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Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 19 of 32

Create a Time & Action Plan


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 19 of 32

Create a Time & Action Plan


Lesson Info

Create a Time & Action Plan

Next, we're going to go into creating a time an action plan everything we've talked about in the past few slides were going to put into action we do have a flip chart here I've got a time in action fund I'm going to walk through with you if you I need to kind of brain storm you want me to kind of brainstorm with you? We can do some definite I've got to sharpen pens I am ready to go so we have a milestone list it's not really a definition but it's a it's a list which can probably hope help our, uh last chat room lady so materials sampling and production, shipping times, craft fairs, holidays on other there's always an other on the end of everything it's just kind of like I don't know how to define it I'm just going to throw it on the list and hope that if I can't answer any questions, it goes into other okay so firstly when do we need to finish the good? So have the finished goods so endpoint is always the star it's the simplest thing to remember start with the end and work back so we r...

evisit this slide again our end point in this case is october that is when my craft fair is ok, I am focusing on there the next is my holiday ok, so my next I'm going to go away between the thirteenth in the twenty sixth of june I'm not going to be accessible I'm going to be in europe apparently they don't have craft fairs in europe in the thirteenth to the twenty sixth of june so these into we blocked out these kind of golden block outs and nothing needs to interrupt these ok because everyone needs to have downtime so working back from the end you need to kind of plug in those states so this is where your list of assumption date starts coming in to play so all those assumptions that you were talking about like how long war materials take how long the concept takes things like that this is when you need that list so uh sixty scarves assumptions so I am gonna be using my materials from a domestic source it's a company up in healdsburg actually, I'm going to be working with they don't know that yet which is why I'm not going to name the company and keep it a little bit on the low down but I will be going up there maybe doing some wine tasting at the same time yeah, maybe so I think I think it's rude not to to be honest, I think it is read not too so I have a bit of wind by little silk make scarf have fun eso material ordering and receipt three days I'm going to do I'm going to die the material as well do it in the washing machine at home don't tell husband is that that could be a tricky proto making I'm going to do in one week, but production, I'm going to give myself a big old block of time, two months and do production because there's not there's a chance I may be teaching in that time, so I know that I'm not going to be doing a full stretch two months making scarf, so I'm anticipating having a few extra elements thrown into the mix, packaging on prototype, so basically, I am going to design a hang tag that I'm going to use, and I'm also gonna have a, like a little envelope, which I'm going to give sample bits of material out, and these all need to be that's going to be my my branding that I'm going to use, so I need to prototype those I am found the company, and I'm still thinking about that, but I anticipate I know normally takes about ten days to get kind of an art work and a possible prototype maid from a promo branding company on bulk packaging, I'm estimating one month for that, okay, so these are my assumptions based on are putting together a small scarf collection to be sold in october, okay? Any questions so far on your dream is to sell on etsy? Yeah, so to speak. Yeah, this is our driving force. Yes. So I'm putting this on nancy, you looking at me like I'm a crazy lady? No, I'm just putting it into perspective versus if you were doing this is to say go to directly to stores and try to create a whole cell brand. Gotcha, raj, I would think would require a different timeline and different assumption. Yes, definitely absolutely. Cem, my driving force right now is who said assumptions of very unique to an individual, the brand it'll said that product right now to be different than, say, creating your own web site and trying to drive traffic to that and not telling it directly from your own website. My starting point is going to be is going to be a very simple head seepage because this is a new product for me, it's in eureka, and I want to kind of just, like, dip my toe in the water first before I kind of launch all out, I may decide that actually don't like it, I don't enjoy the process um I may find that it kind of like the whole idea latches on really quickly on it's a great idea then I would need to really build out my timelines and do another one but right where I stand now, I want to have it this very, very basic set of timelines in place for me to get to my first milestone, which is launching something. I'm calling it a craft market much launching something on nazi um, so you're right approaching it from a different perspective building a website takes a lot longer um, you know, understanding who your customer is and actually doing that kind of building that kind of customer base on social media and finding your customers great doing a comparison, but then you physically have to find people to buy a product that takes a lot longer, much, much longer, but my starting point is, etc I'm hoping to see if I can get some kind of following on that I might block a little bit about it as well tweet a little bit see, see what the drivers see, what the reaction is and I recognize it's going to take a long time to do it just to get the products ready is what I'm focusing around here. So okay, so we go back to this. We showed you this the beginning of their of the segment, so I'm going to talk to this in a little bit of detail because I've a random selection of dates here, and I want to make sure that it's clear for everyone so I'm going to do two different fabric orders ok I'm going to order fabric on the first of may so I'm gonna go in my time machine back a few weeks I've ordered some material on the first of may I'm also going to order a second lot of material and sixteenth may imagine we're in aa papal right now I'm going to die the material between going to explain why I'm ordering twice in the second er doctor material between the first of the tenth of june I'm allowing good ten days to kind of dina material several colors get it dried getting I and rear old getting it ready for production I'm going to prototype on the fifth of may so the fabrics I ordered on the first of may is literally just for the proto time okay and it's just a solid material it's just ah white material I'm not I'm not worried right now about the color I just want to get the technique down I want to understand how good might my role stitch is going to be at the edges the sixteenth of may is basically going to be my bulk material order so