This month, The Feisty House turns eight years old. Over the years this space has evolved from a personal blog about natural hair to a lifestyle site for creative and entrepreneurial women of color. I love how The Feisty House has evolved over the past eight years, but “building a blog” is no longer my goal. Well, it’s not my end goal. Five years from now, when someone asks me what I do for a living, I don’t want my response to be I’m a blogger. I love having this space to express my creativity and inspire others, and I intend to write this blog for as long as you all will read it, but my blog is not my business. It is however a really important of my brand and it is the personal side of the business that I’ve been planning since 2012.
If you’ve been reading The Feisty House for a while, then you know I’ve been trying to create my dream job for years. First I wanted to be a full-time style blogger and photographer. Then I tried event planning; a friend and I went so far as to speak with an attorney about making it official. Then I thought I’d become a writer and contribute to media outlets, but I have this thing with deadlines, so that didn’t work. Then I became a blogging coach and helped a few ladies figure out how to turn their ideas and inspirations into an actual blog. I enjoyed doing that, and it was great to actually get paid to teach others something I was passionate about. Coaching got real old real quick though, and I decided I wanted to do something in design. I have this amazing dream of creating my own bed linens. I started to do initial research in 2015, but I got pregnant and well, that was that (I still want to design home goods, and I would love to own a decor boutique someday; I already have a company name picked out, but that’s a business for another time).
March 2017 Blogging and Business Goals
In keeping with my 2017 Word of the Year, I’m trying to live an edited, streamlined, focused lifestyle. So I have only one goal for myself this month: draft my business plan.
Yes, after five years of trying to turn my interests into a business, I finally know what it is I’m meant to do, and my goal is to launch my business one year from now, in March 2018. There’s so much clarity surrounding this idea that calling it just an idea belittles it. I believe I’ve found my purpose. It has meaning, and impact, and the potential to change not just my life, but the lives of so many others. It appeals to my strengths and interests in ways no other career could. I’ve found my dream job, and this year I’m hoping to finally make that dream a reality.
In all these years of thinking through starting my own business, I’ve never actually gotten to the point where I was ready to draft a business plan. But this time is different, and I want to take this business seriously, starting with the planning. If you do a quick Google search for “do I need a business plan,” you’ll find a ton of articles that say business plans are a waste of time. And sure, I don’t think every business plan needs to be a 40-page document, but if you have a mind like mine (you know, one that’s easily distracted by the next great idea), then you need to have some sort of road map for how to get from good idea to dream job. So far, the sections I’m including in my business plan are pretty straightforward:
- Elevator pitch (a 30-second summary of the business and why someone should either become a customer or become an investor)
- Mission (what the business does), vision (what the business aims to achieve/intentions) and values (core traits/ideas of the business that will help it reach its goals)
- Ideal customer (and the problems this business solves for the ideal customer)
- Market analysis (why does entering this market at this time makes sense, who is the competition, and what sets this business apart)
- Income streams (how will this business make money)
- Marketing plan (how will the business actively reach out/appeal to ideal customers)
- Start-up budget (how much money will it take to get the business off the ground)
- Operating budget (how much money will it take to operate the business each month)
- Goals (income and impact goals for the first three years of the business)
So…what’s the business?
You guys will have to wait for that, but I promise I’ll say something about it eventually. Trust me, I want to be very transparent about how I’m building this business from the ground up. I want this blog to be a resource and inspiration for those of you who are doing something similar. But, this is the internet after all, and I want to be wise about how much I share while I’m still in the planning phase. And of course I’ll share my progress at the end of the month. Maya is starting to sleep through the night (finally!) so I’m looking forward to having my evenings to work on this.
What are your goals for this month?
Have any of you written a business plan before? Got any tips?
Photo credit: Scott Web Photography via Unsplash