When there’s an economic shock, businesses need to reset and reinvent. Resetting is about cutting back to the core of the business that remains strong, which is often the vision, mission, values and the main products that the business is well known for. This reset often means cutting back on staff, expenses and marketing activities in response to the situation.
Once a business has reset itself adequately, it can begin to reinvent. It can craft a new plan, develop products, innovate a new method of delivery, hire people and spend money on growth again.
Big companies are often slow to react to a shock. They dither for weeks creating a policy on which employees can use a Zoom account, what jobs can be done from home and who can make small changes to the website. Often, it’s months before a big company has reset itself.
This offers small, entrepreneurial businesses a chance to be first to market with an exciting new solution that is right for the times. Small companies can pivot fast, updating their products, crafting a new message and reaching out to people in dynamic new ways. Here are nine entrepreneurs who have reset and reinvented their businesses over the past few weeks and are already seeing great results.
Christian Harris is the founder of Slip Safety Services, which prevents slip-accident insurance claims. Most buildings are not operating normally at this time, but those that are have different safety requirements relating to hygiene. He formalized a decontamination cleaning service and retooled and retrained his team of 12, who are now busy deep-cleaning workplaces that might have been contaminated.
Mary Grant, a fashion designer, had to close her stores. Three weeks into lockdown, she had moved 50 percent of her regular combined revenue from the physical retail stores into ecommerce. She has run an online “wardrobe challenge,” which has seen an increase in website traffic of over 1,200 percent.
Scott Mansell, an ex-professional racing driver and founder of Driver61, trains racers to be faster on the track. With all racing circuits are closed down, there are no competitions, nor is there anywhere to train. Scott has now taken his methodology online to serve the virtual racing community, which has seen much mainstream attention in the last weeks. His first training workshop ran last weekend with 50 virtual drivers. The session sold out and was oversubscribed by 500 percent.
Sebastian Bates is the founder of the Warrior Academy, which teaches martial arts and confidence to students in the UK and Dubai. His business was heavily dependent on people showing up to physical locations. He has now taken his classes online and launched an international anti-bullying program. As a result, he has generated significant new-product revenue since the shutdown.
Danny Savage is a music-industry podcaster and founder of DJ Growth Lab. As soon as the Spanish lockdown started and flights started canceling, the business ground to a halt overnight. To keep his team employed and his business afloat, they quickly launched an online music-production platform with daily live workshops and on-demand replays. The newly launched Mixmasters.tv has generated robust revnue in its first two weeks, and monthly subscription revenue is growing as well.
Stephanie Taylor is cofounder of HMO Heaven, a property management and development company in Wales that's dependent on being able to fill vacant rooms quickly. She pivoted her existing online Rent to Rent Success Kickstarter Program to assist other operators in systemitizing their businesses with a focus on navigating current challenges. The launch of their new program brought in substantial returns in the first month.
Ricky Fox is the co-owner at Captain Fantastic, one of the UK's top children's-party entertainment companies. Their team went from doing 200 physical kids parties a month to absolutely zero. Within a week, the team switched everything online and launched virtual birthday parties, playdates and live shows. The first seven days of launching parties online brought in over 100 bookings (with dozens in new countries). Their online following has grown from 3,000 followers to over 50,000 within a few days of launch, and their online events have already reached over three million people. Their online parties have also been featured on Sky News, BBC radio, The Evening Standard and The Daily Mirror online.
Nicolas Ruston and James Church are the cofounders of Robot Mascot, which creates investment materials for entrepreneurs to convince angel investors to back them. The team at Robot Mascot spotted an opportunity to create all the documents business owners need to apply to lenders for the COVID-19-related loans. They partnered with experienced CFO and award-winning author David B Horne of Add Them Multiply to create a new product, “Take This to The Bank.” In just two weeks, they’ve launched a new product, created an online eligibility scorecard and secured their first clients.
Leanne Spencer is the founder of Bodyshot Performance. Her team works with big businesses to enhance employee well-being in the office. Projects were previously delivered on-site, face-to-face. In under a month, the business has launched a well-being portal, running real-time training to remote working teams. Bodyshot is on track to have their best month in the company's five-year history.
As these stories demonstrate, transformation for small businesses can happen in a matter of weeks with fast results. Rather than being slow and cautious like a behemoth corperation, entrepreneurs should use their small size as an advantage and respond quickly to disruptive events.