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  • Mark Howard

How to pivot your business so that you stay in business


As we keep plunging deeper into a global recession, it can be tempting to panic and dither with decisions, but that’s not going to help. In fact, it’s the businesses which move quickly that will survive and thrive during this time.


So how can you be one of those businesses? One that actually grows during a recession?


In short, you have to adapt (and make quick decisions!). Here is how to pivot your business to make sure you stay in business.


A 7-step guide to pivot your business


1. Get into the right mindset for decision-making

You won’t make good decisions for the future of your business if you are in a scared, stressed or anxious state. Take time out, prioritise self-care and deep thinking time, and you’ll make far more creative decisions for it.


2. Think about what you can change for the good

You may need to adapt your business to survive, so think about what you can change to become relevant. Can you change your product or service? Can you change your intended marketplace for your product or service? Can you change how you deliver your product or service?


3. Do your research

The answers are out there, so do your research. Ask and listen to your clients – what are they telling you they need? From your own experience, what is your business or friends and family wanting or needing to buy and why? How are habits and hobbies changing as people stay home more? What is social media telling you that people are doing or thinking about?


4. Conduct a STEEPLED analysis to look ahead

Try to think about what this ‘new normal’ will look like. Use the STEEPLED analysis and think about what each factor will mean for you and your business (e.g. follow each example with a ‘so what’ for your business):


S – Social – e.g. more people are staying/working at home.

T – Technology – e.g. more older generations are adopting technology to stay in touch.

E – Environment – e.g. people can see it recovering.

E – Ethics – e.g. can’t be seen to be profiteering.

P – Political – e.g. will this change Brexit, Tory government etc?

L – Legal and regulatory – e.g. how will rules, protocols change?

E – Economic – e.g. what happens with a recession?

D – Demographic – e.g. higher than the average death rate.


5. Evaluate your potential options

Once you have done your research about the current market and you’re in the right mindset to adapt your business, you now need to evaluate your options. For each option, think about:

  • How connected is it to your ‘why’ or ‘purpose?’

  • How easy is it to implement?

  • What will change or stay the same?

  • If you chose to move forward with this, what would you and your business have to do?

6. Conduct a risk analysis

Once you have chosen what option you are pursuing, conduct a risk analysis:

  • Consider some ‘what if’ scenarios - e.g. what if schools close again and people have to work and provide childcare?

  • Review your risks - e.g. operational, reputational, project delivery, political, environmental, financial etc.

  • Rank these risks – are they high, medium or low risk?

  • Review their impact – what would be the impact on the business if this risk happened?

  • Outline your red lines – which risks can you accept or avoid? Which risks need to be managed?

7. Put together your business plan

Last but not least, if you’re going to pivot your business towards success, you need to have a plan. So what is your “to-be?” What are your new goals and achievements? Once you have these, you need to outline:

  • How you will measure your progress.

  • How much investment you will need.

  • Who you will need to support you with this.

  • Who in your current circle of people is critical or now not needed.

  • Your first steps to making this happen.


Don’t wait any longer, act now.

You need to decide now, what you want to happen with your business. The longer you leave it to make a decision with what to do with your business, the more chance you won’t have a business going forward.


As we said previously, it’s the businesses who make good and quick decisions who will survive and even grow during the recession. Be one of those.


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