Hot Noodles: How to Pivot
Tricky times call for us to pivot, shift gears and rethink how we do business. Your pivot should align with what your current business does or has planned to do. You want to set yourself up to be successful right now and carry that success out of this dumpster fire into the future.
There are lots of businesses that have done this successfully in 2020. Grocery stores have added delivery services and curbside pick-up options. A keynote speaker we work with has moved to Zoom-only keynotes and added an animation technology to create an almost TV-like experience, giving her viewers an incredible new way to experience digital meetings.
No matter the industry, there are a few things you should noodle on when looking pivoting your business
What do you currently offer? How do your clients access it?
Now, more than ever, it’s important to be super clear about what exactly you offer and how your customers will experience that service or get their hands on that product. Then you’ll know which key elements should remain strong and solid through your pivot. From there it’s time to add other services or products, focusing on what things make sense for your company.
Add products or services that will serve you in the future and not just be a band-aid for what’s happening right now. Adding new things willy-nilly will confuse your customers and dilute what you offer. Clients want to know you have a plan. They want to see consistency. I’m not saying cats can’t be added to a coffee shop—people have done it and boy is that fun! I’m just saying you should choose things that work together or create a new experience that makes sense for you.
How are you connecting with current customers?
Get creative about adding business models, but remember that the goal is to keep your current clients happy. You should be thrilling and delighting them even as you pivot! Remember, you want current customers singing your praises from the rooftops loud enough that their friends hear and come running! Then you can focus on reaching out and attracting sparkly new clients.
Are you online?
Please say yes. If you whispered a soft no, then it’s time to take a big step and get your business online.
No matter what you do, you need to have an online presence. More than that, your digital platforms need to look foxy and they need to work well. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you’re good to go. Your online presence should make an impression—in a good way! It can’t annoy your customer or confuse them. So, if you’re pivoting and taking your business online it need to be rockstar-quality content. That means making sure that your website is responsive and easy to use, and your social media profiles are up to date.
If you’re going digital, you need to reach people and keep them. Going digital casts a much wider net and will almost certainly increase your client base. It also allows clients to check you out when it’s convenient to them and make a more informed decision when they do reach out.
Are you thinking outside the box?
So, you’ve added new services and products, and you have a snazzy website that is working hard for you. But are there other things you need to be doing?
All sorts of industries have been getting creative with their business this year.
Many businesses now offer curbside pickup. Panera now allows me to order their coffee and have someone bring it out. Now I actually go there over Starbucks because I like their coffee better AND I can stay in my car!
A local toy store, Bing’s, lets you call them and explain what you are looking for. Then the owner messages pictures of games and toys for you to pick from. Talk about fun and convenient! I loved talking to a human and getting that personal shopping done while I waited for my hair to be colored.
Some of these pivots might have been shaped by the pandemic, but I hope they stay. They add another kind of modern convenience.
Another fun twist is having things available for a limited time. A local pie business, Pie Bird Pies, popped up during the pandemic and, let me tell you, these pies are pure heaven. What makes them super extra special is that I can’t just order and pick it up in five minutes (or even five hours). I have to order and then wait a few days for these heavenly treats, which makes them extra special. They’ve become something I have to think about, plan for, and then enjoy slowly.
Finding ways to get your clients excited about what you offer and calling those services out clearly is key. Deciding how your own offerings or services are paced is also crucial. Above all else, in times when everything feels confusing and overwhelming making things “easy” and going beyond expectations will help make your pivot a successful one.
- Make sure you’re serving your existing clients well before trying to branch out.
- You need a digital presence—and it needs to be foxy! This means having an easy-to-use website and up-to-date social media accounts.
- Think outside of the box when it comes to new service offerings—but make sure they still make sense for who you are as a business.
Partner + Designer
Bridget Drendel is a partner and designer at Project7 Design. With experience in a variety of studios and corporate environments, she honed her skills before co-founding p7 where she focuses on the studio’s print and web design as well as client relations.