7 Key Steps to Business Planning for Success

Owning a business takes a great deal of passion, brainstorming and, for long-term growth, strategic planning. Because when you are intentional about your business and who it’s serving, you can help more amazing, dream clients. Based on my years of experience and feedback from female business owners, here are 7 key strategies to planning for success.

Creative Networks Business Planning for Success

1. Decide what message to send. 

You may know the general type of service or product you’ll offer, like event planning or calligraphy. However, before we jump there, decide the fundamental message of your brand. For example, maybe you want to make brides feel their best and most beautiful. Perhaps your mission is to awe guests at corporate parties. What is the fundamental mission of your business?

2. Identify your unique offering.

Use the core message to further hone your services or products. Perhaps you’re a photographer, and your message is : “I want to help brides relive their magical day for years to come”. So, you do not simply do photography; you offer wedding photography that captures the little moments throughout their special day.

3. Define your ideal client. 

Identify who you can help the most. Get detailed. Where does she shop? What are her hobbies? Her struggles? This will help with every future step, from writing social media posts to pricing. (Which leads to #4.)

4. Narrow down your packages and pricing. 

Create the prices and bundles that will speak to your ideal client. Example: If you plan weddings for busy women who lack time, create an all-inclusive package that takes most tasks off her plate. She will LOVE it.

Creative Networks Business Planning for Success

5. Develop the business’ aesthetic and branding. 

Create a cohesive brand look and feel that will speak to the target client. Start with these steps:

a. Define your business colors and overarching style.

Here are techniques to choose your style and color palette:

i. Go to Pinterest. Type in your desired brand vibe and the word “colors”. Let’s say you’re a yoga business that wants to promote a calm mind, type: “Meditative Colors” or “Calming Colors”. 
ii. Once you know your main, favorite color, find corresponding colors. You can do this at Design Seeds.
iii. Invest time into branding worksheets and quizzes, such as Grasshopper’s What Color Should Your Branding Be? or Kaye Putnam’s Brand Quiz

b. Create inspiration boards on Pinterest. 

I recommend using a secret Pinterest board to gather aesthetic inspiration. Tip: Start with seeing what you like on a personal level. If you are passionate about the look and feel, your dream clients will be, too.
You may do all of these at the comfort of your home or grab a cup of coffee and visit local creative studios (empowering entrepreneurs that elevate their business and creating connections within the community) such as Hatched Collective 

6. Plan how to connect with ideal clients with these automation tools. 

Now, it’s time to connect with this real live dream audience. You can:
Send out newsletters.Gather emails using an opt in on your website, past projects and/or ad campaigns. Then, use e-newsletters to share valuable information, updates or special deals you are offering. When done consistently, this keeps you top of mind. I recommend using MailChimp or ConvertKit for sending out your business newsletters.
Use social media. Get intentional about social media by: i. Schedule out posts and see how they’ll look beforehand (most important for Instagram) with apps like Later and Planoly. ii. Use the app : IFTTT. This is a free platform that helps you share information and connect on more apps and platforms.

7. Invest in professional knowledge. 

We cannot do business solely on our own. It is too draining and unproductive to be an expert in each aspect. This is why, from early on, I recommend finding:

a. A business coach who can bounce ideas, give tactical advice and help grow the business based on years of experience

b. A financial advisor and/or accountant who can guide you soundly.

It may feel scary to invest, but these experts will be so beneficial.

These are not the only elements to consider, but they are key strategies for business planning for success. I developed these steps to starting a business based on my own event planning business and the conversations I’ve had with countless women.
Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed. Simply pick one place to start; begin step-by-step.
Before you know it, you’ll be amazed how many big, new goals you’re setting!
Creative Networks Business Planning for Success
Image Credits:
Wedding Planner + Educator Empire Design Events
Studio Hatched Collective
Photographer Oceanshore Photography + The Melideos
 

Ana Abraham

Ana Abraham is an exquisite Creative Director, Wedding Planner + Event Stylist behind Empire Design Events in Southern California. Her unique style has been featured in bridal Blogs, "Confetti Daydreams" and "The Reverie", as well as other publications. When Ana is not designing and styling weddings, she's finding grace and support by gathering everyone to connect at Tuesdays Together meet ups. Besides being CEO, thriving for creativity and empowerment, you will find her custom styling stock photos for Instagram feeds. Ana loves ice cream, shopping and quality breakfast meals with her closest.

2 comments

  1. This is so valuable!! And goodness, my accountant has been SO valuable!

    Reply
    1. Ana Abraham

      Definitely a life changer and saver, right!

      Reply

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