Is pivoting really the right thing to do?
Pivoting has become a big word in business. The coronavirus pandemic has meant many businesses have been forced to pivot, and inevitably the success stories are inspiring. But
although pivoting a business might be admirable, it certainly isn’t easy. It means potentially ripping the heart out of a company to save people’s incomes, and fundamentally changing the direction of an organisation. Once you pivot, it’s hard to go back. Here’s what to ask yourself if you’re considering pivoting your business:
1.Am I panicking?
The pressure of financial burden can make people panic, which in turn leads to impulsive decisions. Not every pivot will help your business, especially if you’re confusing investors, the market, and staff. It’s important to focus on what the easiest, and most impactful thing is that you can do in order to stay afloat. Sometimes that doesn’t need to be a full pivot, but a change in operations or procedures.
2. Can I get the funding I need?
All banks are expecting businesses to adapt in a post-COVID world, but not all banks are prepared to fund small to medium enterprises (SMEs) during times of uncertainty. Challenger bank, Judo Bank has experienced relationship managers who invest time into understanding individual businesses and their respective needs – to make it more possible for them to get the funding required to move through and past COVID-19. For businesses thinking about expanding their offering, refurbishing their premises, or investing in technology, taking the opportunity to move on such projects now could be a most advantageous time to do this. Engaging a business-focused bank like Judo, one whose bankers are directly empowered to back a value proposition, could mean adapting rather than pivoting is the most appropriate way forward for a business.
3. Can I retain any existing customers?
Staying true to your company’s values is essential. If a business pivot means losing all your current customers, it’s worth re-thinking. If you can provide a service that some of your existing – and loyal – customers will still be interested in, then you’re already starting from a positive place. Starting again can be confusing for your current customers if you’re offering an entirely different service that isn’t relevant to them.
4. How am I going to be relevant in the future?
Pivoting might get you through a short-term rocky patch, but will it help you survive in the long-term? It’s important to think about what your customers will want in a post-COVID world. If you’re unsure, ask your customers directly how you can help them now, and in the future. The way people answer should give you a good indication of whether pivoting is right for you, and how you can market yourself.
5. Are my team on board?
Pivoting a business changes how people work, and that can cause problems with internal communication and motivation. If your staff aren’t motivated, pivoting is going to be much harder. Be clear with your team about why you need to pivot, how you plan to do it, and answer any questions honestly. If people understand why you’re doing it, they’re more likely be on board - and you’ll need all the support you can get.