When Priscilla Michelle launched her bespoke fashion design business, her focus was on custom-made wedding dresses. Like many businesses, Priscilla Michelle Couture was a casualty of Covid-19, and that’s where Priscilla’s entrepreneurial dreams could have ended if she didn’t immediately pivot her business.
We’ve spoken a lot about pivoting, and in the upcoming months – particularly through the Small Business Showcase – I expect we’ll be speaking about it even more. We’re living through unprecedented and accelerating change, and businesses that aren’t agile and adaptable will struggle with these changes.
What I love about Priscilla’s story is how she has coped with that change, and actually used it to her benefit.
Overnight she no longer had a business, and she picked herself up and started manufacturing masks. From there, she added jackets to her portfolio. The pivot was so successful that Priscilla actually employed more people at the height of the pandemic and our lockdowns, going from two employees to a team of seven.
“Covid-19 gave me an opportunity to sit down and decide what I wanted to do, and what I realised is that I wasn’t enjoying the bespoke side of the business as much as I thought I would,” she says.
It’s a problem we see time and again with small business owners who are so busy working in the business and focusing on making sure the bills are paid, that they don’t take the time to step back and evaluate where they are, and where they want to be.
The challenge is that change is hard, and most of us avoid it if we can. The pandemic has ripped the band-aid off, and now the only question is what we’re going to do about it.
Priscilla has a great lesson to share in this regard: get used to change. Force yourself into it. Every transition becomes easier, and you’ll build a muscle that supports you as you step into new phases of your business. This is what growth is built on.
Like many small business owners before her, Priscilla is still figuring things out – but that’s okay too. Business is a journey. It’s not a destination.
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