Ready to stop feeling underwhelmed with your book sales, launches and follower count? If you’re an author who flies by the seat of their pants, chances are you’re missing a fundamental puzzle piece in running your business; quarterly business planning. While it’s easy to fall into the trap of being an easy, carefree and “it’ll all work out” kind of writer, you need a viable business. It’s time to shift your mindset away from “I’m just a writer” because you’re also a business owner.
If you’re ready to sell more books, make more money and have more time for writing, this is the article for you! At The Daring press, we love organisation, planning and goal setting (especially checking in on our goals every three months). We’ll not only give you all the tips and strategies we use to create a business plan and vision statement but show you how quarterly business planning can translate to giant leaps in your business trajectory.
What is an author’s business plan?
Like any business, you need a plan to turn your passion for writing into a living – a strategic and detailed outline of your goals and objectives, sales forecasts and market analysis.
Business planning not you’re cup of tea? You’re not alone. Many writers prefer exclusively creative right-brain activities and leave the left-side activities to a rainy day. But remember, it’s your business, and you can run it how you want. It doesn’t have to be all serious. You can incorporate your personality into your business plan, complete it over a few sittings and keep updating it as your business evolves.
Essentials to include in your business plan
- Your vision for your writing career
- The mission statement of the business
- Any specific goals/milestones you’d like to achieve
- Short-term and long-term goals and objectives
- Operating expenses and projected sales forecasts
- Market analysis, e.g. ideal reader, market segment etc.
- Marketing Plan
Why set quarterly goals?
While having a detailed overarching business plan is still essential, it’s not a simple set-and-forget. Prioritising quarterly goals can help keep authors stay organised, clear and focused. Whether you want to write a new book, plan a launch or grow your audience, align your quarterly goals with your current priorities. Once you have your overarching 12-month goals, the next step is prioritising and breaking these up into 30 days, 60 days and 90-day targets. Reduce the overwhelm, create a manageable list you can chip away at, and reward yourself more often for reaching your goals.
“Think of setting quarterly goals as checking the directions to ensure you’re still on the right path. You don’t want to get three hours into your trip to realise you’ve gone the wrong way. Just like you don’t want to get three quarters through the year to realise you’ve steered your business in a completely different direction to your goals.” – Jenna
How do I create quarterly business goals?
Step 1. Schedule the start of each quarter in your calendar – the 1st of January, April, July and October. When the date rolls around, set aside some time to determine your goals for the upcoming three months.
Step 2. Refer to your business plan, and choose 2-3 goals you want to focus on for the quarter. Also, reflect on the progress from the previous months and ask, “are there any goals I need to keep focusing on that I haven’t accomplished yet?” What could you do differently this quarter to achieve this goal? E.g. “I want to finish the last three chapters of my book by the end of this quarter”.
Step 3. Once you have your set goals for the quarter, break these down into monthly & weekly targets or focuses. E.g. “I want to write one chapter each month this quarter.”
Step 4. During the quarter, set aside time (perhaps an hour each fortnight) to check in with your quarterly business goals and troubleshoot any unforeseen challenges or roadblocks.
Business planning with The Daring Press?
Is the idea of planning and goal setting making you cringe? We’ve got you! At The Daring Press, we love helping author businesses grow. Book a complimentary discovery call today if you need help defining your goals and feeling more organised with simple systems and processes.