If your business has or is preparing to pivot due to COVID-19, explore these valuable insights.
Sheltering-in-place and social distancing, the nation’s primary methods for stopping the spread of coronavirus, have been devastating to many businesses across industries.
Some companies have reacted by laying off staff and closing their doors, waiting for the world to open up again. Others have decided to pivot. They've come up with innovative ideas on how to retool or reconfigure their operations to keep their doors open and their employees working.
Pivoting may sound like a Hail Mary, but it’s an effective business strategy that thousands of business owners have adapted, allowing them to survive.
Some small businesses are switching up their models in unexpected ways. For instance, distilleries have started making hand sanitizer, mom-and-pop restaurants have shifted to online ordering and contactless delivery, and entertainment venues have begun to sell merchandise online and host virtual events. On a larger scale, some big corporations like Ford and General Motors are now making lifesaving ventilators.
Many biomedical and healthcare companies are also turning their businesses toward fighting COVID-19. Some of these companies are making testing kits, others are working toward potential treatments, and some are developing protective gear and essential devices.
For businesses who've already pivoted and are looking for ways to improve efficiency, or businesses that are thinking about making a transition, here are a few things to consider.
5 Things to Consider Before Pivoting
Ensuring business continuity in crisis management mode requires the right mix of technology, patience, and agility — and sometimes, pivoting. The below insights paired with these Insider Pro resources may help you navigate some of the challenges that come with making such drastic changes.
- Recognize when it’s time to pivot. In normal circumstances, realizing that you need to make a change may take time. However, during a crisis like a pandemic with long-term restrictions, if you think you need to pivot, you probably do. Businesses are doing whatever it takes to stay open, so if that means temporarily shifting gears, then it’s better to do something rather than nothing.
- Focus on your new goals. The next step is to find a realistic new direction. Unfortunately, in a time of urgency like this, there’s not a lot of time to dig deep or research the ins and outs of potential options. Brainstorm with your co-owner, partner, leadership team, or a trusted business coach, and dream up a practical and financially feasible Plan B.
- Align your team. Start implementing these changes internally first. This varies from business to business, but ultimately it means getting buy-in from your team and realigning your structure. First and foremost, make sure your team is healthy and safe, then ensure they’re on board with the plan — how the changes affect the business and their jobs. A couple of useful resources to read before making operational changes include the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Resources for Businesses and Employers and OSHA's Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
- Be flexible and adaptable. As a leader, adaptability, flexibility, and creativity in finding solutions build credibility and trust among staff. Plus, it encouraged employees to be flexible about roles and responsibilities, too, as things change. Now is also the time to be bold and nimble. See what works financially and for your team, then document it and double down on them.
- Find vendors and partners who can pivot with you. Pivoting successfully will likely involve vendors, or on a deeper level, a bought-in partner. Whether you need new equipment, material, or an updated packaging process, finding the right-fit vendor or partner quickly is essential. The goal is to pivot swiftly and to get products out the door in a timely manner.
If your company has already pivoted and is looking for ways to improve efficiency, or if you’re thinking about making a transition now, our team at Bennett Packaging would be delighted to partner with you to help you piece it all together.
When You Pivot, Partner With Bennett
Bennett Packaging, a family-owned and operated packaging manufacturer, is open for business and ready to help.
Currently, we are making boxes for COVID-19 testing kits and corrugated shipping boxes for staple supplies such as food, agriculture supplies, disinfectants, and cleaning products.
In addition to designing and manufacturing custom packaging and shipping boxes, we also offer contract packaging.
From high-volume cartoning and security-sensitive product pack-outs, your product can be packed, palletized, and ready to ship, all in our facility. Our contract packaging services include (but are not limited to):
- Third-party logistics
- Case packing and product pack-outs
- Kit packing
- Bottle labeling
- High-speed vision inspection
Speed-to-market can be increased when labor and logistics are outsourced to an expert. Our full-service contract packaging services provide what’s necessary to ensure your product is packed correctly and out the door quickly. This saves you money and time, but more importantly, it gets products into the hands of people who need them.
Together we can get through this challenging time and emerge on the other side stronger and better.