Friday, 27 November 2009

Creative and Social Business Planning

My mentor has sensibly suggested I write a 3 year plan forthe studios. Three years may seem like a long time, but we all know how quickly time slips away. The end of the year is a fabulous time to go review progress and plan direction, so as part of my List of Small Things, I'm making this plan a top priority.

I've just been sent this very helpful resource from my tutor at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which cleverly outlines everything you need to do to grow a charity or social enterprise. There's a lot of waffle in it. Lots of jargon. But it's helpful in clarifying the importance of objectives and goals and creating a tangible plan. Positiveworld Studios has a very broad aim 'to inspire positive change in the world through creative culture - providing a hub, network, workspace, support and platform for peoples creative expression'. But what does this actually mean? In real life?

When I promoted clubnights up in Sheffield, our objectives were totally clear - everything we did led up to a huge fundraising party. All roads led to a celebration of underground electronica and art, raising vital funds and awareness for Free Tibet and The Tibet Foundation. To help us get there, we wrote a 6 month plan with felt tips and a massive bit of paper. We didn't fully stick to it, but it helped. That covered the little parties in between, the decor, the fliering, the artist-booking, the meetings, the creation of a student Free Tibet Society, even writing about electronica parties for my student newspaper and interviewing artists and DJs. Everything led to one objective.

Whittling down creative ideals to objectives can be tough. But if you want to get anything done - it's essential. To help us do this I'm talking with all our artists to gain feedback on the project, and to help decide where we should go next. It's the artists, after all, that make the project. I'm talking with people who have done similar things, who run successful art spaces and studios, and am inspired by how willing they are to give their time. It's a really rewarding thing to do.

For resources to help you as creative entrepreneurs write a business plan check The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam, and also The Right Brain Business Plan (my fave) by Jennifer Lee.

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