Business plans don’t have to be complicated! In fact they can be creative, colorful and playful with all the information you need to know presented on one beautiful page you can hang on your wall. In my post last week, I shared a list of 21 questions you need to know the answers to before you create your Visual Business Plan™. The answers to those questions can be presented in any visual manner that appeals to you but I am a big fan of mandalas and used that format as the template for the Visual Business Plan™ I have all my private clients create. You will see several examples throughout this post of plans my clients have created.
The word mandala (pronunciation mon-dah-lah) is from the Sanskrit language and loosely translated means “circle.” Mandalas are circular designs symbolizing the notion that life is never ending. Mandalas appear in most spiritual traditions throughout the world. Mandalas are designed to represent integration, wholeness, and balance.Longchenpa, a Tibetan Buddhist, describes the mandala as “an integrated structure organized around a unifying center.” You will see in the Visual Business Plan™ template how I have organized the information to flow from the center of the plan outwards. I believe that building a business is an inside out proposition. We have to know who we are, what we stand for and how much money we want to make before we can build the rest of the plan.
Your financial goal is at the center of the mandala. Many creative entrepreneurs may struggle internally with the idea of putting money at the center of their cosmos. Making peace with money and even learning to love money is crucial to your business success. Read more about learning to love money in my book The Artful Marketer: The Fundamental Business Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs. I ask you to trust me for now and to put your bold money goal at the center of your visual business plan.
Creating Your Visual Business Plan
Using the structure of a mandala for your business plan showcases each of the individual elements as well as the overall essence of your business. Most creative entrepreneurs are focused on creating a lifestyle, not just a job. Approaching your business from a holistic perspective allows you to showcase all the different aspects of your business and lifestyle.
Make your mandala business plan colorful and playful. Feel free to add images and words that you connect with or which help you connect visually to what you want to create in your business. You could create this mandala by hand with crayons, markers or paint, and magazine cutouts. You could also create it digitally on your computer if that is your creative outlet. Whichever method you choose, just be sure to print it out or fill it out completely and hang it where you can see it!
Make your visual business plan something that you love and are willing to hang up where you can see it daily. It will help you to stay on track in the coming year.