Week 4: Critical Research Journal

Weekly Learning Objectives

By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • Research and analyse client / practitioner relationships and the service they provide;
  • Research and analyse the format and structure of a business plan;
  • Write, communicate and deliver a 3,000 word business plan (speculative and personal);

RESOURCEs

What a scary week. No, seriously. The resource that had the most effect on me was Chris Do’s “The Client is not Your Enemy” video because it broke down how to be a good designer in business.

The reminder that the client is not their to build my own portfolio is definitely a useful tip, as although I don’t think I’ve been guilty in the past, I have felt dismayed when a client has moved away from an idea that I think would showcase my skills to fill a portfolio hole.

Coming in as a designer can give the client a fresh perspective, but to educate their customers on what they will want is insulting, as the client, funnily enough, knows their audience. It’s important to understand the clients’ objective and from their draw a clearly defined goal to work towards.

One pitfall is that of hearing what you want from the client, and that can be avoided by starting as broad as possible and asking questions to filter out possibilities down to the best path, ensuring the face the same direction as the client.

A tool to help narrowing down the possibilities is to ask why three times. I’m definitely going to do that, as I hit a tough point in the business plan.

In a Linkedin Learning course, I found some more useful tips.

What problem am I looking to solve?
Typography is a specialist skill that needs care to ensure that the design of the type does not adversely affect how people absorb the content.

What is my product?
Typesetting books and printed products

SWOT Analysis

Messy!

How will I reach my market?
Direct with business card and website, and social media posts on Instagram, Twitter and The Dots

Business Plan

There are many different ways to structure a business plan, but they all need to communicate the business idea to a client, investor or an outside party. The common parts seem to be:

  • Executive Summary: an overview, succinct description of the business that shows what the document contains
  • Details of people involved
  • Services provided
  • Market Segmentation
  • Clients, and examples
  • Marketing strategy
  • Start-up Costs
  • Financials

I did have an original business plan, which you can see here, but I am going to work it into a community based project.

Resources

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