they may need to make in their department to accommodate them.