Writerpreneurs need to have souls like writers and spirits like entrepreneurs. We need to think of ourselves not only as creative types, but as business people, too. One strong way to do that is to design a business plan for our writing business.
In simple terms, a business plan is a formal statement of the goals you have for your business and how you plan to attain those goals. When I speak to writer’s groups, I often compare business plans to book proposals. With a proposal, you describe what your book is about, how it’s different from the competition, why you’re the best person to write that book, and how you plan to market it. Your business plan can follow a similar model.
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that business plans for small businesses have the following sections:
1. Executive Summary: a concise overview of the entire plan along with a history of your company.
2. Market Analysis: your industry knowledge and general highlights of your competition.
3. Company Description: information about the nature of your business as well as a list of the primary factors you believe will make your business a success.
4. Organization & Management: details about the ownership of your company: your biographical information.
5. Marketing & Sales Management: your marketing strategy defined.
6. Service or Product Line: describe your service or product, emphasizing the benefits to potential and current customers.
7. Funding Request: your current funding requirement, your future funding requirements over the next five years, how you will use the funds you receive, and any long-range financial strategies.
8. Financials: Historical financial data and prospective financial data.
9. Appendix: might include letters of reference, work samples, and client lists.
While not all of the sections above will apply to your situation, it’s a good idea to consider how your own business goals align with these topics. Think of your business plan like a blueprint of how and why you have your writing business. How can you grow that business to reach your goals? As with all goal-setting activities, when you create a plan to attain your goals you have a greater possibility of reaching them and along with them, the success you seek.
Here are some online resources to help you learn more about business plans:
Gregory A. Kompes, author of the bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer’s Series, speaks at conferences and teaches Internet self-promotion courses online. Gregory is editor of Queer Collection: Prose & Poetry, Patchwork Path, The Fabulist Flash, and Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects published authors experiences (chosen a “101 Best Website” by Writer’s Digest ). In Las Vegas, he hosts the Writerpreneur Workshops and co-host’s the Writer’s Pen & Grill. Gregory holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, New York, and a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning and an MS Ed. from California State University, East Bay.