June 1

How To Pivot Your Business Quickly During An Alarming Recession (Like COVID-19)

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Learn how to pivot your business quickly with a straightforward process that combines innovating with determining product-market fit. For your reference, I will cover examples of business pivots in Singapore, and share more about the process of how to pivot your business quickly.

how to pivot your business singapore

Business Pivots In Singapore (29 Example Categories)

Here are some Singapore examples of business pivots during COVID-19, when things like quarantines, lockdowns, circuit breakers are in place and businesses is significantly impacted.

Most businesses have taken a big hit in terms of traffic and revenues. One of the things that help with learning how to pivot your business is to know and be inspired by what others have done.

You don’t necessarily have to take reference from businesses in your exact industry. In fact, if you can take ideas from what businesses in other industries are doing, you’ll have a higher chance of coming up with a more interesting innovation to your business.

Besides the obvious business pivots of shifting to e-commerce and direct delivery and the selling of PPE (e.g. masks, gloves), these are the more innovative business pivots. If you know of any others, feel free to comment below and I’ll add them in.

BusinessBusiness Pivot
Insurance agentsOnline consultations through platforms like Zoom. Purchasing and paperwork through Zoom and electronic signatures.
Ticketing platforms (e.g. SISTIC, Peatix)Pivoted to providing online streams and online events instead, so that performers can still get an income while working from home.
Theatrical entertainment (e.g. Sight Lines Entertainment)Shows shifted to Youtube, and even live-streaming online interactive shows through Zoom.
Real estate agents and property portals (e.g. PropertyGuru, 99.co)Offering video tours of properties, and completing property purchasing paperwork online through Zoom and electronic signatures.
Tuition and enrichment classes (e.g. Learning Out Of The Box, Good School)Shift from physical classrooms to online classrooms. Learning Out Of The Box also provides self-published guidebooks, an online community, and other learning resources for customers.
Universities (e.g. Auston Institute)Pivoted from face-to-face engineering university degree programmes to online short courses. Results from the pivot have eclipsed the original engineering degrees.
Restaurants (e.g. Bar Cicheti, Prepped, Bakeri, Ajumma’s)DIY meal kits on top of just delivery of ready-cooked food.
Supermarkets (e.g. NTUC Fairprice)FairPrice on Wheels is a van that visits different neighbourhoods and sells essential items.
Bubble tea (e.g. LiHo)Creation of DIY bubble tea kits for you to make your own bubble tea at home.
F&B tie-ups (e.g. Koi x Grain, Gong Cha x Wolfburger)The government stopped bubble tea businesses from operating independently, so tie-ups/collaborations provided a win-win situation for both collaborating businesses.
Beer breweries (e.g. Heart of Darkness)Sale of beer in growlers for delivery and takeaway.
Personal fitness trainersShift from in-person classes to online classes via Zoom.
Team building/bonding activities (e.g. The Fun Empire)Shift from in-person activities to online events with home kits mailed to every participant.
Manpower rebalancing (e.g. Singapore Airlines)Flight crew redeployed to care for hospital patients and be transport ambassadors for LTA.
DoctorsTelemedicine instead of in-person consultations.
Medtech (e.g. KroniKare)Originally AI-driven chronic wound care, now also providing temperature monitoring for COVID-19 from their expertise with sensors and AI.
Classes like carpentry or leather-crafting (e.g. Tombalek, Atelier Lodge)Typically run in a lab or workshops, these providers now ship kits for home-based learning
Dating services (e.g. Lunch Actually, Divine Connect)Face-to-face/brick-and-mortar business model pivoted to providing everything virtually: consultations, dates, coaching, singles events, and learning events.
Tailors (e.g. CYC, Common Suits)A tailor around since 1935, CYC pivoted and started also selling fabric masks with n95 filters.
PHV/Taxi/Grab DriversTaking on deliveries on top of taking on passengers.
Online furniture stores (e.g. Castlery)Introduced AR to allow customers to visualise furniture in their homes through their IOS app. Introduced Virtual Studio, a 360-degree virtual tour of their studio to replace in-person viewings.
Physical therapy (e.g. SynPhNe)Rehabilitation is now done completely remotely without the need of a therapist being there physically.
Printing shops (e.g. Botak Sign)From regular printing, they have pivoted to producing and printing COVID-19-related essentials such as cashier shields, food delivery stickers, chemical-resistant labels, social distancing signs, etc.
Foodtech (e.g. Alchemy Foods)New B2C model to complement B2B with new products: Immunity Rice, baking ingredients, premixes, and collaboration meal kits with restaurants.

Learn How To Pivot Your Business

Change is a constant, but we won’t be prepared for it all the time. The worst kind of change is the sudden, unexpected kind, especially from black swan events. Black swan events, by definition, come totally unexpected and are extremely major in their effects.

The biggest event so far in 2020 has been COVID-19, and it has been devastating to how traditional businesses operate. It has triggered a recession, and has forced us to do things differently in terms of our lifestyles. This is especially true for businesses and the way that they operate has to adapt quickly to these changes.

Why You Need To Pivot Your Business

Businesses are starting to become asset-light, without expensive and limiting retail leases anymore. Think Uber, AirBnB, Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.

The greatest relics of traditional businesses are brick-and-mortar retail businesses. These served the purpose when consumers would go to where businesses were in order to obtain their products and services. These days, consumers stay where they are and businesses send their products and services to the consumer.

We already see this happening with Ecommerce and traditional retail. It’s going to happen to other industries as well, such as entertainment and experiences.

If your business is facing the brunt of the recession, you definitely will need to and are seriously thinking of how to pivot your business. If you aren’t, but are facing pressures on your revenues and margins, then you have the fortune of time, but it is limited.

Anyone who has an over-reliance on a physical retail space or a physical showroom, should consider other means of delivering your product/service.

Not only does this allow you to expand rapidly away from your immediate geographical region, it also allows you to reach consumers elsewhere that you typically would not have. Not to mention divert funds from costly retail storefronts into marketing and logistics instead.

How To Pivot Your Business

how to pivot your business - double diamond

One of the frameworks that I use for designing a business pivot is the Double Diamond Framework. I used it when I pivoted from a service-based business to a product-based business.

Unless you do a complete change in business model, most business pivots will have you exploring the chain of value:

  • Do It Yourself: You simply teach to a group (e.g. a video or an online course), and your customer has to do all the work themselves.
  • Do It With Them: You hand-hold your customer and do it together with them (think personal trainers and coaches).
  • Do It For You: You do everything for your customer (think consultancies and agencies).

The foremost thing to do while in a business pivot is to consider the existing resources that you have at your disposal. For existing businesses, it’s most definitely almost always your existing customer base.

Look at what your customers need and what you can directly provide them. While you are executing on your business pivot, your foremost priority should be to develop a near-term pipeline of new and/or quick business opportunities. This will give you some revenue, and test/validate your business ideas that are driven by new customer behaviours.

If you’re a consultant, direct sales professional, or coach, you can shift your delivery to online very quickly. Zoom is your best friend, and I use some marketing and growth tools to automate the rest.

For more information about using the framework to pivot your business, I cover it in my free webinar masterclass on how to scale for freedom and profits.


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