Pivoting In A Pandemic
The global pandemic of 2020 has forced a new way of doing things. The world in a sense has been turned upside down and people are doing things they've never done.
A direction or path they were following has forced a pivot, or turn, towards something different and new.
By pivot, I don't mean the famous Friends scene where Ross is directing Rachel and Chandler up the stairs with a couch. While comical, it is the pivot that businesses have to take at this point that will determine whether they come out on the other side of this, or get stuck like the Friends characters did.
As a business leader, it is important that you take action now, not waiting until the pandemic is over. It is critical because what you do now will shape what business looks like going forward.
So what should you do as a business leader right now to ensure you come out on the other side? There are 5 important considerations to help you pivot now:
When you take action with each of these, you may find yourself in a better spot down the line with your business.
Let's talk attitude first.
Grant Cardone said, If you look for opportunity you’ll find it, if you look for negativity you’ll find it. So what do you really want to look for?
We have all been affected by the pandemic, but how you choose to react to it, will define the outcome. It starts with a positive, growth-minded attitude.
You have to choose to have a good attitude to your customers, your employees, your vendors, your clients, your staff, and yourself. You have to choose to have this good attitude every single moment.
As soon as you start playing woe is me, or feel bad about yourself and the things that may be happening to your business, is the moment it goes downhill. In the thick of this pandemic, you have to change your mindset from crisis to expansion.
With a positive attitude, your next step is to assess.
Now is the time to look internally at your company's assets, products, accounts receivables, and liabilities. To assess means that you evaluate or estimate the nature, ability, or quality of something or someone.
When you take the time to assess those things mentioned above, you have to ask yourself some questions.
How will these things be affected by the pandemic? What changes will you need to make to protect these things? What will these things look like post-pandemic? What opportunities do I have with these? Will these help my business expand? Where should we trim the fat?
Once you assess, it's time to adapt.
Ok, so you have a positive mindset, and you have assessed your assets, products, accounts receivables, and liabilities, it's now time to adapt. Adapting is a process all in itself.
Adapting doesn't mean just changing something, but modifying it to make it suitable for a new use or purpose. To change you must give something up or make something new. How can you shift or repurpose with the world's new normal?
It's time to bust open the books, trim the fat, and consolidate resources. You have to experience a tightening of every facet of business: policies, procedures, and budgets.
Once you dig in and figure out what may need to be adapted about your business you need to establish your approach.
Are you changing a process? Did you implement new policies? Did you create a new product? Did you eliminate something? Always be forward thinking.
This is the time to over communicate as a leader to your staff. Keep your team in the loop on the things that need to change because you are going to need their immediate buy in.
You also will need to be very conscious of your time. It is very easy during this pandemic to lose track of minutes, hours, even days. I know I've asked more times than ever before what day it is because our schedules have been thrown off track. Use time blocking methods, down to the minutes if you must, to stay on task.
Once you develop your approach and have your team on board, it's time to get to work and apply it.
Apply should really just equate to taking action. To truly adapt you have to take action on your new approach. What will make you strong on the other side of this pandemic? Do it.
To move from crisis to expansion it takes just that, movement. While these times are unprecedented, it doesn't mean you can be stagnant or just wait it out. Your business will notice the effects of dormancy.
Locally, we have seen businesses use their resources to create personal protection equipment like masks and hand sanitizer. One example is Watershed Distillery.
This restaurant and distillery has made a pivot move by using their equipment to produce hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer is being offered for free to first responders and health care workers and sold to the public.
Finding new opportunities and thinking creatively outside the box can send your business in a positive direction despite a pandemic. Don't be afraid of discovering new ideas or figuring out how to help during this time.