Here's how entrepreneurs are pivoting to new business models
The basis of pivots in businesses during the pandemic is in the famous phrase survival of the fittest. In 1859, scientist Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution and taught all humanity the importance of adaptability.
Today, more than 150 years later, the pandemic has brought the world to a juncture where the only sustainable choice we have is to go back to the basics and adapt.
Why do companies pivot?
The pandemic, although a propeller, is not a new beginning of business pivots and planning for entrepreneurs. It is quite ordinary in the business world, especially among startups, to shift the course of their business and give their enterprise a fresh direction with a novel perspective.
Pivoting a business is not confined to modification in the idea of business. It essentially includes changes in any aspect of the business, be it the way it is run, its customer service, or an alteration in its strategy to expand its consumer base.
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The bottom line is the growth of the business.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has managed to halt the growth of businesses and even put an end to some of them, the only way out left, in such situations, is to turn to pivots. And, this is exactly what many businesses did.
Entrepreneurs across the globe, both big and small, have stuck to their goal of surviving and have adapted to the challenging situations that 2020-21 have posed before them. Let’s take a look at how and what entrepreneurs are doing during these perilous times.
Perhaps the biggest part of the new normal has been the increased reliance on online services. With the physical movement of services and goods coming to a standstill, the most common of the pandemic pivots is going online and providing services to customers through e-platforms. Online delivery systems have emerged as a winner owing to social distancing norms.
However, creating an online space for a business is just the beginning. For an e-commerce platform to thrive, it requires quality content, a user- and mobile-friendly website, a secure platform, and a number of choices for payment modes.
In other words, your online platform should be as easy to use and as attractive for your consumers as possible.
Rethinking the products and services
A lucrative business is one that is flexible and accommodates what customers want. The pandemic has pushed the pivots in businesses in the form of repackaging their products and services to align them with the demand of the markets.
Fashion outlets are manufacturing masks, restaurants are selling groceries, hotels are providing healthcare facilities, and cosmetic companies have launched a series of COVID-fighting cosmetics.
The question to ask is what can you do to expand your services or products to increase your customer base.
Partner up to share assets
Collaboration allows you to do what you cannot do alone. Businesses have partnered up to create a shared pool of assets. This increases the value of a business by providing them with new customers, new markets, and new products.
The power of large numbers is often untapped by small businesses. Every business has a strong and weak part and the partnerships must complement each other to create a win-win situation. The ongoing pandemic has given rise to pivots in the direction of partnerships to realize their true potential.
Targeting new audience by understanding the change in the trends
Finding a new customer base has been a part of all strategies mentioned above; however, finding new customers for your business in itself is one of the most common pivots that enterprises are looking at in the pandemic.
The crisis has led to a considerable shift in consumer behaviors, from likes and dislikes to spending habits. Keeping up with the trends not only allows businesses to retain their loyal customer base but also opens up gates for new consumers. Studying patterns and understanding the demand of the industry has been a sure way to expand businesses.
In times of an economic crisis like this, the only entrepreneurs to survive are the ones who have seized this setback as an opportunity and turned around their businesses. The first step is to identify where a change can be made. Follow this up with a plan of action and then move on to implement and pivot your business to a new direction.
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Frequently asked questions
1. How have businesses successfully pivoted pandemic?
- Any pivot in a business is of no value if it is not sustainable and flexible. Whatever new direction a business may take, it has to be a valuable addition to the enterprise as a whole.
2. When should you pivot a business?
- The right time to pivot a business when you don't see much progress happening even after tremendous amounts of money and resources being put in use. Pivoting the entire business structure is a huge step and should be taken in drastic conditions only. However, small pivots can and should be made to keep up with the ongoing global changes.
3. How do you pivot in a pandemic?
Here are some tips for pivoting during the pandemic
- Take feedback from customers and learn what they want from you in these times
- Follow the 3 Rs: Repurpose your business, reposition your resources and rethink your business model
- Communicate with your partners and employees to understand the sustainability and possibility of the pivots
- Ensure sensitivity in changes being brought in light of the troubled times we are lying in.
- Prepare your team for frequent pivots as the pandemic is unpredictable.
4. How can small businesses adapt their business models to the new normal?
- As the consumers are spending less money due to economic restrictions, it is essential to decrease any barriers to purchase. Some easy ways to do this are bundling products together and providing pick-up and drop services.
5. What should be included in a pandemic business plan?
- At the least, a business plan for the pandemic must include how the business will deal with social distancing norms and lockdowns when employees will be unable to work physically in the office. The other important part of it is to lay down pans for reducing the risk of infection when lockdowns are lifted.