I often make simple, short term plans for what I want to write, but at the end of last year I decided to do something different. I made a proper business plan for my writing company.
What company? I hear you say. Well, let’s be honest, as soon as you start paying tax for it or have committed to pursue writing as a career, you have a company. You are a business.
It’s easy to plan and action things like ‘I’ll write a novel in Spring’ or ‘I’ll outline a new spec script by June’, but it’s harder to think of what you need to do from a business angle, and then plan out what you’ll write.
Business planning wasn’t previously something I gave lots of consideration to. However, some time last year I started to feel a bit weighed down by the possibilities of what I could write. I found myself starting one thing and feeling pulled towards another, not knowing which to concentrate on. All perfectly normal things that I know lots of other writers feel, but frustrating all the same.
As I’ve written before, I quite enjoy listening to writing podcasts. One I started to listen to in Autumn was the Rocking Self Publishing podcast by Simon Whistler. It’s fantastic – if you’re thinking of indie publishing then you absolutely need to check it out – and he does have a lovely smooth voice to listen to.
When surfing through the back catalogue one day I came across the podcast episode ‘Business plans for Authors‘. It struck a chord, and after listening I sought out the series of blog posts by Denise Grover Swank on business plans.
For me this was a gamechanger. Weirdly, I write proper business plans and online marketing strategies for clients regularly, and have done for a decade. Why had I never done one for me, as a business? Why did I not think of myself like that, especially as I was now self-employed?
I used a combination of Denise’s excellent template and my own experience to devise a huge, all encompassing business plan for Laura Anne Anderson the writer. I’ve made a number of commitments to myself for the next five years. I’ve narrowed down the projects I need to concentrate on in order to achieve my business plan goals. I’ve created a full timeline, figured out what additional resources I’ll need, streamlined what I do, and even set a pricing structure for my fiction – something I hadn’t considered before. Strangest of all was that this was incredibly motivating and exciting to do – not at all boring, like I had thought it might be.
As part of the overhaul, I’ve given this website a rejig to make it clearer what services I offer. I’m also taking down my Facebook page as it serves very little purpose just now. If you want to keep updated about my fiction on facebook then connect with my new friends at Auld Reekie Writing.
Do you have a business plan?