Keeping the passion in your business plan

By Anita Jaynes on 24 December, 2013

When Lisa Coleman decided to give up her office job to concentrate on photography, the love of her life, she jumped in with both feet and set up a studio which she shared with her husband, Darren. “In my naïve excitement, I thought the transition to a business would be easy but I underestimated the importance of setting out a road map or business plan”  said Lisa.

Even without a business plan as such, Lisa created a high quality business with commissions from actors, taking official photos for Swindon Town Football team and together with Darren she produced the photos and graphics for ‘Swindon the Opera’ last year.

Lisa and Darren offered portraiture, equine photography, technical and advertising graphics, web design, database training and even designed photographic products. They realised that they were stretching their energies to the limit and asked AMS Accountancy for some help.

AMS Partners Ian Bell and Barbara French have over many years worked with diverse businesses and groups, as far afield as Russia and Portugal. They use a unique process to facilitate clients to create practical and workable business plans which they call ‘Creating Results’.

“The secret is to focus on what a person really wants and to eliminate the ‘shoulds’, ‘oughts’ and ‘ifs’ which get in the way of successful creativity. It is only then that you can really start to build a sustainable business plan” said Ian, “and this process is just as effective for any project or plan”.

In the first session, Lisa and Darren worked on a ‘discovery’ mind-map which helped them to put all their activities into a rational order. This helped them to see that they are actually passionate about different things. It was a big moment because so far, they had worked together on most aspects of the business.

Darren now wants to concentrate on manufacturing innovative photographic products, such as adapting old quality lenses to new digital cameras.

Lisa is clear that she wants to offer classic and creative portraiture, head shots, business portraits and corporate images under her own business name, Lisa Coleman Photography and she knows what she wants to achieve and by when. “My strength is as a portrait photographer, I have the ability to develop a rapport with clients and this is a major element in producing unique and personable imagery”.

“Ian and Barbara have brought clarity of thought and direction to my view of the business, and who my services are aimed at. Barbara’s sensitivity and diverse thinking and Ian’s clear, objective no nonsense approach are a strong force for planning any new business, or a re think of an existing company such as my own”.

AMS Accountancy offers free business planning intro sessions to new clients, visit  for more info or call 01793 818400

Visit Lisa Coleman Photography at