One-page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur

We’re going to go through an easy-to-complete one page plan that will help you strategize for your future creative endeavor!

By now, you’ve already decided that it’s time to start your own creative business. If you have a good understanding of your value, message, brand, and available resources, it’s time to get into your first business plan. Don’t worry! We’re going to go through an easy-to-complete one page plan that will help you strategize for your future creative endeavor!

Remember: This one page “plan” is meant to help you develop a business model around your art. A business model is a strategic plan for how your business will operate, and is based around what we discussed in the last blog. (Make sure to revisit this page if you’re not totally clear on your value, message, brand, and available resources.)

I’m going to present you with 8 questions on which your business model relies. Try to answer confidently and succinctly. Your compiled answers will create your first strategic business plan!

Based on your value, message, and brand:

Who is your ideal customer? Mention demographics (age, gender, location, etc.) and psychographics (their interests, their career choice, etc.). Is your target customer a person or a business? Be as descriptive as you can. If you think you might have multiple target markets, write down each one so that you can test out your expectations in the first few months of operating your business. Learn as much about your potential customers as you possibly can!

How are you going to communicate with your ideal customer? Think about what channels you’ll use to make them aware of your services. Channels can be: social media, website, traditional marketing like billboards, word-of-mouth through referrals, etc. Also think about how you are going to communicate with your customers once they are already your customers. How will you work with them? Maybe it’s online, over the phone, in-person, or something else. Don’t forget to think about which methods will help you share your value and brand most clearly.

How are you going to deliver your value to your customers? If you’re selling a product, how are you going to deliver that product? If you’re selling a service, how will the customer receive that service from you? What does the process look like? Customers will want to know what working with you looks like, so plan out your process strategically.

What skills do you need in order to create and deliver your value? Most likely, you already have the skills you need to create your art-based product or service. Try describing them. Also think about skills you will need in order to promote and deliver your value to others. You might need website-building skills, networking skills, etc. Try to think outside of the box here.

What resources will you need in order to create and deliver your value? You’ve already evaluated the resources you currently have. Are there any others that will help you to build the art-based business you envision? Think software, partners, space, etc.

What is it going to cost to create and deliver your value? You’ll need to consider materials, travel, your own labor, and more. Write down all of your expenses, so that you can decide on how much to charge your customers. Your prices should be higher than your expenses, so that your business can make a profit. (If you’re pursuing a growth company, you may need a large amount of money in order to start-up. We’ll talk about potential funding sources in future posts. If you’re pursuing a lifestyle company, costs generally come about for every new project you work on.) Understand when your expenses will appear and how you will pay them.

How are you going to make money? Will you have multiple product or service offerings? How much will you charge for each? How will you collect the money you’ve earned?

What does the competition look like? It’s crucial to understand what the competitive landscape looks like so that you can know if: your prices are attractive, your value and branding are truly unique, how others communicate with your potential customers, and so much more. Start with a Google search, ask around your creative community, and learn as much about your competitors as you possibly can.

So… that was a lot, huh? Don’t worry. Creating a strategic business model takes lots of time and thought, but these questions will help put you on the right path. Look at your written answers and see where gaps exist. This is where you will want to focus your attention before officially starting your business. You might want to get going right away, but these gaps can cause you to be unsuccessful in the future. If you want your business to succeed, building a solid strategic business model is key. It’s like they say: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

This blog is going to cover each of these questions in more depth, so that you can do your best to prepare your art-based business. Follow below and continue building the creative business of your dreams!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. You’re building a brand that’s going to last. Be patient.

P.P.S. Strategyzer.com’s Business Model Canvas is the method from which this one-page plan was derived.

5 First Steps in Building Your Art-based Business

You might be thinking that it’s time to turn your art into a business. Here are 5 crucial steps in starting to develop your new art-based business:

You might be thinking that it’s time to turn your art into a business. ‘Artrepreneurship’ is becoming more and more common and maybe you’re ready to take a whack at it. Not exactly sure what ‘artrepreneurship’ is? Take a read through Is Art Entrepreneurship? to make sure that you’re ready to take the leap. If you’ve already read through the post, then you’ve decided that you’re ready to move forward with your lifestyle or growth company. AWESOME! (If you’re not familiar with the difference between a lifestyle company and a growth company, please take the time to read through Is Art Entrepreneurship? so that you can have a solid foundation on which to move forward!)

Regardless of which kind of company you’ve decided on, there are 5 crucial steps in starting to develop your new art-based business:

1 – Understand your value

As an artist, you have a very special set of skills and people of all kinds are looking for your services. The first step to serving those potential customers is to identify exactly what it is that you can offer them. Start by thinking about the need you are fulfilling. Perhaps companies have a need to share their messages through video content, but can’t make quality videos by themselves. As a video content creator, for example, you can help to fulfill that need.

Think about your customers’ “pain points,” or things that are hard or impossible for them to do on their own. For example, maybe they can’t make that high quality video because they don’t have the knowledge to edit their videos in professional editing software, but you do. A successful business helps solve it’s customers’ problems — what problem are you helping solve for your potential customers?

2 – Decide on your message

Now that you truly understand what helpful solution you’re providing for your potential customers, it’s time to think about the best way to communicate your value with them in a relatable way. “We help bring your brand to life.” While this isn’t about making slogans, you can develop a message that underlies your creative business. Maybe it’s an internal statement that sounds something like: “I help people grow their own brands by creating killer video content for them.” Decide on what your message, your mission, is so that you can work on sharing this message with your potential customers.

3 – Think about your branding

One of the best ways to share your message with potential customers is through your branding. Your branding consists of everything from fonts to colors to slogans and logos. Your branding should make your message clear to the customer; let them know what problems you can help them solve.

There are two main elements of your brand: the visual elements, and the emotional elements. One common way to share visual elements is through a branding board. See the example below. Read more about how to create an awesome, comprehensive branding board here.

MARQUE ONE brand board
Branding Board example by Krishna Solanki

While a branding board can help you share your brand visually, you should also work on sharing your brand by focusing on relevancy to the customer — this helps to create a emotional response. One way to do this is by creating relatable slogans like the: “I help people grow their own brands by helping them creating killer video content.” Make sure you focus on your value and the problem that you’re solving. Another way is to develop a list of keywords that summarize your value and how you want to share it. “awesome video content, collaborative concept development, message sharing, fun to work with, creative business, professional yet casual, the list could go on. There are many ways to describe how your want your brand to feel. Write down as many as you can think of, then choose the top 5, 10, or 15 that really describe your brand in a way that’s relatable to your potential customers.

4 – Evaluate your resources

Alright, you’ve got your value, your message, and your brand — but how are you going to deploy them? You need to evaluate your resources. How much time do you have to spend working on your business? How much money do you have to support your marketing efforts? Who do you know who could act as a mentor, partner, or evangelist for you? Do you have all the tools you need to execute for your potential customers?

One of the best ways to evaluate your resources is by making a plan:

5 – Make a Plan

Business plans sound stiff, but the benefit you can get from prepping one is well worth the work. Making a plan doesn’t have to be hard. Strategyzer.com provides the Business Model Canvas, which is like a one-page business plan that can help you get a plan going for your new artrepreneurship endeavor. Follow me to the next blog to learn about how to create a one page plan for your art-based business!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Through each step, remember to always be thinking from the perspective of your potential customers.