We have been recently reminded that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to stay up to date on emerging trends. Staying dynamic will allow you to successfully alter your course to fulfill client needs and thrive amid transition and variability. Owning a small business can be uncertain, even in the best of times and 2020 has been no exception. This year could include a major pivot in your business as the current situation has drastically changed the landscape in several different ways. You can either sit back and see your goals get further away or you can lean into the turn and create positive change. Things are changing in a big way and with big change comes big opportunity. If you know where to look for it.
We assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. In this article we’ll showcase several business stories where founders have embraced change. These businesses we’ve highlighted have shifted the way they operate and have successfully adapted to the ever changing business landscape.
Two Birds Brewing
This female run brewing not only has delicious craft beers, but has a taste for innovation. When nonessential businesses were forced to close, owners Danielle Allen and Jayne Lewis, set up a drive up bottle shop, offered nationwide free beer delivery, and beefed up their e-commerce by selling online. Not only is their online and delivery services thriving, their brewery is back up and running successfully as quarantine measures were lifted.
Photo Credit: @tacoma_shout_outs
A few months ago, we highlighted a clever entrepreneur, Matthew Fleming, who is a laid off chef at a restaurant. This entrepreneur had an idea to bike around neighborhoods yelling happy messages to friends and families of people who paid him a small amount. He found a way to turn his frustration into something constructive. Not only is he getting exercise but he has also teamed up with a charity, 2nd Cycle on Hilltop, to give back the proceeds.
Nashville business, McKay Books, sells books, albums, videos, and other odds and ends. When retail restrictions were taking place, McKay quickly had to pivot in order to stay in business since customers could no longer browse the warehouse. Knowing many people needed to stay entertained throughout sheltering in place, they developed a genius idea of curbside entertainment bags. Customers could fill a bag with entertainments of their choice such as fiction and nonfiction books, kids books, or choose from themed bags. They could order online and then come pick up their goodies curbside at their convenience.
Bauer, a notable hockey gear company, switched from making gear only for the ice to creating medical gear. The Minnesota based company shifted to making protective masks for hospitals, first responders, and retail stores. Not only are they still making quality hockey gear but they used their resources to create adaptation and resilience.
Photo credit: AirBnb
This 84 year old Italian entrepreneur not only proves that you can follow your dreams at any age, but is a great example of creating a business that thrives during lockdown. Nonna Nerina usually runs a pasta making class near Rome, Italy but due to country wide isolation measures, she had to cancel her classes and rethink her business strategy. With the help of her granddaughter, she has taken all of her classes online. You can now book her 2 hour pasta-making lessons here. Buon Appetito!
In some cases, the most heroic thing an entrepreneur can do for their business is carry on and “not die.” In order to find out what lies around the next bend of the entrepreneurial journey you need to be agile and make quick corrections when things change. Be honest with yourself when things aren’t working, test new ideas, create short feedback cycles, and keep learning new ways to make your customers happy. Even though sometimes counter intuitive, it’s often a much better plan to try to make a small group of customers love you than a large group like you. We hope these business examples can provide hope and creative inspiration to stay afloat amidst uncertainty.
If you’re struggling (or even thriving) during these times, our private client business coaching is here to help you. Kim Hornsby is a small business expert who has succeeded (and failed) at businesses throughout her life. She will help to create action plans and modeling to stay in business and thrive. Book a free consultation here.
Remember – keep up with the trends, think digital, be creative, stay positive, and don’t be afraid to pivot!