Monthly Archives: June 2020

Jun 01

Pivoting strategies

By Michal Koziol | Strategy

When the whole COVID-19 pandemic happened a lot of businesses were hit. Most industries were negatively affected by the crisis caused by the virus. Some industries just happened to be in a good position to not only survive but thrive. They were just lucky enough to be in that position. Nobody could have predicted a global pandemic would happen, and nobody could have prepared for it. 

But even if your business isn’t as fortunate, there are ways to pivot and find new ways to deliver value for your clients and make a profit. In fact, all businesses should be ready to pivot no matter the circumstances. Your business should have potential scenarios ready to implement if a crisis hits, no matter the source of it. 

There are a couple of ways to get ready for a hypothetical crisis and design scenarios that are ready to implement. The crisis can hit from various angles and you need to be prepared for each one of them. 

Sometimes adjusting to the new norm is just a matter of some tweaks to your current processes. For example, if you rely on manufacturing, deliveries and distribution you need to make sure that you have alternative sources of those services. 

But when small tweaks are not enough and your business is in real trouble you need to pivot. Sometimes it will mean you need to completely revamp your business model and throw your old business strategy away (or at least set it aside for a moment). 

A couple of strategies and things to consider when planning to tackle this:

  1. Your business operates based on the principle of delivering value to your customers. How can your business still deliver value to the same audience through different means or vehicles? What is a different way to deliver value to your customers? For example, if you are a brick and mortar yoga studio how else can you deliver value during a global pandemic? Can you deliver classes online? BTW, yes you can 😊 We know for a fact as this is something we help yoga studios do.
  2. What if your business can no longer deliver the same value to your customers because the service is no longer valuable to them. For example, if you are a travel agent and there are flight restrictions in place, nobody cares if you are available online to make bookings if your customers cannot fly anywhere. This is a tough situation to be in and you need some decent brainstorming to find other ways your business can help your customers right now. Using the travel agent example, you could offer virtual, 3D tours and experiences to see different parts of the world.
  3. Sometimes being creative and trying to figure out new ways to deliver the same value (point #1) or other ways to tackle some of the pain points (point #2) will not be enough. If all else fails you need to sit down with your teams and map out all the skills, competencies and experience you and your team have. Then you need to map out all current needs your customers have and all the products and services they consider valuable given the crisis situation. The fact is, people still have needs, though they may be different. Once you have those two tables – your skills/expertise and customers’ needs/value – find the matches between the two. Can you deliver value using the skills you have in-house? How? What would it take for you to start doing it? Brainstorm all the ideas and score them from the easiest to the hardest to implement. Next score them from the most profitable to the least profitable. Calculate the average and choose one (or a few) top scores on the list.

No crisis is fun; but experiencing a crisis does not mean it’s game over. Be creative, brainstorm and fight. Focus on the question “How can I still provide value?” to come up with the best solutions for your business and for your customers.