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Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 30 of 32

How to Manage Your Timeline


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 30 of 32

How to Manage Your Timeline


Lesson Info

How to Manage Your Timeline

So how to manage your time lines so this is this is not just a repeat of the end of session one I haven't gone completely loopy it's really it's trying to bring everything together because when you're thinking about different different products and guys out there already or already have multiple product lines having to kind of accommodate different production team, lead times and and raw material lead times so it's on multiple products it's, multiple timelines and how can you manage it? Because that's often the complex thing, you're busy like twenty four hours a day juggling moving different hats around it's it's useful to have something with it, a common element, whether it's the same production timeline, whether you're ordering materials at the same time, just a tiny unite some of the processes together. So I've got a few questions which which I find as a kind of good kind of checking points that you need to ask yourself when you're working with multiple products and multiple timelin...

es is do they share a concept? So you know, can they be sold together and it's in this environment is difficult because some people wholesale some people selling craft markets only some have their own website and not everyone works in seasons, some people do constant development throughout the year and then constantly produce, so I try to apply this as as broadly as possible so he would take into consideration not someone who worked purely seasonally, but it could also encapsulate that so do they share a concept to the first one? Will they be sold at the same time? Either fair or a store? A market? Do they share materials? So these the questions of the first thing that comes to mind when I think well, you know, how can I join timelines together? So did they share a concept than they could be sold together? That there's a kind of could be a possible link sold, you know, within the same page with in the same category will it be sold at the same time? Then they should be finished for the same time and day. So it's almost like lining up all your timing's if they're going to be sold at the same craft fair, it is tricky. Yeah, I mean, all these things I'm talking about right now it's it's an ideal it's an ideal that we worked way that we work within its something to kind of focus on um everyone knows that it's it's never always that easy, did you? Sorry, like even though it is tricky it's you shoot for it, I believe it's pushed back, then it gets pushed back yeah, you should always find always always aspired t reach that no one no one goes in it's like no one goes into what people do go into people shouldn't go into a working relationship with them and us situation that's number one people should always have realistic expectations of when things should be finished on dh trying to trying to reach those in order to succeed because you know motivational e you want it to happen you want all your ducks in a row for when you start selling at a trade show if if it isn't it's hugely disappointing but it's it's never it's never a failure it it's it's a kind of like something came up or whatever I always look at the next one to you know what I mean like if the if the goal is may yeah and you miss that may goal then you look at the next thing is that there's people are launching stuff in july okay so I missed mace to now yeah maybe I shoot for july absolutely there has to be a degree of flexibility but at the same time is we talked in the first session about timelines you have to have we have to have timelines in place otherwise is constant chaos right and accountability it has to be in any timelines accountability in realistic timelines as well really understanding you know can I make a full production run of like eight hundred scarves in two days? Probably not you know, even even with kind of light you know, speedy sewing machine I couldn't do it you know could I make ten scarves in two months? Almost definitely you know, I've given myself too much about the time it's having realistic expectations and definitely definitely shooting for it not it's yeah it's being realistic but you should definitely shoot for it do they share materials if they do then this should should I'm putting a question here should the materials be what it at the same time is that is our possibility no, of course if you're working on different structures it's hard to do that I'm talking about it like kind of a semi ideal world where you can try and align as much as possible so if you're sharing dates, materials and concept using one timeline would really streamline the process and this is something that that number you mentioned yesterday because you have you have different time lines in place. You asked what would I prefer to use three different ones or what I could combine it onto one definitely combining onto one and we have we have a good example of I have two time inaction too to show you one which is just susie scarves and one is susie scarves and other products that I'm potentially thinking of launching you know, in the you know when my scott's fly off the shelves but streamlining the process everyone spies that everyone wants a slightly slips, simpler process, something more streamline something which is going to allow them to go to sleep at night so I'm still working on the amber yeah, yeah, so remember the time inaction tips that we talked about because he's going to start kicking in again with the next few slides, started the end point and work back so figure out, you know he'd do have products which share the same materials are going to be launched on the same time? Use that timeline for both of those products and start working back have a clear date when the goods need to be finished. Well, the products need to be finished and if necessary, if you know that you know, seasonally or historically you're always a little bit late or you kind of set these deadlines, it never happens and maybe it's kind of it's always a day before the show, rather in the week before the show, then give yourself like an extra three days, you know it may help is trial and error check the assumption shapes determine which task can be aligned. I would I would constantly recheck the assumption she to make sure it was up today, you know, making sure that it was realistic it was up today and that you had a lineman there as well and so then we go back tio my single product susie scarves timeline this doesn't change from last time it's exactly the same the same one we saw it's going to run through again very, very quickly this tow er just remind you the holiday still there. I'm pleased to see I was worried about that just in case I got taken off so two fabric orders in may one for proto one for bulk dying is between the first and tenth of june prototype is happening fifth of june sorry fifth of may, the bulk is happening july and august proto fifth to the fifteenth for their packaging. The bulk is going to be in july holidays who craft fair that's me being enthusiastic about holiday, the craft fair selling in october having goods finished in september. This is exactly the same nothing's changed, so I'm gonna flip over to a new one now, which is good different colors I look a little kind of color happy on this one. Um, so I'm going to talk through this because what I've done is I've added my vintage scarfs, which I basically buying recondition and celebrated this onto my timeline I have and I'm going to go through this in detail I have the scars that we've already just mentioned and I'm also in the last twenty minutes or so put about adding in some silk pillows as well because launching a search scarves is just not enough right now so this is kind of a new item which I just kind of dropped in its had no other mention in the last two sessions so it's not like you've kind of like drifted off and all of a sudden she's like talking about silk pillows and I have