It’s approaching the end of the year. Lots of planning stuff going on, not just personally, but with our publishing business, Knotted Road Press.

I thought it might be useful to go through some of the business planning that Blaze and I are doing “out loud” as it were.

I know that this will be too long for a single post, but I have no idea how many I’ll end up writing. Stay tuned!

Later this evening, Blaze and I will be having our semi-annual business meeting. Though we talk business at almost every meal we have together, only twice a year do I print out our formal business plan and take notes.

This is the meeting where we’ll walk through what we’ve done for the year, as well as plan out what we’re going to do next year. The meeting we have in the middle of the year is a recap of what we’ve done, as well as making adjustments to the existing plan. Course corrections and what not.

I know some people who review their business plan once a month. That feels too often for us and our business.

However, YMMV. I’m going to end up saying that a lot in this series of posts, because the decisions I make for my business may be completely different than the decisions you make.

One of the things that I find fascinating with Indie publishing is how everyone has their own path to the mountain. What works for me may or may not work for you. Instead of in the bad old days of traditional publishing, where people’s careers looked remarkably similar.

One of the mantras I want to introduce here is, “Do what works for you.” There are SO MANY people out there who insist that their path is the only path. And oh, by the way, here’s a class/lecture/book you can buy about it.

Many of these people make their money from these classes, not from their fiction.

We have the Business for Breakfast series. I have already written a book on business planning. But instead of saying, “Follow us” I want to say, “Follow you.” Lots of gurus out there. Only one you.

Second thing I wanted to get into for part one is narrowing down what exactly is a business plan.

I am going to assume that your business is publishing. That means all aspects of publishing, such as formatting your manuscript, getting covers, creating ARCs, running ads, etc.

“I plan on writing 14 books in 2020.”

Great! Awesome! Go you!

NOT part of your business plan.

That is a writing goal, or possibly writing plan. It has NOTHING to do with publishing. And your business is publishing.

“I will publish 14 books in 2020.”

THAT is part of your business plan.

Because what, exactly, is a business plan?

A big ol’ to do list.

That’s it. Period. All that fancy shit that the MBAs told you to do as part of your business plan? They’re lying to you. Focus on what you are going to do first. Then worry about your vision or mission.

“I will never run ads.”

That’s a manifesto. Not a business plan.

“I will read X books on marketing in Q1. I will experiment with a single form of ads, on a single platform, in Q2 and Q3, based on the research I did in Q1. In Q4, I will evaluate.”

That’s a business plan. If after that long education and experience you decide that you’re not running ads on a particular platform, that then is a business decision, not something you’ve decided to do because it worked (or didn’t) for someone else.

Do you own research. Make your own decisions. Figure out what works best for you and your business.

How are you starting your business plans? What sorts of things are you thinking about?