What is a business plan? A business plan is a written description of your business’s future.
Be it you a dancer or a photographer you need to know where you are going, what your goals are for your creative start-up business. This is vital for one to track their progress and measure if the venture is growing, if it is meeting the planned targets or goals. So when coming up with a business plan, ensure it conveys your goals. The strategies you will use to meet your goals, potential problems that may confront when you building your creative start-up idea and ways to solve them. The people you will need to work with (organizational structure of your creative start-up business, including titles and responsibilities) and finally, the amount of money required to finance your creative start-up idea and keep it going until it breaks even.
So the question now is with an outline of your creative start-up businesses future don’t you think you can operate much better with a business plan? A business plan also assists you to seek finances to run or expand your creative start-up business. Your business plan can also be used to negotiate with key suppliers even in recruiting key stuff. So in a word ‘YES’ a business plan is necessary. There are three primary parts to a business plan:
- The first is the concept, where you discuss the industry, your structure, your particular product or service and how you plan to make your venture a success.
- The second is the marketplace section, in which you describe and analyze potential customers: who and where they are, what makes them buy and so on. Here, you also describe the competition and how you will position your creative start-up business to beat it.
Finally, the financial section contains your income and cash flow statement, balance sheet and other financial ratios, such as break-even analyses. This part may require help from your accountant and a good spreadsheet software program. Breaking these three major sections down even further, a business plan consists of seven key components not all necessary choose what you need based on the three main sections above:
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Market strategies
- Competitive analysis
- Design and development plan
- Operations and management plan
- Financial factors
These are the common components of a business plan and after one has decided on the creative start-up business they want to start. To also seek expert advice from experienced individuals, consultants and public institutions who assist in business development is also a good thing for one to develop a good business plan.
So as a creative what does a business plan mean for you? Here is an example if you have a passion for music and decide to become an independent musician (independent musician; is a musician that is not signed to a record company). Below is are some of the questions to ask yourself that will help a musician come up with a plan one can follow;
Write down your answers to the following questions:
What do you expect to earn from your work over the next 12 months?
In what months will the money come in?
How will you manage during months when nothing is coming in?
How much work (music) will you need to sell in order to meet your income goals?
How much work in terms of album sales or shows will you need to make in order to get to that amount?
These questions help you to identify what your market is like. This market is the one that you wish to sell to, who can book you for a show and the needed market strategies to help you earn more or meet your income goals. With the answers to the questions above you now start to come up with your business plan in this way.