I believe this is going to be the last in this series of posts about doing your business planning for your publishing business. (https://www.leahcutter.com/2019/11/business-planning-part-one/ and https://www.leahcutter.com/2019/11/business-planning-part-two/)

For this part, I figured I’d go into more details about what we have in our business plan. If there’s something else that y’all would like for me to cover, let me know. I can always add a part four.

The first item in our actual business plan is our vision statement. It’s the first thing because it’s that important.


All the books and articles that say you must come up with a mission and/or vision statement FIRST are LYING to you.

Get your business in order first. Figure out what you’re doing overall. Then, and only then, take a step back and look at the big picture, try to see the underlaying themes in your work.

It honestly took us a while to come up with one for KRP. It came from a Facebook meme. “If you have a little more, build a longer table not a higher wall.”

We’ve shortened it to just, “Build a longer table.”

There are only a few items in the actual business plan that directly address the vision statement. But it’s why we hold the Seattle Writer’s lunches, it’s why we write business books, it’s why we go to cons and talk business with writers. It’s why I say, “I work for food” when it comes to helping writers and other artists. It’s why Blaze is starting a publishing newsletter.

We’re building a longer table, helping others along. It’s a huge part of the “why” we do this business. Of course, we’re also in this to make money, to be successful. But we don’t end there.

So again, while this is the first thing on the business plan, it’s actually the LAST thing that you need to worry about.

Next, more details.

We have three sections in the business plan, because there are, in essence, three of us: KRP (Knotted Road Press), LRC (me), and BW (Blaze).

For KRP, there are specific things like: Publish two titles per month, once on the tenth of the month, once on the twenty-first of the month, in order to keep that Amazon pulse of publishing once every 30 days or so.

We’ve been doing that for three years now. Other publishing goals include, “Update covers as directed by marketing research” and “Determine amount of quarterly taxes and pay on time.”

KRPs goals are very general. And though a lot of that work actually falls on me, I am the publisher.

LRC’s goals include things like, “Ongoing work for German translations.” (Just put up Mission im Minefeld and it’s doing well.) Or a more specific example, “Enable direct sales from LRC.com and BW.com – Q1.”

I have a bunch of things like the above in the business plan. They’re all much bigger items. Then I have my board where I plot out three months at a time what I need to do. I will break down some of the bigger tasks into smaller tasks, write those on sticky notes, and put them in the right place. I break those task into much more granular “to do” items on the to do list I carry with me all the time. The board allows me to see the big picture, shows me where I’m at for the month. The to do list is just that – much smaller tasks.

I’ve tried several systems. This one appears to be working for me. Stay tuned to see if it lasts longer than three months!

BW’s goals are very similar to LRC’s, with “Continued work on BSQ,” etc.

And that’s about it. This business plan is for us. It is NOT for investors. It doesn’t include market analysis, financial projections, etc. We have some of that, do some of that, but we don’t need it as part of our plan. Not at this point. At some point, we may have to. Right now, it doesn’t make any sense.

So here concludes this mini-series about business planning. What questions do you have? What else would you like me to cover? Was this useful?

BTW – here’s a link to the book I wrote about business planning. https://www.knottedroadpress.com/book/business-for-breakfast-volume-5-business-planning-for-professional-publishers/