How to Pivot Successfully

tips and strategies to get you through COVID-19. Let’s just have a look at pivoting because I think that that is definitely the word one of the words of our time. So let’s just have a look at what it is. So pivoting is described or explained as being a lateral move, that creates enough value for the customer, and the firm to share businesses having to switch in order to remain viable. And you’ve seen a lot of that going on at the moment, whereby people have realized that their existing business model isn’t going to get them through this pandemic. And so they’re having to pivot. So let me give you an example of Spotify, who are a music streaming service, and how they have pivoted, very recently. So BP standing for before the pandemic, they had a lot of free users. And the users had to listen to the advertisers before they actually got onto the content on the platform. And everyone was happy with that. However, the advertisers had to cut their budgets when this whole pandemic kicked off, because they first thing they were going to do is just slash expenses. And so that then put Spotify in a difficult position, because their advertising strategy had been working, they were quite comfortable. But if all of a sudden, all of their advertisers cut their budgets, they had to find another way in order to make some money. And charging users who have been, you know, used to having this service for free, might not be the right time to start to introduce something like that subscription or paid for service. So then this is whereby they have to pivot and think differently. So they decided, Okay, what we will start to do, and I think it’s a brilliant idea is to offer original content, podcasts. And within one month, 150,000 episodes were uploaded. So think about that, I think about the volume, the traffic to the website, what that meant for Spotify, and they’ve actually been able to sign exclusive podcast deals with celebrities. And when you think about it, what they’re becoming is like Netflix, and Netflix Pornhub, various others have done well in this pandemic, because people have been at home, and they are used to subscribing to content. And that’s what they’ve been doing. Although Pornhub actually gave their, their the material away, for I don’t know, for how long but I think it was a couple of months. And then once you’re hooked or used to getting your material you acquire, and you see the if you’re happy with it, you’re quite happy then to start paying for that. Netflix has already got their customers in there. But Spotify to me is now becoming the visual version of No, not even the audio version of Netflix. Netflix has vision. And Spotify has the audio. So the thing is, with anything, look and see who’s doing something well already. And then how can you borrow that formula for your, your business? That’s what makes a good pivot, I think. So how do you think of ideas, then, a lot of restaurants out there have been forced to close and have done pretty badly out of this whole pandemic. However, Uber eat, just eat delivery through any sort of food delivery service, all of those in that kind of genre. Deliveries have done fairly well. So the secret is to look at what’s working, and then find a way to incorporate it into your business model into your business systems. So think about the benefits or the the advantages or what have you got going for you. So if you were a restaurant, what’s good about that. So you’ve got a kitchen, you’ve got ingredients, you’ve got the knowledge and skills of how to put that together. You’ve got the space because people go in there and sit down and have celebrations parties, weddings, birthdays, whatever it is. So you are if you’ve got a restaurant, you have got something going for you. But you’ve got to think about what this pandemic because men, which is that you’ve got to do social distancing. So you can’t have a full sort of house anymore. In the UK at the moment, you’re not supposed to mix households. There’s all sorts of things going on. So you’ve got Think about how you can operate, bearing in mind everything that’s going on, how can you work to your strengths, some some ideas, so make some some examples. So you can offer maybe a flat rate for a set number of meals per week, or per month, within a limited menu choice. So that means that you know, you’ve got all the ingredients there, you just make up a lot of meals, almost notice that ready meals, but even better, if you like, and then you offer that to people. So then at least you’ve got some consistency or some promised income. And then there are people out there that still don’t like to cook still don’t want to cook, and they can still get to taste your food. And it would probably, you know, be better quality than a TV dinner, for example. So that’s one idea. Another idea could be to offer a combination of pre cooked dishes with some sides that maybe could be prepared at home, using ingredients supplied by the restaurant. So this is taking it a little step further. Rest, the restaurant could send a link to a video that walks the customer through the preparation. And then you’re starting to incorporate and an experiential learning element into the whole