Thursday, 10 January 2013

Putting your "Business Plan" into action



Last Thursday I wrote about creating a business plan. I mentioned in that post that this Thursday I would discuss how to put the business plan into action.

If you did not read last Thursday's blog, here it is... http://kpepphotography.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-business-plan.html

So... lets look at that "Action Plan"

Even if they’ve written nothing down, in most cases business owners have swirled their ideas around in their minds so frequently that much of the high level detail seems clear and self explanatory – at least to them. But that isn’t enough… it has to be clear to you, your banker, your financial planner, your spouse, your friends, everyone.

It may seem like overkill, but this is your business, the buck stops with you and you have to be prepared to make EVERY decision, small or large. Sooooooo... you better have all the ammunition in order to make an intelligent decision. The wrong one may be the one that sets you back…

I have heard dozens of excuses for not implementing a business plans: too little time, too many demands from existing clients, bills to pay, can’t find the time. I know what I have to do.

I always call, “bullshit” when I hear this… the truth of the matter is that these people are not confident stepping out of your comfort zone, or lack the skills required, don’t know where to turn for help, or are simply afraid of looking at things from a business perspective.

But guess what! This IS a business, and your photography skills should be second nature, and the least of your worries. You need to learn basic accounting, marketing strategies, sales strategies, get yourself organized… and trust me; being organised was something that I thoroughly lacked before I decided to commit to it.

Whatever the reason for not wanting to write the plan, if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll end up with the same predictable outcomes… you will still be one of those people wishing they were doing what they love to do instead of someone doing what they love to do... and getting paid to do it.

Pssst… if you’re still spinning your wheels and nothing is happening for your business; I have a saying you should remember, “The definition of insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results

One huge reason to write a business plan is to include specific actions and time lines that you can measure success against. But failure to implement once you do write them down is always the bigger issue for people. So, write it down and refer back to it often… as I mentioned in my post last Thursday… a business plan is supposed to change over time. As you evolve, your business will evolve.

Your business plan should address these questions, and take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses, and market conditions.

What plans do you have right now that need to be implemented?

What are you doing to turn them into reality?

How are you sabotaging yourself?

How are you going to market your business?

What are your costs of goods for what you sell?

What is your mark-up?

How much money do you want to make a year? How many clients a year do you need to make that amount of income?

What is your success rate in selling your services? The average is 1 in 10 will be come a client? If you need 1 client a month, then you need to approach at least 120 prospects a year… but how do you then meet prospective clients?

How are you going to deal with taxation? Should you be a sole proprietor or incorporate? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Are their partnerships that will help you grow your business?

What is your start up costs? Where does that money come from?

Is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry, once you start writing out the action plans it will all start to become clear… just remember this, "You can eat an elephant, you just have to do it one bite at a time."

If you are serious about your business and would like some guidance… reach out to me. I have a mentorship program that we can customise to help you grow your business… my email is Kevin@photographers-lounge.com