Over the past year I’ve built a community of go-getters who are passionate about having their own businesses. If you’re reading this I’m sure you’re the same – you’ve followed your passion to create your own business. It gives you the life and the work-life balance you desire (or a shot at it on your own terms). It rewards you with the things that matter, whether that’s income, time, the chance to help others – whatever it is that makes you tick.
However, in the current climate, there are a lot of restrictions, as well as a lot of considerations for businesses, in terms of what they can and can’t do. Business need to decide whether they can continue to operate as they were, whether they need to change their offerings completely and whether they need to pivot slightly or massively.
I know a lot of businesses have already thought of ways to adapt their business model and I wanted to talk about some amazing examples local to me, along with some tips on promoting your ‘new’ or existing business during these challenging times.
Passionate business owners adapting to change
First up is Beccy Cuthbert of Cabbage Patch Bakery. Beccy’s core business is wedding cakes. Weddings, as we know them, are pretty much cancelled. She also sells cake pots, cookies and brownies at farmers markets. Again, cancelled. So Beccy has launched the ‘Anti Social Cake Club’ with a new Facebook group. She’s offering deliveries of cake pots, cookies and brownies via post or local delivery.
It’s a weekly service and you order by the Wednesday then the cakes are posted out to you via the Post Office to arrive with you by the weekend. If you live within a seven-mile radius, Beccy will deliver them to your door. Then she will leave on your doorstep and knock on the door and go. She found a safe way to pivot her business and deliver cake to people where she was really struggling otherwise to stay in business.
Dawn Farr, owner of ladies boutique Apparel Leeds, has had to shut her shop down but has pivoted her offering to online classes for children, teaching Spanish! Dawn is fluent in Spanish because she worked for the Foreign Office before opening her clothes shop, including stints in Colombia, Venezuela & Mexico. She’s still selling clothes online via her website, but has added a completely new service to make the most of her talents. These are both things she can safely deliver at the current time.
I’ve also seen other people offering free consultancy calls to help people with specific challenges at the current time. Clare Clifford, from Sunshine Digital Media is offering some free calls just to chat through what you could and should be doing with your social media at the moment. She also offers paid-for services, as we all do.
And just to say, there’s nothing wrong with charging for services at this time, because we still want the economy to keep moving!
But for Claire offering the free sessions, she could help somebody now who then might become a client in the future. So it’s thinking ahead and helping and serving people with what they need, and what you can offer, right now. And building relationships for the future.
Don’t worry about changing and adapting your business.
I know people are worried about confusing their audience or brand. But, when you are the business owner, you are the brand. So if you need to pivot and/or change the business, as long as you explain what you’re doing and keep the same values you apply to everything you do, then you can take your audience with you. And they’ll get to know you better. So it’s a win-win!
The most important thing, is to keep talking, keep sharing, so that you keep the relationships you’ve built, and build some new ones too.
I’d be really interested to know if any of you’ve had to pivot and how you have done it – let me know how it’s going in the comments below!
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