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Is Now the Time to Pivot or Restart?

Has the Covid 19 crisis not only hit your profits but now has you re-thinking your business altogether? Is your service or product profitability altered by our new reality? Will we go back to business as usual or is there an irrevocable change in how people use your goods or services?

Movie theatres are reporting zero income, but streaming services are blowing up. People are ordering breadmaking machines and work-out equipment, but family vacations go unplanned for the year. When and how strongly will some industries return? Do currently booming companies have anything to worry about when people start venturing out of their homes again?

Is Coronavirus pushing you to change or did the signs point toward changing your business before the virus changed the world?

Were your sales plateauing even before shelter in place orders and people started self-isolating? Has your business experienced higher or lower sales (think toilet paper versus airline tickets)? Is now finally the time for a pivot or restart?

 

Rethink, Rebrand, Redo or Don’t        

 

While the world witnesses a pandemic induced market shift, hoping to weather the storm is not the optimum plan for future success. Take stock of the business’s current strengths, weaknesses, and market position. If you can find room for improvement and the desire to rebrand the business, then define what it is you want to change and what new image would be most effective.

If your business as been altered by Covid-19, what is the likelihood of its return and capabilities to grow in the future?   If your business was not growing in comparison to its competitors before the pandemic, there are reasons to be investigated. Most likely you have not been keeping up to date with changes in market trends. Look at what the innovative start-ups are doing and why.  Are there new niches that you can fit?

Many successful companies have made major changes in order to become the successes they are today.  eBay has been known for its online auctions but the company is now predominantly an e-commerce operation with over 70% of items sold at a fixed price rather than by auction. Over the seven years that John Donahoe was at the helm, Ebay’s share value rose by over 400%. Speaking to the BBC in 2014 he claims he is glad he stood firm:

‘There is always a new normal because the pace of technology innovation is changing and consumer behavior is changing. So our leaders have to be comfortable that their job is to continuously drive change.’

Before you make any change, decide what is the end goal.  Is it more money, a larger client base, or survival of the business? Whatever it is, make sure the new plans are leading in that direction. If you re-brand will you become more relevant? Can you reinvent a current product like turning a luggage company into a home organization company- makeup cases can travel or stay home?

There is one quality that no business owner could survive without, and that is the ability to adapt. The company that is the most responsive to change wins.

Is Your Team Ready?

During periods of change and transition, you need to motivate your staff and show them that this is the right move for the business. Transparent communication and seeking staff input about the changes being made are reassuring during a business re-start. Great companies rely on transparency in order to establish a work environment with less stress and a basis of trust.

Being employed by a changing company can be a stressful experience because it creates a feeling of instability. Your employees need an understanding and optimism about where your company will be in the future because many people leave companies due to a fear of change.

How to Work With Current Clients

The ability of your consumer base to understand change is at an all-time high because of the extent of the change currently happening in society at such a quick pace. A great way to assess the direction you should be going is to talk to existing customers.  You’ll likely have to make a gradual transition and continue doing some of your original work to keep money coming in while you revamp, so to involve your current clients in your transition allows for input of valuable information and continued loyalty from your buyers.

Every new and restarting business always needs a simple business pitch ready. Many business owners struggle to effectively introduce their new concept or product to potential investors and clients because they make the presentation too complicated. Being ready with a concise statement that describes your business, the product you offer, and what makes you different from your competitors is always advisable. Create different variations that can be used in front of different audiences and be prepared so you do not have to improvise.

When you try to explain something complicated, it is always a good idea to focus on the problem that the product is solving than on the technology that is used to solve this problem. Once you highlight the need for your product, it becomes easier to emphasize the importance of your business to your clients and potential investors.

How to Work with Current Clients

The ability of your consumer base to understand change is at an all-time high because of the extent of the change currently happening in society at such a quick pace. A great way to assess the direction you should be going is to talk to existing customers.  You’ll likely have to make a gradual transition and continue doing some of your original work to keep money coming in while you revamp, so to involve your current clients in your transition allows for input of valuable information and continued loyalty from your buyers.

Every new and restarting business always needs a simple business pitch ready. Many business owners struggle to effectively introduce their new concept or product to potential investors and clients because they make the presentation too complicated. Being ready with a concise statement that describes your business, the product you offer, and what makes you different from your competitors is always advisable. Create different variations that can be used in front of different audiences and be prepared so you do not have to improvise.

When you try to explain something complicated, it is always a good idea to focus on the problem that the product is solving than on the technology that is used to solve this problem. Once you highlight the need for your product, it becomes easier to emphasize the importance of your business to your clients and potential investors.

Stay the Course or Not

The big change (or smaller ones) must be made with an eye on the horizon (or the internet). Expand your professional network to new groups. Actively look for people with views contrary to your own. As you change the stream of information and consider alternative views, your thinking will expand. The changes you make to your business can always be reversed or updated but not without research, expert advice, and data/analytics to back up each decision. Identify checkpoints to signify whether your business is heading in the right direction.

Pro points while in the process:

  • Research
  • Seek out experts
  • Expand networks
  • Expect bumps- pivot accordingly

Whatever business you are in, remaining open to change will be key to surviving and then thriving. Deciding to make a change in your business logo or the business altogether is not admitting defeat but a pivot into a success!

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