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One of my goals this year was to complete a business plan. For a creative type, this daunting task is about as exciting as watching grass grow, which made it quite easy to ignore in favor of more appealing endeavors, like creating new jewelry or designing new marketing material. But it is already September and I need to get serious about my planning. Fortunately, I discovered an amazing book called The Right Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee which has actually tricked me into forging through my plan with a series of creative exercises that appear frivolous but have proven to be extremely helpful. Who knew business planning could be so much fun!

Vision Board

One of the first exercises in this book involves brainstorming about your dream business and creating a collage to reflect this vision. I have been very pleased with what I have done with Serendipity Blu so far, so my next step is to focus on expansion. The center of my board is a photo I took of artwork I own by New Zealand photographer Susannah Tucker. It is a beautiful scene of a hot air balloon floating in a dreamy blue sky with the words “she believed in serendipity.” From this center, I have “arms” stretching out into the different areas I want to grow: wholesale accounts, craft show presence, etsy sales, product lines, and social media presence. This vision board not only gives me my “big picture,” but will also help simplify my goal setting.

Business Portrait

While I kept my vision board organized, I chose to make my business portrait an explosion of free spirited fun! My jewelry is very casual and boho, so I wanted to capture that essence in this collage.

Value Cards

One of my favorite exercises in this book was creating my value cards. Not only was this so much fun, but it also enabled me to set up parameters for running my business. I value freedom and flexibility over stability, so it is not necessary to have my business housed in a specific location. Rather, I would benefit more from having a business I could run from anywhere.

The Plan

Now I am ready to begin writing my actual plan. Rather than using a word processing template, the book recommends a more creative format for the actual plan. I liked the idea of using index cards on a ring to write my plan. Businesses evolve, and it is important for me to have a document where I can easily update and make necessary changes.

Customer Portraits

So far, I have completed the Business Landscape and Getting the Word Out sections of my plan. I painlessly assessed my barriers, opportunities, and competition. I also developed a new marketing plan by creating my customer portraits. Currently, I market almost exclusively to beach-minded folks. As I expand my business, I want to target potential new customers like yogis, city dwelling bohemians and country cowgirls in addition to my beloved surfer girls.

The Book

I am about half way through the book. I plan to write a follow up post once I am finished (I am giving myself until the end of the year to assess my finances and set my goals.) While I choose to live a good part of my life through serendipity, I do believe it is important to have changeable plan in place for running a business. I highly recommend this book to any of my fellow creative souls who want to realize their business dreams.

Right Brain Business Plan Paperback

Right Brain Business Plan for Kindle

Right Brain Business Plan Website

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanti,
Erin

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