You know how terms, expressions and phrases can catch on when they are used repeatedly by those in the Media?

During this exceptional time of COVID-19, there seems to be a plethora of expressions being used to cover everything from medical matters through to economic conditions. We have recently seen one such expression gain traction in the business world, that of ‘pivoting your business’.

A business pivots when it makes a change to its core activities after it discovers new opportunities for the business. That doesn’t have to be a radical change, it can be quite subtle but it is a proactive endeavour.

Last week in our article titled ‘Is your business ready for the new normal?’, we discussed the need to make a recovery plan and to recognise the new economic landscape that we are faced with.

One consideration that we touched on was the loss of income streams, the creation of new income streams and whether there are some more obvious opportunities to grow revenue, profit and cash?

Part of your recovery plan could involve actually pivoting your business in a new direction, perhaps after considering:

  • Whether or not there is a product you could produce or some service that you can provide that doesn’t necessarily redefine your business, but actually represents a greater and better use of your resources in a changing economic environment
  • Is your business is in a better place to develop and provide a product or service that focuses on a current social, national cause or economic need?
  • Can your business switch a service provision from its existing customer base to a new targeted client?
  • Is there an opportunity to turn your product into a service?
  • Have you got some talent or some so far undeveloped product that would serve a purpose for a new client base, maybe your existing client base?
  • Has the market’s overall need changed and can you look beyond your existing business to other complementary add on products and services that will support your business now
  • Are your clients discussing a need for something that you could actually develop and produce? Make your clients see your capacity for diversity.
  • Focus on a product feature that you recognise can have multiple uses
  • Is there a feature of a single product that could actually be the product itself?
  • Segment your Market – if your product isn’t selling it might be worth changing the target market.
  • Test your new idea out on friendly clients, customers, and your team. Getting your team on board with your new ideas helps manage the changes
  • How are you selling your products – is now the time to switch to become an online distributor?

An actual working example of pivoting your business amongst our clients is by Unibox.

Unibox is a UK-based manufacturer that designs, engineers and produces aluminum display systems and solutions for exhibitions, events, and retail environments.

In light of the PPE supply issues and in response to the growing need for businesses to consider the best social distancing and working practices that they can adopt as they return to work, Unibox has designed and developed a range of PPE and flexible, hygienic protective screens that can be adopted into a vast arena of working environments.

Unibox see this diversion from their principal design and manufacturing business as a natural and responsive step to these unusual times. 

Another example that we know of is a pizza restaurant who has had to close during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Recognising the ‘lockdown’ opportunities for people at home to have to cook and learn new cookery skills, they chose to diversify into developing a range of pizza recipes and ingredients packages that can be ordered online. This developed further into providing pizza pans to use when you are cooking your pizzas at home, and now into actually distributing pizza ovens to the more enthusiastic home pizza chefs.

A pivot within your business doesn’t have to mean abandoning or sacrificing your core business. It doesn’t have to be a radical change and you shouldn’t scrap all the hard work you have already done building a sustainable business.

Pivoting your business can be an opportunity to compliment your business, expand your offering and provide a much needed income supporting stream through challenging economic times.

Please talk to your Champion Advisor if you would like more advice on planning for the future and the direction your business could take.