The COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary for many of us to consider pivoting our business plan to stay viable. We’ve seen many examples of this from alcohol producers now making hand sanitizer, car companies making personal protective equipment for health care workers and clothing manufacturers making masks. Many companies have switched their store-model to an online, pick up or delivery. Chaotic times make us reevaluate the best way we can serve our current and potential customers.
Pivoting isn’t something new. Businesses have been doing this for ages. It requires us to look at our core competencies and develop a strategy to serve our current customers better or move our current offerings to new customers. It allows us to take advantage of current economic conditions and the competitive environment. A pivot doesn’t always have to be a drastic change, it can be a slight change to better serve your customer. If people aren’t comfortable coming into your store, you can take orders and offer a pick-up window for your customer. They won’t need to get out of their vehicle and you are now providing them with your same products. Your current sales staff can now be personal shoppers and monitor your website or phone for orders.
You should examine three factors when you’re considering a pivot to your company.
Value proposition is the value your product or service delivers to your customer. You should look at your customer and determine their unmet needs. You can shift your product or service to meet the need. Provide complete solutions to shift your value proposition. Supply chains have been disrupted because of COVID-19, but logistics and trucking companies have pivoted to help alleviate some of these issues. Another example is providing home school education products instead of providing education services. You are still using your key competencies to better serve the customer’s unmet needs. You should concentrate on why your customers love your business when looking at your value proposition pivot.
Value networks are the process of delivering and monetizing your product or service. Find new ways to deliver your product. Can your product or service be delivered online instead of in person? Make changes to your supply chain. Is there a way to move products faster, cheaper or better that you haven’t considered before? You should also look at if you can partner with another business to add value for your customer. If you’re a restaurant, are you on platforms like Uber Eats, DoorDash or Grubhub?
Target customers receive and benefit from the product or service you provide. Think of other people or businesses that could benefit from your product or services. You could reposition your product with your current customer. Think about ways you can partner with other businesses to overcome barriers.
You may find that there is more than one way for you to pivot your business plan.
HOW TO PIVOT
The first step is ideating. Get people together to discuss options. Complete a current SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).
Pick goals that align with your business plan.
Understand your target customer and their needs.
Analyze what your competitors are doing.
Plan different scenarios.
Make sure your team understands the changes and get their buy-in.
Be sure to give extra attention to your current customer because they’ve been with you for a reason.
Try out your pivot and adapt changes if necessary.
Get your new message out to all stakeholders.
We know it’s difficult doing business during the pandemic. If you’d like help developing your pivot strategy or determining how to best get your new message out to your stakeholders, we’re here for you. Outlook Business Solutions offers an array of marketing and sales services from strategy planning to copywriting and public relations. We’re here to help you grow your business and inspire your customers.