I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling like this year has not panned out the way I thought it would. I thought this year was going to be MY year. I said it, we all said it. I bet none of us expected 2020 to turn out like this.
When the pandemic began a lot of colleagues came to me and asked me for tips on how to get through this time. We all thought this was going to last a few weeks, not months. I don’t think a many of us really knew how things were going to unfold. Honestly, at the time I didn’t really have an answer. I had never gone through anything like this in the 16 years of being an entrepreneur. I knew I needed some time to soak it all in, educate myself, and make observations of how my customers were coping with the situation. It was only then that I was able to make an informed decision on what to do.
If you need tips on how to re-strategize or pivot your business because of the pandemic, here are some of my tips.
1. Know your customer like your best friend. If your best friend were going through something you would want to provide something to improve their life, right? I observed that my customers wanted to feel safe but didn’t want to compromise on feeling a little bit “normal.” They still wanted to eat good food, though that meant they might be cooking it for themselves at home. So that’s why we decided to launch our Ube Pancake Dry Mix.
2. Sell something “on brand.” As mentioned, we started selling our Ube Pancake Dry Mix. It was the perfect pivot for us. Our Ube Pancakes is the signature product that helped our business grow to where we are today.
3. Create products that support your signature product. Yes I said that you should definitely be known for 1 thing. Our next goal was to create “supporting characters” that support the “main character.” For example, I f our main character is our Ube Pancakes, then our supporting character is our Ube Cookie Butter.
4. Be flexible. Don’t be afraid to try an idea, make observations, and keep improving or pivoting as needed. Take constructive feedback from colleagues and customers, look at your own operation, and see what you can do to up your game. What can you do to provide more value to your customers and to your life? How can you work smarter and not harder? These are the questions you want to be answering.
5. Take your business online. Especially if you are a brick and mortar operation like we are. The way people are going to shop is going to be very different compared to pre-pandemic. Some things will go back to normal, but we’re definitely going to see some significant changes when it comes to customer behavior in the near future. One of those changes is a lot more online shopping. If we thought online shopping was already a big part of our culture, we thought wrong. This is really going to be the beginning of a huge influx of online shopping and as an entrepreneur you need to make sure you stay on top of it. How can you make your operation more internet friendly? How can you utilize tools like email marketing and social media to drive them to make online purchases?
With this new normal that is starting to unfold I’m really curious to see what the climate of small business will be like in the future. Only time will tell, but I know that these tips above are going to play a huge roll in the success or failure of a business. We need to be resilient but also do what is best for our personal situations. It’s never the end for an entrepreneur, it’s just a new beginning.