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Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 17 of 32

What is a Time & Action Plan?


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 17 of 32

What is a Time & Action Plan?


Lesson Info

What is a Time & Action Plan?

Time in action plan this is I mention this in the beginning, I'm a big fan of planning I over planned at times, but it's better to be prepared. Fifteen this is one of the things that you are kind of really kind of keen on looking at and kind of like timelines and how it all clicks to get it clicks together. So this is going to be a kind of a good session for you. So it's time lines that it's a plan that time that drives timelines is kind of like a tongue twister of the end of the day. It's difficult to get out, but basically we're talking about how everything clicks together, how long everything takes when you need to start your planning. It's a very crucial part of product development is something that really drives the whole process of when your milestones are. So this is what we're going to be focusing on. Really in this next segment, so includes when you're thinking about a time line is just some of the elements it's a timeline broken down into weeks and months on we're gonna work ...

through each of these stages in a lot of details, it incorporates the lists of list of tasks. So it's, like what element you need to do? Are we talking about putting a concept together? We're talking about sourcing materials, physically making the product when are you going to be selling the actual product? So all these elements have to go into the time an action plan, the time allocated po task as well is crucial. You need to know how long everything takes to do, and I call that an assumption it's like assuming it takes two weeks to build a concept and this is when you would need to stop, okay, and then the task of ownership. Now, if you're working on your own, then you're responsible. You have the multiple hats that you're constantly switching if you're if you're lucky to have a new assistant or you're looking at kind of building our team, then it's important to hand over these task to individual people, make sure there are aware of what their responsibilities are is about kind of giving them ownership of the of the task so that they're able to achieve it to the best of their abilities and to me, the deadlines. So I'm going to start off with ah, a time of very, uh, kind of simple, I won't say simple because it is. Kind of complex, simple it's that hybrid of a time in action for suzy scarves and we're going to go through this stage by stage, break it all the way down to the fundamentals, and you'll see it kind of built up again at the end. But what? I will explain very briefly here, it's based on the requirements I just went through, we have months at the top. We have really kind of tasks and areas of the business that we're focusing on, and we have time spells with dates filled in, you can see for the holidays, I'm away. Well, okay, sure. That's not where I'm going. That's not kind of ah, special code it's a it's a significant shin of happiness because I'm on vacation and it has an end date very important. You know, these are the kind of very kind of basic key elements that you need for a time in action plan, so we're gonna work through this stage by stage on dh incidentally, I've given in the bonus material a really complex time, an action plan, which he put in a in a lot more detail. I've actually given you the same information, but in weeks, so I broken it down into a kind of a weak structure. It was way too big to put on one of these slides so I've given you both elements something for selling in october, november, december and all the aspects associated with it so in the bonus material get like a time an action which is about that long which you can use as a template going forward for the purposes of the deck I've kept it kind of simple and kept it a month just so you can understand the elements involved in it we're gonna be going through that a little bit later so don't worry we are going to come back to that slide so who here uses a time inaction calendar already it's a great want to throw out to the chat room chris so ladies in the audience when you start with ashley do you use a time in action or some kind of planning system pending goal geek but nothing super specific in terms of product right development? So this this is definitely I'm definitely learned something but mostly like you know your your three month goal on breaking it down in tow okay it two steps and how do you how do you document it? Do you have it on on the spreadsheet will do tend to use a kind of like I don't really have the calendar yeah I generally tend to use like no books and ok things like that so nothing completely streamlined get rights okay, thirteen men use this is this is one of your kind of count key area is what? What? How do you work right now with your kind of planning? I do plan it out, but it it tends to be a little bit more vegas a zoo faras planning out production and and, um, craft shows and things like that I tend to just, uh, say which to his on my studio. I could work on things, but it is never this specific. It's great to get this. Okay, pacific ok, chris, what do we have from the chat rooms so far? Anything specific on this? Well, people claim that they do have a plan trying to get some more clarification on that. But sandra glover clark says yes, I do have a plan so that's a positive thing, I would love to see some more examples. So tell us specifically a little bit more about your plan, sandra. And yes, some people are just kind of getting back and sharing some of their thoughts and their products, but it's good to know that people are thinking about it, right? Okay, well, that's press on and we can come back to the news information number, I'll be honest and say, I'm horrible at it um I have a giant white board and try to do it based on retails so it's supposed to be basically like a year out but it always gets pushed and I'm always terrible at being realistic with timing. Okay? I'm super unrealistic about what I can get done. Ryan what? I'm out of time. Okay, okay. Reece goal has been to double everything I say aiken d'oh well, he might in my experience