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Small Business Week : The Business Plan

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 2, 2007

Comments (5)

Woman drawing a databaseHave you given your voice acting business any thought lately?

This week, we're focusing on how you can grow your business and get ahead in the voice over industry, one building block at a time.

Introducing the Voices.com Voice Actors Small Business Week, starting off with a Business Plan, no less!

For everything in life, you need a plan, right?

The same can be said for business. Every business, whether a startup or a full fledged, profitable organization needs a business plan. In order to know where you are going, you have to know where you came from and what came before you.

In this article, we'll explore the key elements of a winning business plan.


Executive Summary

An Executive Summary is a one or two page summary of your entire business plan. It's often easiest to write your Executive Summary after you've finalized all the details within the plan itself.


Business Description

In your Business Description, you'll need to include and define various aspects of your service offerings, an overview of the voice over and or audio production industry, the history of your field and any current happenings, your personal goals and objectives, elements that add to your success and the ownership of your company. This section is the backbone of your Business Plan and will set the stage for the information included in the rest of the plan.


Products and Services

Everyone has a product or service that they are offering to a prospective client. In your case, it is a voice over recording, music production, or even copy writing services. You should be able to describe what it is that you are selling as well as identify what makes your product or service unique and how you make it all happen in the studio.


Sales and Marketing

This section is very important. It gives you a window into the voice over industry itself, what's going on as a whole, the state of the market, how much the general cost is of audio production, how business is acquired, and also affords you an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other competitors in the marketplace, for example, other voice actors who specialize in services that you provide.


Operations

Many of you operate a one person company. This purpose of this section is to help you outline the more administrative side of your business, including how you operate, where your office is located, your staff or assistant if applicable, equipment, overhead and other expenses, legal relationships, your network of suppliers, and credit policies.


Management Team

If you have a few advisers or people who help you to manage your business, this is where you acknowledge their involvement and the capacity by which they contribute to your overall success. Also, if there is a hierarchy of positions within your company, you would detail that hierarchy and the relevancy of each relationship.


Development

This is where you can dream a bit. Not everything in this section is based upon pure fact like the information you would have provided above in the other sections of your Business Plan. Project into the future and think big. Development is a necessary part of business to remain competitive, so be sure to spend a significant amount of time when writing this part of your plan.


Financial Summary

Now, back to reality for a time! You'll need to provide a record of your financial dealings, investments if any, and how you came to the position you are in today. With some flexibility, you can project how your company will be operating and assess your financial status, including how things balance out at the end of each month, the overall financial health of your business and your cash flow.


Now that we've taken a look at the makeup of a Business Plan, we can keep building from here on in to bring us to other exciting elements of nurturing and growing your business.

Stay with us all week as we discover more small business strategies and opportunities at VOX Daily. If you haven't yet subscribed to VOX Daily, you can do so by entering in your email in the orange subscribe box in the menu to the right of this text. You will need to scroll up a bit, but you'll get there!

Subscribe for free to receive VOX Daily everyday and don't miss a beat.

Cheers,

Stephanie

P.S. Has anyone actually written their own Business Plan? How did you find the process?

©©©iStockphoto.com/Andresr

Related Topics: Business Plan, industry


Comments


    Stephanie,

    Kudos on a great theme for Vox Daily, and for reminding all of us in the VO world that being a voice talent means "being in the business of you". Looking forward to the week's entries.

    ~ David Houston

    Posted by:

      Hi Stephanie!

      Great topic! Actually, all of them have been really good lately!!!

      I wrote a business plan about a year ago. It's really helpful to get your goals (and budget) on paper. It's now time, however, to review and update my business plan!!!

      Thanks!

      Caryn

      Posted by:

        Hi Stephanie,

        As always, you and Voices give us great tips and above-average customer care!

        Thanks!

        Nat

        Posted by:

          Hi David, Caryn and Nat,

          Thank you for commenting! I'm glad you are looking forward to more on this topic.

          Keep your eyes out for a surprise coming soon... more details to follow!

          Best,

          Stephanie

          Posted by:

            Thank you for your thoughtful ideas. I did a 5-year written plan before I made the commitment to build a studio and 'go for it'. I'm 3 months in and the plan still feels as right today as it did 5 months ago.

            Posted by:

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