Are you thinking about how to pivot your business during crisis? What are the steps to successfully do so?
Crises come. Most can be foreseen and planned for, but their timing can be unexpected or come before you are truly prepared and positioned for them.
Some will really catch you off guard and make you question the viability of your current path and business model. When that happens you may be thinking about pivoting.
So, how do you know if you need to? What are the steps to take if you do?
What’s A Pivot?
Before addressing how to pivot your business during crisis, keep in mind that a pivot is a change in the direction of your business. Think of it as digging your heels in where you are standing now, and turning your body in another direction. You are pointing down a new path.
Depending on the reason and details, you may only need to adjust a little. Just a small tweak or two. This is known as a ‘soft pivot’. Or you may really have to make some serious changes. That is called a ‘hard pivot’. It may be a completely new direction, new product or model, instead of just adjusting features or systems.
Obviously, the way you deal with the pivot as a business is critical as that will determine how you are able to raise capital from outside in investors. In this regard, keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Step One: How Big Is The Crisis?
When wondering how to pivot your business during crisis, the first step to making a successful pivot, and even deciding if you need one is to assess how significant this crisis really is.
Is this just another of the dozen crises you face every day as a startup founder? Or is this one of those once in 100-year complete game-changers?
How long will the impact last? Is it just something temporary and short term you just need to ride out as a company? Or is it a major shift that requires a change in product or business model?
You may find the video below interesting where I cover in detail what is a business model.
Not all crises are bad. They can produce a lot of human tragedy, which shouldn’t be dismissed too lightly. Some can instantly relegate even big businesses from being irrelevant overnight.
Others provide that leap and set up for huge success startups have been waiting for. Just remember, you can control what happens out there. You can only control what you do about it now.
Before you try to understand how to pivot your business during crisis, you need to get clear on what has really changed, and what hasn’t.
Both are equally important and foundations for building a great business that has long term potential and can also thrive in the short term. It’s also worth noting how it has changed for the whole industry and your competitors. This isn’t just happening to you.
Some great examples of this are that traditional grocery shopping and meals may have definitely tipped more towards digital ordering and delivery. Yet, people will always need to eat and buy food.
A few businesses may not be able to make the pivot without going through bankruptcy. Others just need to sprint to adjusting to the new trend.
Just like we still need human intelligence for many roles. Brick and mortar offices may be redundant, and a lot of their supporting industries. Yet, people still need to be hired and communicate with team members.
A Harvard Business Review report on the 2008 Great Recession showed that three years later, only 9% of public companies were back on top of performance and were significantly outperforming the peers that remained in business.
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