In June 2020, GetApp surveyed 577 small business owners to learn how they were able to respond to changing consumer behaviors and pivot their business models as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to those polled, 92% of small businesses successfully pivoted in at least one way to meet customer needs. Some of the most popular business pivots included implementing new online delivery channels (58%) and introducing new virtual services (40%).
Reinventing a business model, especially during a pandemic, is a necessary step in keeping small businesses resilient. Pivots allow businesses to address challenges and create opportunities for customers.
What is often less spoken about is how to keep the momentum riding high around a small business pivot. What can small businesses do to keep the conversation going? Here are a few ways small businesses can emerge on the other side of their pivot even more nimble than before.
Remain practical, yet creative.
Pivoting a business model requires thinking on your toes and being realistic about the outcome. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to reduce their budgets and cut costs. However, that has not lessened their resolve to keep moving forward. As indicated through GetApp’s survey, entrepreneurs have bucked against this trying time by tackling challenges head-on.
When pivoting a business model, it’s critical to remain positive and focused on opportunities ahead. The solutions born out of this time are offerings that are practical, such as creating an eCommerce shop or developing apps that allow for placing curbside orders and picking them up.
Focusing on opportunities does not mean you can’t think outside of the box either. Pivoting a business model allows for flexibility and creativity in the manner in which it is able to pivot. Take a hair salon, for example. If you can’t get a color done in the salon, offer a take-out color for clients to pick up. Pack up all the items necessary for the color and create a YouTube tutorial that customers may watch to apply the color on their own from the comfort of home.
Partner with like-minded companies.
There is an old saying that many hands make light work — and it still rings true in 2020. Small businesses hard at work pivoting their offerings rely on their communities for support. Beyond their community, however, is a need to lift up other like-minded businesses.
Keep the momentum going for your business model pivot by partnering with a business. Work alongside a company where you may establish a mutually beneficial partnership. You can provide their audience with offerings that the other business does not have, and they may do the same in return for your customer base. This makes it a win-win for both companies, and further strengthens collaboration and support for small businesses.
Connect through conversations.
Your small business has the power to amplify its voice through social media platforms, e-newsletters, webinars, and podcasts. Now more than ever, conversations are necessary to foster connection.
Who can you talk to? Who should you talk to? The answer is everyone.
Small businesses need to make the time to connect with their team members, especially those working remote. They should connect with existing customers and potential customers, business partners, and connections made through websites like LinkedIn with other professionals in and out of their field.
When connecting through a conversation, listen as much as you speak. Listen to what others on your team or customers have to say. What kinds of questions are they asking? What sorts of trending topics or insights have they noticed that are relevant to your business? If there’s a problem readily visible, this is your company’s opportunity to recognize and address it, then solve it. Listen and respond when launching into opportunities. See what happens next when your business is able to make a successful pivot.