A familiar word in the world of start-ups, pivot refers most simply to those moments when a leader or management team realize that their current business model is not working. This realization, if accepted fully, triggers a quick reshaping of the business to a new plan or model in order to remain relevant and invigorated. For small-business owners looking to pivot, paying particular attention to some basic steps in the planning stages not only mitigates the risk associated with the investment of time and money in moving from Plan A to Plan B, but can clarify the operational elements needed to accomplish a pivot as elegantly and cost-effectively as possible. Most obviously and a too-often overlooked step is to understand that a pivot is change, and as such means that your business is starting out in one place and ending in a different one. This simple moment is crucial: to imagine B your new state of the business as clearly and completely as possible. Setting B firmly in your mind, in your business plan, and as the fixed end point of the pivot is critical, for once the pivot begins it requires an anchor point.
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It pays to plan. Entrepreneurs who write business plans are more likely to succeed, according to research. But while this might tempt some entrepreneurs to make writing a plan their very first task, a subsequent study shows that writing a plan first is a really bad idea. It is much better to wait, not to devote too much time to writing the plan, and, crucially, to synchronize the plan with other key startup activities. Entrepreneurs who write business plans are more likely to succeed, according to our research, described in an earlier piece for Harvard Business Review.
From startups to established corporations, business plans lay the framework for a company's vision and its financial future. Drafting a business plan is a crucial step in the growth of any business. For small businesses looking to take steps toward funding, creating a business plan can be a daunting task.
Silicon Valley culture is built around great pivots — a sudden shift in strategy that turns a mediocre idea into a billion-dollar company. Groupon began not as a local coupon business, but as a platform for collective action. Twitter was born from a stalled podcasting startup. At the Stanford d. Even in that extremely short timeframe, abrupt turns are inevitable.