Why plan?

So why do you need a plan? With it, you can create the tools and reports you need to seek financing and report to your community. As an impact-oriented studio, these are crucial outputs.

Let’s recall the foundational elements that will form the basis of your plan. Make sure you’re comfortable with the core tools in your social impact kit, including financial tools, results flow, and your impact measurement framework.

These social impact tools feed into your business plan, which you can then draw on for:

  • Crafting pitch/capabilities decks for investors and partners
  • Designing one-pagers for media, partners, and clients
  • Preparing funding applications, including arts/industry grants
  • Submitting loan, debt, and credit applications to banks
  • Reporting to boards, members, and stakeholders

doc-flow-diagram

Building on your results flow to develop your business plan will allow you to show the detailed logic behind how you intend to achieve your target outcomes. This, in turn, aids in decision-making, from daily operations to long-term strategies.

The business plan is a crucial tool for fundraising (targeting impact investors, foundations, government, sponsors, and donors) and may be required by accelerator or incubator programs. And because it summarizes your impact measurement framework (IMF), it’s the go-to document for stakeholders looking to gauge your performance.

In addition, your business plan helps you:

  • Evaluate the viability of your ideas. A well-considered business plan allows you to test and validate your concepts against reality. Is your game resonating with your target audience? Are you able to hire and train developers from a specific community reliably? If your outcomes veer from your planned course, you know you need to change your strategy – and how.
  • Highlight your team’s strengths. Your plan showcases your team members’ collective expertise, values, and skills. It shows how each person’s strengths align with and drive your studio’s mission forward.
  • Outline your strategies for both business and social impact. You can hope you have a hit on your hands, or assume you’ll have impact if you’re a creator from a marginalized background making a game that represents your experiences. But a plan lays out, step-by-step, exactly how you will ensure your studio is sustainable and impactful.
  • Keep your work aligned with your goals. With a clear plan in place, you can check in on your progress against your goals. In tandem with your IMF, reviewing and updating your plan means that every decision and action aligns with your studio’s ultimate outcome.