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Pivoting Your Business

When one door closes, can you make a window? With stores closing for the time being, and most people sticking close to home, many Designers and the contractors they work with are finding that orders and projects are being put on hold.

Here are five ideas to help pivot your business and keep the cash flowing in.

1. Raffle off old stock.

Even if you already have an online store, you may want to find an alternative to running a sale to drive customers your way. Raffling off a few big ticket items could bring in a small windfall and move some stock… if you’ve got the customer network to bring in the numbers.

2. Create a DIY sewing or craft kit that can be shipped to customers.

So many people are at home and looking to explore new hobbies. Look through your supplies and try putting together a tote bag kit, or even a simple top, to keep them connected to your brand.

3. Style Customers virtually.

Ring up your return customers. They already love your aesthitic! So help them figure out how to “shop their closet” and put together new outfits with a personalized styling session online.

4. Create a downloadable impulse buy.

Don’t have the materials to create a kit? Make an online tutorial they can buy! Don’t have the time to go through each of your customer’s closets personally? Have them subscribe to an ‘outfit of the day’ styling service! Bonus: any kind of online, downloadable item has the potential to bring in “passive income”, meaning it doesn’t take as much of your daily attention to bring in.

5. Sell gift cards.

Even if you can’t sell to customers right now, they may be looking for a way to help out their favorite designer right now. Giving them the option to buy a gift card (even for a limited time) is like letting your customers buy a stake in your future.

If cash is really tight, consider starting a Ko-fi account.

Ko-fi was started in 2012 as a way for fans to support the online creators they were enjoying . For as little as the price of a cup of coffee, a one time donation can be made via the Ko-fi platform. Creators are paid instantly, for only the cost of the transaction fees. You can set fundraising goals, and upload videos and posts to keep those donating engaged.

Another factor to consider is that your financial need may not end in the next two weeks.

Everyone is looking at the possibility of a change in the economic landscape. If your business is something that you’re committed to for the long term, you may want to look at taking a full time job elsewhere, keeping your business online and on the back burner for the short term. With all the changes towards working from home, it may be worth a look at the tech sector.

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