Creatives, I have noticed, have this habit of focusing on just the creative aspect of their work and don’t really know how to turn their passion into money yielding platforms. I can say this because I used to be such. However, in a world where art (in any industry) lives forever and continuously increases in worth, I think it is wise that creatives take the business side of their passion more seriously.
I know that when I decided to do this, I was terrified of writing a business plan because it just seemed like such a burden. However, I developed a very simple template to help me put my perspective into words.
A business plan is good, not just for investors, but also for you, the creative. It helps keep you focused and helps you better explain your plans for the future to people you network with. Also, if anyone wishes to work with you, you will have something ready to hand to them. This shows that you are prepared for opportunities and makes them take you seriously.
PASSION TO MONEY: SIMPLE BUSINESS PLAN FOR CREATIVES
Without further ado, below are points to consider when writing a business plan for creatives:.
- SUMMARY: This is simply a tie up of who you are, your dreams, vision, purpose and the rationale behind your work. By the time you write all this, you should have a page full. Make it simple and comprehensive. Avoid complicated words. Those tend to scare people away from even writing it in the first place.
- AUDIENCE: This is just you talking about those you want your work to inspire or affect. If you aren’t sure the size of the audience, you can take a survey. Surveys are fantastic in giving you a profile of who your people are. I found this inspires and boosts your confidence in creating.
- COMPETITION: These are other creatives like you, doing what you do. This can be scary, however, the beauty of it is that it helps you identify your Unique Selling Point, basically what makes you stand out more. It acts like a beacon light, making you stand out. Another beauty to knowing your competitors is that you gain insight to their weaknesses and areas that you can step up to make your work offer even more.
- HUMAN RESOURCES: I use this word lightly, again, because it used to scare me. Writing down your strengths, skills and experiences helps you to realise areas that you need help and figure out who to work with and what value they will bring to the table. This also helps put a pin on how you plan to pay them.
- BRANDS AND COLLABORATIONS: This is the fun part. You get to research brands and fellow creatives that have the same values as you do and strategise ways to work together to create more values and revenue as well. This is particularly interesting because you may come upon interesting brands and creatives that you can build long lasting relationships with.
- DISTRIBUTION: Simply put, this is your strategy to sharing your work with your audience. The research into your audience gives you a clear picture of how they can be reached. It also allows you to create a way for them to reach you and your work. Think social media, online stores, pop up parties etc.
- OPERATIONS: The big O! A lot of people tend to get stuck here because you really just want to create. Operations is just a technical way of stating how you want to get the job done. For example, If you are a photographer, where will you be printing? Will you buy a printing machine for your albums or will you outsource. Will you strike a discount with them or find a way to give them equivalence for their services. Will you drop off the finished product to your client personally or will you work with a logistics company?
- FINANCIALS: The crux of the matter. This is literally where the money is (every pun intended). How much money do you need to start, or do you need to add to move you to where you want to be. So we are talking equipments, transportation, deliveries, materials for work, studio space etc. It is also important to take cognisance of the fact that unseen factors can come up, so have a backup plan.
- EXIT PLAN: I don’t have this because I don’t plan on quitting, but if you have investors, they would want to have a way of getting back their money if your business fails.
NOTE: The length of business plans vary, some people think the more wordy it is the more detailed it will look. Sometimes this is not always the case, as I can testify. Summarising your thoughts into something understandable and clear is most important.
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Contributor: @juneebube / Blog: www.juneebube.co.uk