1. Can you pivot your business?


Can you pivot your business? Businesses across the globe are in a panic. Maybe it's time to take a step back first.

It may seem like desperate times are upon us and as a business owner, you’re probably feeling the pressure more than others. We’ve pulled together our sparky business knowledge, planning and strategy tools to create our very own Small Business Survival Guide in response to our client’s needs.

Here at 39steps we believe sharing is caring and we want to support all business owners at this time, so we’re going to publish the guide in a series of blogs over the next week.



The absolute WORST thing you can do for your business is stay frozen in panic. We’ve all (finally) woken up to the wider impact the Coronavirus pandemic will have on us as people and on our beloved businesses. As the advice, information and realities come at us faster and faster, it can be overwhelming. We get it. We’ve had (and are having) our moments too.

Staying still right now might feel like a good idea, but it’s not. While you take a step back you can guarantee your competitor will take a step forward and for every moment you pause, they will use that time to make the most of your silence.

The measures announced by the Chancellor today will go some way to stabilise the economy and it's our duty as small business owners to do all we can to keep revenue coming in and our people employed during this crisis.

So, no more silence. No more waiting-to-see, and no burying your head in the sand. This has just got real so roll up your sleeves and get to work. One thing’s for sure – you don’t want to look back on this time and wonder why you didn’t do more to save your business during the Coronavirus crisis.



You’re going to hear the word ‘pivot’ a lot from now on. Brands and businesses are pivoting all over the place, in response to new demands, to stay afloat or to offer help and support to their communities.

Remember pivoting at school basketball or netball? Just in case you need a refresher – when you have the ball and you know you can’t score you stop and turn on the spot to find a way to shoot from a new angle or pass to someone else. It’s that decisive action – to change – which will win you the game. When you pivot in business it’s the same thing.


Remain in game

Pivoting your business can be straightforward, like setting up an online store to keep the bricks and mortar shop you’ve owned for years afloat. Or it can be complex and dramatic – such as developing new products or services to meet a growing change in demand. 

We’re seeing incredible examples of businesses and brands pivoting since the Coronavirus outbreak and this is just the start of it. When it comes to pivoting your business, take comfort in knowing you are not alone, and take inspiration from some excellent pivoting examples happening around you.


Hospitality and catering vs Coronavirus

Pubs and restaurants are reinventing their service to make life easy for their customers. They’ve added takeaway options for food, with safe-distancing collections and some are offering free delivery in the local areas.

Restaurants are hosting cooking demonstrations online so you can still enjoy your favourite meal and pubs are hosting live online regular events such as quiz nights or film nights to keep people feeling connected.


Fitness communities vs Coronavirus

Fitness instructors, dance teachers and yogis are all taking their sessions online. They can keep their living and community they’ve worked hard to build up and their clients can keep up with their healthy habits and routine.

We’re seeing more collaboration in these areas too – PTs teaming up with chefs, or yoga instructors partnering with mindfulness coaches to offer better experiences to their clients in a time when connection and relaxation are vital.


Wedding and party venues vs Coronavirus

Savvy wedding and party venues are encouraging postponements rather than cancellations. Discounts, added services and freebies go a long way to convince people to postpone.

They’ve also realigned their messaging to one of scarcity and urgency around availability. The very real likelihood is that things will get very busy very quickly when things get back to normal so brides and grooms are reminded they could have an even longer date for their wedding if they can’t get a date booked later in the year.


And here’s our favourite so far…
Brewdog vs Coronavirus


One of the most pioneering beer companies in the UK right now, Brewdog have always stood out in a busy marketplace. They’ve tapped into a growing trend for well brewed beer and talking to their creative audience in a real and humorous way. They’ve pivoted their products to include hand sanitiser – something they can make in their distilleries in Scotland. Not only have they pivoted to create a product that the world needs, but they plan to give it away for free. They’ve taken their focus off the bottom line and found a way to help. In the long run, this can only do great things for their brand.



Are you too close to your business to see it clearly? We’re can be so focussed on getting to our goals that sometimes we can only see directly in front of us. If you still can’t work out how you might pivot then it’s time to ask around.

Your employees will have great ideas and so might your customers. They already trust you and come to you for the services and products you offer, so why not include them in this epic journey?

You could find this builds a stronger link with your audience as a result so when things pick up again you’re coming at it from a stronger position.


And if pivoting isn’t the answer?

There might be no way you can pivot, and then what?

Well, as an owner, you'll likely have weathered many a storm, so here is a great opportunity to put everything you’ve learned into action.

This is a time where you can strengthen what you do, how you do it and who you do it for and we’ll look at this in our next blog.


Let us know what we can do for you

We’re firm believers in community and supporting each other. How can we help you through this time? If you have any ideas or you just want to talk things through, please get in touch.