You know a business plan will help you revive your creative ambition. You know you don’t need that bloated 30-page document of made-up marketing research, but you need a 2-page plan to reach your goals, and you need to be able to refer to it regularly.  

So, now what? How do you go about documenting your dreams in a way that will be meaningful for your business?

We cover about 15 areas when we go through business planning sessions with our clients – including short and long term goal setting, vision planning, identifying challenges and opportunities. All of these areas have nuances and complications that make the difference between a creative business plan that provides structure for operations and helps you reach goals and a business plan that sits in a drawer making no impact. 

Here are three areas that we consistently see our clients get wrong at first. 

Determine your creative business plan’s true purpose.

The first step to actually creating your business plan? Decide what your actual purpose is for your business. 

A lot of times our clients will say something like “I’m a carpenter, so my purpose is to turn raw wood into furniture” 

Not quite.

As they say, a person goes into a hardware store to buy a drill, and the attendant says ‘You don’t need a drill, you need a hole in the wall’. 

Usually, clients are not getting to the actual core of their purpose when they first identify their purpose.

Your purpose is not the services you provide.

One way to get past the surface-level of your services to your actual core purpose is to ask yourself why. WHY do people need what you offer?

Choose good KPIs.

Most clients know KPIs are important, but oftentimes they choose ones that aren’t necessarily related to their vision.

There is no way to Google an answer about what your KPIs should be. There isn’t a blanket or generic answer on what KPIs you should be tracking for your creative business.

Your KPIs are specific for your business and relate to the vision you have for your business. So, establish your vision and then decide how you can track your progress towards that vision. Those are your KPIs.

Sometimes clients choose too many. You need 3-5 KPIs. Choose the most important measures and focus on those. 

Make it actionable.

The whole point of this process is that it’s actionable, but sometimes clients have a hard time teasing out actionable steps to reach their goals. 

To make your plan actionable, once you know what your goals are, break each one down into smaller objectives. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What practical steps do you need to take to achieve each goal?
  • What problems might you encounter and how can you solve them?
  • Who will be responsible for each step?
  • What will you keep in-house Vs what can you outsource?
  • How can you measure your performance and success?

Every creative business will benefit from going through this process. If you need help going through it and creating an actionable, concise business plan, contact us here