After attending a small business workshop at the library this summer, I realized that a business plan was exactly the tool I needed to bind my ideas together and build a blueprint for action. This was the vehicle I had been looking for to organize my ideas. The pictures above are two pages of my notes from the workshop. I can remember taking these so attentively – my mind listening and simultaneously thinking of how I was going to apply this to my photography business. Such an ideal learning experience (this is what it’s supposed to be like!). In order to create a solid business plan, I knew that I would not only have to get my ideas down on paper in a structured fashion, but also do my research, cover all of my bases, work the numbers, and make adjustments.
I learned that one of the main purposes of a business plan is to convince investors to support your business with their money -because your creativity, ideas, research, projections, and organization tangibly substantiates a success they can envision and want to be a part of. Though I knew I wouldn’t be using my business plan to seek outside financial backing, I wanted to write it with no less saliency than if I were.
I used three resources to construct the outline of my business plan:
1. Score Houston’s Business Plan Outline (a good general outline)
2. Start Your Own Photography Business by Charlene Davis (photography business specific)
3. How to Start a Home-Based Photography Business by Kenn Oberrecht (photography business specific)
I chose these books/websites because they were readily available to me at the library/online. In consulting three sources, I was able to get a few different perspectives and customize my plan based on what was most applicable to my business (without getting overwhelmed). I used these outlines as guidance, not as definite structures – I added in my own sections as I found areas I wanted to expand on. I divided my business plan into nine sections: Executive Summary, Market Analysis, Business Strategy, Products & Services, Workflow, Organizational Plan, Management Plan, Financial Plan, and Summary. Once I had my outline down, I filled each section in with subparts & the good stuff!
My business plan is a living document – I created it to maintain an accurate reflection of my business and its practices. I will revise it every six months (May and November 1st) to make updates and do a self-check-in. There is something so exciting and motivating about writing your own business plan. It got me fired up, dreaming, and planning! It enabled me to get into words the vision I have for Linnea Paulina Photography – something I want to work every day to create.
Please let me know if there is anything else you’d like me to add or answer questions about!