It’s hard to start this post without sounding cliche, because everything that can be said about 2020 being “unprecendented” has already been said. By journalists, by politicians, by podcast hosts, by your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend who heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night (guess it’s pretty serious). The point is, everyone has already written about 2020 being challenging.
But we wanted to write this anyway, because it’s helpful for us to share how we’re all getting through this, especially when it comes to small business owners keeping their businesses going. We welcome hearing how you and your business have adjusted to the insanity!
When March hit, and Covid first became a Real Problem here in America, we were just as caught offguard as everyone else (thanks in part to a woefully underprepared federal response, but that’s a whole different post). So, we decided to take a breath. After all, good decisions rarely happen as a reaction to fear or panic. We took a step back, and we did to ourselves what we do with our clients: we took on the challenge of identifying how PinPoint could evolve in this ‘new normal’.
In doing so, we noticed something: PinPoint, a year ago, was positioned as a company for anyone. Which is funny, because this is exactly what we advise our clients NOT to be. When your ideal client is everyone, you spread yourself too thin and can’t specialize in helping who you actually are most set up to serve. So, in an effort to get more targeted, we started talking to local business leaders – from Chicago to Milwaukee to St. Louis and Grand Rapids. And we discovered that the Midwest mentality is different than anywhere else out there: having Midwestern roots directly affects the way business owners run their businesses AND relate to their customers. So why not work with our likeminded Midwestern businesses? In the end, we applied our process to our process, and uncovered an opportunity to better help our neighbors. By narrowing our focus to the small & medium sized companies with roots like ours, we can cross-pollinate learnings that will keep the Midwest running and become stronger than ever. Which, in these “unprecented times” (sorry not sorry), is honestly more important than ever.
Why does this matter to you, dear reader? Well, design thinking studios like ours can really help brands thrive, which is incredibly important in these new strange times where the landscape feels vast and unknown. But almost all design thinking studios suffer a similar problem to the one we noticed in PinPoint: they are trying to be everything for everybody. Plus, the barrier of entry is costly, and the uncertainty if ideas will be relevant is unknown, so it can be a scary process to begin. That’s why we’re breaking down those barriers. We’re making human-centered design attainable for all the “below Fortune 1000s” of the world, and we’re sharing learnings across industry lines where it matters most – from a shared Midwest mentality that spans customers & business owners. When the whole world feels like it’s going off the rails, a good place to start putting it back together again is in your own community, and that’s what we’re most passionate about these days: helping our professional community grow and thrive.
Could you use some help getting your business back on track? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us a little bit more about yourself. We’d love to work with you, especially if you’re a neighbor (near or far). Together, we will get through this. That much we know. But it’s going to take organizing, some good old fashioned hard work, and maybe a few more Ferris Bueller references. Hang in there, folks. We can do this, as long as we do it together.