Pivoting your business during a crisis is a significant decision to make, especially if it involves many changes like reconfiguring your operations, systems, service delivery methods, or teaching employees new skills.
To survive the crisis, a business needs to focus its efforts on pivoting to scale opportunity.
Here are five practical ways to pivot your business in times of crisis:
1. Embrace the Opportunities of Digitalisation
The impacts of the current pandemic have been alarming. Businesses at large have had to deal with the implications of a great number of their consumers, management and staff being homebound due to present-day lockdown restrictions.
Businesses seeking survival need to strategise and look for new opportunities to remain afloat.
Using digitalisation to bring your business to the doorsteps of your customers is one such opportunity.
Selling via e-commerce websites and online markets is a powerful marketing approach that promotes brand awareness and enables the business to reach new customers.
Not only is this strategy an effective and efficient way to cope with the current circumstances, but it is also a means to maximise the business’ potential in terms of staying relevant and being ahead of the game even in times of crisis.
2. Design New Products and Services
Launching a new product is crucial for those businesses whose primary revenue streams or core products have been hit hard during the crisis.
For a newly launched product to succeed in the market, specific considerations need to be understood by business leaders. The following steps have been adapted from IESE Business School and can be used to increase your new product or offer’s rate of success:
- Assess customer needs (and gaps in the market). If your product is not needed or wanted by consumers, its failure becomes unavoidable. Ensure that the product you are developing actually meets the demands of your potential customer base.
- Predict the future buying habits of customers as accurately as possible. This step involves analysing the segments of consumers that the product is geared towards.
- Analyse the opinions of customers as a means to obtain relevant information. From the gathered information, the business becomes better equipped to develop appealing concepts.
- Another technique is for the company to create prototypes and assess how these prototypes perform. This serves to ensure that the new product or service provides value, satisfies consumer needs, is cost-effective and has the capacity to be profitable following its launch.
- Decide on the positioning of the new product or service. This step is based on how the business would want its potential customers to perceive the product or offer, taking into account economic, functional and emotional factors.
3. Engage with Existing Customers
In times of crisis, it is imperative to provide authentic, reliable, and transparent efforts to your existing customers. The business’ existing customers are its main brand ambassadors. As such, businesses must strive to preserve their existing relationships with them. Some ways to nurture these existing relationships include sending personalised SMS messages, emails, newsletters, postcards and using social media to support engagement.
Keeping in mind that people are spending a lot of time online, organisations can maximise the opportunity to share content, show customers that they are cared about by the business, and to creatively engage with them.
4. Change the Tone Used in Your Promotional Material
Because of the negative impact that this outbreak has had on people, it is useful to pivot promotional approaches by changing the tone used in your marketing material. According to a content strategist, Carmine Mastropierro, traditional sales copy centres on provoking emotions such as fear, urgency, scarcity, etc., but, amidst the pandemic, it’s beneficial for promotional content to be focused on positive emotions of hope, inspiration, and joy. This serves to help consumers picture success, freedom, and goal attainment.
5. Keep Trying (Despite Failure)
Having a positive mindset while pivoting the business during the pandemic is vital because it will gear up the whole team to not give up until the desired outcomes have been achieved.
There is no guarantee that all of the mentioned pivoting strategies and techniques are applicable to your business. What you need to do is identify which of these is suitable for your individual business needs and do a great deal of testing to measure effectiveness.
Not everything you try out will work from the get-go. It may take your organisation numerous attempts to determine which approach works and is most effective. If something does not yield positive results for your business, look for another alternative until you achieve your goals.
Running these pivoting strategies requires a high degree of risk. But, when it comes to pivoting to help your business maintain its position in the market, even in times of crisis, business leaders must carry out a series of preparative efforts before deciding to lead the company in a new direction.
You don’t have to venture through this alone – Speak to one of our experts about pivoting your business today.