I'm going to order on the first of may first of all I'm going to make a prototype on the fifth of may we're going to see how the prototype looks to see how the fabric reacts and how it works if I'm happy with that then um I'm going to put another order in for my bulk fabric on the sixteenth of may, so I'm allowing quite a lot of time allowing a lot of time to kind of make the prototype think about it stared it go away, come back, start it again is it nice? I really know? Maybe I'll try something else, but I'm not rushing into like a bulk order and committing to a lot of fabric. The timeline for my book production is july in august on blocking this out. Okay, you'll notice that I'm actually kind of starting here and I'm working this way I'm also going to start the end and then work back and dis validate these timelines, so my prototype is the fifth my boat production is in july and august, and that is my product section here, so you'll know I'm dying the fabric between the first on the tenth, okay? And then this is going to be ready by the time I go away on vacation, so both summer would go away vacation on the thirteenth my fabric is already it's in its died it's ready when I come back from vacation on the from there the end of june and then ready to start full production here, okay, we look at packaging already mentioned that I wanted to make a kind of like you'll hang tag and then maybe a little envelope for sending out fabric my prototype is going to between be between the fifth and the fifteenth of may, and what I'm going to do is because my prototype of the actual scarf is ready on the fifth on my prototype of the packaging is kind of between the fifth and the fifteenth it means that I'm gonna have these kind of two already sitting next to each other that I can play around with maybe shoot for some pr that kind of purpose I'm trying to line these times up here providing this is ok my bold production starts in july if for any reason it isn't ok, I still have enough time from thie end of may in the first half of june to see another prototype before I go away on vacation in time for bulk to start here okay, then comes my vacations like back to europe. Here we go um and then I had my craft fair here, but as I'm kind of like paranoid planner and I don't like to get killed caught out on any timing, I wantto aim to have all my goods finished and ready in september in plenty of time so that if I need to do extra product shoot if I have someone who's kind of magically interested in my product, I need to see something before I launch I still have that space let's, just say that I start producing and my needle punches of fabric and it rips on. I have to reorder a whole bunch of fabric. I still have a little bit of time here to order more fabric, so working back. So is that clear? Kind of like working from from the start point going this way? Ok, working back, I have my are selling time, which is october. I have the month of september as a kind of a flexible buffer time. Uh, maybe I need to maybe the demand is already so amazing that I need to move on to a website straight away. Or maybe the whole of my production and my dying comes out is terrible streaking mess, and I have to start from the beginning again. I have that flexibility time here. I'm giving myself a whole lot of time in july and august for my bill production because I'm hoping and assuming that I'm still I'm gonna have other things to work on it. It's not going to be solely working on the scarves, and I have different spots of kind of like downtime where I have, if necessary, time to make another prototype. Um, I have plenty of time for dying, so in all of these different elements, I've given myself a lot of, um I consider for this particular thing quite a lot of buffer time or wiggle room to allow for things to go wrong not that I'm pessimistic. Um well, actually I am I'm eternally pessimistic because something always will go wrong and try to be positive so they won't go wrong I'll have a spur month where everything goes swimmingly well, so this is this is my assumptions put into a time in action plan laid out on a monthly basis. Now the time an action plan that you have in the bonus material which you get is much longer and it's much more it is driven by weeks rather than months so it's a it's a lot more detail is easier to follow to understand exactly how these details kind of link up tell me to go through this again details I just wanna ask you any personally yeah, um for you doing something like this which you make separate ones first separate goals or would you have a giant one that's like either color coded or somehow overlapping? I never joined one color coded and overlapping okay, absolutely. So that way at least you know that like you have these these action things that need to happen, you know, at a glance in one spot yeah, that those things they're all over laughing within these this time frame yeah, absolutely you can like digests that versus having to look at three different things because this is my website when this is my product one yeah and this is my you know, crash show when whatever that may be yeah that's that that's great because it's I can't personally like I can't work with three different plans right drives me nuts I died I just can't do it I need to see everything in one place right? And I'll tell you why is the way that I read this is ah and you guys can tell me if you read it your time inaction is the same way as I read it across so I'm reading it ok what's my material telling me I need to order it and diet okay ordering and die I know but I also want to look this is where the one bye week is much is so news you seal go aha ok get it because you're looking at it going down you're like I want to know in the month of may exactly what my deadlines are and I want to know in the third week of may what I need to be working on and what I then do is I take I take it a week by week basis you know, third week of may these air my tasks for the week and then I break that down says how ridiculously particularly I break it down into daily okay this's what? I have to say what I have to achieve today in order to you reach my weekly total in order to reach my monthly total and then do you forgive yourself and move things on to the next day? No, I mean you chastise your side completely just as much I get into the biggest grump in the world on this I'm not sure I can do anything. Yeah now absolutely unjust it's hard on myself. It is ridiculous. And do you think I'm sorry if I'm asking too many questions? Do you think you were a sharing group? Do you feel like you've gotten better at being more realistic and what you can complete and therefore are more successful in completing what you put on your plate? You as you've gone through the years of doing this, did you feel like he started off saying I can do all this and I have to do this by this point and then feel miserable because you are hitting those and then as you go further and further along, you have a much better idea about okay, I can do this and you are successful are completing it so he's happy so I did it too simple things first thing can you tell I need