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BUSINESS
You Have Just Two Months To Take
Five Important VO Business Steps
November 4, 2016

By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor / TV News Anchor

Once Halloween is over, life feels like you're at the top of a giant water slide, poised to let go, and New Year's Eve is at the bottom.

We all know how fast the calendar can scoot by in the frantic last 60 days of the year ... add to that the culmination of a rancorous election season, and you know it's gonna be crazy.

I'm a big believer that voice acting is a business. Good pipes will get you only so far. Good skills at marketing, networking, branding, and promotions will keep you working more than anything else.

Sure, you need the coaching, need to develop your talent, and buy good equipment. But this is a people business, built on relationships, and honorable business practices.

In light of that, the following is a short list of the 5 things you should be sure to handle before the end of the year:

1. Cash Flow/Bookkeeping

Be up-to-date with your invoicing through September at the very least, and have all your debit/credit entries current. 
  • Have you called your accountant lately?
  • Are there any tax law changes you should prepare for? 
  • Are you on pace with paying your bills, or falling behind? 
These financial basics cannot be ignored!

2. Set a Budget for Next Year

Building from the first tip above, examine your books to see where you've over-spent, what turned out to be a good investment, and where you should consider putting more resources.

Don't wait till December 31 to do this. It may be the most important outlook you make for the new year, and it takes some consideration and planning.

3. Take-a-Breath/Take Stock

Actually, this is good to do any time, but MAKE the time to focus directly or reflect on your walk in VO this year. 

Just schedule a time to step back. Maybe half-a-day, maybe a visit to Starbucks or the park.  

The year is not done yet, but in your heart you must have a good sense of what's working and what's not. Be brutally honest with  yourself. Ask a trusted friend who knows you and your business. 

Make a list if you have to: 
  • What's going right? 
  • What's deficient?
4. Review the Calendar

In this month of November alone there are at least four good-sized VO conferences. Next year there will be plenty more.

Going along with the budget suggestion above, decide now where you'd like to spend your travel and conference allotment. Sure, you might have to change plans later, but the process of evaluating your conference calendar will force you to see where you will likely have time or not, and to set your priorities.

5. Revamp your Business Plan

This is for those of you who HAVE a business plan. I don't.Yet. But in my "Take-a-breath/Take Stock" step, I'm deciding to finally devise one (yeah, after almost 10 years in freelance VO). 

I'm going to go by the guidelines given in Jim Horan's The One Page Business Plan (see link below). Some of my colleagues have tried this approach, and raved about it. But for those of you who already have such a document, dust if off, see what it says, and either get back on track, or augment the plan to match your new directives.

Honorable mention: Goals 

Some people call 'em New Year's Resolutions - and I even hesitate to mention it, 'cause the concept is so riddled with cultural baggage, but the fact is that most of us operate better when we have stated goals, and steps to reach those goals. Do you?
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ABOUT DAVE
Dave Courvoisier is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He also writes Voice-Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of voice over adventures, observations and technology, and is author and publisher of the book, More Than Just A Voice: The Real Secret To VoiceOver Success. And to add wonder to when he might sleep, Dave is also current president of the World-Voices Organization (WoVO), the voice over industry trade association.

Email: CourVO@CourVO.com
Web: http://www.courvo.com
Blog: http://www.courvo.biz
More Than Just A Voice: http://courvo.com/more-than-just-a-voice
The One Page Business Plan

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Comments (1)
Elizabeth Holmes
11/4/2016 at 5:14 PM
Great article Dave (as usual)! For those of you who are interested in "The One Page Business Plan" by Jim Horan, be sure to get the version that's designed for Creative Entrepreneurs. It will fit with your needs as a voice actor better than the other versions. You can buy it on Amazon.com
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