Let me ask you a question

How many of your favorite “non-essential” businesses are coming up with crazy amazing pivots right now?

If you don’t know what I mean by “pivot” (insert Ross GIF here) here’s the cliff notes version: A pivot is a move in a different direction while still staying within your genius. If you’re a visual person, think of a basketball baller. When they pivot, one foot stays planted but they can make an entire 360 degree turn.

In business it’s very similar. You may see new lines of products popping up that relate to or compliment the original product line. Or a product based retailer providing services based on their products.

So back to my original question; take a second and think about it. How many businesses have you seen this past month or so change up their strategies and provide these “off the wall” products or services?

I have seen my hometown favorite, mom and pop restaurants making family serve meals that were never on the menu for take-out or free delivery. Hair salons that are dropping off root touch up kits to their clients with the client’s special blend and taking all their products online for sale. Nail salons going live on Instagram and Facebook to teach their clients how to safely remove their nails or gel polish. Our local coffee shops doing online ordering and curbside delivery.

An not only our favorite brick and mortars but online businesses as well. Showing up for their communities by providing free trainings, creating free resources, managing new more affordable payment plans, etc.

Not to mention the sheer amount of philanthropy that is happening! I don’t think I have ever seen this level of community love in my lifetime. It might just be my little corner of southwestern PA (I doubt it) but, the absolute quantity of goods that these local small businesses are shelling out for those on the front lines is insane. Especially while they are severely limited in their businesses.

While this season won’t treat these businesses well, they have a massive opportunity on the upswing.

You see, these pivots that businesses are forced to make right now are potentially new revenue streams once they go back to business as usual.

I bet you weren’t thinking along those lines yet, huh? It’s okay, I understand. When we get into crisis mode, it’s generally us making sure we keep moving forward. We prioritize the necessary and try to keep our heads above water. We do what we have to do to make money and stay afloat.

The visionary sees the opportunity

As business owners and entrepreneurs, now is not the time to put our heads in the sand. This is THE time that innovation thrives. Yes, businesses are being negatively affected. In fact, 92% of small business are reporting being negatively affected. However, there is an opportunity on the upswing if the right pivots are made.

If you are in a position that COVID-19 affected your business or your job, take a second and do a few things for me:

  1. Get outside of yourself. What are you good at? What do your customers / clients say about you or your products? What are the 3 things that those closest to you would say about you?
  2. How can you use that information in your current business? How can you pivot your current business to reflect that information during this time?
  3. Are you a service based business? Can you charge to teach others your skills if you can’t get out to serve them?
  4. Are you a product based business? Are you 100% online with your products? Could you run a sale or donate a percentage of every sale to those on the front line? Could you teach people how to use your products most effectively?

You don’t have to search far to find new streams of income or a manageable pivot. They’ve been sitting right under your nose but you didn’t think to look for them because you didn’t need to.

Now that businesses are forced to make these changes, forced to innovate, they’re asking these questions, finding solutions and implementing immediately.

When in reality, this is what they could have been doing all along.

Don’t let yourself become paralyzed by something you cannot change. Accept it and get creative. Remember, action beats perfection every day of the week and twice on Sunday.