In business, to pivot is to survive

Pivot: to modify (a policy, opinion, product, etc.) while retaining some continuity with its previous version.


To pivot is to survive

Blockbuster

 

 

 

 

A quick history lesson for our post-millennial readers. 

 

Blockbuster was Netflix before Netflix. 

 

The undisputed worldwide leader in video rentals, each town or area had a store, over 2,800 worldwide at their peak, where you physically went and chose which films you would rent for up to 48 hours.

 

As well as being able to indulge in the art of judging a film by its cover, it was also the acid test of a relationship – if you could get in and out within 30 minutes with a general sense of agreement then you could assume you were solid. 

 

Sadly as new technology including the aforementioned Netflix, who offered their services to Blockbuster for $50 million before the founders were literally laughed out of the office, rose offering unparalleled choice and convenience of viewing, businesses found their existing models suddenly unfashionable and obsolete.

 

Now the last remaining Blockbuster store on earth, located in the city of Bend, Oregon, can be booked to stay in as a 90s themed Airbnb accommodation. 

 

As well as offering authentic 90s decor and pop culture memorabilia (think enormous Friends coffee mugs and pictures of Will Smith), guests will be able to peruse and view the stores entire stock of videos – which ironically serves as a tangible physical reminder of precisely why Blockbuster failed. 

 

There was no reason for anybody to visit a video rental store anymore. The original Netflix model of receiving DVDs through the post at home subsequently replaced with a Video on Demand model eliminated the reason for their existence. 

 

By failing to anticipate, spot and adapt to shifting customer preferences, contrary to popular opinion, they were at the mercy of customers not the other way around. 

 

Companies that don’t adapt will disappear leaving behind only nostalgia and some cool looking logos. 

 

Being able to anticipate or predict a market or more importantly pivot in time to join a successful one is a key, possibly the key skill for any business.

 

You’re reading this on the internet – either on mobile, tablet or laptop. Three different versions of the same website – how many businesses decided not to invest in a website back in the 90s?

 

There’s no shame in pivoting – adapting and evolving are what successful and surviving 

species do. 

 

Toyota and Suzuki both started out as a loom manufacturers. Nokia was originally a papermill beside the river Nokianvirta in Finland and imagine how different life might be if The Facebook had stayed as a website dedicated to rating the hotness of one’s fellow students at Harvard. 

The full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still yet to become apparent but we can observe several immediate and short term changes including increased online business activity, less physical and more remote working. 

 

Who knows what the medium and long term changes will be?

 

What is certain is that whichever business anticipates and moves towards them quickly will be in the best position to accelerate their own business’ profitability and success. 

 

While we’re not in the clarevoyancy business, we can help companies firmly establish how they are set for the near term and how quickly or otherwise they will need to change. 

 

We offer a business viability review which will offer the most accurate forecast on how well a company can do in the next 12 months based on their most up-to-date information and assumptions. 

 

The service is offered as either a stand-alone service or can be an important prelude to a pre-pack administration if a company is being sold off in part or whole to new owners who want to take it in a new direction. 

 

Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with us to get a better idea of your business and your situation and we can discuss how else we can use our expertise to help you prepare to pivot your business towards profitability.

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