Almost every business needs to pivot its offering to succeed in a world that has been turned on its head by COVID-19.
The idea is to see this as an opportunity to create a new product or service that can help support your business revenue now and into the future. For example Delfina Sport, a customised swimwear and apparel business, has temporarily shifted the majority of their production power to the manufacturing of face masks.
Delfina has seen orders coming in for organisations either for their workforce, the community or their clients. It is an opportunity also to get their brand out there via the customisable nature of the product. Delfina have seen significant uplift in those units for the coming week.
This is a great example of a business who has pivoted its offering to target a gap in the market. Other industries which have seen an uplift include, food, pet supplies, logistics, commercial cleaning and call centres. Here are three ways you can create business opportunities during this time.
1. Look for online opportunities
Thanks to social distancing and the directive to stay home as much as possible, it’s now almost impossible to conduct business face-to-face. This is an opportunity to explore how you can convert your traditional business model to an online one.
Lots of companies are already doing this. For instance, many gyms are now holding online classes through videoconference technology Zoom (although IT security concerns have occurred with Zoom).
Training providers are now offering online courses. Even art galleries are organising virtual exhibitions. So the idea is to think through how what you have always offered in the real world translates to the online environment.
Sharon Melamed is the managing director of Matchboard, an online platform that matches businesses with suppliers. She has transformed the way her firm holds events from the physical to virtual world. “We had two boardroom lunch events scheduled in March that social distancing made unviable. So we moved the events to a series of one-on-one and small group virtual presentations,” says Melamed.
“Our sponsor was happy because instead of pitching to a room full of 15 people, he could tailor his pitch to participants’ individual needs and industries. So we were able to turn around a bad situation to our advantage,” she explains.
“There are plenty of ways to transform your business so it’s fit-for-purpose to survive these challenging times”
2. Turn a B2B model into a B2C model
Lots of wholesalers, especially in the hospitality area, have been hard hit by the federal government’s decision to prevent restaurants, cafes and clubs from opening during the pandemic.
But people still need to eat, so some smart operators in this industry sector are going direct to the consumer. For instance, catering companies are setting up a sister brand delivering meals directly to households. Or companies that deliver food to restaurants at wholesale prices are allowing consumers to order directly from them. “This is a great alternative to resource-pressured supermarkets for shoppers,” Melamed says.
The best thing about this approach is that firms that go down this path will have a completely new business line to pursue once the hospitality sector re-opens. This will compensate for losses suffered during the pandemic.
3. Provide information to help guide businesses through the pandemic
Your customers and suppliers are hungry for trusted sources of information and there’s a huge opportunity to fill your gap.
“Your clients want information to keep their businesses afloat. As an accounting firm, we’ve been able to use our expertise to help small businesses navigate government stimulus packages to maximise the support available to them,” says Davie Mach, founder of Box Advisory Services.
“Clients have also been sharing the content we’ve created among their networks, helping us to generate leads and win new clients,” he adds. There are plenty of ways to transform your business so it’s fit-for-purpose to survive these challenging times.
But it’s also important to explore how your insurance needs have changed if you’ve created a new business, product or service.
So make sure you talk to your Steadfast broker as soon as possible to find out if your existing insurance policies cover your new venture or if you need to refine your cover so you have the right protections in place. That’s one of the best ways to manage your risks and at the same time explore new pathways to profit.
The information provided here is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Steadfast Group Ltd ABN 98 073 659 677, AFSL 254928