Recently here in Trinidad and Tobago we’ve been seeing many restaurants now becoming “urban markets”. El Pecos Grill and Kam Wah are two very recent examples of restaurants that have become groceries, parlours or mini-marts or whatever you decide to call them. People are calling them “transvendors” meaning a vendor that identifies as another type of business. Whether or not they made a legitimate change to their business is questionable but one thing we can say is that in business we all need to pivot over time in order to survive.
Should you pivot your business?
The reason for the above-mentioned businesses changing their business model to now sell pre-cooked food and raw ingredients is: due to the Covid-19 restrictions, traditional dine-in restaurants were forced to close multiple times for months at a time. When forced to closed what can a business owner do? You can either close down your business or you can adapt. Some chose to adapt. What you choose to do would depend on the situation and how willing you are to make those changes.
Pellau Media has changed a lot over the years. The Pellau name has been adapted many times. The very first business I operated under this name was selling laptops and electronics. I made an online store for people to purchase those products. Back in 2007 e-commerce in Trinidad and Tobago wasn’t really a “thing” but being first to market had some advantages. Other businesses then began contacting me to list their products on my website. This is where providing e-commerce solutions for other businesses began as a business model I’d eventually pursue. From there the Pellau Magazine was developed mainly because I wanted to have the means to attract potential buyers to my online marketplace. Pellau Media is now an agency providing e-commerce and branding services to our clients. We moved away from a marketplace business to one that provides e-commerce websites at affordable rates to our clients. Do I expect to always be in that line of business? Of course not! Pellau will continue to evolve and pivot according to the changing business climate.
So to answer the question of “if you should pivot your business”… the answer is YES. Pay attention to changing trends and be ready to adapt. At the moment the pivot is to transition to selling online. Rather than wait for retail businesses to reopen, you can begin making changes to transition to selling online.