of putting ah time in action together is no matter how much wiggle room and buffer time you put in there, you always run out of time. Yeah, always, you know, even even with the even now if I'm kind of working, I always I know my assumptions were going to go through that next of how long everything takes I always had on extra time, andi I'm always left the last minute. I haven't delivered anything like for a really long time, but it's been it's been really up to the wire because there's so many different elements which kind of kick into place a semi third party influences that you have no control over, you just have to kind of keep your fingers crossed and keep on it and keep chasing and that's where the communication comes in you're going to be talking about in the next session it's it's communicating effectively in order in order to keep your time inaction on time s so everything is connected in this kind of like huge big jigsaw puzzle that we're working on it's all inter inter linked but understanding the time involved on the assumptions is there's a key driver of the plan on being realistic as well being extremely honest about how long everything takes is such a crucial element really crucial on so we're going to be looking at that we have some more comments coming in and I like that you mentioned having the realistic goals because hi jenny brown in the chat room says I'm also super unrealistic I know full well how long it takes to make things but I assume I will acquire superpowers at some point between now and the due date which is not a superpower isn't great but they're difficult to rely on yes absolutely yeah yeah and then they're a couple of other sandra glover clark has a more detailed plan she says that her current book her current book will be featured in canadian living magazine in august and then she's going to use that for pr and launch a second book in october which will lead to getting involved in time for christmas shopping in october so she has this whole plan over the next year or so to kind of build that out nice okay so kind of really kind of structure timelines and goals to painful was great yeah you see if you have someone like the and I forget jenny in the chat room this's superpowers jenny and my solidarity of not very good at this do you think it's better to do like I I tend to have like a six month huge giant white board in my office that I'll do like a six month out and say ok if I want something to launch in november than I'm starting it in six months at a time or do you think that if this is something that you struggle with should you bite off less and teo smaller increments of time you know it's a like no don't push it out so far because maybe that allows you to just be like oh I've got more time I like six months today oh yeah remember sh movember years away right yeah you think you should do both ok you could do both and we're actually the next slide is your you were on the same we have the same superpower going on because the next flight or actually talk about macro and micro sir kind of high level in detail level but in direct response to that is all very kind of closely linked is I always do planning a year out is it's too overwhelming to really kind of understand six months I think is realistic um but I do I do a full plan I do detail plan and if I'm really working on something complicated I do a daily plan really kind of water my task today in order to meet the week's task in order to meet the months task in order to meet the the end goal right? So I'm really break it down and certainly if I'm kind of struggling with a project and I really maybe it's not engaging me and I'm like oh, not motivated to kind of meet the deadlines I make sure that everything on my day is listed and I and I physically ticket off a list to make sure I keep on track with it you have to be so disciplined it's really if you know you know timing is kind of difficult to follow you have to force yourself to keep them I find it just difficult to not get caught up in other things yeah, you know like the the other day children's that come along with running your business yeah it's tough I mean planning is one of the key fundamentals of any product development production process to launch anything and it's something which takes the most focused on the most discipline to maintain on I don't think I don't have any other way of doing it than physically writing out and getting a marker or pen and physically taken off the list and you think, oh no I've done that's like have you have you really done it right really really ok well now kind of done it while it doesn't count physically cross it off, and then and then you can see in that, motivate you to move to the next thing, okay, but we all get we're going to look at that in a high and also a detailed level. That's a great question. So a macro planning, um, the high level is literally developing a product, making it, finishing it, selling it okay, very high, kind of, you know, what's a product going to develop its a scarf when you're going to make it july, when you're going to sell it when I finish it august, I'm going to sell in october, those are my those are my months, okay? If you look at it on a detailed level, then you're looking at a lot more information, which needs to be built in inspiration, research, for one, creating a product concept collection, plan, sourcing, purchasing, receiving the raw materials, all these elements have to be factored in to understand when you can physically start small orders completed ideal shipping day. One of the big things that kind of catches a lot of people out is is forgetting about shipping dates when thing, because you can lose a week moving things from one side of the u s the other or internationally, you don't build that weekend, and you're just sunk so these on a macro level on a low level planning and I could even go deeper than that in a lot more detailed on a daily basis, but for the benefit of the deck hair and thiss session, I want to focus on a super high level and then kind of next level down because then I think is easy to kind of comprehend the elements that you need to really focus on. So again, we touched on this, which is best macro micro on and he's definitely a fine line. Um, I think if you if you're struggling