The Business Plan for Creatives

goalsYes it’s that time again: the big BP is looming. True it was already looming last year and I had done one version and started a second. The first one I understood but found lacking and the second attempt was way too long and felt like a visit to the dentist where the root canal was thoroughly being carried out. Time for version number 3 and the last one. I hate doing these things but that’s procrastination talking.

Why do I write one? Because I want to clarify the direction my business is taking. In short: a road map showing how goals and objectives can be achieved. You can’t get anywhere without knowing how to get there unless you’re keen to get lost and enjoy the experience.

First up: we have to do a SWOT. Looking at the word gives you the idea of either squatting behind a flax bush on the beach or giving the boot camp commander 20. Neither is applicable but I agree with the sentiment. Right, a SWOT means doing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis. Beats sitting behind that flax bush any day cooking in the hot Dunedin sun not wearing any slip slap slop. I type, I sigh, I think so hard that it makes my blond curls nearly straighten out with the forcefulness of it.

Most Creatives hate paperwork. Anything analytical with data and we scream in terror trying to find the emergency exit. Oh we’re locked in. Shock horror! Let’s face the music then.

Then onto the next phase: The Now, The Strategy and ‘le grand vision’ followed by the Tactical Rapport (very Star Trek) topping it off with the Timelines (told you, it’s like being back in an episode with Seven of Nine). Do a profit and Loss forecast and where the Cash Flow is going to hang out and off you go. Well not quite but breaking it down into chunks sure helps the heartbeat return to a more normal thumpety thump.

The good news is that once we have survived all this I know at least what I’m looking at. It’s by no means a guarantee for success but the blond beware attitude is better than happily winging it a la Barbie. Bottom-line: whether you are Entrepreneur or Employee, and I’m both, it pays to prepare. So I type, sigh and persevere. Not with a vengeance but with a smile. And possibly a chunk of chocolate.