Many small and micro businesses don’t have a business plan, and I’m guessing that a lot of creative businesses have never thought of doing one.
Other than the obvious reason of gaining finance, why have a business plan?
– To order your thoughts. In business terminology, this can also be called a feasibility plan or study. Among other things it will help you order your thoughts, capture details or your offerings (whether they be products, services or both), the materials and equipment you will need and what you will need to charge.
– Understanding the skills you have and need. One of the sections of your business plan will be an analysis of your skills as part of a SWOT analysis (Skills, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). As part of this exercise, you will be able to identify any skills you have lacking and be able to rectify them.Some ways you can do this are: by undertaking courses, reading and research, seeking a business partner or staff member who has the skills you need.
– It will make you think about things. When you write out your thoughts about your business it may help you think about something you otherwise may not have. You could come up with another product or service, a new market, a unique way of promoting or an opportunity that you haven’t thought of before.
– It will help you stick to your message. As part of the plan, you will most likely have a mission statement and business description, as well as significant strategies for marketing. By writing down details of your business, you will be developing a marketing message that you can stick to and that you can show to staff.
– Sharing you concept with significant others. Often family, friends and partners may not understand your passion for your creative business and may resent the hours you need to spend in the first months and years of the business. By having a written plan you can share with them, it will be easier for them to understand what you are doing and why.
My Creative Biz has found that our plan has helped keep us realise our strengths and weaknesses, explore possibilities we wouldn’t have otherwise thought of and kept us on track.