June 25, 2020 was the PERFECT DAY for the South Holland Business Association’s (SHBA) annual golf outing. The sky was blue and the temperature was pleasantly comfortable. The only problem was that the event had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was such a bummer especially since the 2018 and 2019 golf outings had been postponed due to inclement weather.
Oh well, what can you do? I’ll tell you what SHBA did. We pivoted and reset our plans. Instead of hosting an outing on the links, we hosted a virtual luncheon via Zoom. The workshop speaker was attorney Gwendolyn Sterk of Gwendolyn J. Sterk and The Family Law Group, P.C. (www.sterkfamilylaw.com) Ms. Sterk carried forth the concept of pivoting and resetting throughout her information-packed presentation. She helped members and guests from multiple local chambers to establish a plan for pivoting and resetting so that they could change a potential crisis into a positive for the future of their businesses or organizations.
She began by giving a historical perspective of the times when businesses pivoted in the past. Ms. Sterk reminded us of when personal service was the name of the game then the “Big Box” stores came on the scene and things shifted to self-service. After that phase, consumers became more demanding and wanted more bells and whistles and luxury brands. Now customers/consumers have an almost infinite array of options and want things to be personalized to them. In order to keep up with these consumer shifts, businesses need to be flexible, nimble, innovative and sometimes collaborative. (Think about the restaurants that used to only offer indoor dining and now they have to offer carry-out and delivery via Uber Eats or DoorDash to stay viable.)
Ms. Sterk mentioned other ways that businesses may have to pivot including by offering remote or online services, video training and programming, having flexible hours, or increasing or decreasing options that are offered. Businesses may experience some of these benefits if they shift how they do things: improved efficiency, reduced commuting time, enhanced brand reputation and awareness, lower operational costs, a new stream of income or products/services, and more. In order to successfully reset how you are doing your business, you may have to enhance how you use technology, how you engage with your customers/clients and your employees, and how you deal with any apprehension you may have about making changes to your pre-pandemic plans and goals.
Ms. Sterk asked the participants to share how they have pivoted and reset how they serve their customers since the traditional way of providing services and offering products is no longer an option. A variety of creative ideas were presented.
What you are about to read falls under the shameless plug category, but I wanted to note that Ms. Sterk gave the local chambers a HUGE compliment. She expressed her appreciation for the way that chambers have upped their level of usefulness and stepped up to the plate during the pandemic by sharing crucial resources and vital information. SHBA most definitely appreciates that kind acknowledgement of our efforts.
To learn more about the beneficial tips and information that Ms. Sterk provided and to hear the ideas that participants shared for how they are operating differently now, click here to access the video recording.