Positive ways businesses can pivot in the Covid-19 climate

Everyone seems to be discussing ways businesses can pivot, right now. But pivoting—or adapting—doesn’t just mean radically changing what we make or what we offer. It’s also the smaller changes we can quickly make to keep our businesses going, but also help our customers get through this crisis.

No one foresaw the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Businesses have been disrupted across the board and it will be some time before they return to ‘normal’. Every single company, no matter the industry sector has had to be adaptable and agile in some way to lessen the negative impact of Covid-19 on their regular operations.

The majority of businesses, big and small, have responded extremely positively to the challenge presented. For those who are able to continue trading from home, adaptability has been extremely important in order to keep up regular working practices, read more of our advice on working from home in our previous post.

We have put together a list of strategies for businesses to innovate and cope with the current situation. From schools to restaurants, businesses have are using digital platforms to adapt their ways of working. We hope they provide a source of inspiration during these unsettling times!

1. Delivery Friendly

Businesses who previously didn’t offer delivery services have seized the opportunity in order to respond to people who are self-isolating at home and cannot go shopping. Lots of small businesses have adapted their products to make them delivery friendly, for example restaurant now providing takeaway services. More and more retail outlets are offering free delivery services to encourage customers to purchase products.

2. Grasp online opportunities

Maintaining a strong online presence during this time is vital. It is the only way you can promote your business and services.  Depending on the nature of the business, there are many ways to adapt and be online friendly.

Schools and Universities have been extremely adaptable by moving learning online, causing minimum disruption for students.

If it suits the nature of your business, keeping a strong social media profile is essential for brand awareness. Even if you are unable to trade, for example bars, theatres and music venues, we have seen lots of examples of them ramping up online activity. By utilising the live stream feature on many social channels, they are keeping their audiences entertained and maintain brand presence with a range of online gigs and shows.

Many businesses have started offering free apps and digital resources, such as gyms, who have been providing online workout classes and free exercise guides.

Email communications, such as newsletters and general business updates could also be utilised to keep in touch with your existing client base, but also engage prospective clients.

3. Connect with locals

Keeping connected with the local community and supporting it in any way possible is really important. If you can support the NHS or elderly in any way, do it. Not only will this help those struggling and vulnerable people, it will maintain a strong business presence and support network within the community.

Councils have been incredibly responsive in helping to minimise the impact of the virus on the community by quickly delivering tech supplies like laptops to those who need online access. They have also given food vouchers to families who were eligible for free school meals.

Some businesses who are able to, have been incredibly innovative and adapted production to make products that are in high demand during the crisis. For example, some alcohol companies have started supplying hand sanitiser and clothing companies have started producing masks.

4. Plan for the future 

Prepare for when you start trading again. Put together a clear step by step process on how you intend to return to normality. Perhaps start to offer e-gift vouchers to keep cashflow going, to be used when you re-open. In addition, look into a strategy around launching new products and a pre-order facility to excite and encourage existing customers to purchase future products.

These are hard times for many businesses, but adaptability is vital to ensure a successful navigation through this crisis and a gentle return eventually to normality.