to meet the deadlines in you know that you're you kind of keep missing because you underestimate go go details, there was absolutely detailed as you can, um but it's a fine line too much structure means that you kind of take some of the creative energy out if it's to form it has to be finished on friday, no matter what you know and you have a great brain wave it like five o'clock on friday morning, he says always too late for that and that could be your winning piece, so you have to have flexibility I think if you have too little, then you're not going to meet your deadline and it's constantly pushed back and that has a negative effect as well, so I think I have two tips when it comes to time actually like millions of tips but I'm going to focus in on just to uh because I was only allowed six lines on the slide a million I would have got thrown out that thick off you um have a date when you want to start selling be exactly sure or when you want to launch or show at a trade show but have an exact date that you're you're really focusing on okay haven't understanding how long everything takes and write that down and the understanding I'm calling the assumptions were going to come back come to that next and that's understanding every single helaman okay so a time in action is there to help you it's not to their to annoy you or frustrate you are too kind of like picking your head and go you should be doing something else is there to help you deliver your products in time to keep your customers happy? Ondas much is it's kind of it's hard to do at times you know if you remember the end goal of you know who you making this for you making this to kind of fulfill your mission and your vision statement and to make beautiful products and get it out there on time and it was always you kind of keep remembering that then that kind of drives you to think this is why I'm doing this okay so we're gonna we're going to start with an empty form and we're going to go through a couple of slides um in the next section to really kind of build this out really? This is a template that I'm starting with and what I wanted to do is just focus on my end point, okay? My end point is selling in october that's where I want to be doing and I mentioned this in in the next section, but I always say that the end the end point is the start point, which is kind of like a difficult to get your head around, but you shouldn't be thinking I'm what data is they may twelve so it's made twelve today I need to start making scars for october because you're guaranteed to be late if you just think, well, it is kind of october, but you can always go to november because I know there's going to be a craftsman you know, if I miss november then I've definitely got december, so I'll be sweet on that front you start with your end date when did you absolute define day it's october ok, I need to work back from october to now to the thirteenth or probably the fourteenth because I won't be making scarves tomorrow and then I can kind of plan everything so it's, so important to focus on the end, eh okay, so I'm going I'm going toe leave that as a big sell in yellow for you to kind of focus on first question what's your experience with time and actually we've already touched on a few of those do you have a method that works for you? Can you adapt it to your product line that's that's an interesting one because everyone has a different method of of time in action so catherine do you use any kind of plan right now to kind of manage your time? Not very much I'm not very good at planning and I do try to plan they mean I can do short term planning if I try to do long term planning than stuff comes out long I mean oh, here is when he's scheduled to get things ready for the show and then all of a sudden I've got ah wholesale order that comes out of the blue for when our existing products right? Yeah kind of kind of phrases founder in the works a little bit yeah, yeah that's that that's a complex one it is trying to kind of manage both different elements keeping on track for a show but also anticipate that kind of the the the flexibility which you need yeah, yeah ashleigh proffer I sold that I had like a had a realistic goal for a number of bags have ready and then I had kind of like a a bigger number like in case I did have more time and then I'm broke down that that number in today's like each day I had a certain goal I wanted to hit yeah in terms of how many bags to produce that's great and it works really well nice and I actually made it to the higher number nice congratulations, that's it that's that's a great way of testing your method is literally it's it's not working with any kind of fancy spreadsheet it's not working with any kind of fancy software it's literally this is what I want to achieve breaking it down and learning from that and thinking ok, the next craft there you go two you're going to be able tio manage your time in exactly the same way and you're going to build the product so that's a great way of figuring out a time inaction that works for you and then the next thing is like, you know when when you've got kind of wholesalers and retailers and craft fairs and you're kind of juggling kind of like a you know ah complex business you can basically multilayer all these different ways so that's great chris would we have so red scorpio says that reverse engineering plus daily planning is what works best for me it's kept me totally on track this year, abby lynn says my timelines arm or project oriented and gems of joy design says, my timelines are seasonal and holidays. I focus on producing and marketing products during the part of the peak seasons for summer and spring, as well as christmas, easter, mother's, day and memorial day. So they have the whole year kind of mapped out based on those days. Perfect. Yeah, that's, exactly. The right way to do it is focusing on you know what your product, when are you going to sell it? What do your key selling times, whether it's, seasonal those of the first things which go into your time in action and the need is basically work around it? No, it's, like knowing when your market is, which is perfect, doesn't work for every product group it's. A great way of thinking about that, definitely.

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!