no idea where this has come from it's just it's example of like another product that I could align so my vintage scarf I have I do ongoing buying on this it's I go to I go to a flea markets and things like that I you know I have a contact over in europe who helped me out um I still want my end goal is still october okay? These three things I'm looking at the vintage scarf the scarves and sit still pillow is all for october I'm going to go for a big old statement and benevolent display of minty scarves my own scarves and I wanted to sell pillows just to test market my action I formalizes a little bit more my actions I've got buying aventis cars I have got re con riches reconditioning my reconditioning is going to be in july and august, so I'm going to kind of do ongoing buying but I know in july and august I'm going to be pretty studio based so I want to be able to use my time here to recondition at the same time that I'm doing the scarfs, the making, the scars and potentially making assault pillows because I want to be, you know, if I'm going to be, like, focused for july and august, I want to be in the same space and being able to kind of work on different products, my role materials, all my raw materials, I'm going to order these are the same dates is before the first in the sixteenth. So first it's a proto sixteenth is for bulk dying again first to the tenth, this is the same and then for some bling for my proto type on the fifth of may, I'm going to make a salt proto and at the same time, I'm going to play around with this idea for a self pillow as well. Um, I can't tell you any more details about this right now because it's it's purely in my head, I'm going to go from head her hand, a pinching someone else's praise my bulk should this should this work, I'm going to schedule it the same time. I have no idea it may any people in a two piece is just as a kind of like a test. It may only be the proto time which which I use and use as a test but I'm putting in here because I want to consider that option when I developing the line packaging hasn't changed is still the same from the far fifth to the fifteenth and the bulk packaging is going to be in july and august take holidays the same I'm aiming and pitching for these finished goods toe all be in september so the way that I've aligned this the way that I thought about it is not only again and we talked about this in the first session this way looking at all the different elements but I'm also thinking about it from a time perspective what do I need to do in may what am I doing in june what do I need to consider in july and august and I'm trying my best and this is obviously just um thinking about it and planning it it could all go completely haywire if something goes wrong if my raw materials disappear off a truck somewhere and I have to reorder everything is going to be pushed out but I've given myself an extra month here which is a huge amount of flexibility massive amount of flexibility and I know that's not always realistic to have it a spare month you're lucky if you have a spare month but I'm using I'm using this to really kind of just focusing on alignment right now I'm looking at making my pro toes at the same time so I mean I'm in the proto stage my head is in proto stage development mode at the same time when I'm thinking about the scarf and I'm thinking about the pillow when I'm thinking about the packaging it's sudden development say she's different mindset development in production my production is all going to happen at the same time and I like I like that I have a similar product but different processes to work on so that I can kind of split up my time a little bit reconditioning scarves is essentially washing them it's fixing them it's re rolling the hands it's signing them, making them presentable again of any kind of repairs or damages the team time um section area you kind of like toying around with ideas and trying out things or you trying out an idea that you've already formulated in your head and you're sort of executing it probably both I would I would take that opportunity to make an actual scarf and understand and really play around with the timings of hand rolling I would also look at different print techniques and different dying techniques at that stage it's still going to be a scarf I have to end on one proto which I know is going to be right which is then going to go into production but I treat this proto stage as a creative kind of development state where anything is possible where I'm literally I may start with something and just think you know what thirty seven by thirty seven does not work for me you know everyone does thirty seven by thirty seven the scarf I want to do something different I want to do like a thirty by thirty or I want to do a long skinny scarf or something by that which incidentally would completely throw out my yield on my assumptions, which is fine because I want to have that flexibility but my protest stages purely development is playing around with stuff certainly for the salt pillow I have absolutely no idea where that came from when I put this slide together so you know I'd be pretty cool why not? I'm dealing with silk it's another square how hard could it be? You know, you get a really fine zip, you get an interesting print on it it could be a nice extension to the line it's I'm keeping myself open for creativity, but I'm also trying to align the different processes so it for me it seems quite logical any questions any further questions on this as I go through it? So how does this alignment help if we kind of skipped forward on this? For me it helps to manage my time helps so much my purchasing and also my production is aligning the tasks it's giving us a huge amount of buffer time huge amount of wiggle room there, which which, you know, when I bought timeline, sometimes it's been a week ten days extra, I don't get ever had something where I've had a month extra that's just ridiculous luxury, but I'm using it just to kind of emphasize a point of the early stages when you're still trying to figure these things out. It's good to have that kind of, ah, flexibility, understanding working out there, the assumptions and everything. Um, so that's that's why I kind of use that I'm no idea with the salt pillar what came from it? So it was obviously kind of sitting on the sofa when I was running the deck at that point, so the other question can what aligns your product? Is it materials selling period or making time? So when you're planning the products that you're that you're making is quite if you're making this kind of one product right now or what kind of debt using different qualities it's interesting to understand what what aligns it great to get some some feedback from the chat room on that. Chris catherine, do you have something for me? Definitely the well that most years one lines thie christmas ornaments, of course is selling your christmas season right? But now I'm starting to get either early wholesale orders are out of season like I'm working on a wholesale order for someone who has been his christmas all year round. Boutiques. Okay. And she needs her is for peak tourist season, right? When? When? When peak tourist season. Well, united states, usually a memorial day through labor day. Got you. Ok. Okay. Um, fatima, what? What kind of aligns your product would you say? But I feel like the making time is really the most important because so much goes into prototypes and perfecting prototypes and to sort of trying them out. I've had entire designs that I made. Thirty of that I thought would sell really great. And they barely sold it all, so I'd like to redo restart and re reformulate. So you have been making the making time is probably most important, right? But I struggle with it because it's all of those things. Yeah. Yeah. Um, chris, anything for the chat room right now? Yes. As he seamstress says, I used the same fabric for everything I make. So it ends up being a combo of material and time. He's a straightforward done. I like sexy seamstress. I think we're going to become good friends.

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!