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Today I want to talk to you about something that’s going to be super important right now!
The whole world is going through such a vast amount of change at the moment that pivoting in your business might be something that is absolutely crucial to the success of your business moving forwards. And I want to talk to you a little bit about how you can pivot, and I’m going to use the hospitality industry as the example today.
Let me know below how you’re feeling about the current economic climate;
- Where you are?
- How is business?
- Is business up?
- Is business down?
- How’s it going?
Let’s rate that on a score of one to ten and feel free to give me feedback if you feel like doing that as well, I wanna see if there’s anything we can do to help you and to support you moving forward.
So as we launch into today, I’m going to talk to you about how you can pivot in order to succeed.
It’s really important that you’ve got everything in place and it’s not just pivoting for the sake of pivoting!
It’s not just going down a new route and falling into that shiny object syndrome!
I really want to encourage you to look at ways that you can pivot, change and adapt your business to the current economic climate and the situations you find yourself in.
Now everybody is facing different things, some businesses are thriving, others are struggling and there are others that literally here in the UK have been told they have no choice but to close.
Now that’s closing their doors to the public in a physical capacity. We’re going to focus on the hospitality industry specifically today as I give these examples, and as we go through this I really want you to understand this applies to your business, even if you’re not in the hospitality sector.
I want you to understand that this applies irrespective of industry. I want to show you how that’s going to apply by giving you examples from the hospitality industry.
So as we look at the hospitality industry, the Government have announced an imminent lockdown here in the UK, where hospitality businesses will have to close their doors to the public. That means the trade that they’re used to, the people coming in, the people spending money and socialising in their establishments, are not going to be happening anymore.
So what can they do in these challenging times?
Well I had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine Guy Porteous, who’s a stock taker, his whole business is within that hospitality sector.
I’m actually a fully qualified chef by trade, and so when we were looking at this and having a conversation yesterday, the emphasis now is to show people that these businesses are still open! And in order to stay open they need to pivot, they need to change and they need to adapt.
The Need To Pivot
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again;
If you always do what you’ve always done you won’t always get what you always got. Everything is changing around you, the circumstances, how other people are operating, what you need to do in order to navigate these times.
Now the hospitality sector faces the specifically big challenge in the fact that it’s usually making its money from people being in a physical location. That’s the main reason I’ve used it as an example today, to showcase to you how you can pivot your business for success even when you relied previously on people being at your physical location business.
This applies to retail, this applies to hospitality and it applies to a range of different businesses, so apply this model and this philosophy into your business, and think about how you could embrace the same types of technology.
So what can you do to pivot your business for success?
If you’re a hospitality sector business, if you’re a pub, a restaurant, a hotel, anything like that, if you are serving food, there are a number of things that you can do, and a unique set of opportunities that you have as a competitive advantage right now.
Yes that’s right even in the hardest of times there is competitive advantage and opportunity to be had if you are open to pivoting, changing and adapting along the way.
You have a fully kitted out commercial kitchen ready to serve food, ready to create, and actually at a time when you are closed, this is a great time to create content in that environment.
You can teach people how to cook!
You can show people the skills that they need to stay healthy, to stay eating good nutritious food at home. You can literally turn yourself into a broadcast studio from your commercial kitchen in a nice clean sterile environment where you can showcase how to cook the food from your restaurant, your cafe, your pub at home!
A lot of people would be fearful of doing this for the fact that if I can do this at home why would I come out? Anyone who thinks down that route – Firstly, they can’t come out during lockdown, so there’s no risk at this point, and after lockdown, people are going to want to go out. They’re going to want to socialise. They’re going to want to spend time, and they’re not going to want to be doing the cooking and doing the cleaning up afterwards. They will want to go back to the venues. And those venues brave enough to step up and provide for those people in the hardest of times, will be the businesses that succeed beyond these challenging times.
So what can you do?
You could set yourself up, and you don’t need any big fancy equipment. Literally right now I’m recording this content using a £400 camera now, but I’m also broadcasting just through my mobile phone on another platform. So you don’t need any big fancy equipment.
Do you need anything super expensive?
Well I’ve got a couple of extra lights here and we’re talking £40-50, so the investment is minimal if any to get set up and started. You’ve got FREE platforms – The social media platforms that you guys are probably watching this original video content on; Facebook, Periscope, Twitch, Youtube. You’ve got all of these platforms and of course your own website.
Now I’m going to encourage you if you don’t already have one, or if your website is underperforming, to go and look at this as a matter of urgency!
Guy and I had a conversation about the importance of businesses stepping up and allowing people to spend money with their business during lockdown. The competitive advantages that I talked about don’t just stop at teaching, educating and creating content. But within the hospitality sector they have unique paths of product to their business, that don’t go through the retail sector.
The food that gets delivered out to supermarkets is a different supply chain to that that goes out to hospitality. So where there might be shortages in retail outlets, where supermarkets might have a shortfall, hospitality outlets can get access to a supply chain that is different.
So could you become a local shop that could deliver product out to people in the locale?
Obviously go and ask the questions, see what you are and aren’t allowed to do, but;
- Could you be a part of the food supply chain?
