Survive, and thrive! 


Take a look at this quick guide we threw together based on what the most successful businesses are doing amidst the COVID chaos. 

Accept and embrace the distance communication

Zoom, Facetime and Skype are the new face-to-face, for now, so embrace and own it! Normalizing it is the only way to stay sane and not only survive, but thrive during this time. The businesses who make this swift and effortless-looking pivot are stabilizing right now (even though we all know effortless does take some effort and adaptation.)

Some of the biggest trends right now stemmed from businesses with a brick-and-mortar retail model, for example bakeries shifting into the sourdough/bread-making kits by delivery. 

Ask yourself: what you can provide online?  

Repurpose your most valuable assets and resources

Leverage your current assets and resources and align them with your customers’ current needs. 

Example: LVMH normally a cosmetic and perfumery is adapting to make hand sanitizer and other large clothing manufacturers have been forced into making masks, gowns and scrubs to meet the demand and social clamor for aid to our frontline workers. 

Questions to ponder: What do people need most right now?  How can your company fill that need with your existing resources? If your business is unable to operate, is there a way to pivot to digital or a business that is deemed essential?

Connect to Your Current Clients, Now Same As Ever

Even though we’re not allowed to see each other in a normal sense, we should still be reaching out to each other to check-in, as we normally would, and maybe now even more so every now and again. Loyal customers will be with you to the end, and a time like this can be your chance to make a real difference. A lack of communication during this time is not the answer. Continue to maintain a strong relationship with your clients whether directly, individually, in newsletters, and or/via social media. 

Figure out the best way to engage with your current customers and do so in creative ways.  

A lack of communication during this time is not the answer.

Ask yourself: How can I best engage and communicate with my customers now? What can I do to encourage my current customers to support my business? What are other companies doing to engage customers that I could also be doing or could help my business?

You collaborated before, why not collaborate now

If you could choose to do a “collab” with a business with a like-minded client-base before, why not now? No time like the present, so brainstorm in your local community pages and find a partner who can help you and themselves by joining forces. 

Partnerships can help give you access to new customers, new products or new markets. What partners can you work with that also have resources you can leverage? Is there a partner you think could help sell your product or service to their customer base? What could you offer them in exchange? Is there an opportunity to bundle your products together? True partnerships and successful collaborations are win-win. 

Ask yourself:  Who could I collaborate with?  What businesses do I have synergies with or common customer profiles?  

Try and fail (and try, and fail, and try, etc).

There has never been a better time to try (and fail!). Now is the time to experiment. Quickly launch new ideas with minimal investment. Focus on results. Learn and improve with each iteration. Not everything you try out will work. And that’s okay. 

Famous pivots:

  • YouTube was once a video dating site

  • Twitter was once a podcasting network named Odeo

  • Play-doh was once a wall cleaner that pivoted to a beloved children’s toy

Famous “Failure” 

  • Inventor Sir James Dyson created 5,126 vacuum designs until he finally invented a bagless vacuum that worked.

Ask yourself:  If I do a small test of a new idea and it fails, what is the worst that can happen and what knowledge can I gain from trying?  How can exploring a new partnership or collaboration benefit me?

Embrace the pivot

If your business has been greatly impacted by the current crisis, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that great companies can be built in hard times. I started my first company after the dot-com bubble burst which eventually grew to over $100M in annual revenue. Many of the successful companies you see today — WhatsApp, Uber, Credit Karma, Pinterest, Slack, Venmo, and Square were all founded during the 2008 Recession. Embrace the pandemic and the potential pivot that can come out of it. 

A Case Study: Starbucks

The coffee shop we all know and (hate to) love did not always sell fresh-brewed coffee to customers. They started off in 1971 selling actual espresso makers and beans, which Howard Schultz (current chairman, president and CEO) had decided by tasting the coffee- was it’s actual value and company potential. After his visit to Italy in 1983, Schultz was determined to actually brew and sell Starbucks coffee in a European-style coffeehouse that we know as Starbucks. 

And for you Quarantine social phenes- now adores as “bradbucks” via @bradgoreski on Instagram and has been seen countless in other mentions in beloved media over the years. 


In Conclusion: 
  1. Accept Distance
  2. Repurpose Assets If Needed
  3. Connect to Clients
  4. Consider Collaboration
  5. Try Something Different

J. M. Whitney Insurance is an independent insurance agency located in Watertown, Massachusetts. Give us a call, stop by, or request a quote online to find out how much we can save you on your insurance.

If you liked this blog, stay tuned for more from J.M. Whitney Insurance!