See my first post about writing a business plan for your creative business.
The first question of our creative business plan, and thus the most important, is:
#1. Why do I want to sell my products?
You love to create. You love what you make. You love spending a Sunday afternoon leisurely browsing your local craft supply shop (guilty!). But what made you decide to go from making your creations for Christmas gifts to selling online to the world?
There are many possible reasons you may have decided to take your craft from a hobby to a business. Maybe one of these applies to you:
- You want to finance your craft supply addiction
- You want a side business to make some extra cash
- You have so many thingamajigs lying around you need to get them out of the house
- You want a creative outlet; any income is just a bonus
- You are a stay-at-home parent and you want to generate some cash whilst working from home
- You want to make a full-time income from your craft business
- You want to be your own boss and make your own schedule
Knowing the “why” behind your business is important because it highlights your priorities. What’s your end goal? Money? Artistic expression? Freedom from cubical nation? Being able to make your own schedule? Whatever concept or goal that is driving you to start your business will determine how you should run your business. If your top motivator is money, you should operate your business differently than if your top motivator is creative expression.
Take some time to think about why you decided to start your business (or want to start one), and write this down as the beginning of your business plan. Keep this with you for when the road gets rough. It’s important to have a reminder of why you were inspired to begin this journey and your end goal or dream.
You can download and print the worksheet below for helpful prompts on answering question 1 of your creative business plan. Your business plan will start with a “big picture” view of the inspiration and motivation behind your craft before we zoom in and hammer out the details. We start with the “ideal” and figure out how to make the ideal into real!
Now is a great time to begin a folder or a binder with your business plan materials. You can use Lazy Owl’s downloadable and printable guides, but feel free to add pictures, sketches, magazine tear-outs, notes, and any other inspirational mementos that you want to include as part of your creative business plan.
Over the next series of articles, we’ll discuss each of the W’s and H’s individually. Feel free to click here to download a pdf of the business plan questions.