Life in general continually throws us curve balls. Unexpected changes to our routines, a wrench thrown in our plans or a fork in the road. We had predetermined our plan would be “x” with an outcome of “y” and instead we find ourselves creating a whole new plan in order to just produce an outcome at all. So as business owners, what is our best defense when we find ourselves in challenging times?
Our best weapon is the “power of the pivot”.
The first experience I had with an opportunity to pivot dramatically was when I found myself with a high-end boutique staring square in the eyes of the 2008 recession. Two years earlier when I opened my high-end boutique concept, I was excited to be one of the first boutiques in town to offer two hundred dollar pair of jeans and t-shirts that cost upwards of sixty dollars. Not because I was excited to seek high dollar items, but because I loved the exclusivity and designer brands I would be offering.
Just two years into my retail career I found myself smack dab in the middle of a recession, where consumers where re-thinking their five dollar lattes let alone a fifty dollar glitzy pacifier. And so I had a choice – I could continue to beat my head against the wall and plow full steam ahead with what I envisioned for my boutique, or I could dig deep and embrace the power of the pivot. Just a couple months after opening my first retail concept I had the privilege of opening a second concept right next door.
A small “pivot” in my journey, this allowed me to work on sharpening my skills as a boutique owner but giving me a high-end concept and an everyday outlet store concept that I could run in tandem. Pivoting from my mindset to an open mind to opportunity, set the stage for the powerful pivot that would shape my retail career. (More on that later).
Sometimes our business becomes stale, and stagnant and we decide to pivot. Sometimes we see opportunity and so we pivot. Sometimes the environment around us demands a pivot.
Right now many retailers find their doors shut and their community behind closed doors in isolation. Right now we are forced to pivot to survive. Let me encourage you to see opportunity in this opportunity.
Let me encourage you that if you can embrace the pivot, the power behind this change could be exactly what your business needed to move in the right (and possibly better) direction.