When I was a young adult I worked in a financial firm with one of the top financial planners in our area. One of the things I valued most from that job was learning how to create a practical, solid business plan. Every year my boss would sit down me to go through his business plan for that next year. We would look back at how that previous year went, then we would review our goals for the next year. At that time, it gave me an incredible amount of motivation to achieve the goals for the business and it wasn’t even my business! Writing a business plan does not have to be an intimidating process! It is the chance to reflect and dream. Dream big! You may have shot 40 weddings last year or maybe you only photographed one or two…..either way, if you have the desire of making your photography an actual business it is time to treat it like a REAL business.
Why take the time to write down what you are planning to do this year? Of course you can still accomplish your goals without a plan, but that is like trying to get across the states without a roadmap. Having a business plan for your business or even your personal life is like your road map. It gives you direction. It allows to see your accomplishments or see where improvements need to be made.
“A goal without a plan is just a dream” – Dave Ramsay
In the Business Course at The Academy we give our students a sample detailed business plan to work off of and show them the areas that can be very helpful to include. They also submit their own personalized business plan in for review. We do this because having a business plan is a great foundation for a business. Everyone can do this. Here are some great questions to start:
- What 5 things do you need to do this year in order to call it a successful year?
-Book 10 wedding clients
-Improve turn around time to 2 weeks
-Have 3000 likes on facebook
-Take every friday off with my family
What has to happen this year for you?
2.What are your financial goals?
How much did you make last year? What is the minimum you need to make this year? What is your target goal financially? What is your ideal goal? Write them down!
3. How are you going to achieve these goals? What is your marketing strategy?
You wrote out what things need to happen for it to be a successful year, now what steps do you need to take in order to make those happen?
Book 10 weddings
-focus on referrals by spoiling my clients with a quick turn around, 2 thoughtful gifts during the planning process and connecting points throughout the process.
-spoil vendors through personally meeting them on a regular basis, giving them images to work with and giving them a sample album to use with their clients.
NOW is the time! Look back at last year….what are you proud of? What things could you have done better? Then start dreaming of this year….what do you want this year to look like? How are you going to make a difference this year in your business and with your family and friends? WRITE it down and don’t forget to review your business plan throughout the year to see your accomplishments and get re-focused!