What does pivoting mean? Pivoting is a term you will have heard frequently over the last six months. It means changing the way you do things to either survive or make the most of new opportunities as the world around you is changing.
Pivoting is often believed to involve making significant changes to a whole business, but this is not always the case. Usually, a small business only has one crucial problem that needs addressing and so only requires one aspect of the business to be altered.
For coaches, trainers, facilitators and consultants whose primary income has come from in-person courses, workshops or coaching sessions, the main pivot could be to generate these sales from online activities instead.
The world has changed around all of us during 2020 and looks set to continue evolving well into 2021. The impact on coaches and trainers has been all in-person activities have been cancelled and clients either going bust, hibernating or suspending all plans for the future development of workshops and courses.
Clients that are pivoting to use more online courses and workshops, this presents a fantastic opportunity if you are ready to shift your business to meet their needs.
It would be hard to find anyone, young or old, who has not had a video chat or virtual meeting during the first half of 2020. Zoom has had over 94 million iOS installs during the second quarter of 2020. No other non-game app has ever previously surpassed 50 million iOS downloads in a single quarter.
The world is now primed for online learning.
Working remotely is now a "new normal" working model for many businesses, from the self-employed to multi-billion corporations. Google recently announced that its employees would be allowed to work from home until at least July 2021. Even professionals such as attorneys, therapists and doctors are no including virtual consulting sessions as an option for clients and patients.
This shift means no going back. Everyone has experienced the power of video calls and has overcome any hesitancy and resistance toward speaking live online, following virtual meetings and taking online programs.
Such a shift has paved the way for coaches and trainers, business consultants and facilitators to pivot now and deliver their offerings online. They can now protect themselves from future disruptions to their income which comes when live in-person sessions get cancelled or postponed again.
As a trainer and facilitator for over 25 years, I've been through my fair share of pivots. OK, this is my first pandemic. But I've experienced at least two major economic downturns that have caused me to pivot several times and offer a service or product to take advantage of some unexpected opportunities.
And my experience shows that you can successfully pivot your business, your products and your services.
This can be as simple as taking a course that you've previously only ever run in-person then breaking it down into smaller bit size pieces and offering these as small online courses. Or running your coaching sessions only through Zoom or Skype.
Technology makes it extremely easy to pivot and go from a traditional in-person training or coaching business to one that derives it's revenue purely from online activities.
I recommend you don't try to pivot in isolation. Instead gather ideas from inside and outside of your team and peer group.
Work with your employees if you have any, as well as clients, end-users and any other stakeholders. They are valuable idea generators. Reach out to your mentors and other industry professionals for additional perspectives and ideas.
Here are the three steps to pivoting quickly and smartly.
Given the restrictions with your local lockdown guidelines or laws host an online ideas party. Use your favourite video conference package to bring everyone together who you feel can contribute.
From your creative list of ideas, refine them and consider which ones could be viable. Sort them into categories using criteria such as ease of implementation, cost, benefit, risks and so on.
Don't throw out any ideas even if they seem unrealistic. Keep them for a rainy day or future ideas party. You are looking for ideas that can significantly protect your business or ones that allow you to exploit new opportunities.
Narrow down your choices so that you have some realistic ideas and can move forward on these.
Once you have chosen a way forward, try it out. But the key point to keep in mind is that this try out needs to be fast and dirty. Waiting to perfect things costs you time, money and risks. You need to get things up and to run quickly and then figure out the perfections later. Taking six months to create your first online mini-course to test with a client is too long. Get set, fire, aim is the order of the day. You will have ample time to refine and perfect your offer once you have had feedback and validated that it can actually earn you income.
As you prepare for your chosen pivot, think about the following areas. They are all things that you should consider before investing time and money in any pivot.
Reducing spending will be necessary for many small businesses in the immediate term. Finding smart ways to invest in growth and to pivot will be crucial for small businesses in the future even more so if there is a second and possibly third pandemic spike. Rebuilding their financial performance will be vital.
Talk to us about how we can help you pivot your business. From facilitating an online ideas party to setting up the tools, you need to pivot your business online fully.
Tools such as Kajabi an 'all in one' tool for online business owners.
You can email us on [email protected] or complete the form below to schedule a free 30 discovery call.
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