your help with theo? First thing is when I first started out I worked around the clock to make things happen because I didn't want to let anyone else down so I'd be like, oh, well, that's twenty four hours in the day, right? Totally fine, I'll work twenty two of them, you know, because that's my deadline, the other thing is I we can to be more realistic with my planning, so when I was in charge of setting the time in action, I would understand exactly how long things took. I would build an extra buffer time, whereas people before didn't, so I understood the assumptions I was two hundred percent realistic of how long everything took on dh that is the most important thing it's not about working twenty two hours a day because you can't you can't maintain that it's crazy talk, you start talking rubbish by the end of it and you just exhausted being realistic as harsh is is and just being this like this is going to take me this long and this is what it is that is what's going to drive the product that's what's going to meet your product lines so that's it's it's a harsh reality? Is this because you don't like that it takes two weeks that's irrelevant? It takes two weeks put it in but I definitely have one plan and color coded I'm big on colors issue as you can see red and yellow um but look at it from two different perspectives look at it it's just like what are my goals for may and then read it ah hard on plays well definite that that's the way I approach these things but being realistic is the number one thing absolutely fundamental doesn't know how long it takes and be honest about him um I didn't extra room extra wiggle room um I know we had a week ten days whatever you feel you need to there's no fixed rule on this always add something extra you will always need it and this is your time in action plan so if you're working effectively and using your assumptions it should hopefully start at the right time and not two months previous ok which can happen I've done time in actions on this lot goodness may I should have started two months ago um you know and that's happened definitely and what it does is you need to change your selling day or you need to kind of reduce down you wiggle room you need to find a way to make it work but it happens absent it's happened to me I think or out several times like oh no dough I tell my director that I should have actually started two months ago now I can get coffee and I just sent to my shot chris a little bit on then you know way find a way there's always a way, but the tip is they will always take longer than you think. Ok, uh, I don't know who this is. This is may and I'm going to grab this from someone I don't know, I'm going to claim it basically it's better to have it and not need it then wanted and not have it, and I was so the case with time definitely used better to have it and just be sitting on a beach with a cocktail with a day to spare than racing around in twenty two dollars of work, so definitely definitely. So what do your milestones that's? A kind of a big old question? I think we kind of touched on a few of these of kind of different milestones already start building a list of ties tasks in times needed um now we have very lonely flipboard here with some pens on if you're wanting to kind of, like, understand the task needed to kind of work on back of something, we could totally brainstorm here and go through it. Um, I'm curious when your next wind you'll big trade show you get a big treasure. I skipped it this year, ok, I've done it for five years in a row and just see it as a little bit of a turning point for trade shows. It is a social media right? So I'm kind of interested to see how it plays out this year on the dime of my friends on dh and there's some other things that I really wanted to do teo and I wanted to put the money into that versus the trade show this year right instance, I have a pretty well established brand I figured I could still get this wholesale orders with direct contact to my buyers okay um michael's are almost like a mini rebrand and a little refresh and redoing my website um I want to clean house and take out things that aren't working and grow the things that are right make it more cohesive means they're all pretty big and perhaps maybe they I don't know how are you going tio because you could approach that in itself is kind of like really give you your kind of company is yes as a kind of a separate time and action alongside the kind of the product so you could treat it like a whole you know when do we want to have my a new website up and running? Yeah that's kind of like a number one yeah because I feel like that's going to be the driving force behind a mme the cohesiveness of it all as well, right? You know because within creating the new website already created the new logo that was step one yeah created the tag line because I felt like that helped to give me some sort of direction as to what to keep in and what to keep out do you feel like I have a really broad taste yeah which is great for me that perhaps not great for a brand right um so I figured my website would be the first thing yeah and I wanted to do it in may which at this point is unrealistic on dh so not be great for something to kind of get ready for kind of like the end of summer or something yeah that to really focus on yeah I would like to do it before that mid summer would be fantastic because that's also a holiday lunch so I can kind of throw it all out there at the same time with new product holiday new website yeah um that's the whole time and actually holding long yeah that's a kind of like a nice kind of like focused collection of milestones so you can kind of really work around separate from your product as well I would definitely keep them separate though okay you know just kind of run them otherwise they're going to start merging all right and that you're kind of your your brand identity you know has to be clear in has to have that focus right I would definitely keep them separate. Yeah. Uh fatima when when's your next kind of like key milestone several of them ready, making along with I have a men's jewelry collection that I want to come out with, but partially launched, but I'd liketo completely launch it some point in either. June. July okay, great. Um, I need to build a lying cheat in general wholesale line, chief, um and launch that on my site as a link that unpublished? Um, I'd like to also do a wedding collection, um, the holiday and gift stuff for the end of the year. Um, and then a couple trade shows august and october, right? You've got a lot of kind of key milestones and a lot of kind of key events that potentially going to be overlapping think so, it's it's definitely look att take a look at the big time in action and look to see how kind of how I built a cow and then tomorrow in the next session, what we'll do is we'll look about how to kind of, like, match the timelines and can keep things cohesive so that you use your time wisely and you're not kind of running around in kind of crazy amounts of things when you could be kind of like lining things up in an effective way, so great busy people, that's what I like.

