We’ve all heard stories of small businesses these past many months, about how they’ve pivoted to offer new products and services as a result of the pandemic. Some accidentally stumbled upon entirely new product lines and market opportunities, that had it not been for the crisis, wouldn’t have been discovered.
I heard a radio teaser about Dippin’ Dots this week. My brother in law is a Dippin’ Dots franchisee, so my interest was piqued in hearing this story. Dippin’ Dots value proposition is their ability to freeze ice cream pellets in an immediate fashion, which locks in flavor and allows the small balls of ice cream to form. The process and storage take place in very low freezer temperatures. As a result, the vaccine distributors and medical facilities became very interested in this company, not for their confectionary delights, but for their ability to store products at sub-sub-zero temperatures. Thus, a new business opportunity for the company that stores cold products!
As director of The Mill, I’m always looking for ways to innovate and look for ways to respond and adapt to the small business environment. The pandemic shifted Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses to online classes and curriculum delivery. I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to serve our rural Utah customers given this new delivery system. As a result, our first-ever rural cohort is now being formed. In the past, small businesses not along the Wasatch Front have been limited from attending the course, traditionally delivered in person in Sandy, due to the long distances and inability to travel to class. Scholars across the country are receiving the 10KSB program remotely and I thought ‘there’s no better time to pivot to serve our rural business owners.’ Our team is feverishly recruiting now for our rural cohort to begin in May 2021.