Pivoting is not an entirely new concept in business. A lot of companies have pivoted at one point in their existence. Some of the changes made were good enough to breathe new life into their brands and dramatically improve their transactions and conversion rates. Others weren’t as fortunate and saw things turn worse.
Whether you’re in the pharmaceutical business or security guard services, at this point in time, you need to face the brutal facts brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Evaluate where your business stands and how relevant it is to the community.
Most of the thriving businesses today are enjoying their success because their products and services are deemed essential by the government. There is a great demand for the goods they offer.
Change to Survive and Succeed
Some businesses have learned to adapt to the present changes brought about by the lockdowns and social distancing. Case in point are the restaurants and diners who initially depended on dine-in customers. But with social distancing in place, if restaurants continued to operate the way they did pre-COVID, they will be wasting a lot of time, energy, and resources, serving only 30% to 50% of their capacity. Their solution was to adapt to the present changes and tweak their services by focusing on take-out, curbside pick-ups, and home deliveries.
Pivoting is not just adapting to the changes. It is characterized by implementing significant business changes in hopes of helping establishments recover from poor performance due to new competition or something as dramatic as a pandemic.
Now just because a company decides to pivot doesn’t necessarily mean it’s already a guarantee for success. Some businesses have shut down because of a pivot gone bad.
Now as a business owner, how do you guarantee that when you decide to pivot, it will turn things around for you and your business that will keep it afloat and eventually succeed?
3 Conditions for a Successful Pivot
1. It must be aligned with one or more of the current long-term trends brought about or intensified by the catalyst.
At present, the main catalyst for businesses wanting to pivot is COVID-19. Entrepreneurs and business owners should look at how the pandemic is affecting their business and see how they can meet the long-term needs of people given the changes in our lifestyle.
For instance, if social distancing is to be the norm for the next year or so, dating apps such as Tinder needs to look to what Facebook Dating and Bumble are doing and follow suit.
2. It must be a lateral extension of a business’ existing capabilities that doesn’t undermine its strategic intent.
Let’s consider Airbnb as an example. Its traditional business model revolves around connecting travelers looking for alternative accommodations to hosts who can meet their needs with their budget.
Since the pandemic struck, Airbnb took immediate action to help their hosts financially by giving them an avenue to earn alternatively by creating online events and activities that users can join for a minimal fee. Some have also taken the route of long-term renting to provide a safer place for shelter-seekers looking to avoid the coronavirus in suburbs and rural areas.
This move did not take away from their original intent but expanded their services to be a lifestyle platform that offers users online experiences and leads them to discover new destinations and activities.
3. It must be sustainable enough for long-term profitability.
If an establishment or a company decides to employ the use of pivots, it should help preserve and enhance its branding and value in consumers’ minds. While the pandemic-induced economic crisis has shut down corporations and establishments all over the world, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of industries in general.
You need to come up with a business model that will propel your business forward in light of the new realities we have today such as remote work, social distancing, shorter value chains, and other similar factors.
The goal of pivoting is not just to make adjustments to accommodate the present conditions but to make the necessary changes with the long-term effects in mind.