As the country bunkers down and braces for additional impact and fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses, even those established ones who have served the community for decades, have been forced to take a page out of the start-up playbook: the pivot.
Start-ups have often employed the pivot while fine tuning or evolving their business model in an effort to achieve additional growth. Pivoting can be as simple as focusing on one singular element of the original product, or a more elaborate change of the business model.
One thing has become clear during this crisis: it’s anything but business as usual. Businesses need to adapt in order to sustain – and they are. It’s often in the face of adversity when we are forced to step outside of our comfort zone, think outside of the box, and be courageous and swift in our choices.
Currently we’re seeing companies getting creative and finding new ways to serve customers while still keeping their “doors” open, even if those doors are only online. Local distilleries are making hand sanitizer using their alcohol; a lender is offering his clients drive-thru closing services; bars are catering to the rise in virtual happy hours by selling pre-batched cocktails in mason jars with serving instructions affixed to the containers; and fitness centers are now live-streaming classes for members and non-members alike – perhaps reaching potential clients that they weren’t garnering before. And while many of these changes may only be temporary efforts to sustain through the crisis, you may just find something that sticks.
Looking for inspiration? Take a peek at this 9 minute TED talk, “Embrace the Shake.” Originally published in 2013, its message rings just as true in today’s challenging business environment.