5 tips for a successful business pivot
Corporate Culcha founder Paul Dodd shares his tips for making your business pivot go the distance.
Corporate Culcha provides cultural awareness and competency training and assists companies and government organisations in successfully engaging and working with Indigenous Australians.
When COVID-19 hit, founder Paul Dodd, who also runs Geared Up Culcha and Yaru Water had to change tact and pivot his business to continue supporting his clients – many of whom are in remote communities. Here are his tips for a successful business pivot that goes the distance.
As the business owner, no one knows your business better than you. Before you decide on a business pivot, start with a business self-assessment – factoring in things like resources, operations and skillsets – for a good steer in the right direction.
For Corporate Culcha, this approach led them to make strategic changes to their operations and staff. “When you’re looking at making tweaks to your business, you’ve got to self-assess and consider what it’ll take to make it work,” Dodd says. “Have you got the internal resources you need? What expertise can you lean on? After assessing our own situation, we decided to pivot to online training, and brought in a subject matter expert to help us utilise technology in the best way.”
The COVID-19 crisis has fundamentally changed the way customers interact with businesses, and some of these changes will endure long after the pandemic is over. This is worth considering if you’re thinking about making a business pivot. Does the change serve your customers now, but also in the future?
As well as meeting an immediate need, Corporate Culcha’s new services will also be beneficial to clients further down the track. “We looked at our clientele and asked ourselves ‘how do we give them an alternative solution now?’, while thinking about the long-term implications,” Dodd explains. “That led to ramping up our eLearning modules and providing online training through platforms like Zoom. We know that those services are going to be affordable and accessible to our clients post-COVID.”
Knowing where to take your business can be challenging, especially in a volatile market. Using data to guide you takes the guesswork out of decision-making, both in the short and long term.
“One of our mantras is ‘no data, no decision’,” Dodd says. “You have to take the emotion out of it and look at both quantitative and qualitative data to make long-term business decisions. Do some research into what the market is doing. For us, the data told us it was a no-brainer to enter the online space.”
Pivoting doesn’t always mean permanently adopting an entirely new business model. When it comes to the future, the right approach could be staying the course, reverting to your old ways of working, or a combination of both.
For Dodd and the Corporate Culcha team, their focus is on bringing variety to their services rather than reinventing the wheel.
“It’s not about changing entirely, but more about diversification,” Dodd says. “We’re diversifying our offering so we won’t get ‘stuck’ in one area again. It gives our people internally more diverse opportunities as well.”
Turning a short-term pivot into a long-term opportunity can mean spending money on equipment, staff or other areas of the business. Seeking financial advice can help you make informed investment decisions for your business growth.
“People are understandably penny-pinching at the moment, but sometimes you need to invest to make it work,” Dodd says. “Getting access to capital might be what you need to reinvigorate your business. Talk to your bank or your financial advisor – they may be able to give you some advice and help you navigate the decision and long-term impacts.”
You may not know what’s next for your business. But thinking strategically about the long-term opportunity can help put you in a position of strength through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
This article is a general overview and should be used as a guide only. We recommend that you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before acting.