Canadian businesses like the rest of the world were caught off guard by a global pandemic. So now the question is what can we do for our business? Business plan, schmizness plan.

Your old business model is obsolete, your cash flow is on fire and your hair is turning silver. How do you adapt? This article focuses on two aspects of pivoting your business, and some real-life examples.

Keep an ear to the ground and continue to provide a solution to a problem.  Listen to your consumer base and the way the industry is moving. Your business must adapt to your support base and move with times. A freelance personal chef service is not likely to do well with social isolation. However, the need for meal planning, recipes, and grocery delivery has spiked.  Leverage your current client base, ask what they need, what is a new problem on their radar. You cannot be emotionally anchored to one product, service, or way of doing things, even if there is a real or perceived sunk cost. Perhaps you can offer a week worth of meals or grocery delivery to the existing client base. It sucks that you cannot display your flambé technique anymore, but would you rather breakthrough the crises or break down in the crises.

Re-Orient your market.  So, your product or service is not selling anymore to your client base. Perhaps your old model and target audience need to change.  Is there an adjacent market segment you can address with your current product or service?  Your tourism magazine on the Tropics is suffering from lack of demand.  Perhaps now would be an excellent time to transition to a domestic tourism model.  Finding the correct market can be a prerequisite to your success.  Slack, went from a consumer target video game company, with a chat platform to a multi-billion dollar business by changing their market. They were able to take their existing product and become a communication platform for Businesses.

Pivoting your business strategy may be difficult but worth it.  It is why we still know about Nintendo, Honda, and Western Union and why blockbuster has faded into the 90s lore.  It goes with the saying – when you go with the flow, you eventually find a waterfall. Those who can transition to a more fitting service or product for the time will survive.  Recall; continue to solve a problem, and re-orient your market if necessary to successfully pivot your business.