The purpose of a business plan is to keep a company focused on its objectives and to provide a record of goals and show the plan for reaching them. A business plan shows investors and lenders that you’ve got your act together.
For a writer, going through the process of writing a business plan can help make sure that you stay focused on your ultimate goal. when you treat your writing like a business, you’re less likely to A- spend your paypal income at ebay and B- undercharge for your services or C- lose a good writing opportunity because you’re having too much fun on twitter.
Mission Statement & Executive Summary
The Introduction of a business plan should have an Executive Summary, then a 1-3 sentence mission statement.
Your Executive Summary appears first, but experts advise you to write it last. Many lenders and investors will read only this page. They won’t read the inside unless they’re really interested. Make it an accurate & impressive representation.
For a writer, your mission statement is an important one. Are you on a mission to sell a novel that changes stereotypes? To create helpful web content that empowers moms? Is it your goal to write a screenplay that personifies racism in corporate America? Something drives you. For me, it’s “Providing an income without leaving my kids.”
Outline of the Business Model
Your description of the company’s products & services describes the activities of the company, and how the company will make money.
For writers, this would mean that you must decide where you will focus your writing efforts. Is it through revenue sharing programs, your own website, regional parenting publications, or bid-for-work sites? This is exactly “how” you plan to reach your goals. When you think it through and come up with a plan your heart is “into” then it’s easier to stick with.
Sales Pattern & Budget
Charts, graphs or spreadsheets that show the financial history of the company, as well as projections about future sales comes next, with both long and short term projections, followed by a past and projected budget. It’s not necessary to account for every penny, but a basic itemized profit and loss statement, as well as projected future budget goals, is necessary to show that you’re minding your finances.
For writers, this means that you chart or graph your income and make predictive estimations of your coming income. On my sidebar,. I jokingly put “$5000 a month in residual income by 2026” but that’s not my REAL goal. I break my personal goals down into daily goals, and then into monthly goals. My goals change constantly. My average daily goal is $100. If I make $30 in revshare income, then I only need to do $70 in up-front pay in order to reach my goal. However, if I decide to play in the garden, I can just work another day. Knowing “the score” ensures that I’ll still win, even if I decide not to play some days.
Marketing & Advertising Methods
The marketing section describes how the company reaches out to clients. If you have projects with measurable results, include those statistics. Include your short term and long term advertising and marketing goals (increase sales, increase awareness, educate the public…)
For writers, your marketing and advertising plan may be simply to continue writing well, so that you don’t lose a gig. It can also mean by creating a writer’s profile site, with a professional image of yourself, links to your work, a ‘menu” of the writing services you offer and contact information. You can also advertise on craigslist, or even locally, to find cients.
A final page or so should sum up the goals of the company. Short term goals need to be reasonable, mid range and long term goals should be optimistic. The information on the previous pages should outline exactly how these goals will be met.
The financial as well as the quantitative goals of your writing career should be outlined. if you make a goal to be published in print 12 times this year, then you should definitely make a point of submitting to print publications throughout the year.
The content in block quotes was pulled from an article I wrote for another site, but I thought I’d share the info here for writers. A lot of writermoms aren’t sure where they’re going with it, so tada, they go nowhere. If your goal is to make a decent income, then you need a plan that supports that. It won’t just happen by surprise.