Class Description

Once you’ve established your business with a single, successful product, imagining what else to sell can be daunting. You don’t want to end up with a disjointed collection of products, but you do want it to be fresh and exciting for existing customers. In Diversifying Your Product Line, you’ll learn the art and science of expanding your offerings and growing your business.

Susie Breuer is the author of Blue is the New Black: The 10 Step Guide to Developing and Producing a Fashion Collection and in this class she’ll help you generate ideas and make smart decisions about expanding your apparel and/or accessories business. You’ll learn how to:

  • Research the market to understand both price and your customers.
  • Build a concept and action plan for starting out
  • Manage multiple product lines
  • Source raw materials and manufacturers

You’ll learn how to accurately assess a product's viability before you waste time and money developing it. Susie will also teach you how to develop a consistent, logical pricing strategy you can use again and again.

Susie makes the complex process of developing a financially solvent product and production plan easy. You’ll get expert-level insights into all aspects of developing a new product and walk away confident that you know everything you need to know to expand your business.



Thank you for an excellent class on a key pivot point no matter what industry you are in. One stellar quality of this course is how collaborative, friend focused peer culture and (rather than hostile competition or dysfunction competition environment and psychological atmosphere). The structure suggestions enable creativity and acknowledges different mindsets required in different phases. Susie honors the joy that comes from making and creating. She celebrates the interdependence between all stakeholders and the fun and flow as well as learnings and choices from being a 'business'. She is pragmatic but high on the inclusiveness of fun and satisfaction. She is interested and interesting: safe, enjoys being a customer as much as teacher and expressions of creative generation for herself. You can be caught up in the delight of her view of the world if you have become jaded or burnout. This brings perspective and empowerment to your desire and goals.


Susie has this most amazing experience in business - she is fashion royalty - but has an amazing ability to put all her knowledge across in a way that you can learn so easily. I was so pleased that she could show you how to learn from her experience and it would make sense for your business. Pretty much whatever you are doing. I came away from these sessions with so many ideas. But of course ideas are cheap. She has made me understand how once you have an idea, how to make it real. So many great learnings about avoiding pitfalls, practical check lists and honest to goodness 'know how'. I am already putting her advice into practice and can see I am going to transform my business just because of these classes. I am going to come back to those videos again and again. Thank you so much for making this great resource available.


I LOVED THIS COURSE. After being a small business owner for 10 years it is easy to focus on what's right on your desk at that very moment instead of evaluating the bigger picture, to forget how to look at what is working as well as what isn't and how to improve upon your process. Courses like this make me want to jump up out of my seat and get back to work. Susie kept me engaged and focused. It can be a long day but time seemed to fly by. I am really glad I got the opportunity to take the course, not only would I take it again but would highly recommend future Creative Live courses and Susie's latest book. Thank you again for the opportunity and now I gotta get back to work!