Covid-19: 5 SMEs Pivoting Their Business Models

Covid-19: 5 SMEs Pivoting Their Business Models

We look at five inspirational SMEs who have changed their business models to either still serve their customers or help the country in an entirely different way during the coronavirus pandemic

By Matt Evans

The coronavirus pandemic has caused chaos for many UK businesses. Yet, despite the doom and gloom, the crisis seems to have brought out the raw entrepreneur in some business owners. 

To help inspire you during this time, we look at 5 businesses who have 'pivoted', changing their business models to either still serve their customers, or help the country in an entirely different way.

1. The drive-through greengrocers 

Take a walk into any supermarket today and you’ll see a lot of the pasta, sauces and dry goods missing, not to mention loo roll. In Ross-Shire, Scotland, Munro Fruit Merchants have adapted their business operations by offering a drive-through fruit and vegetable service. 

Customers simply have to pick up the phone or place an order online, drive to the store and will have their order placed into the boot of their car without any personal contact. They’re even offering to deliver (again, without contact) to self-isolating customers, meaning their customers can still buy fresh, healthy food whilst avoiding any form of social contact.

2. Gin that's not for drinking

As the shelves emptied of anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer, these products have become an almost tradeable commodity. Meanwhile, with pubs and bars shutting, businesses such as 58 Gin are stepping in by adapting their offering. 

The Hoxton-based brand has put gin production aside briefly to produce hand sanitizers. By utilising equipment and resources already available to them, the company is able to fulfil a more pressing need. A share of all profits are going to the industry’s chosen charity to help those worst hit by this pandemic. 

3. Keeping up the pub banter

Goose’s Quizzes, known for their in-person quizzes, are making sure quiz-heads around the country still have a chance to show off their general knowledge, history of prime ministers and memory of historical events despite pub closures. 

Every evening at 7pm GMT, using popular streaming platform Twitch.tv, individuals or teams can watch and play along using a specially-made Google form to enter their answers. Don’t worry, the usual 'pub banter' can still be enjoyed in the real-time Twitch chat boxes. Why not stream it onto your TV and get the whole family involved? 

4. Take-away arts and crafts

The Codsall Hive Arts and Crafts Cafe have found their way around cafe closures. The popular pottery painting and decorating arm of their business has become their new take-away product, offering customers the chance to pick up pottery decorating kits from the shop to take home contact-free. 

In their own time, (or for parents, a great activity for children and the whole family to get involved with) customers can paint and decorate, before bringing them back to the store to be glazed and fired as soon as it's safe to do so. 

5. Keeping off the kilos 

There are plenty of gyms who are pivoting to get us exercising from home. Psycle London are one such business posting plenty of live Instagram workouts every day. Whilst their customers may be unable to physically attend their gym, they're keeping them engaged with the brand during this period of isolation.

Whether you fancy a Booty Blast, yoga session, or HIIT workout, they’ve got it, plus every workout only uses items you can find around the home, so there’s really no excuse! They’re saving workouts to their stories too, so if you can’t make a class one day it’s still accessible later on. 

Honourable mentions

These are just a select few examples of SMEs that are pivoting in the face of coronavirus, but we know there are many more businesses, big and small, that are helping to both tackle coronavirus and support their local community in one way or another, for example;

And a special shout out to our Member Offers partner Bloom & Wild who are donating 15% of all 'Florist’s Pick' flowers to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal, offering 40% off to all NHS workers and giving away 10 bouquets every week to nominated key workers.

Keep working together! And if you need any business support during this time, feel free to head over to our Coronavirus Business Hub for more advice and guidance.