Thursday, May 31, 2007

Everything, and Nothing At All

No coffee yet (ugh), "Morning Red" by Mission Mountain Woodband on iTunes. It's summer. I feel it in my bones. Has the world changed so much that summer really does begin in May now? Or is it because I live in the south? I don't think it's the latter--it's clearly summer in the north too when I talk to my parents and my in-laws (Montana and Chicago). I am sleepy in the early morning and lethargic when I do manage to rise. I thought I would have time to post this morning between watering the potted plants and taking the dogs to the groomer, before starting studio work, but my brain is just. too. sluggish. I'll be back.

Okay, it's 10:00. The dogs are at the groomer, the coffee in in the Starbucks go-cup, and thoughts of where I want to go next with my business fill my head (and have no business there, really). I passed a great-looking studio/teaching/retail space for lease on my way to the groomer and my mind just started running away with itself. What If...?

I have never done a business plan. I have started one or two, but quickly got bored, got up, and did something else. It has always been enough to think, "What do I want to do THIS year with Siyeh Studio? What do I want to grow now?" And at the end of four years of full-time, hodge-podge management (preceded by 16 years of really no management at all--business as driven by life rather than driven by business), I am in a pretty good place. However, my success is due more to my ability to think on my feet and react quickly to problems than any real forethought. Should I change strategies now?

I have a book coming out in the fall. I am going to be a regular contributor to at least one and now maybe two magazines. I haven't taught regularly up till now because I didn't want to teach either my current studio production work (it is, after all, my bread and butter) or the same thing everyone else teaches in a beginning class. But I am a good teacher--I really LIKE teaching and I communicate well (let's skip all the false modesty crap). Adding regular teaching to my routine would be nice--especially as I am happy with my reduced show schedule and so would have more time for it.

I am also still attracted to the idea of retailing glass and supplies. I tested a lot of supplies and new products in the process of writing the book, and I see myself trying more as I write for Glass Patterns. Carrying them in a retail location and teaching classes around them seems a logical extension. Retail does mean hiring someone though, as I certainly can't do all my production work, teach AND staff a retail space full-time (and my poor spouse is probably having heart failure reading that I am even contemplating ANY of this!).

Then there is the idea of starting a multi-craft artist co-op organization--gallery, teaching facility, etc.--with a group of other like-minded, federally-funded artists... And I have a friend who asked me about teaching for his university's Continuing Ed campus in Albuquerque...

The bottom line is that all of this thought highlights my need (at least for now--we could wait a couple of minutes to see if it goes away) to sit down and evaluate avenues of expansion, their costs (ALL the costs--including time) and benefits, and to think ahead beyond this year to where I would like to be (besides Montana) in five years. Is a five-year plan too much to ask? Hey Bill, there might even be goats in it!

3 comments:

ren said...

goats? really? because i have this dream of owning a goat farm and baking bread...hmmm.

Anonymous said...

A Good Business Plan is a must. I say Go for It. MONYMAN

Bill Paley said...

Imagine how difficult it would be to have any vacation time at all if you were trying to run a retail business...how would you even be able to get away for the shows you do now?