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Tie Your Plan Together

A good business plan will help guide you through uncertainty. It will remind you of your deeper intent and priorities as new opportunities come up. It will account for fluctuations in your revenue streams and help you manage money in the down-time. Your business plan is your map.

Walk through everything you've entered, and start to fill in the gaps. Once you have a draft, make revisions. Consider applying your artistic process throughout the editing process of your business plan. Work in a way that may help you feel more comfortable with bringing the plan to a complete form. Remember this should be a tool for you as you grow that will be revisited, as well as a way to communicate, build investment and access capital funds.

Reflection Questions

1. Throughout this course, you learned about each of the elements needed to construct a business/action plan. What element of the business plan (Vision, Market Research, Product and/or Service, Marketing, Finance and Legal) interests you the most? Which element of the plan will you reach out for additional help?

2. Which part of the business plan or action plan do you feel you already spent a lot of time on?

3. What is the projected timeline for you to complete the entire Business/Action plan? Have you established benchmarks, or something that will help see your progress (think of the "constant" in a science experiment)?

4. Which friends and colleagues can help answer your questions throughout your plan?

5. Who do you trust that can provide objective feedback and make suggestions for how you can make the plan stronger?

6. A business plan is only useful if you use it. How will you use everything you've put together to inform your business related decisions?

7. Will the work you've done impact the type of work you create? Take a look back at the strategies for maintaining your artistic integrity next to your new business goals.

8. When is the next time you will revisit your business plan? Pencil it in on your calendar now.

Quick final lesson from one of the best

No one sees an opportunity quite like Russel Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam and owner of Rush Communications Inc. He was an early adopter in the hip-hop community and launched acts like RunDMC, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, EPMD to international fame. He easily translated his industry knowledge to clothing (Phat Farm), TV (Def Poetry, Def Comedy Jam), advertising (Narrative, ADHD), media (All Def Digital), and even banking (RushCard). In an interview with LinkedIn, Simmons showcases how he sees every day challenges as opportunities, and what he sees as success.

You are not in it alone

You have what it takes to keep your creative practice moving forward. Take advantage of this incredibly useful (and incredibly free) e book. Making Your Life as an Artist, by Andrew Simonet, is a guide to building a balanced, sustainable artistic life. Take time to contemplate your next steps as you create and revisit your action or business plan.

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