Create a One-Page Visual Business Plan for 2015
Business plans don’t have to be complicated! In fact they can be creative, visual and all the information you need to know can be presented on one page. In my post on January 1, I shared a list of 21 questions you need to know the answers to before you create your business plan for 2015. The answers to those questions can be presented in any visual manner that appeals to you. I am a big fan of mandalas and used that format as the template for my one-page business plan.
The word mandala (pronunciation mon-dah-lah) is from the Sanskrit language and loosely translated means â€ścircle.â€ť Mandalas are circular designs symbolizing the notion that life is never ending. Mandalas appear in most spiritual traditions throughout the world. Mandalas are designed to represent integration, wholeness, and balance, both within ourselves and throughout the world.
Longchenpa, a Tibetan Buddhist, describes the mandala as â€śan integrated structure organized around a unifying center.â€ť You will see in the visual business plan how I have organized the information to flow from the center outwards. Your financial goal is at the center of the mandala. Many creative entrepreneurs may struggle internally with the idea of putting money at the center of their cosmos. Making peace with money and even learning to love money is crucial to your business success. You can learn more about this in my book The Artful Marketer which will be published later this month. I ask you to trust me for now and to put your bold money goal at the center of your visual business plan.
Creating Your Visual Business Plan
Using the structure of a mandala for your business plan represents the individual elements as well as the overall essence of your business plan. Most creative entrepreneurs are focused on creating a lifestyle, not just a job. Approaching your business from a holistic perspective allows you to showcase all the different aspects of your business and lifestyle.
If the mandala doesnâ€™t appeal to you, I encourage you to take your business plan content and put themÂ into any visual format that works for you; flow charts, mind maps, doodles, cartoons, and vision boards are other creative tools for visual planning that work well. Jennifer Lee’s book, Right Brain Business Plan, has some great ideas for creating a handmade book with your business information.
Make your mandala business plan colorful and playful. Feel free to add images and words that you connect with or help you connect visually to what you want to create in your business. You could create this mandala by hand with crayons, markers or paint, and magazine cutouts. You could also create it digitally on your computer if that is your creative outlet. Whichever method you choose, just be sure to print it out or fill it out completely and hang it where you can see it!
I used water color crayons and markers to craft my business plan on an 11 x 14 sheet of watercolor paper. I love the colors and feeling of this plan and know that I will hang it up where I can see it all year. When I am feeling stuck or unsure, I can go back to my original plan and do some course correction to see what I need to do next.
Make your visual business plan something that you love and are willing to hang up where you can see it daily. It will help you to stay on track in the coming year.