Monday, January 24, 2011

Plans within plans

While I'm in the process of moving my designs forward to final versions in readiness for production, I have been doing a number of activities on the side to keep the ball rolling. This includes taming the twitterverse so that my company can develop an internet presence, on the one hand, but also putting down on paper a series of preliminary versions of policy documents.

As a researcher with a reputation for "out-of-the-box" thinking, I have long recognized the value and importance of planning, and writing down one's plans. Twenty years ago, as I was entering the academic world as a young professor, I set down on paper my long term plans, which at the time consisted of developing a cogent linkage/platform between the arts and the sciences. In 1990, this was a radical goal - academia was a long way from welcoming such a prospect with open arms. Even today, although there are many more venues where collaboration between the arts and the sciences is taking place, there is still a great deal of resistance to this program. So it seemed unusual and daring at the time.

Mind you, I didn't proclaim my goals up and down my department, but I did quietly work away at them, so that, 20 years later, I achieved what I set out to do.

Over the course of those years, I was involved in setting up a major and well-funded research network as well as managing a research centre and initiating an arts-science business venture. I learned how to write a business plan, and initiated and led several large-scale consultation exercices aimed at developing strategic plans. So I have a good deal of knowledge and savoir-faire about how these things are done.

For my fledgling company, in order to solicit a bank loan, I had to write a business plan. These last couple of weeks, using the business plan as a basis, I have started to set down on paper my understanding of where gdotmoda's marketing efforts need to go - i.e. a marketing plan. Right now, the company consists of only me, but within the next few weeks I shall be hiring an assistant as well as a number of production seamstresses/seamsters. For the assistant, at least, I need to work out a clear approach to marketing. But even simply for myself, writing down my understanding as it develops through voluminous reading is an important task. There are so many things to remember, that a clear set of plans to steer by seems to me, essential. My marketing plan has two major sections, one for internet marketing and one for local marketing. These two subareas have very different marketing needs, and require almost separate marketing plans.

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