My partner is an idea person who refuses professional business plan. Is this typical of creatives or is this a sign of unprofessional habits?


I have been working with creatives for years and the ones who refuse to follow standard business practices such as planning are normally the ones you don't want on your team. Creatives are great but if they don't understand the importance of business planning, resourcing, money management they are not going to be partners... only employees.

Answered 10 years ago

While it may be typical of creatives that doesn't preclude it from being an unprofessional practice and more importantly one that will stall out success. Purpose and passion are great, they are ineffective without a solid plan, a clear business model, and strong strategies. That being said, their plan may not look "typical," that's fine as long as it creates focus and structure around their big vision and big goals. A plan creates milestone and metrics for achievement so you know you are moving forward and where you need to improve.

Answered 10 years ago

Maybe his aversion to a "professional business plan" is a legitimate distrust of paperwork and bureaucracy. It's hard to say.

Does it really matter if he's typical of some clump of humanity or other? What matters is can the two of you make plans and communicate.

If his style is different from yours, can you work with that? It's normal for 2 people to bring different skill sets to the table.

If you're asking if your business partner is unprofessional, then clearly the 2 of you CANNOT work together.

Answered 10 years ago

This is a very difficult situation. I have seen situations where the creative has an aversion to the "business" side. In truth even the creative portion is a single pillar of the entire business structure. I have yet to see a business succeed without a business plan even if the creative team is excellent. There needs to be some form of road map so everybody is on the same page with respect to the company goals. Without this "map" the business is without direction. I would be happy to have a conversation and go through scenarios to help you have a heart-to-heart with your partner. We could also go through some case studies as proof for why the business plan is for his benefit. If you are not on the same page on this foundation elements you will have little chance of success.

Answered 10 years ago

I think it is important to avoid the categorizing of people too prematurely. You indicate he refuses a professional business plan - when you add the word professional, my thinking goes to whether he objects to the mechanical (perhaps mindless) possibility of business planing? Maybe he is open to a more 'organic' style of business planning. I also agree with one of the other commentators in this thread: it is more important to look at the structure of the partnership i.e. what he brings to the game and does he do that in a measurable, accountable and timely fashion e.g. perhaps planning is not his forte.. but he can and will and does contribute in other ways - can that lead to a satisfactory and measurable success in the partnership may be the more important question. As always, open to a conversation, if you need more clarification. Kindest regards.

Answered 10 years ago

I've had a a few business partners and in some cases, they have been just like me and in others, they have been VERY different. I'm an idea person but also very solutions/result oriented. I know the necessity of a business plan but hate doing it in the traditional way. My hesitation here might not be the fact that the partner is CREATIVE. Creativity is great. The word REFUSAL is what catches my attention.

In EVERY relationship in life, we create agreements. That's how relationships move forward. It's not simply about what one person wants. It's about what the parties in the relationship AGREE to.

We are all seeking RESULTS of course and those results will come when we find a strategy that WORKS! Right now, you both have not figured out what WORKS. If it was WORKING, then there wouldn't be tension around a business plan. I don't believe a traditional business plan is ALWAYS needed. But, a strategy is DEFINITELY needed. If you both see benefit in the partnership, then it comes down to you both determining what type of strategic approach will work for you both.

A creative likes to create. Both parties in the relationship need to figure out what their highest success strategies should be and then merge those into an AGREEMENT that works.

If that is not possible, then maybe the partnership shouldn't be possible either.

I'd love to help answer any follow up questions.

Answered 10 years ago

I consider myself to be a creative type. Not an artist by any stretch, but certainly creative.

I just spent 50 hours completing my comprehensive Business Plan and 2 year Financial Forecast in preparation for investors and other recipients. It's part of what needs to be done.

Hope that helps.

Answered 10 years ago

Having dealt with this issues personally, it’s a tough conversation; especially if you are close to your partner. As a founder, it is important to establish operational procedure, even when working with “creatives”. Using this identifier as a cover for not wanting to deal with the minutiae of a business plan means the may or may not be truly invested in the concept. It might be worth discussing where they see the business in 3-5 years and the road to getting.

Happy to jump on a quick call to talk further about this.


Answered 5 years ago

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