Jennifer Lyon

Monday, January 18th, 2016
Creating A Business Plan, Part One of Three

I’m implementing a new feature on my blog: Business Mondays. Today I’m going to do Part One of Creating A Business Plan. There will be three parts in all:

Part 1 Intro and Reviewing 2015 (Post Date 1/18/16)

Part 2  Goals for 2016 (Post Date 1/25/16)

Part 3 How I developed my project maps (Post Date 2/1/16)

A little background: This is my first foray at creating a serious business plan and I wanted to share my experience with anyone interested. I began with the book:

Your Best Year

I liked the workbook format that helped me focus on what I’ve accomplished in the previous year, articulate my goals for this year and think ahead. Doing project worksheets gave me real sense of how I could develop a project plan that works for me. I didn’t care for some of the touchy-feely aspects of the book and ignored those. This book served as my “base” then I developed out my plan.

My business plan is a work in progress and will continue to be all year long. Nothing is in cement, but it lays out my goals and breaks them down into tasks in the project maps. This is what works for me. You may want an entirely different kind of roadmap for your year.

Introduction: Why do you need a business plan? If you are a writer who is publishing, you are running a business. A plan will help you:

–Visualize all your goals

–Break them down into manageable tasks

–Create a calendar timeline

–Stay on task

–Evaluate your successes and setbacks

–Reorganize your goals, calendar and tasks as needed.

What a business plan won’t do? It won’t sit your butt in the chair and do with work for you. But a business plan can help you stay motivated to hit your deadlines and cross them off your list.

Before I go on, while I wrote up my business plan on the computer, I like a printed copy and a good calendar to list daily tasks. I bought a daily planner type calendar:

daily planner calendar

With both month at a glance and daily pages:

 daily planner month   daily planner with each day

Then attached my business plan to the inside of the back cover of my daily planner:


Business plan attached to daily planner

Anytime I change my business plan, I simply re-print and attach it. This is also easy for me to take anywhere I want. However there are many ways, including keeping it all electronic and accessible on your phone or handheld device.

This is what the cover page of my business plan looks like:

Business Plan 2016

Jennifer Apodaca AKA Jennifer Lyon





Review of 2014

  • Financial
  • Goals, Accomplished, Put On Hold & Revised
  • Successes
  • Setbacks

Goals 2015

  • Financial
  • Writing Books/Novellas
  • Social Media
  • Marketing Plan for Releases
  • Growing Skillset
  • Other Streams of Revenue


Project #1

Project #2

Project #3

Project #4


Now for the Review of 2015. This is important to know where we succeeded, and where we need to improve.  I took out a few things, like my income because I don’t share that information. But in your personal version, it’s a good idea to track the ups and downs of your income. It’s one of the ways we can decide if we are meeting goals, or we need to re-evaluate.


Review of 2015


Income 2014: Removed

Income 2015: Removed

  • Drop in income was projected. Therefore, met projection but did not exceed them.
  • E-books made up 83.5% of income.
  • Foreign sales 12.7%
  • Audio 2.5% (
  • Print 1.3 % (Just started in print, good potential for increasing sales)


Accomplished Goals:

1) Revise Exposing the Heiress at publisher request and submit. Published in August

2) Write Caged Magic. Publish in July.

Put on Hold:

3) Write & Publish Savaged Vows

4) Plot Primal Magic

5) Plot Savaged book 2

Revised Goals:

1) Got rights back to Wing Slayer Hunter Books from Random House. Re-released in both electronic & Print:

  • Blood Magic
  • Soul Magic
  • Night Magic
  • Sinful Magic

2) Re-edited and put in Print:

  • Forbidden Magic Novella



1) 2 new books released, 4 re-releases and 1 re-edited.

2) Receiving a RITA Nomination

3) Hitting USA Today List

4) Hiring a Virtual Assistant

5) Marketing Plan for Wing Slayer Hunters and getting first Bookbub ad.

6) Blood Magic hit #2 overall on Amazon

Blood Magic #2 on Amazon

7) Creating spreadsheets to track each book, very helpful

8 ) Being asked to be part of 1001 Dark Nights Discover Authors

9) Met income projections.


1) Exposing the Heiress being moved out of Indulgence category.

  • Should have made stronger case to keep it there


2) Getting rights back to Wing Slayer Hunter books was slightly unexpected and threw a major wrench in my schedule.

  • Note: this is also a success as the re-launch went very well
  • But a major decision mid-year caused big reshuffling of schedule and goals.
  • Big time & financial investment.
  • No clear way to measure it against what would have happened if I released two Savaged books.

3)  Not launching news series with Savaged Vows.

  • Will launch in 2016

Link to Part Two, How I set up my goals for 2016.

8 comments to “Creating A Business Plan, Part One of Three”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    January 18th, 2016 at 10:46 am · Link

    Looks awesome, Jenn. You’ve worked really hard and I’m glad you’re keeping track of your successes. LOL about ignoring the ‘touchy-feely aspects’. I’d probably do that, too.

    And your post helps me feel like I’m doing something right. Which I need because some days I wonder if I’m doing anything right. I have the day planner and a monthly calendar on the wall above my desk. (Just a bland, blank one – less distracting that way.) I have a general idea of goals and timeframes and stuff. Nothing too solid, though, because it’ll all so flexible and I need to be able to zig when life zags.

  2. Jenn
    January 18th, 2016 at 12:42 pm · Link

    B.e, you are doing a lot of things right! Look at all you’ve accomplished! It sounds like your system works great for you.

    Like sure does zag, so it’s always good to be willing to handle that.

    I have a limited capacity for touchy-feely when I’m in work-mode :-)

    Hope your Monday is off to a great start!

  3. Viki S.
    January 18th, 2016 at 4:23 pm · Link

    I was looking at this at 3:30 this morning and was totally amazed. What a great way to see everything in clear order. I like this. It’s easy to see how it can be helpful. Can’t wait to see next Monday’s post.

    I hope you have a really great afternoon.

  4. Jenn
    January 18th, 2016 at 5:31 pm · Link

    Viki, 3:30 in the morning is a little early for talking about business plans :-)

    Hope your eldest son’s birthday dinner was awesome!

  5. Nikki Prince
    February 2nd, 2016 at 4:44 pm · Link

    This is fantastic! Thank you Jennifer!

  6. Jenn
    February 2nd, 2016 at 6:31 pm · Link

    Hi Nikki, my pleasure! If this helps any of us working to build our careers, I’m very happy.

  7. Kathleen Rowland
    February 2nd, 2016 at 7:47 pm · Link

    Jenn, you are inspiring to say the least. Writing is hard, marketing is harder, and doing both in one day is the hardest. You’ve made me realize I need to plan out my days! Thank you, Jenn.

  8. Jenn
    February 2nd, 2016 at 9:17 pm · Link

    Kathleen, aw thank you! I pretty much am a learn-as-I-go author and wanted to share some things I’ve picked up. You can do it too!

Comments are closed.