experience. And now you’re starting to get into training. And what some restaurants might actually find this actually, you only have to do that, you just have to make corporate videos, this is how you make the dishes and be selling that you might even find that that’s more profitable than actually running an actual restaurant is who knows. So experiential learning and using video, is is seems to be the way seems to be the way more and more things are being done. This is why zoom has done really well in this in this time, because a lot of people are on their videos, and are and are you using video in their business? So it’s a way to kind of remain face to face with people as well. So can you somehow robot incorporate video into your business? So what makes a pivot work? Here’s another example you need three conditions. Number one, the pivot must align the firm with one or more of the long term trends created or intensified by the pandemic. So let’s think about what they might be. What are these trends what, wherever we go in and what’s been happening and what is likely to stay with us. So we’ve got more remote working, so people aren’t going to be going back to work anytime soon. Really, the government in the UK anyway, keep telling you, if you come work from home work from home, we’ve got shorter supply chains, meaning people are more locally focused now. So they want local shops to support local things. And then we’ve got social distancing, meaning you’ve got to sit apart from people. So if you’ve got something going on indoors, it CVR got to be stopped, or you can’t have as many people as before, so they keep telling you two meters apart or six feet apart. So these are the trends. And then there’s the enhanced use of technology, you’ve got more and more people more comfortable using technology. So you, as a result need to be comfortable using technology as well. So for example, if social distancing remains the wall for the near future, the casual dating platform, Tinder will need to follow its competitors such as Bumble and Facebook dating, in offering video dating. So video is going to be on the increase is already what makes the pivot work. So secondly, so first of all, of course, work towards that you need to align yourself to some of these long term trends that we’ve got going on. And then secondly, you need to play to your strengths and existing capabilities. And whatever way in which you pivot it needs to support the business’s strategic intent. For example, faced by the southern collapse in trouble, Airbnb moves swiftly to help hosts financially and connect them with potential guests. And hosts can now offer online events focused on cooking, meditation, art therapy, virtual tours, many of activities with over users joining for a modest fee. I remember one of the first things that I saw because Airbnb had canceled all bookings and return funds to the to the guests. They they Had hosts who were in some of these cities, let’s say, France or wherever. And if you live near the Eiffel Tower, there were some hosts that were doing virtual tours of the Eiffel Tower so that those people were going to come to France, that would have been one of the things that they’ve done. There, we’re going to do this, guests were all the hosts, were doing virtual tours, doing a tour, no one’s there. Because they might have been doing it live, everyone should have been in isolation, give you a little tour of the Eiffel Tower, you can feel like you actually were there, or the move, or whatever. And that was a way in which people, the hosts were able to still make a bit of money. But that kind of really only worked when you were in a popular kind of tourist destination, what now the role of our online events that you can do. And so even though people might not be able to visit you, in person, you can give them an experience now, and they’re called Airbnb experiences. So in the future online experiences could help travelers discover new destinations and on site activities, and help hosts offer a better service. So imagine if perhaps, you’re going to go to Spain, you could have a host in Spain, doing some sort of Spanish cookery, and you are there, but you’re getting the benefit of learning about ingredients, they might do it in a bit of English or Spanish, you get a bit of language in there. So it’s really interesting the way what the future could hold. And where Airbnb could take it. So it could start to, you know, help increase learning about other cultures from a distance, and celebrating the diversity of the world. And I think that’s really quite, quite, quite promising. And there was a gap in doctors and nurses accommodation, and people who were offering accommodation that was an area that they thought, you know, people were sort of shying away from hosting medical people. But if you could host them, give them accommodation, then you pivoted made that your target audience, and you had your accommodation filled up immediately. So it makes a pivot work. Third point is that pivots must offer a sustainable path to profitability, and enhance the brand value in the mind of customers. One of the best examples I’ve seen so far of pivoting, that I like to share is it was on my