Can’t conduct business the usual way right now? It’s time for a pivot in your business plan! Unlike Ross in the classic Friends episode where he tries unsuccessfully to get an oversized couch up a narrow stairwell by yelling “pivot” to his two friends, you can succeed in creating a new business model for your business.

With all the business disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are struggling to do business the traditional way. Here at the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce, we’ve seen many businesses introduce creative new avenues of revenue or new ways of serving clients.

via GIPHY

One example is a local face-painter, Linda Knight. Face Painting by Purple Linda was expecting to be out of business for the foreseeable future. However, she was able to pivot to the new idea of painting on kids’ face masks. This keeps both her tiny clients and her safer while conducting business. Additionally, she’s working on launching sales of painted masks online, giving her a new stream of income.

Another example is Talk of the Town Advertising. The businesses that traditionally advertised with owner Theresa Mayser were mostly shut down, but she was able to pivot to selling ad space to area businesses to sponsor pictures of 2020 graduating seniors — performing both a community service AND helping keep her business going.

Ivey Photography may have had the most visible pivot: they were all over Facebook in recent weeks with the PORCHraits. Award-winning photographer, Chris Smith, and his team took pictures of families sitting on their front porches and shared them on Facebook. He posted specific neighborhoods ahead of time, families scheduled their photo slot, and from the safety of the sidewalk, he took family pictures. This greatly ramped up his visibility in the community and definitely won him new clients.

Bottom line — extraordinary times call for out-of-the-box thinking. So start thinking how you can do business differently and PIVOT!

Judy Bates is the Membership Benefits Coordinator for the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce. Remember the Chamber has valuable resources, educational and networking tools for you to use. Give the Chamber a call at 972-723-8600 if you need help brainstorming a new idea.