I’m going to be honest: I’ve never written a business plan.  I knew I needed to this year if I was going to reach my goal of doubling my profit so I started looking around the web for some help.  This e-book by Mayi Carles and April Bowles blew my socks off because it really understands that creative, quirky, and crafty people like me don’t do well with legal jargon and pie charts.  This book is written by makers and service providers FOR makers and service providers.  I think you’ll really enjoy it.  Here’s why!

Product: A Creative Approach to Business Planning

Creator: Mayi Carles and April Bowles

Claim to Fame: Mayi Carles runs Heartmade, where she blogs for business owners, offers coaching, and works as an amazing illustrator.  April Bowles runs Blacksburg Belle, where she blogs for business owners and leads Artrepreneur.

Star Rating: 5 Stars!!

What it includes:

  • 68 page e-book
  • Tons of worksheets
  • Lots of great artwork to make it even more fun

What I loved about it!

It let me play!  Instead of simply writing out my dreams, I got to draw, collage, compose a song, whatever I wanted to do to convey my BIG business goals.  The entire e-book is like that.  It makes goal setting, marketing planning, and mapping out multiple revenue streams easier to do and easier to stick with!  Each week you set aside one hour to work on a prompt that Mayi and April provide or an idea that you have.  Then, once a month, you look back at your progress.  That crucial step is the one so many of us forget but these girls show you how it can be fun!

What makes Mayi and April’s e-book unique?

Entrepreneur interviews.  Every chapter has a short interview with a lady who is making her dreams come true.  From Tara Gentile to Mai McKemy, they all shared how they do their creative planning and stay productive.  These interviews offered me a little peek into other people’s creative lives and inspired me to pick up a few of their habits, like turning off my computer when I’m drawing to get rid of distractions.

Best of the best?

Worksheets!  By now you know I love worksheets and these girls gave me some of the best worksheets!  They helped me figure out how much money I need to make each month and how to invest in new revenue sources to help me reach my financial goals.  They also gave me worksheets for Bullet-Proofing Your Goals (by far my favorite section!), a monthly planner to help chart major projects and goals, a weekly planner for daily actionable tasks, a goal generator sheet, and many more!  Together, these worksheets helped me plan out my entire year.  I now know when my launches will be and when I need to start marketing new products.  I also feel more secure now that I know EXACTLY how much money I need to make each month to cover my expenses and reach my goals.

If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to set business goals that you can stick to in 2012, A Creative Approach to Business Planning is the book to read.  Forget business major business plans, this is art class business plans!  It’s journal writing, coaching, personal motivator, and more all rolled into one big book by two immensely successful, entrepreneurs.