Business

Pandemics can force you to change direction, but should your business consider shifting gear even at good times?

The pandemic has forced many companies to consider new ways to sell their goods and services.

In fact, a recent survey by custom signage online provider Signs.com found that 41.3% of companies said they had somehow turned around because of a pandemic.

Sure, economic turmoil like a pandemic can force businesses to change direction, but experts say it’s a bad idea to consider how to change direction, even at good times. There is none.

“Crisis like a pandemic can require pivoting, but business pivoting can be seen by many owners as a regular business course to stay competitive and fresh.” Said Nelson James, president of Utah-based Signs.com, which conducted the survey.

“Most business owners saw pivots as a necessity. [roughly 7 in 10]“That is, the pandemic may have acted as a catalyst to speed up business owners’ decisions to pivot with both short-term and long-term goals in mind,” says James.

Short-term and long-term goals

Studies show that even those forced to change direction during a pandemic believe that the changes they have made are long-term (63%) rather than temporary.

Certain pandemic-related changes may be temporary. However, “Companies are already towards pivoting, including identifying new target customers, offering new products and services, or switching supply chains. With the resources of time and money invested, it makes sense for companies to stick to these changes, “says James.

This is the case with Plainview-based Acupath Laboratories, a private pathology laboratory specializing in cancer diagnosis since 1998. Acupath’s business declined by 90% during a state-ordered lockdown last March because traditional physician clients were unable to see patients directly. Certain medical procedures, such as biopsies, are said by Chief Sales Officer John Kutch.

At that time, the company shifted its focus to providing COVID testing.

The lab had technology to facilitate COVID testing, but Cucci said it needed to increase staff and equipment to obtain the FDA’s emergency use authorization needed to initiate the test.

So Acupath invested more than $ 2 million in lab equipment, hired nearly 20 new staff, and quickly began meeting the demand for testing. We have acquired new customers such as elderly homes, TV and movie production staff. And in April, the company added saliva testing to its services and now has more than 600,000 COVID-19 PCR tests, Cucci said.

Acupath has always planned to do PCR tests in other areas, such as urinary tract infections and GI problems, but COVID has accelerated the company’s shift, Cucci says. Although the company’s pathology business has returned to pre-coronavirus infection levels, it sees PCR testing as a long-term growth strategy. The company has also expanded its business, including partnerships with multiple mobile sampling companies.

“Acupath has become a much stronger company, both in terms of employees and operations,” Cucci said, although it needed a pivot.

Can be invested at low cost

Acupath has invested a fair amount in gear shifts, but companies don’t have to invest a lot to change direction, says Erica Chase-Gregory, director of the Small Business Development Center at Farmingdale State College. say.

She says it could be cheaper, such as offering new services like curbside delivery.

In fact, according to Signs.com, the average cost for a company to pivot was $ 4,564.

Chase-Gregory says companies should evaluate their performance and reassess the gap they were trying to fill last year.

Companies considering pivoting should audit “assets other than balance sheets,” said Steve, president of alternative boards in Nassau County, a coaching and advisory group with 45 business owners on Long Island.・ Mr. Davis said. These are non-financial items such as customers, their business model, distribution methods, and in-house talent and knowledge.

They need to consider not only the natural consequences of their activities, but also new products and services that they can sell to existing customers, or new products that they can bring in, Davis says.

Angela Carrillo, owner of Bethpage-based soap maker Allegna Soap, did that last year when she started selling soap-making kits and gift sets online.

Prior to the Coronavirus infection, she sold primarily at trade fairs and festivals, but when the Coronavirus infection became epidemic, she needed to significantly increase her online presence.

Carillo says he used to receive one or two online orders a month, but now he receives five times that amount.

Sign up for a text alert for COVID-19 with. newsday.com/text.

Top 5 Common Business Pivots

• Targeting new customers

• Providing new products and services

• Providing new virtual services

• Align with pandemic trends (eg remote)

• New online delivery channel

Source: bit.ly/3fPqClq

Pandemics can force you to change direction, but should your business consider shifting gear even at good times?

Source link Pandemics can force you to change direction, but should your business consider shifting gear even at good times?

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