It's December, and that means, for me, that it's time to update my business plan.
Don't have one? You're not alone. So often, the conversations I have with other writers include questions like, "How much should I charge for this?" or "Where should I pitch that?" These are questions that a business plan can answer, and I look to my plan to tell me how much to charge, where to direct my marketing and how I want to spend my time.
But it wasn't always this way. When I started freelancing, I was a bit panicky. Sure, I'm always a little panicky, and starting your own business will make anyone even more so. I was lucky that I stumbled across Erik Sherman's Planning Your Writing Business Class. I forked over the $149 and answered questions--and even though I hadn't been freelancing for more than a few months, I came out the other side with a plan.
Since then, I've refined it and now I look at my business plan as an opportunity to expand and plan the exciting new directions my business will take next year. Do I really want to expand out into podcasting and video journalism this year, or is that just a passing fancy? Do I want to apply for fellowships? Which ones? What topics do I want to focus on next year? Do I want to go to any conferences?
By the time this 30-day challenge is over, I'll have the answers to all those questions--or at least an educated guess.
I invite you to come along with me, ask questions, propose your own answers and get a rough business plan together by Jan. 1.
So what's stopping you from creating your own business plan? If you have one, what works for you?