working from home
working from home

Tips for pivoting your business during Covid-19

 

It’s now over a year since Coronavirus was first identified in the UK. This time last year, we still had no idea of the impact the pandemic would have on our lives - from socialising and travelling, to the way we work and the impact on businesses.

 

Unsurprisingly, research from Small Business Britain found two thirds (66%) of small businesses have seen their revenues drop as a result of the pandemic. Many industries – such as travel and hospitality - were forced to halt completely, while others, such as fashion, were impacted by a sudden drop in demand. Others adapted to the unprecedented situation by offering their goods and services in new and Covid-secure ways, for example contact-free home delivery or taking their business online.

 

Almost half of small businesses (44%) got through the first lockdown by pivoting and adding new revenue streams. If you’ve adapted your business during lockdown and are looking for more ways to innovate and succeed in these unprecedented times, these business survival strategies will help.

 

 

Go Digital

zoom call

One of the most evident impacts of the pandemic and resulting lockdown was the move online. Schools, gyms, offices and events all moved to digital platforms while we stayed home to prevent the spread of the disease.

Small Business Britain’s report found that 70% of businesses embracing digital identified it as a crucial factor for future growth. Video conferencing platform Zoom saw its small business customer growth increase from 81,900 at the end of January 2020, to 433,700 by the end of October 2020.

wfh setup

 

Going digital is one way your business can pivot during the pandemic. From building a website to offer your services to utilising social media to market your products, there are many ways your business could utilise technology to succeed.

Digital technology and software can benefit your business in numerous ways:

  • Marketing and sales through a website and social media
  • Cost savings through online accounting
  • Productivity through project management software
  • Connectivity through instant messaging and video conferencing

 

 

socially distanced meeting in the office

During the pandemic, 58% of small businesses increased digital skills, and 52% added new technology. Investing in software and training for your employees can help you build the skills needed to pivot successfully to digital.

 

 

Adapt to the restrictions

Pivoting your business during Covid doesn’t necessarily mean offering an entirely new product or service. Think what products and skills you already have and the services you currently provide, and how they can be made relevant in the current climate.

When pubs were forced to close during the first lockdown, many pivoted by opening as food shops – which were considered essential and therefore allowed to remain open. They offered anything from takeaway draught beer and ready-made pub meals, to fresh vegetables and meats and luxury deli products.

social distancing shop
takeaway pints

The pubs took advantage of their existing relationships with quality food suppliers and breweries to entice customers off the street by offering products above the supermarket standard – perfect for people looking for a little extra luxury to brighten up their lockdown meals at home.

By pivoting in this way, pubs could support their staff by offering them work in the new shop and keep their suppliers in business by continuing to order from them during an unprecedented time for the restaurant industry. This meant they were in a strong position to reopen as pubs again when lockdown measures were eased, having maintained their supply chains, work force and loyal customers throughout the restrictions.

As part of your business survival strategy, think about how your business can be:

Current - Consider what the current lockdown restrictions have increased demand for and whether your business can offer it - from at-home meal kits to crafting sets and virtual events.

Shareable - People love to share their experiences on social media. How can you pivot your business to offer something visually appealing which people will want to share on their social media channels? Shares on social are free marketing for your business!

Supportive - During these difficult times it’s important to think about how your business can help others, whether that’s your own staff or other companies you do business with.

PreparedWhen restrictions begin to ease there will likely be a boom in consumer spending, as people celebrate and socialise. How can your business take advantage of this and pivot in preparation for a post-Covid landscape?

working from home

Although some businesses have thrived during the pandemic, Small Business Britain’s report found that over half (56%) are still feeling the challenges. Finding a way to press on successfully is key to ensuring small business survival.

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