18. Be Prepared to Pivot
My piece of advice would be to cover everything imaginable during the planning phase, but then to not be too attached to the outcome. I find most businesses have almost no plan they are going off, and no contingency plans for when things don’t go right. Spend the time before launching your product or service to really think out every detail of your business, how you will run it, how you will scale when successful, how you will handle problems when they come up.
This isn’t as fun as going out and starting a business, but this will give a logical platform to make decisions from and a focus for your organization. I usually recommend making both best and worst case scenario business plans and financial projections. This exercise helps the business owner to work through many potential roadblocks while still in the planning stage, thereby averting many a potential crisis.
However, when you do get the business operational things might not go as planned. If so, give yourself permission to change the plans and re-envision the company. I like to include those types of pivot plans when creating a business plan as well — a list of other directions the company could re-focus in if the initial sales figures don’t give the expected feedback. Nothing in business is ever as expected, results are better or worse, and plans must have the flexibility to recognize this and scale accordingly.
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