Twitter. It was funny because a friend sent me a WhatsApp. And then I’d looked into Facebook, and I saw the same thing. And then I went and found it on Twitter. But here’s a link, it says at the white horse in Headington, you can rent a pub desk, with free Wi Fi, so for three hours, for tenpin, including tea, coffee, and a sandwich for Monday to Thursday, 11am to 5pm, you can get a pug desk. And then there’s information on the Facebook page for the white horse in Headington. And so what this tells you basically, is that the economic crisis, that triggered that is being triggered by the pandemic doesn’t necessarily spell the end of entire industries or companies, those that are entrepreneurial, those that have ideas, those that can implement them quickly. And computer can actually make a success of things. So a put desk, I think, is one of the most brilliant ideas ever. And the thing is, jokingly, I have shares in a very popular pub chain, I always there up there, I used to call it my second home, and I have shares in it. And I think all these years, what I’ve had is a pub desk, and I just didn’t know what what it is, is it works and it’s catering to the long term trends. The long term trend is in remote working. You’ve got shorter supply chains, as in people want to buy local, they can’t go very far anyway, because traveling is limited. A lot of remote working and as a result, possibly isolation because people have to be at home. But they want to get out the one on be out, you know, they like exercise and support local business. So in these pubs, you get social, you have social distancing, because all the little desks maybe I don’t know bought a new kind of desks, the war space style. And then you get your Wi Fi which they’re including. And so that is using technology. And I think the idea is that even though they say three hours for 10 pounds, once you’re there, you might buy lunch, you might buy dinner, depending because you pay $11 Five, you might also just get yourself a drink or two. So it’s not necessarily just the 10 pound that you’ll spend. But even if you do if they have loads of these little deciles scattered about throughout the pub, that’s a good little trade for them, you know, better than nothing better than closing. So industries that are badly affected, you’ve got the airlines, because due to the fact that, you know, there’s a lot of flights were granted border control, there was a lockdown. So anyone who was in sort of the whole travel industry that includes ferries and cruises, they’ve been badly affected human, but one of the worst earliest cases was on a cruise ship where the people wouldn’t be let off in survival. But there was a coronavirus outbreak on the ship. leisure facilities have been canceled, you know, big sporting events like Wimbledon, being canceled. And charities, especially those that are food banks, people aren’t being as charitable anymore, because maybe they need the food themselves. And just other charities haven’t been able to do as much fundraising because people are being so generous. And they’re the fundraising activities that they’d normally do. And on screen, the MS Society is the one I do support still support. So you want to give any money to anything. There’s a an example of a very good charity. But charities haven’t been able to do their fundraising events and that has they’d normally be able to do so they have taken a dip in income too. So industries have been badly affected. But there are in that say that said always on the flip side of the coin industries that have done really well and we shouldn’t forget about those, what can we learn from them? So insurance has done well, because there have been less people in their cars because people were grounded for so long, less accidents, less claims. So insurance has done exceptionally well. health and social care. Nurses are in demand. Doctors are in demand. health care workers generally are in demand. And so if you were maybe a pharmacist or any kind of medicinal type of supplier, regardless of what’s going on in the wider world, people still need you. Dentists have put their prices up and they’ve been charging clients a cleaning fee. And you know, when you’ve got a dental emergency, people just pay what you ask them to pay. So they believe done well, food retailers, anyone selling food, any supermarket literally has done well, because a lot of shops were closed, but the food remained open. So that was one thing that you could continue to buy it was food. And there were lots of empty shelves for a while a lot of supermarket shelves run bare. So food retailers, I can’t remember what the statistic was bought, like maybe in the first six months of the year. It was almost like they’d had a almost like the run up to Christmas where so much had been bought. It was literally like that kind of time that some sales a lot of these places did because people just wanted to go in bulk buy, go home and stay there. So that’s what happened. And tech companies, particularly those in education and in health care have done exceptionally well in this pandemic. Think about who is recruiting whoever is recruiting and needs more stuff is an industry that is in demand and is doing well.