If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we can all confront unforeseen challenges.

In a year like no other we have seen strong, established brands with great retention and reviews faced with severely changed business conditions. We have also witnessed many great examples of businesses that have stopped, replanned and adjusted their strategies to achieve their long-term goals.

So, what is the ‘secret sauce’ that binds a great business strategy and how can it be applied during times of change? 

Business Advisor Sue Walsh has put together some key tips that business owners can consider when pivoting their business to meet future challenges head-on.


  • Take the time to review and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your business. You can do this by writing down the things that your company does well and also list areas of your business where you feel you could be doing better.
  • Invite all team members to contribute opinions and ideas. Organise a planning afternoon in a setting that encourages people to speak openly and let the ideas flow.
  • Take on board customer feedback that you may have gathered through surveys, social media or in conversations with your customers.
  • Identify key threats to your business as it stands, as well as opportunities that competitors might be seizing.  You can do this by looking at news about your industry, economic updates or government incentives that may help your business.


  • Review the different ‘pivot’ options for your business – what pivots can you make that will lean on your strengths but move business in a new direction?
  • Work through the implications of each new pivot option – how much time, money, staff, equipment and infrastructure could you afford to commit?
  • Plan your chosen pivot, its goals and the stages involved.
  • Communicate your reasons for taking the new approach with your staff and get them on board with it – this is a shared vision.
  • Develop new marketing plans to bring your customers and other stakeholders along for the ride. Accomplish this by highlighting how beneficial these changes will be for them.


  • Execute your pivot strategy by putting into place new products or services and implementing the strategies that you developed in your marketing plan.
  • As the business moves forward, monitor its successes and setbacks and keep adjusting your strategy where needed. This is where speaking to your customers will help you clarify what’s working and what’s not.
  • Retain a flexible mindset. Conditions might change again, and you will need to respond with agility and a new pivot plan.

There will always be challenges to business operation either through internal or external changes. Having a flexible plan that you can revisit when needed will help you succeed and remain agile to deal with whatever comes your way.