This year’s looming threat of recession and economic downturn has wreaked havoc on all businesses, big and small. No matter the industry or product, the Global Crisis has overturned traditional business models: disrupting supply chains, internal and external operations, consumer trends and face-to-face contact. For many businesses, executive teams have had to go back to the drawing board, and rethink their very own core processes and capabilities.
For some businesses, it seems that the ‘magic formula’ for survival, is a transformation of the entire company.
Over the past few months we have bared witness to a ‘shift’ in the global business landscape. For many businesses, undergoing a ‘pivot’ has provided a short-term solution, as well as a long-term opportunity of resilience and further growth. According to the Australian Financial Review, ‘pivoting’ is a lateral move that creates enough value for both the business and the consumer to share.
Tech giant Spotify, is an example of a business that has successfully pivoted during the COVID-19 Crisis. As we all know, Spotify differs from other pure-play streaming services. It’s price-model partly relies on revenue generated from advertisers. (All free Spotify users must listen to advertisements). However, as COVID-19 hit, and the world was thrown into an economic downturn, many businesses and advertisers were forced to cut their advertising spend significantly.
In response to this, Spotify pivoted, and started to offer original content, in the form of podcasts. This pivot was well-received by artists and users - with over 150,000 podcasts being uploaded in the first month.
Whilst ‘pivoting’ is a pretty viable option for tech companies, it’s interesting to investigate whether or not it is possible for traditional companies. As we know, the hospitality industry has been hit pretty hard by COVID-19. Government-enforced social distancing, lockdowns and reduced foot-traffic has had a pretty devastating impact on a wide range of restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs. Interestingly however, many hospitality businesses have survived by pivoting. Particularly in Australia, hospitality businesses have found ways in which they can reach their customers at home, beefing up their takeaway functions, enlisting home-delivery and providing home-catering services.
The disruption to the hospitality industry is pretty familiar to our team here at SHFT App. Just last year we had launched our hospitality start-up SHFTHero, a staff-sharing app that connected hospitality businesses with on-demand freelancers. Taking the best features from ride-sharing, dating apps and recruitment software, we developed our very own labour-matching technology, successfully bringing the hospitality industry into the digital age. Following our launch we were met with great success, servicing a community of over 3,000 freelancers and hospitality businesses, and expanding throughout the state of NSW within a couple of months.
When COVID-19 hit, and the hospitality industry put our staff-sharing app on hold, we decided to do something risky - and pivot. In just a few short weeks, our team mobilised our core capabilities and technologies, and launched SHFT App. Entering the HR Tech and mobile workforce management space, SHFT App offers cutting-edge labour-matching technology to entrepreneurs and businesses. Our technology is versatile, easy-to-use, and can be applied to any agency, industry or venture without having to write a single line of code. As seen through our hospitality startup SHFTHero, our labour-matching technology can be used to mobilise any contingent workforce, matching, booking and managing users based on key criteria, and algorithms.
Since our pivot, we have been humbled by the extraordinary response and support we have received from the HR tech and start up space. Our SHFT App technology is becoming integrated into a wide range of industries and functions, serving as the ideal form of mobile workforce management in staffing agencies, recruitment firms, and community marketplaces.
To find out more about our pivot, check out our recent feature on AusBiz’s new segment, Startupdaily!