Pivot don’t panic tells a tale. Some small businesses are pivoting. Others are panicking. What causes them to react in these two different ways?
On The BIGG Success Show, we talk with Dan Peterson – entrepreneur, business consultant, and owner of FlipSwitch Social Media, a digital marketing agency that serves businesses spanning dozens of industries across the U.S. Their Pivot Don’t Panic campaign (#PivotDontPanic) spotlights businesses who are successfully adapting to a new business environment. Dan shares the lessons to be learned with us today. Here’s a snapshot of our conversation…
What businesses are thriving during the pandemic?
- Sanitizing and disinfecting for businesses
- Telemedicine (e.g. physical therapy through teletherapy or mobile therapy units)
- Carryout and delivery by restaurants and bars
- Exterior services (e.g. painting, landscaping)
What businesses are struggling since the outbreak?
- Bricks-and-mortar retailers facing innovative online competitors (e.g. you no longer have to go to a store to rent a tux)
- Event-based businesses (e.g. weddings)
- Businesses that fully rely on people coming in (e.g. fitness centers)
Dan says the companies who are losing out weren’t ready. They can’t pivot fast enough, so they are panicking. They need to move quickly to create an online presence – through social media channels like Facebook or setting up an Amazon storefront. In other words, #PivotDontPanic.
Pivot Don’t Panic
Take what you’ve done for years and pivot. Pivot online. Pivot to partnering. For example, if you’re a restaurant – You don’t need to set up your own delivery service. Get on board with Grubhub or Uber Eats or DoorDash.
You may be a business person of a certain age. Let’s say you own a restaurant. Dining out has always been an experience. You may love seeing your place filled with people, enjoying a night out with family and friends.
But now people are staying home. And they’re online. You don’t get this digital world. Embrace change. Hire a consultant like FlipSwitch to help you. In many cases, small businesses with low overhead and a small staff can change faster, because they’re leaner.
How do you connect with customers online
- 66% of social media users say they have increased usage as a result of COVID-19
- 60% said they are more open to purchasing online
- There are more “shop local” initiatives than ever
- Successful retailers are taking their inventory and selling it online (e.g. clothing stores). They are creating shopping experiences on Instagram Live and Facebook Live. They walk through the store with their phone, showing their wares. People pick out what they want on the spot and get it shipped to them in their size.
- Businesses who act now will be better prepared for the post-pandemic business environment because they’ll have another new source of revenue.
Are there good opportunities to start a business now?
- People starting drop shipping businesses – where consumers purchase goods on your portal (e.g. website) and the product goes straight to the end user so you don’t have to carry inventory. Existing bricks-and-mortar stores are also jumping on this bandwagon.
- Business owners starting a second business, with an idea they had before the crisis, and acting now because they have time, energy, and necessity
- People realizing their idea is well-suited for e-commerce
What if you’re a business owner who is panicked?
- Do your homework. Research. What are other businesses in your space doing? What is succeeding for them? Mimic it.
- Realize that it doesn’t take much money to get started online.
- Test new initiatives online. It costs a lot less. If it works online, then consider a bricks-and-mortar location.
A Pivot Don’t Panic mentality stems from one question
The question is: If ____ happens, what will I do?
Be prepared. We’ve just endured a hit to the bricks-and-mortar world. We also need to think about how to handle an interruption to transactions online.
We small businesses owners often haven’t been so good at thinking about the future. While we can’t predict the future, we do need to plan for it so we can create it.
The grand reset button
Everything will change as a result of this event. From schools to business meetings, we are learning how much can be done from home. It’s also bringing back the family.
Dan believes there will be a lot of upside once everything clears up. He calls it “the grand reset button”. It is scary right now – especially for small business. But we’re going to benefit in the long term.
The two of us couldn’t agree more.
Here’s to your BIGG success!
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success
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