So they tell me we have to put an actual business plan (no matter what it includes) down on paper and not just in my head. They being my partners in Thimbleberry Press. You're probably thinking, "You've published two books, formed an LLC and don't have a business plan"?! Hey, stuff happens, and at Thimbleberry Press, LLC it literally did. We had the idea and the opportunity, through the generous auspices of the Chinese government, to create our first book so we took it. The official business plan would just have to wait.
Before you become too critical of our business acumen (that's the job of the several voices rattling around inside my head after all) to our credit we did understand the importance of a formal plan and we had a mission statement as well as the beginnings of a vision statement. But when opportunity knocks you don't waste time deciding whether or not you're ready to open the door, and you certainly don't take the time to replace the hinges and add a few deadbolts while you're at it. A book needed to be made and we had the chance to make it.
And there you have the kernel of our plan...books need to be made and we can make them. That sounds both simplistic and egotistical at the same time (and given the present state of the publishing industry it also sounds down right silly), but isn't that optimistic egotism at the heart of every artist or entrepreneur? Since I find the process of creating books exciting and the process of creating a business plan something akin to being dropped into a high school trigonometry class, I've decided to blog about our process and post bits and pieces of the plan as we finalize them. Maybe it will help me get through it, and also help some other none-business-oriented people out there find their own way through the maze that is A Formal Business Plan.
In the spirit of artistic freedom we started with Section 3 and are working our way backwards and forwards as inspiration strikes. So:
A. Mission Statement:
Bring thoughtful, beautiful and affordable books and web-based materials on culture, history, art and language to the broadest possible public.
Tada. I feel better already. Even I can see how having such a large mission will require some careful and detailed planning. So on to Section 1 or 5 or whatever gets finished next. I'll keep you posted.