- Could you be doing food deliveries and takeaways?
- Could you carry on cooking a limited menu within your business and start delivering that to the local community or allowing people to collect from your establishment?
Because these are ways you can thrive through a time that is otherwise going to be challenging.
If you don’t look at the opportunities and you only look at the issues and the considerations that most people will be looking at, you will not be pushing forward. You won’t be forging into a new direction to make your business as successful as it could be.
The purpose of this is looking at how you can pivot in order to be successful. It’s not just pivoting for the sake of pivoting, it’s pivoting right now out of necessity and also to see that there is opportunity.
Become A Media Company
The first thing you can do is create lots of media content. You can get media rich because you don’t have the constraints and the pressure of a very busy kitchen where you can now go and create how to cook the meals that come from your establishment.
You can start generating that media content that keeps you front of mind, ready for when businesses come back to being allowed to have people inside. Then people will come back, because they’ve stayed connected with your business.
If you don’t stay front of mind people will form new habits when they come back out of lockdown.
People want to support local businesses. They want to support the local trade and therefore if you are a local business, if you’re a pub, a cafe, a restaurant, a hotel in the locale, you need to help those people to stay connected with you. But it’s on you to make it possible for them to be able to connect with you.
- So can you create video content?
- Can you keep people updated?
- Can you help them with useful information?
- Can you provide supplies to them that maybe they can’t get, but due to shortfalls in the supply chain in the retail sector, that you can do through the hospitality sector?
I know of a couple of businesses that have done this during the last lockdown, who reopened had a lot of customers coming in, because they’d stayed engaged and they’d actually come straight back in as soon as the doors re-opened.
So when you’re looking at providing these services, have you got the facilities in place?
Turn Your Website Into A Digital Shopfront With E-Commerce
A lot of pubs, cafes, restaurants have a very basic simplistic information based website, that’s not going to serve the purpose for what we’re talking about now, because there’s two different routes you can go here.
One is supplying takeaway food. So ready meals, either delivered or for collection, from your commercial kitchen. Which will allow you to keep trading, keep feeding and keep serving your community.
Cookery Lessons & Ingredients Deliveries or Collections
There’s another thing you can do by way of the shopping side, you can actually integrate the media and the supply chain together, by teaching people how to cook, and setting up deliveries or collections of ingredients boxes.
So if you think about services like Hello Fresh and things like that, where people are trying to do a little bit more cooking at home, right now people have less choice and are being forced more into cooking at home.
So can you take your menu into people’s houses through providing from your supply chain, in packaged up subscription models or individual purchases?
Meals that people could buy all the ingredients directly from you. They could learn from you in videos, recorded by your chefs, in your kitchen, reminding people why you’re such a great business, and why you’re such a great local business to support.
People are looking to shop local. They’re looking to support the local businesses and I want to encourage you to stay front of mind, and stay relevant to your local community throughout this time.
So jump back to it, here is a couple of ways I think the hospitality businesses should be pivoting during this time with an imminent lockdown.
Keep Your Staff On
The first one is utilise the commercial kitchen to its fullest. Don’t send all the staff home, let’s look at how we build a new arm to the business. And what we’re going to need to do for that, is we’re going to need to create media.
If you think about if there were three chefs in the kitchen and the owner, you’ve got four mobile phones already in the building! You could easily utilise those as cameras to create a multi-camera broadcast and recording of how to cook certain meals.
You’re creating a media hub that people can tap into, they can consume and they can learn from you. They’re going to stay connected. You’re going to stay relevant and it’s ultimately going to help both you and them now during lockdown and moving forwards.
So you can start by creating media and staying connected. Put that out onto social, put that on your website and make it easy for people to learn from you and to stay connected.
Use Your Supply Chain To Serve Your Community
The second thing you can do is utilise your hospitality supply chain to bridge the gap where the retail sector is probably gonna start creaking and ripping at the seams again with shortages.
If you can provide to your local community the essentials through your supply chain, then let’s look at ways you can do that.
In order to do that you’re going to need to be able to sell, and look at the e-commerce solution. We’re talking click and collect, we’re talking subscription model, we’re talking about ways that you can utilise your website to carry on selling and trading with your local community.
If you’re not set up for this, Guy and I’ve had a conversation and I’d love to speak to you.
If you’re in the hospitality sector we’ve actually pre-built a couple of very quick e-commerce solutions that will serve that purpose to allow people to build subscription models.
Whether that’s takeaway subscription models, ingredients box subscription models or maybe it’s just to purchase the odd takeaway and do click and collect. We want to help to functionally deliver that solution for people.
As a fully qualified chef myself in a previous life, I’ve worked everything from schools catering to working for Sir Terence Conran, so I understand the industry and I understand the struggles. And it it breaks my heart to hear that an industry like that, that was given a new lease of life, then has it taken away again. So I want to help those people in that industry.
Not In Hospitality? This Still Applies!
Now think about if you’re not in the hospitality industry, how does this apply to you?
How can you utilise this time?
Well if you’ve got more time on your hands and you’re doing less direct work with clients. Maybe you’re used to being on site with them. Maybe you could look at creating media too?
