Pivot. It can easily be considered the 2020 word of the year. Everyone has had to pivot in some form. Office workers have had to pivot to a home office environment. Parents have had to pivot to become teachers. The hospitality industry has also had to pivot its business plan. But how can you successfully pivot your business plan to ensure that your business remains sustainable?
“Overnight the world has changed, we literally woke up and the world is a different place,” said Megan Garmers, of the Bridal Masterclass, during the recent WIPA webinar Reinvention: Prepare & Pivot Your New Business Plan. “Clearly things are not going to go back to the way they were, so how can we build a new business plan for the future?”
Consider this analogy from Julie Danaylov from the A2D2 Aerial Dance Cirque Company:
Think of yourself as the flyer in a trapeze act and your client as the catcher, the person who catches you after the trick. For whatever reason, the catcher has had to walk down the ladder and is no longer there to catch you.
“They will be back, but not right now, so you have two choices,” Danaylov said during the recent WIPA webinar Life is a Circus: How to Turn Down Time into Up Time. “You can continue to perform the same old way, fall or get banged up or worse you could permanently disable yourself so you cannot continue to be in business; or you can decide to create the most incredible solo act of your entire career.”
When thinking about a new business plan, the main considerations revolve around the “what” and the “why”: What do you clients need and why do they need it? And what can you provide them?
Why do you need a new business plan?
There’s no denying it. The world we once knew is gone, and we have found ourselves in completely unfamiliar territory. It’s still unknown what events will look like as we move into the next phase, but one thing is for certain, we will have to reinvent ourselves to prevent against becoming obsolete.
“If you do not change, you will become extinct,” Garmers said. “Owning a business is a constant journey, it’s a constant marathon that you’re running, and if we don’t step up to the plate, we’re really not doing what we set out to do and we’re just kidding ourselves.”
Once you’ve identified why you need a new business plan, it’s time to start brainstorming what your business plan may look like and how you can address the needs of your clients and the needs of your business.
What will your new business plan look like?
There are so many considerations to think about when evaluating your new business plan, such as your key activities, value proposition, cost structure and revenue streams, but one of the most important is your relationship with your clients because it is their needs that will be what determines what you offer.
“No matter who your ideal client is, it will always continue to change,” Garmers said. “The people you are serving now are not the same as those you were serving last year, and their new reality is something very different than it was six months ago.”
Think about your ideal client. What are some of the struggles they are currently dealing with. Have they had to postpone an event and are currently dealing with the emotions associated with that? Maybe they are having to teach their children at home, which is causing them to have to try and balance work and family.
Once you know what your clients are going through, think about ways that you can provide a service to them. Will largescale events come back soon, or will small or “micro” events be the norm? How about family drop-off/pick-up meals; will they continue to be needed, or will that slowly become less in-demand? Maybe instead of pre-made meals, will meal prep boxes become popular?
“Your ideas should be based in the current reality we are going through right now and the current reality of what your client is going through,” Garmers said.
How will you implement it
As you start working through your business plan and reimagining it for the future, one piece that you can hopefully begin to implement now is to think about the MVP of your business: the Minimum Viable Product. More specifically, what is the smallest services or product that you can offer now. Can you offer at-home tutorials or consultations to your clients? Maybe you havev a lot of leftover food that will go unused can you sell it as meal ingredients to your clients?
“What you’re creating is now is not the end point,” Garmers said, “it’s just the starting point because whether you’re in a time of crisis or not, the new normal continues to change.”