We are all too familiar with the perpetual obstacles and detriments that have plagued our society since the onset on Covid-19. People are struggling to pay their bills, stay healthy, and maintain effective employment while many businesses have also struggled to stay open, reach more customers, and keep substantial employees. These challenges have unfortunately led to many businesses having to close their doors forever, while some other businesses have made certain improvements, advancements, and expansions, allowing them to pivot to more successful paths.
Along with the challenges of Covid-19 come opportunities for creativity and collaboration. A number of businesses have used this push of necessity and fear to launch themselves into a new direction, mainly in the realm of virtual applications.
One business making a successful pivot during these uncertain times is Leading Edge Personal Trainers. Leading Edge is a black-owned family business based in NYC, which is where they serve their in-person training clients. Co-founder of Leading Edge, Noelle McKenzie, says, “When it comes to running a business, it’s important to be adaptable and be able to foresee the next trend because change is inevitable. It’s easy to get stuck with one way of knowing how to be successful. Covid posed an opportunity as it catapulted the already present virtual space to a new level of popularity.”
Most in-person and storefront businesses were put at a critical crossroads when we went into lockdown because face to face contact was no longer an option. It was during this time that Leading Edge decided to launch their virtual personal training platform. They learned through experience, and as with any change, this pivot in their business was scary. They actually opened up a non-interest bearing credit card for fear that their business model would fail. Luckily, they never had to touch that credit card. Within a year, Leading Edge had grown two-fold! Their virtual platform quickly became wildly successful and today, nearly two and a half years later, approximately 70 percent of their clientele still loves and prefers the virtual training model.
Taking a leap in a new direction can definitely be scary, but sometimes what scares you the most is what is most needed for your business. When you have an opportunity in front of you, seize the moment, because otherwise that ship may sail. If it weren’t for Covid, Leading Edge truly believes their clients would not have been as open to trying virtual training and would not have been able to realize its value. However, when it becomes your only option, it becomes more appealing and gives the skeptics a reason to put it to the test. Many businesses become successful by capitalizing on a window of opportunity like this before everyone else does. Noelle McKenzie of Leading Edge also contributes some additional guidance for pivoting businesses:
- “It is important to diversify your means of income for your business to continue to expand and grow. Our in-person training model never went away, it’s still here and quite popular as well, but having the virtual platform and also an online training app allows us to tap into different pools of people based on their different needs. We also have been able to now expand our audience beyond NYC. We now have clients across the country and even internationally. As a result, we have been able to expand our team, which generated another form of passive income for the owners of our business.”
- “Dream big! If your vision is short-sighted, you will stay complacent. Many businesses fail because they don’t know how to stay relevant and plan their next business move to evolve with the times. Pay close attention to what is working and not working for other business models. You can even do some A/B testing to feel out your audience.”
- “Stop trading time for money. One big win for us with our virtual and online training platforms is, we stopped trading so much time for money. We grew so fast that it allowed us to expand our team so we no longer had to be the only ones overseeing our clients. We also claimed much of our time back because we no longer had to spend time each day traveling between clients. Now we train our clients right from the comfort of our home and are able to spend more time with our family.”
- “Look to reduce or eliminate your overhead. One of the advantages we’ve had from choosing not to have a brick and mortar storefront for our business is that we have virtually no overhead. And now with working from home the only real overhead we have is paying our team, which is generating us passive income, so it’s a fair trade. Not having overhead has allowed us to reinvest into our business in important ways to help us stay relevant and competitive.”
Source: NY Weekly