Financial Consultant & Coach
Pivoting became an essential survival tool for multiple entrepreneurs, businesses and employees whose income was impacted in this time. Despite all the negativity, it was inspiring to witness the creativity and future success stories that arose as a result of pivoting.
I experienced the negative impact of the pandemic, too. Our guesthouse had a fantastic 2019/20 year, achieving our full-year revenue targets within nine months. We were fully booked the weekend before that life-changing speech in March … and then … nothing! No guests for more than three months! Bookings were cancelled and money refunded. Employees and expenses had to be paid despite not having any income.
Yes, that is devastating, especially since we had experienced such an amazing growth phase and had exciting plans for 2020. We are truly grateful that we were in a solid financial position going into lockdown and could survive the worst. Many other hospitality businesses were not that fortunate and had to close down. Now we hope and pray that business will pick up again rather sooner than later.
The guesthouse being quiet granted me more time to spend on my financial consulting and training business. The financial business was doing very well during this time, with many individuals and business owners looking for guidance. COVID-19 has confirmed the value of multiple income streams. The big shift towards moving online created the perfect opportunity to get my online business off the ground and launch my academy with a vast range of online courses catering for both personal and business finances.
An online business not only has the benefit of additional passive income streams; it also provides more time. Because I had more time, I could launch an accounting and tax practice, which is a great value-add to additional clients but also an additional service offering. Reflecting on my personal experience of lockdown and subsequent story of pivoting, I am thankful for the new opportunities it created.
Numerous examples of pivoting during this time are truly inspiring. People in rural areas started vegetable gardens because they were not allowed to travel to their place of work. Wine agents and chocolatiers did online tastings, delivering tasting kits to clients’ homes. A construction company transformed its workforce into a cleaning and sanitising company, allowing them to keep paying their employees. Wedding-dress makers started designing and selling masks. People who lost their full-time jobs pivoted to tutoring classes. These are all beautiful and inspiring stories of people who did not give up but seized new opportunities, giving true meaning to the new buzz word: pivoting.
2020’s buzz words
Nobody would have guessed that the words ‘lockdown’, ‘corona’, ‘pandemic’, ‘essential’ and ‘pivoting’ would become the buzz words of 2020. No other buzz words had impacted so many people’s lives. We all experienced the impact, whether on a physical, emotional or financial level, or a combination.
It was (and is) heartbreaking to witness the destruction, hunger, lost lives, job losses and businesses closing down. But with every door closing, there is another door opening. An uphill is followed by a downhill or at least a flat surface. And every challenge conveys new opportunities …