Research Outline

Small Businesses Pivot During COVID-19


To find 5-10 case studies of small businesses that made a really solid pivot in the way they do business that were able to find a new creative way to keep their business alive and were able to survive or grow in spite of the COVID 19 shut down.

Early Findings

  • Forbes provided a list of four small businesses that pivoted their business and rethink their operations. The four companies are Club Vino, The Auction Collective, MyoMaster, and Kidadl.
  • Club Vino, the wine tasting event company, offered to its customers can the ability to "order a home tasting package from the website, which includes a themed case of bottles, printable tasting notes with food pairing suggestions, and a video link that guides them through the wines and explains the story behind the bottle just as if they were at an actual event."
  • The Auction Collective has transformed completely online, "with live streaming options for real time bidding and the world's first downloadable bidding paddles that bidders can wave during the auction."
  • MyoMaster: Sports recovery business MyoMaster creates innovations that enable athletes to train harder and perform better. The business was founded last year by Lottie Whyte and her husband, England and Harlequins rugby player Joe Gray. They saw the space open up around at home workouts, and in the space of a fortnight, pivoted to become an ecommerce business. The founders invested £2,000 in digital advertising spend, taking advantage of the currently low cost of ads as bigger brands pulled their spend and their big marketing campaigns, creating opportunities for smaller brands to increase their visibility.
  • Kidadl: With more parents and kids going into lockdown, Kidadl "has found new ways of providing a service by pivoting to become an online destination for ideas and inspiration for stay-at-home fun and learning. The new Kidadl homepage launched for lockdown now lists over 1500 free activities and resources to make family life in lockdown much easier." After this pivot, the website recorded an increase of over 500% in website visits.
  • Another example is the Red Roof hotel, which has swiftly switched up its business model amid the coronavirus pandemic: Red Roof is offering day rates for remote workers, offering up rooms as makeshift workspaces. Through the newly implemented “Work Under Our Roof” program, workers can pay rates starting at $29 for a quiet room.