Running Your Own Creative Business: Part 2 - What's The Plan?

04-15-2014 04:01 PM

In the first part of my series on running your own creative business I talked about the intrinsic link between who you are, what you need and your business.
I remember sitting in a business class years ago and one of the attendees said ‘I need to write a business plan for the bank manager” without blinking the tutor retorted “you first person you need to write the business plan for is you.”
So in this session I want to talk about the plan.
So What Are You Going To Do?

Do you have an answer to this question? I don’t have that answer for you, no one else does either, I would go as far as saying that if you need someone to come up with an idea for you to turn into a business then you’re probably not the right kind of person to start a business – a self starter.
Only you know what your skills are and how you can go about using them to create a living and build a business. The grand term for this is vision – what’s the vision for your business? Vision is an overused word in business seminars and on the golf courses as CEOs wheel their trollies around – often turned into verbose sessions of boardroom bullshit. However just because it has been hijacked by those who prefer words to action it doesn’t make the idea of having a vision a bad one.
You need to sit down and think about what you are going to do, who your customers will be, and what will make people want to buy from you instead of someone else?
Originality Is Sometimes Overrated

It does not have to be a new idea; sometimes it’s a new way of thinking about an old idea – a better way.
Several years ago Nokia owned the phone market, they made phones, lots of different phones – what could anyone do with a mobile phone that Nokia hadn’t already done? Nokia were the kings of the phone market, they had a long history and millions of customers, and they were invincible. Then a computer company decided to think differently about the phone – that company was Apple and the product was the iPhone, the rest, as they say, is history. Irrespective of whether you think the iPhone is any good, enough people bought them to kick the feet from under Nokia and then the rest of the industry followed Apple.
Apple was late to the party, but they did an old thing in a new way.
No one is expecting you to reinvent recording, simply doing it better may be enough to help you build a successful business.
Write It Down

You need to be able to write down your vision, your plan and how you intend to make it happen. You need to have an internal message that makes sense to you and one you can write down. Your plan doesn’t have to be the size of War and Peace, it can be a sheet of paper, as long as it makes sense and answers all the questions that matter.
Three Questions You Need To Answer

So you want to run your own business, to work for yourself? Answer these simple questions;

  • What you are going to do?
  • Who are your customers going to be?
  • Why will people want to buy from you instead of someone else?

Until you’ve answered these fundamental questions then don’t even think about it.