The COVID-19 pandemic is throwing everything off—our health, our sense of security, our schedules, our businesses, our diets…everything! And yet, it isn’t ALL bad.

At the risk of sounding pollyanna, I suggest the disruption to our businesses may be to our benefit. May!

It depends on the pivot.

Punchpass, which makes studio management software, pivoted by launching a Zoom integration (in a week) earlier this year to let clients—mostly small fitness and yoga studios—transition from teaching in-person classes to virtual ones. The result: stories of clients keeping their businesses alive.

Cloudbeds, which makes property management software, pivoted earlier this year by using its staff and its lengthy list of hotel customers to help find available rooms and beds for COVID-19 patients. The result: retaining customers and doing lots of good.

One of my favorite examples of a pivot goes waaaay back.

The Italian Plague of 1629–1631 was a series of outbreaks of bubonic plague that devastated northern and central Italy. Nearly one million Italian lives were lost.

To keep things rolling, however, wine sellers pivoted and created wine windows: tiny openings in a building’s outer wall, enabling a seller to hand a glass or flask of wine to a customer while limiting the spread of germs. A metal pallet also would be extended to collect money; the seller used vinegar to disinfect coins from the customer.

Business continued. Safely.

Not surprisingly, by the way, the small windows are back in use in Italy. Some shops are using the windows to serve ice cream and coffee as well.

So…how is your business pivoting?

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