How to pivot your small business and get through COVID isolation
How to pivot your business
If it feels like all you’ve been doing this year is turning, spinning, twirling and swivelling, you’re not alone. In fact, with so many small business owners forced to change the way they work due to COVID-19, pivoting your business practices is the new black.
The definition of pivot is ‘the point around which something revolves’. In this case, our pivot point is the isolation that we’ve all experienced due to COVID-19. We’re not going to sugar-coat it; it’s been tough. Mentally, emotionally, even physically. We’re creatures of habit and being forced to change the way we do things can be overwhelming, intimidating and exhausting.
But we’re here to challenge you to look at your business differently, for the better. We’re encouraging small businesses everywhere to pivot.
Pivoting now for short-term survival can actually lead to long-term resilience for your business. After all, we don’t know how long the pandemic is going to change the way we do things, and whether life will even return to the way it was. So, investing some time now to shake up your processes might just be the best thing you can do for the future of your business.
Improve the way you do things
When we think of innovation, we tend to think of big, life-changing products. But innovation is quite simply about improving the way things are done. It could be a new method, idea or product, but it doesn’t have to be big; it doesn’t even have to impact your customers.
During the pandemic, some businesses have been innovative by applying their skills in new ways or filling new gaps that have formed in markets. For others, the opportunity to innovate and re-imagine their business has simply meant taking a look at their practices and priorities and making subtle changes to suit their current situation.
This was the case for Tara from Baby Bow Club, who has been running her business for four years. Based in Melbourne and currently in their second round of lockdown, Tara’s business processes have taken a hit during isolation, when she has had to also juggle her two children and her partner working from home as well. Here’s what Tara had to say about her experience during the pandemic:
“I went into the year wanting to grow. But 2020 had other plans for me. This year has really taught me some lessons.
I’ve really changed my mindset. I used to have a huge to-do list of everything I needed to get done. Now I go into each day with just a worst-case scenario. If I get one or two things done, everything else is a win. And I’m going to continue on with that mindset, because even prior to all of this, I’d have so much mum guilt juggling everything and this way I know the main things are done.
I’ve also been trying to keep really close with my community. I have a really loyal community and it’s just been really good to have a safe space to go and have a chat to them, and that’s been really important to me.
I’ve had to adjust, and it’s been really difficult; really hard on my mindset trying to keep going and questioning whether it’s worth it or whether I should stop. But I made the decision that as long as the post keeps going, I’m going to keep going.”
Want to know more? Catch Tara’s full chat here on the My Collab Society IG page.
Let’s get you started
If the thought of being innovative is too draining for you right now, try starting with a good ol’ brainstorm session. Mapping out your current business practices and highlighting where things have changed will help you see new opportunities. You might not come up with an answer for everything but adjusting just a couple of your practices may help your processes and your mindset.
To help you get started, here are some things to consider exploring:
Invest time into developing your community. Brand loyalty is going to be a huge factor in whether businesses thrive throughout the pandemic or struggle to make it out the other side. Engage more with your social following and start or revive an e-newsletter to keep your customers informed and stay top-of-mind.
While you’re in your community, tap into them and find out what their new needs and wants are. They have likely changed in recent months and going direct to your customers is the best way to find out if your business and product or service is hitting the mark.
Check out our IGTV with Jen Harwood from @happyhairbrush for her tips on running your business effectively and creatively. Having grown her biz to 10 staff and thousands of loyal followers, it’s safe to say Jen knows a thing or two!
Is your website in need of a refresh? Now is the perfect time to do it. If you have an online store, this is particularly important with the increase in online shopping.
Give back to society and your community. Find a way to contribute that feels natural for you and will make a real difference to others. For us, this is what Thriving in Isolation is all about. We’re giving you all as much love as we virtually can with info, inspo and giveaways to help you along, and we’re fundraising for Beyond Blue in the process.
Refine your processes and save yourself some time, stress, or both! Do you spend too much time on something that isn’t making you money? Then look at how you can simplify that task. Or, be like Tara, and scale back your expectations of what you can (and should) achieve each day.
Still not sure where to start? Download our free brainstorming worksheet below. It’s full of questions and prompts to get you thinking about where your business is at now and where you want it to be after the pandemic.
Whatever you end up doing, make sure that any new activity aligns with the long-term practices that are emerging from the pandemic, so that they’re sustainable and worth the effort.
We want to help our small business community to innovate, pivot and be around for the long-haul. So, in true TCS style, we’ve got a fab giveaway to help keep you motivated and plan the new future of your business. We’ve got this!
Want to Contribute to Thriving In Isolation?
Our goal with Thriving In Isolation is to allow the campaign to grow, flourish and develop as the weeks go by. We want to reach as many small biz owners as possible, but to achieve this we need to work collaboratively to get the word out there. If you have time to share valuable resources via an IG Live or IGTV or have a discount, offer or membership that a business owner would find value in, please reach out to us to discuss Guest Contributor opportunities.