- Are you recording educational videos?
- Are you creating content?
- Could you build a course?
- Could you package up your knowledge to share with other people?
- How can you collaborate with others?
Collaboration Is Key
Within the hospitality sector there’s going to be great opportunities for people to collaborate. So those places that are now wanting to offer a delivery service, might be able to partner up with people, who because people aren’t out and about, maybe they used to be drivers, for example taxi drivers or uber drivers. They could partner up in order to be able to functionally deliver that service that they’ve never had to before.
They won’t have the infrastructure in place, but with a couple of quick conversations, it could be really quick and easy to build out that solution.
So whether you’re doing subscription on ingredients boxes and teaching people to cook through your media hub of a business, whether you’re delivering food or have collection of takeaway food, you need a way for people to purchase and safely collect it.
Obviously comply with all the Government guidelines. Ask the right questions. But don’t delay in doing this, because any delay is potentially going to damage your business.
If you can transition between now and the beginning of lockdown, which is looking to be Thursday 5th November, then you can literally seamlessly move into a position where people can carry on supporting your business, carry on being part of that supporting local initiative.
You have to make it possible for them to do it.
People will support you, but you have to make it easy for them to do that.
So again hospitality industry; create a media hub. How can you teach, educate and utilise the tools that you’ve already got and the team within your business to educate and help those people who are interested in cooking and eating nutritious food. Who love those meals from your restaurant, but they can’t get them anymore!
Help them to understand that they could cook it for themselves.
Help them to access the ingredients in order to be able to do that.
Setting Up To Carry On Selling
Maybe it’s a one-off purchase? Maybe it’s a subscription model, where you can ship them boxes of ingredients or they can collect them from your establishment, in order to be able to cook those meals along with the video content that you create either live or as recorded. Recordings mean they can go through it at their own pace, in their own kitchen.
So think about that media and the ingredient delivery that can work really well together. But remember, you need an e-commerce solution in place to do this!
As well as putting this onto your website, I would highly recommend that you utilise all the selling tools that are available to you through social media.
You can look at things like Facebook Marketplace. Can you list your content and the things that you’ve got available for people on a community that already exists? Can you jump into some of those local Facebook Groups and talk about what you’re doing to change and innovate?
It’s the easiest time to talk about what you’re doing and changing up your content. It’s a great way to connect with new audiences and maybe even this will allow you to serve some people that you’ve never served before.
By innovating, by changing, you might actually open a brand new customer market that you’ve never reached before.
Maybe the people who would never come out, but will buy from you to follow along and cook at home. Think about how you could utilise that if you’re a hospitality business. If you’re not a hospitality business, what media content could you be creating?
- Could you be writing courses?
- Could you be recording videos?
- Could you be putting more out on social?
Think about the ways to build your business. Could you be helping to support other people in a brand new way? Whatever it is, you need to look at the ways that you can pivot right now and ongoing.
This is not just because of a pandemic.
This is not just because of a lockdown.
Being able to pivot and keep your business nimble is the reason that you will thrive.
If you get stuck in the old ways of doing things, then you are going to struggle whenever you come up against any challenges. And this is for sure a challenging time. But it’s not impossible to forge forward and actually pivot within your business, make the necessary changes and start making things a massive success in a brand new direction! Opportunities are everywhere!
I talked about it yesterday, you have to be ready to embrace them, you have to be nimble, agile and ready to move in the direction of where business is going. And right now that is e-commerce! If you’re not ready to sell online. If you don’t have a website with e-commerce functionality. If you’re not embracing the ability to sell through social media, then you are going to get left behind.
Sorry to break it to you, but I want to make it really real.
As someone who’s an ex-chef, I really feel for the hospitality industry right now, which is why we’ve made an e-commerce solution available to people in the hospitality sector.
If you’re in that sector, if you need the help or if you know anyone who is, please put them in touch because they’ve only got until Thursday to get things rolling most effectively! If they leave it much longer they’re going to get into a rut where they can’t transition quickly and straight over to the other solution, and retain those customers rather than having to win them back from the other people who have pivoted quicker and who have adapted and changed.
I really want these businesses to survive, and not just survive but thrive through what’s a challenging time.
It’s a challenge that we can rise to;
We can overcome, but only if we’re prepared to put in the work!
That’s it for another #BreakfastAndBusiness
I wanted to make this really real, really actionable and make it really clear that there is opportunity there as long as you’re ready to pivot and move your business in the direction of success.
Success comes to those who are ready to put in the work and to take action, and I hope that’s you. If it is please do reach out to me.
You can find me as @ImTristanG across all the socials. Please do check back in for breakfast and business – You can find it through the hashtag #BreakfastAndBusiness It’s live at 8 am Monday through Saturday UK time.
It’s now in a 15 to 20 minute format, with repurposed content which some of you may have already seen going out across the various socials, where you can catch snippets and tidbits if 20 minutes is too long.
Grab those across the socials using the same hashtags and I look forward to helping you again at 8am tomorrow morning.
Have an amazing morning, afternoon or evening and I’ll catch you again tomorrow for another #BreakfastAndBusiness