What Should We Focus On When Adjusting Our Business Plan?
“We’re all going to have to learn to pivot.” How many times have you heard that in recent weeks? (They make it sound so easy, don’t they?)
While learning to pivot might be easier with the “normal” stuff you’re used to, it’s a whole lot harder to do when no one has faced a situation like this before.
Most people tend to land somewhere between knowing that their business strategy needs to pivot in some way and having the necessary clarity to know how or where to change direction. Can you relate?
If so, keep reading. These tips and considerations will help you strip away the questions surrounding the “call to pivot,” and help to bring your next steps into focus.
The Two Places to Focus Your Attention During a Business Pivot
To make things simple, try breaking down your pivot strategy into two main groups: externally, or your print buyers, and internally, meaning your employees or team members.
Externally: Your Print Buyers
Whether you’re in a pandemic or not, you’ll need to keep your focus on these things to keep your company, your marketing, and your message relevant.
- Helping, Not Selling – Yes, you need to sell printing, but even more importantly, you need to know what your print buyers are going through. How are they feeling/doing, and why? Pivot your strategy to focus on listening by keeping your eyes and ears open for changes in your print buyers’ concerns or overall attitude. Be sure to also check in with your team to learn what they’re hearing from print buyers on the front lines.
- Building Trust -A primary responsibility of your marketing should be to build and keep the trust of your audience. This can get a little tricky when you’re trying to manage your promises about what you can or can’t deliver right now and provide the level of support your print buyers need. Whatever you do, treasure trust above all else. Short-term gains are never worth the expense of losing a print buyer’s trust.
Internally: For Your Employees and Team Members
Although you’re bearing the weight of the unknowns surrounding keeping your print business running, it’s important to remember that your team members are facing many uncertainties and unknowns of their own.
Will my job still be there? Am I still needed? What am I going to do if…? These are the questions filling the minds of many these days. Be sure your pivot takes into consideration best practices for your team as well. For example, take a look at ways your staff can feel appreciated and invested in, such as:
- Having your team complete online training opportunities while business is slow. The added knowledge will not only benefit your print business, but it will make them feel as if they’re contributing extra value as well.
- Updating your internal employee processes. Consider things like more flexible work or vacation hours to accommodate your employees’ changing needs better.
- Consider ditching titles. At times, job titles can lead to that cringe-worthy, “That’s not my job,” sentence. During this season, it’s important to lead with an all-hands-on-deck mentally so you can focus on increasing responsiveness to your customers. You could apply this to your own title as well. Use this time to get your team involved in those projects you’ve been putting off because you didn’t have the time.
For Both: Internal and External
As the print company owner, make providing assurance and hope for both your print buyers (external) and your team (internal) your number one priority. If you need some help in this area, check out these considerations for leading well during the coronavirus chaos.
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