The lovely Michelle and I were chatting the other day about our respective businesses and their varying states of overwhelmingness. Several conversations, cups of tea and baked goods later, we decided ‘organic food = good, organic business plans = bad!’.
What we really meant was that when starting a business, sometimes we decide that its course should develop ‘organically’. And while that might sound awesome and the complete opposite of the perhaps ‘corporate environment’ most people leave to pursue their dreams of working for themselves… actually it’s not that wise. Or rather, without structure, goals and targets, it’s easy to become reactionary and follow opportunities that arise as they do, which – without a roadmap – might lead you to nowheresville or worse, in the wrong direction completely.
At our February CWC event, our speaker Ming-Zhu Hii talked about her passion for helping artists, artisans, makers and creators be smart about the business side of their work. Because even as creative people with big ideas, to make money (decent money) there needs to be some business skills and plans in place.
It took me a while to realise this with my own businesses. But lately I’ve been working through Ming-Zhu’s e-book, Build your own awesome: The ass-kickinʼ creative business plan template and the ideas that have been running around my head are now falling into place (or rather, onto paper). The business plan template is more than just a template – in her unmistakably Ming-Zhu way she asks you questions about your passions, your skills, your processes, and most importantly, how are you going to make money from those great passionate skills you have?
By the end of it, you don’t feel like you’ve done a laborious multi-page document that you’ll never look at again, but rather had a super-productive brainstorming session with a friend. Highly recommended!
Check out Ming-Zhu’s Build your own awesome: The ass-kickinʼ creative business plan template. And if you’re loving the momentum built by that, try The Creative Business Kickstart or perhaps some one-on-one mentoring sessions with the lady herself (note, spaces are limited!).
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