Business Building 101 – Planning the Road to Success

You may have noticed my absence lately. And yes I have been absent. But I’ve been busy. This pretty much sums up my week.

I bet can all relate. The day job has been busy. Home life has been busy. Photo editing has been busy. Throw house hunting into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for one hell of a week. Something had to give, and this week it was the blog.  But I have not stood idly by this week. No way!

I am determined. motivated. persistent.

I am an entrepreneur.

And the building has begun.

While the blog was getting neglected this week I was hard at work. reading. attending seminars. listening. And getting some of the best advice I’ve heard in a long while Getting the push I need to launch myself into flight. (because I will SOAR! this year)  I’m sure a lot of you have been in the place where I stand today.

With a dream. Or an idea. Or a passion.

That’s where it starts. But without a road map of where to go you might as well stop dead in your tracks. Because you’re not going to get very far. This week I’ve been soaking in advice from some of my favorite entrepreneurial bloggers.  If you have a dream or a passion or and idea you really should start following Naomi Dunford of IttyBiz, Danielle LaPorte of WhiteHotTruth, and Megan Morris of IdeaSchema. Right now these ladies are my GPS and I am using them to create my road map.

Road Map = Business Plan

*shudders*

That word “Business Plan” scares me to death.  If I write it down, I have to make it happen. If I don’t follow the plan I am a failure, right?

One mistake I admit to making is starting this “thing”, this photography business, without a plan. Without my road map. One day someone asked me to take their family photos and I quickly whipped out some pricing and started shooting. I threw all fear aside and just started because I am passionate about capturing memories. But that passion will only take me so far.  This week I felt it was time for me to get serious and think about creating a plan that will set me up for success in the long run. I’ve know since I started that I would need to buckle down and write a plan eventually. It’s been on the “to do” list. But I think fear of failure and fear of the unknown have held me back.

Then somehow the stars aligned this week and two very good things happened to push this “to do” list into a “will do” list.

1) Our local SBDC (Small Business Development Center) hosted a low cost  2.5 hour “Start Your Business” seminar. Chock full of ideas and resources to help entrepreneurs get set up for lasting success. From how to write your business plan, to the legalities of running a business, to free business counseling services, this place is going to help me get where I want to go.  If you are an entrepreneur and you have not looked into your area’s SBDC I suggest you look into this right away. There are SBDC’s all over the globe and they are there to help you!  The SBDC seminar did push me to say “Yes! I need to write a business plan”. But, I still am struggling with the format. How to get all of my creative energy out of my brain and on paper.  Family photography is only one of the many business ideas I have percolating right now.  There is a lot more creative energy going on inside my head now too.

2) Then, as if Megan Morris could read my mind, she developed and started promoting her Idea Catalyst kit just this week. This ebook meets workbook is going to take my creativity and my dreams out of my brain and actually get them on paper. They are going to be the start of my business plan. And once they are there, on that paper then I may be ready for some of that SBDC business counseling I am so hungry for.

How many of you are currently working on your dreams? What are they? What steps have you taken to make them a reality? Please share any of your inspirations, passions, ideas, or resources here so we can all set ourselves up for lasting success!

While I wait for your responses I will be sitting here listening to my Idea Catalyst ebook, turning on the GPS (working on my ideas), creating my road map (writing the Business Plan), and hopefully setting myself up for a successful journey ahead.

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show hide 11 comments

Lisa KenningJanuary 17, 2010 - 11:34 am

Every blog, every post, every picture is a gift I truly treasure. Thank you!! I don't always get the chance to comment, but please know I am always feeling it. All is right with the world knowing your gifts do not go wasted. Just don't forget that I feel that way about you RIGHT NOW. I may just love your journey even more than your desired destinations! We'll see…I'll be following you, always cheering you on, enjoying the ride :)

kellyJanuary 17, 2010 - 7:14 pm

Beryl-Now that I've read your summary of the meeting this week, I'm so bummed I missed it. Would you be available to meet for coffee some evening or weekend morning? I'd love to chat with you more with you.

MelisaJanuary 18, 2010 - 11:23 am

I completely understand the way you started your business without a plan. I have done the same thing and your blog posted helped me to realize it. It is about time I come up with a business plan too. Thanks for the great links and helpful information

FeuzaJanuary 19, 2010 - 1:11 am

One thing Dane Sanders teaches a lot and makes so much sense and applies to business plan writing is your Vision, we only think of ourselves as photographers sometimes we forget we are CEO's and we need to sit down and write out what the vision for our company is or else we can send mixed messages and mess up on being an invitation to our target clients, so I am in process of developing my vision more and more and it it much more than I capture special moments for people, I think with the vision then the rest falls into place and is much easier in my book~

bella rose photographyJanuary 19, 2010 - 7:28 pm

Kelly, I sent you a FB message I'd love to meet up! Are you free at all Thurs, Fri evening or Sat morning?

bella rose photographyJanuary 19, 2010 - 7:29 pm

Lisa I am always so touched by your comments. Thank you for following along and Soaring with me this year!

bella rose photographyJanuary 19, 2010 - 7:31 pm

I hope you are able to find them as helpful as I have!! I still need to buckle down and get a plan on paper….I am hoping to have something started this weekend. Good luck on your journey as well, your images are beautiful!

bella rose photographyJanuary 19, 2010 - 7:34 pm

What a great thought. I need to get my vision down on paper and from there the plan will come. Thank you for the insight. :)

Stanley BenceMarch 26, 2010 - 3:43 am

My friends and I are opening a new business, specifically a coffee shop, so I am online doing a bit of research. Reading your posts have give me some great things to think about, so thanks for the new ideas.

Galina QuencerJune 8, 2010 - 4:01 pm

Hey, I just forwarded this to some friends, loving it!

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