Tips To Help Small Businesses Pivot During The Pandemic

You may have heard the word "pivot" a lot lately. Put simply, a pivot is a shift in business strategy to start a new business model or launch a new offering due to internal or external factors. The coronavirus pandemic presents an opportunity for small businesses to consider ideas that might be vastly different from their original offerings.

Vivian Nunez, an entrepreneur and co-host of a Forbes podcast, spoke to Pamela Barba, a brand strategist who helps small business owners take their ideas and turn them into successful businesses. Growing up in a small business family in Ecuador, Barba learned how to start over again and again, often talking business and strategy at her family's kitchen table.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Barba's tips on how small business owners can pivot in an organic and relevant way.

Make it easy for people to buy from you. Have a clear positioning statement on all your social accounts and website, explains Barba. Then make it easy for people to buy from you by having a link where they can learn more and purchase in plain sight. Don't assume people know who you are and what you offer.

Solve for current problems. Instead of focusing on the problem you were solving before the pandemic, Nunez says it's critical to figure out the problem that your business can solve within the context of the pandemic. Barba notes that she has seen a cleaning company in her neighborhood offering front porch cleanings since most of her neighbors hang out on their front porch. She has also seen restaurants turning into a pantry where you can buy local produce. This is the time to innovate, Barba says, and to think of an idea and test it in the simplest way possible.

Be clear about your "why." If your strategy includes building an online community, make sure you're not just doing it to check a box, notes Nunez. Instead focus on how you provide value to your community virtually and if it's relevant. Barba says the main goal of posting online is to build trust with your audience. With each post, you are creating a relationship with your audience. Honor their time and their feelings and give them content that adds value to their lives right now.

Add in time to focus on your mental health. While you're contemplating ways to pivot, don't forget to take care of your mental health. Barba suggests asking yourself, "What is the tiniest way I can take care of my mental health today?" Looking back on her upbringing in a small business family, Barba learned that if you are well, your business has the opportunity to be well, too.

In the days and weeks ahead, look for ways your business could potentially pivot during the pandemic. Don't be afraid to adjust your original vision and stay flexible. Your openness to new ideas could help you succeed now and in a post-coronavirus world.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Vivian Nunez is the founder of a community and resource for teens and young adults. She helps small businesses and startups strengthen their digital presence and serves as the co-host of Forbes' podcast, Creating Espacios.

filed under May 2020
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