Having a small business right now is no small thing. With untold implications from COVID-19: the faltering economy, parents having to juggle life/work/homeschooling; and the immense emotional toll of living through a time of so much civil unrest and the need for social change- where do you stand with your small business? I imagine the ground feels a little shaky. No one has an answer. Experts can't agree on what the future will look like. How do you plan? How do you continue to promote your business in the face of so much uncertainty? How do you PIVOT?
I'm not sure there is one answer. I'll tell you what I did. I am only an expert in that I nearly lost my small business and was forced to shift and change my perspective. When COVID-19 hit I pretty much lost 90% of my wholesale business but I didn't succumb to complete annihilation. A few of my retailers actually thrived during the pandemic. How? I'll save those details for another post, but it has a lot to do with a robust online D2C business as well as a credible amazon store.
So how did I pivot? I relaunched my brand. I changed my name from "bodewell home" to "bodewell living". I wanted to open up the possibilities to offer my customers something more than home goods. I wanted to include designers I admire (coming soon) and I wanted to have a voice and point of view that resonated with my target demographic. I am not just here to sell candles. I am here to do as much good as I possibly can. I also launched a new product with a social justice theme which helped to solidify my stance as not just being a candle slinger.
I also listened to other small business owners. What were they saying and doing? Pinterest. Blog posts. Podcasts. Collaborations.
It's a lot of work. With three small children it seems impossible at times. I have learned to take it one step at a time. For now...until the next pivot.