Pivoting in the time of Pandemic: 5 Takeaways
Pandemi yang melanda seluruh dunia ini really challenging for all of us and especially for those who are running a business – no matter the scale is. I never imagined that I would experience something like this: kind of being quarantined in my apartment, in my city. Never before businesses should close down for some period of time and people should stay home. Kerja dari rumah, sekolah dari rumah, ibadah dari rumah, kata pak presiden, which we start doing all of these from March till now (mid-May, ketika tulisan ini dibuat). Practically, kehidupan di luar rumah menjadi terhenti. With such limitation and virus threat, kita semua try to adjust to these challenges.
In the middle of this pandemic period, istilah “pivot” menjadi sangat penting dan relevan. I have thought about pivoting my startup since last year dengan progress yang very slow karena masih diselimuti banyak keraguan gulty feeling and because I need time to swallow my pride - but this pandemic really changes everything and speeds me up in making final decision.
Pivoting pada dasarnya adalah shifting business strategy to accommodate changes in its customer preferences, business environment, competition or any other factor that impacts its bottom line (or simply because you want to do something different) – that’s include this pandemic period.
Ketika orang-orang stay at home, ada pembatasan sosial, maka consumer behaviour berubah. In the meantime, no travel allowed, kita tidak lagi nongkrong di coffee shop, makan di restoran, nonton bioskop dan pergi ke konser. We don’t even go to school dan kita beribadah lewat YouTube, TV dan podcast.
Then we now see how suddenly coffee shop kesayangan jadi jualan frozen food, kopi ready to drink kemasan 1 liter, resto favorite menjual versi frozen, brand skin care dan cosmetics memproduksi hand sanitizer, perusahaan textile and fashion designer memproduksi Alat Pelindung Diri (APD). Hotels are serving take away and delivery food dengan harga bersaing. It is very common for everyone sells homemade food, frozen food, sampai hand made masker kain. And the list is still continuing. It’s time for many businesses to pivot or even to quit.
Kita memprediksi what new normal would look like and we develop business strategy based on current and predicted future normal. While we may not have all of the resources untuk pivot in a radical way, at least we have some options to do:
It is very plain to see that people are doing almost everything online now. Belanja online. Sekolah online. Konsultasi dokter online. Olah raga online. Seminar, meeting, workshop semuanya online. I’m a big believer in online, including online education – Long before it’s widely common, I took online program from Gemmological Institute of America in 2012 and I got my professional certificate in digital marketing from Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, UK back in 2014. No matter what business you’re in, go online is crucial. For services business, going 100% online might not be possible. Some part of business process still has to run in offline mode.
Educate customers adalah lagu lama – we have heard the quote: don’t market to your customers, educate them instead. Kita bukan hanya educate customers about our brand, our company, our product but also how to solve problems using our product atau service. Educate customers dan target market ini banyak dipakai bisnis bumbu daput, such as Kecap Bango, Royco yang educate how to use their products melalui resep dan tutorial masak memasak. MLM essential oils juga menggunakan “educate” strategy on how to create DIY things using essential oils. Brand smartphone bikin edukasi fotografi atau bikin video dengan produknya. Endless ideas to explore!
While now many are staying at home – either being quarantined atau memang jaga diri dengan banyak tinggal di rumah aja, people need activities.
How we can educate customers dan our target market? Create content, provide workshop and develop experience via online. Nowadays konten video, dan any other social media live (FB Live, IG Live) are very trending, tapi for introverts, blog and podcast are safer alternatives.
Should we monetize this? Ada opsi freemium, and of course we can monetize it. Just remember to provide extra value when you charge your “education”, for instance: bundling it with product/service (barang, konsultasi, ebook, etc)
It is very well known that business related to health, wealth and relationship will be long lasting. In the era of Covid 19, health menjadi prioritas. Sales produk Kesehatan(suplemen Kesehatan terutama yang terkait dengan imunitas, empon-empon/spices) dan hygiene related (hand sanitizer, antiseptic soap, antiseptic wet tissue, masker, face shield) meningkat tajam.
Di saat ketika semua focus pada issue hygiene, showing your clean, hygiene back-stage activity (kitchen, production area) is important. Don’t forget that mental health is also essential to address. Boredom, anxiety and stressful life during this pandemic should also be managed well.
Whenever possible (depends on resources juga), focus on health, relate your business to health and hygiene. And as online activities increase dramatically during this stay at home period, eye health care should also be addressed.
Giving and gifting in time of needs are lifting our spirit. It is also providing another reason for customers to buy our products/services – and involve customers in this social mission. Banyak perusahaan dan bisnis yang mendonasikan APD, masker, makanan ke petugas medis, bansos to those who are in need. Pick the cause that related and meaningful to your business and your customers
Collaborate with other businesses agar social mission ini work well
Let’s do more with less. With uncertain future ahead, we all need to do business frugally (dan minimalist). Check these three consideration:
Apakah ada resources yang bisa di-leverage (such as perusahaan textile bisa produksi APD dan masker?).
Check and analyse product/service portfolio and find out apakah ada product, service, atau feature (termasuk juga resources dan waste) yang bisa dieliminasi, dikurangi atau digantikan dengan alternative lain. Focus on essential and core only – yang disesuaikan dengan your niche. If you can identify one or two feature, or product or service that your customers enjoy or yang bisa di-leverage more than others, consider pivoting and building around it.
Simplify process and supply chain to reduce cost. Apakah menggunakan produk local, meggunakan supplier yang dekat dapat menghemat biaya? For those in circular economy business, check again apakah recycled material is more affordable than the new one.
At last, pivoting decision is always difficult. Do what you feel is right, in accordance with your vision, market situation, financial status, etc.
May we all be safe and sound sailing in this pandemic storm
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