Writing a business plan for your writing

It might seem like a crazy idea but have you ever stopped to consider the benefits of writing a business plan for you as a writer?

Let’s go through the steps of creating a business plan to see how they apply to the business of writing.

A business plan for writing

1. Executive summary

This is the general overview of your business and your plans for it. It usually comes in at under two pages.

What about for your writing plans? Would it hurt to write down your objectives as a writer?

For example:

  • I want to publish a series of six books
  • I want at least 200 readers by book 4
  • I could get paid to speak at events when I have a book published

Whatever you needs and wants are as a writer. Put them here.

2. Opportunity

In a standard business plan, this is where you answer the question of what you are selling and who might be buying. In other words – what you offer and who needs it.

What about as a writer?

You are selling a book (or articles, or a series of novels). What is the market for this type of writing? Who is buying? Where can this audience be reached?

What opportunities exist to enable you to write?

  • Are there competitions that can help you hone your craft and win recognition?
  • Is your genre so niche that you should go and find the community you are writing for?
  • Where are the agents hanging out at?

Identify your opportunities. Be honest though. this is your game plan, not just a daydream.

3. Execution

This is where you start to sketch out an idea of how you will reach your market with your product. In our case, how we will reach people who will buy our writing.

In a good business plan you will set out the metrics (measures) of success. What are the metrics of success for your writing?

What are the milestones you are aiming for? What is the nearest (or easiest) milestone to aim for first?

4. Company and management summary

You might think this section is easiest. After all a writer is a business of one.

You would be wrong. You forgot to include your writing groups, your beta readers, and at least one person to proofread for you.

If you have an agent or a publisher, include them. Your editor is part of the team too.

A traditional business plan also includes people you will need to hire. If you are self-publishing, that might include a copy editor, proofreader, and cover designer.

Your author platform is a big player here too. The chances are, you either need to invest more time in building one or you already invest several hours each week.

5. Financial plan

You might not be able to retire on your writing (yet) but do you know how much you will earn and how it stacks up with how much you will spend?

The chances are that you have never thought about it. A long look at the cold hard facts of writing should help you get a better picture of what you can expect from your writing in terms of earning potential.

6. Appendix

Have you got anything else to write down? That goes in your appendix.

  • How often are you going to write?
  • When will you write?
  • Where are you going to write?

There are many questions you could answer here. Remember to be honest – you are writing this for yourself after all.

What now?

Now that you are done writing your business plan for your writing is that it? (Nope).

If you have done a decent job of writing your writing business plan, you now have a road map to writing success. A good plan is something you can pull out and read to refocus yourself on the things that matter.

Your business plan might change as your hopes, dreams, and life situation changes too. That’s okay. Update your plan to reflect these changes.

Writing a business plan for writing might seem like a crazy idea but there is a reason successful businesses all have one. A few successful writers too, I have no doubt.

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