20 Apr What’s it costing you NOT to pivot?
The current economic climate is making life interesting for small business in Australia.
Each day we hear of more businesses going into hibernation, banks reducing their capacity to lend and people walking away from the businesses they have spent many years creating and nurturing.
We saw this exact pattern around the GFC too. For the first three months of that life experience people pulled back, almost as if shell-shocked, afraid to do anything through fear. Their status-quo had been rocked and the concept of operating through it seemed impossible.
It took a while for people to understand that new and foreign landscape, and to find their place within it.
After that initial three months, a new normal came about. People understood the playing field, knew the operating parameters they could play within and were able to carve out their own little places within.
We are almost in this phase now and it can’t come soon enough.
I watched an interesting video from a live chat Simon Sinek did (you can watch it here). There were two quotes in particular that stood out to me:
“The opportunity is what WILL we be, not how do we preserve what we HAD?” and “How will we do what we’re doing when the world is different?”
Those two quotes sum up this whole experience from a business perspective. It’s almost a little ‘should I stay or should I go now’ (to chuck in a random yet relevant song lyric).
Already we have seen how innovative and forward thinking some businesses can be.
How quickly businesses have been able to pivot and either change their product offering (and client base!), like Stagekings who usually build pop-up stages for national and international touring acts and are now building flat-pack stand-up desks (and, as I see this morning, a cool new range of storage boxes!).
How companies are using their existing tech to produce something so outside their wheelhouse it almost feels improbable to have pulled it off, like Helimods who usually complete helicopter modifications for military and rescue purposes and were able to use their 3D printer to make a range of PPE for Queensland medical staff.
How companies have found a new way to sell and deliver their existing product to their existing client, like The Sun Bookshop in Yarraville who have changed the way they take orders and payments and now offer contactless delivery by bike within one business day – faster even than the world’s largest bookshop!
These companies have chosen to take action. They have worked quickly, with what they have to hand, to pivot and set themselves apart from the rest. And it’s worked.
These companies are giving themselves the best chance for survival. They have taken a risk to do something different and ensured their position and place in the market for when the world returns to some form of normality.
So, what can you do?
It can be hard sometimes to see the forest for the trees. Step back, take a look at what your particular market is doing and see if your current business model and product offering fits within it.
If it doesn’t, can you pivot? Can you use your existing technology/workforce/production line/materials/etc. to do something different in this current environment?
The worst thing you can do for yourself and your business is stick your head in the sand. Be upfront with your team, talk to them about the challenges you are facing and ask for their perspective and their ideas. It’s quite likely that someone on a manufacturing line has looked at their particular component at some stage and thought “hmmm, I reckon you could use this for xxx”. This kind of specialised and specific knowledge is what your business needs right now.
It may very well be that your business is able to continue at this time. Doing what it does, in preparation for when people are spending again – and that’s fantastic! If you need some help managing your cashflow during this time, hit us up!
Align yourself with another business
Another option to consider is aligning yourself with another business. Is there someone with a business that is complimentary to yours? This could be sharing your premises with a totally different type of business to share rent and expenses. Or a coffee shop in a book shop. Or real estate agents teaming up with mortgage brokers.
A complimentary business is good for your business, their business and your customers. Look around at who is in your local area and see who might be a good fit for you.
I’ve got an idea!
If you have an idea that can keep your business operating through the #coronapocalypse but don’t have the ability to fund it, drop us a line. We have a long history of supporting Australian businesses through tough times. Our short-term lending product can help you through this one.
What’s it costing you not to operate?
Don’t let your hard work go to waste, ensure your businesses survival into the future.