<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Alternative Board Blog

How to Prepare to Pivot Your Business

Mar. 31, 2020 | Posted by The Alternative Board

The onslaught of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has sent businesses scrambling to find their footing in this new environment. These days, many small businesses are struggling simply to stay in operation, let alone hope to achieve a profitable quarter or see revenues jump as a result of special offers or discounts. It’s a time when once widely accepted business models are coming into question.

It is likely many businesses will attempt to pivot operations within the next few months. Seeing customer demand for some goods and services dwindle, nimbler business leaders will opt for re-examining what worked before, what isn’t working any longer, and where the business might turn next to maintain growth (or even survive to fight at a later time).

Here are tips for preparing to pivot, should this approach make sense for your small business:

Hold onto functions and operations that still work.

“Pivot” generally doesn’t mean scrapping all of your business functions and operations. Look at facets of your business that can be kept in place, or maybe tweaked a little to achieve greater efficiency. Pivoting doesn’t mean starting from scratch.

Improve communications with key constituencies.

If there’s ever a time to over-communicate, doing so while attempting to pivot is a necessity. Consider two key stakeholders:

  • Chances are your workforce is now working remotely. Thanks to advances in digital technology, there’s no reason to lose touch with them at any point during the ongoing pandemic. Collaborative and video software make it possible to stick to a regular schedule of online meetings, stay updated on current projects and initiatives, and simply to keep employees informed of plans to pivot during a critical time.
  • Employ the same technology to stay connected with customers and prospects. (You might also call your most trusted customers and invite them to offer feedback on your plans to pivot the business.) Face-to-face meetings aren’t practical at this time but maintaining the strength of your existing relationships is critically important. These are the people and businesses you want returning to you when the crisis has passed.

For further high-quality communications, leverage your company’s social media presence to “let your audience know what is shifting within your company, what new services you are providing, how this will improve your clients’ shopping experience and how this can benefit them!” says Patrick Barnhill of Specialist ID, Inc.

Want additional insight? Read 4 Step Guide to Strategic Planning now to learn more

Register Here

Identify areas where cost-cutting makes sense.

No one likes sharply reducing operational expenses and salaries, but looking closely at these actions is part of any strategic pivoting effort. Experts suggest making sure you have “at least three months of additional runway,” Forbes notes, adding that key actions include “office space elimination, hiring freezes, salary reductions, furlough, controlled marketing spend, working capital initiatives and renegotiating major contract expenses.” Again, it won’t be easy, but building up your business’s cash reserves makes pivoting more economically viable in the long run.

Make a plan.

Pivoting a business should never be undertaken on a whim. The process requires careful analysis of red flags that prompted thoughts of a pivot in the first place. Red flags, in addition to the global pandemic, can include a wave of customer complaints and negative online feedback, an influx of new or more aggressive competitors, price undercutting by business rivals, and too much attention given to one product line over other possible sources of revenue generation.

With this analysis in place, start to assemble a plan that ensures you have all the right elements in place, including:

  • A comprehensive grasp of the economic implications
  • The need to retain key top performers and/or recruit new staff
  • A viable schedule for undertaking and completing the pivot

Business and uncertainty never make for a good mix, but like it or not, uncertainty is where we are at this time. Comprehensive planning and preparation will make the effort to pivot more amenable to all involved and increase the likelihood that the effort will work.

To enhance your communications strategy during this time of crisis, sign up for our complimentary TAB BOSS Webinar, “6 Tips for Crisis Communications During the Era of Coronavirus.”

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

Increase Online Traffic by Improving Your Website’s Design
Oct. 12, 2021 | Posted by Emma Carter
  You need a website if you’re selling products and services online. This is an excellent marketing tool that can be used to attract potential leads and customers. However, what if you’re not...
How to Reduce Organizational Complexity and Boost Productivity
Sep. 2, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
  As in our daily lives, the world of business has grown a great deal more complex in recent times. Generally speaking, every organization finds itself challenged by innovations in technology,...
Why You Might Want to Sell the Family Business
Aug. 4, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Regardless of the type of business or industry, issues around succession planning must be faced sooner or later. This is particularly true when you’re looking at the sale of the business, as opposed...
Use Your Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage
May. 18, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Every business needs a competitive edge, whether it’s in the quality of their products or services, their dedication to customers, or some other aspect they can leverage to outdo their competitors....
How to Sell During Times of Uncertainty
May. 6, 2021 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
If your business is struggling right now, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to improve your sales. While there’s no guarantee that any specific strategy will accomplish this during...
Tips on Effective Business Succession Planning
Apr. 27, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
With many family businesses, the time to think about succession planning starts on Day One. It’s a complicated subject, sometimes fraught with emotional baggage, but is critically important,...
6 Tips on Making a Family Business Partnership Work
Apr. 20, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
We often hear stories about the difficulties of making a family business partnership successful. Yes, there are unique hurdles that differ from other types of business models, but with the right...
8 Common Challenges Every Family-Owned Business Faces
Apr. 8, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Every business, no matter the format or industry, faces several challenges from time to time. There are problems related to securing capital, talent acquisition, team training, cash flow issues,...
The Difference Between a Strategic Plan and a Business Plan
Jan. 14, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Every business needs a strategic plan. Every business needs a business plan. It’s knowing precisely what each plan entails and when that plan can be of most use that makes the difference between...
Why You Need a Strategic Planning Session
Jan. 5, 2021 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
Kick off your business in 2021 on the right foot by starting at the foundation of every successful business: strategy. Strategy is even more important for your business after the year we all had last...