Unleash Your Creative Genius on Your Business Plan

Business Plan.  Creative Genius.

Rather than being an oxymoron, these two ideas are what can firm up your business foundation and actually give you more creative freedom as an entrepreneur.  The truth is that a good business plan and strategy make you more creative – not less.  Without a plan, you are stuck being reactive all the time.  You don’t have control of your business or your calendar.  It’s a feast or famine cycle.   A solid plan gives you the freedom to go create instead of fussing with the planning day in and day out.

Why It Is Hard to Get Past “Go”

Putting together a business plan and outlining your strategy generally aren’t the fun part of business.   And who wants to focus on the parts that aren’t fun?  You want to be out there with your customers and clients.  You want to be bringing in the money and creating your products.

Still, you know you need to do it.  So, on a rainy afternoon, you sit down with a copy of “Business Plans for Dummies” and templates downloaded from various websites.   It’s time to bust out your plan and be done with it already.  Then brain freeze hits.  This isn’t from a carton of Ben and Jerry’s – this is good, old-fashioned writer’s block.   You start to panic a little.  The words and templates look like a foreign language.  Now what?

It’s time for a mind meld that gets your business brain and creative brain working together.   I’ve got 4 ideas that you can use as your own to make this happen.  Find one or a combination of several that combine your creative skills with the way your brain works.  Then, be sure to include key items such as revenue, specific products or programs, suppliers, marketing and the back office pieces.

Idea Starter #1:  Speak It

This is where you use the power of your voice, not your hands, to get started.   Here are a two ways to make this happen – pick the one that works the best for you.

  • Call into a recorded line.  If you have a conference line that you can record on already in place for your business, use that.  If not, you can sign up for an account with one of the free conference call services.  Afterwards, have the MP3 recording transcribed so you will have a recorded version and a document as well.
  • Have a friend or colleague interview you and take notes.  They do need to be a good notetaker, but that’s it in terms of qualifications.  They don’t really need to understand your business although that’s a nice bonus.

Once you are over the hump of the initial writing, it can be much easier to edit and add your own flavor.  You can highlight, makes notes and even use it to with one of the other Idea Starters below.

Idea Starter #2:  Draw It

Drawing can unleash not only your inner creative but your inner child, too.  You might be surprised at what the kid in you will dream up!  There are a low-tech and high-tech options to draw your ideas.

  • Low-tech:  Grab a sketch pad or a blank artist’s notebook.  Pair that with colored pencils, markers and your imagination to draw your business plan in a way that flows out of your ideas and goals.  Order and organization are less important than getting everything down in a way that works for you.
  • High-tech:  Go to a mind map website (Google “mind map” and plenty of options will come up) and use the software to help you create your plan.

Idea Starter #3:  Vision Board It

You can use a vision board for nearly anything – not just goal setting and inspiration.  In this case, you can create a vision board that brings in all the elements of a strong business foundation.  Use dynamic and inspiring pictures, images and words that reflect where business is now and where it will be growing.

Idea Starter #4:  Piece It Together

Do a word cloud that brings all your key elements into one place – artistically and even beautifully.   Usually you see these with simple nouns and adjectives that are describing a person, place or event.  Yet, what gets included in your cloud is only limited by what you want to put into it.   Create an overall one for your business, do one for each component of it or even do both!

These four Idea Starters can be the key to unlocking your creative genius when it comes to finally getting your business plan and strategy done.  Do you know which one you are going to use to make it happen?

 

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Jennifer PeekJennifer Peek is a left-brained strategist for right-brained businesses.  She takes her nearly 20 years of stuffy corporate know-how adds in a decade of entrepreneurial experience  to give you a very groovy methodology for YOUR creative biz design.  She is a CPA and MBA that loves colored mind-maps and bubble charts. She can take the most complex business issue and make it sound like your mom’s favorite cake recipe – with icing. Get to know more about Jennifer and how she can help you with your business foundation at http://www.findyournewgroove.com

Comments

  1. Hi Jennifer, I loved your advice for creating and upgrading one’s business ideas and plans. I adore all the tips and hints you have shared however, for me personally it’s the “vision board” that is the most powerful for myself. There are a lot of tools out there, however, it’s important to try on what fits best for yourself AND your business goals. Thank you for such a JUICY post!

  2. Great ideas, Jennifer! I am very visual and I never thought of writing a business plan through drawing, vision board or mind mapping. In fact I never heard of these things. Thank you for introducing them to me. To me, writing a “business plan” always seemed ordinary and boring, but something that just has to be done. Now, I may have a way to make it fun!

  3. Jennifer – These are all great idea starters! As usual I love the resources you’ve gathered. I often have my clients do vision boards at the start of branding projects and they are so powerful for communicating what’s going on at a core level with their brands. Great post!

  4. Hi Jennifer – I really love the idea of drawing it! I’m the world’s worst artist, but I’m a very tactile person, and I love the idea of filling up blank pages with pretty colors that display my grand master plan. Thanks so much for the suggestions!

  5. Jennifer whoa! I love these tips, especially the one about drawing your biz plan. Clever, so, um creative. Thanks for these tips, it definitely adds a element of fun to the not so fun task and necessary elements you need to do to build a successful business.

  6. Love it.

    As an artist and entrepreneur, it’s really important for me to use both sides of my being. But its always been a challenge with the “business plan.” These are excellent suggestions. Since I’ve got a few new business ideas in mind, this will help me plan them without pain. Thank you.