Want to make 2018 your best year yet?
Do you dream of making a better living from your creative business? Do you want to start or have you started a creative business creating gorgeous and unique products, whether it’s in crafts, design, jewellery, textiles, stationery, prints, giftware or homewares?
Do you know where you want to take your business in the next 1, 2 or 5 years – but not exactly how to get there or how to get started?
Are you spinning too many plates and feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of starting and growing your creative business? But do you also know (deep down) that you are avoiding the financial realities and marketing activities that could make your business more successful?
Do you want to feel more in control and better organised, with a clearer focus? Wish you knew how to spend your limited time, money and energy more wisely - to really get the results you want? Want to feel proud and satisfied with your life and business choices?
Is it time to get serious and launch your next product collection properly and professionally? To show in the right galleries, shops, events AND online? To identify YOUR ideal clients, reach out, build your profile and professional relationships?
Maybe you're at crossroads or feel stuck in a rut after a couple of years (or decades!) in business. You need a big boost with new ideas to reignite your motivation, rethink what you really want to do, and get a plan together to get you back on track.
Do you simply want to get more sales and clients in 2018?
Or do you want to have more fun running your business, learn what makes you tick and connect with a bunch of like-minded creative professionals from across the globe along the way?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, DREAM PLAN DO is for you!
Dream Plan Do is back!
And thanks to more than 1,200 wonderful Dream Plan Do-ers who pledged and purchased it in the last 12 months, the 2018 planner will be even better!
You’ll still get a planner journal FULL of creative business exercises, thought-provoking questions and practical creative business advice, tips, business planning tools and handy check lists, but you'll also get even more...
We have selected two gorgeous NEW (super soft-feel!) covers that come in a choice of softback and durable hardback formats, and we've added an elastic and two bookmarks for the hardbacks too.
The 2018 planner journal focuses more on seasonal quarterly goals and plans to keep your momentum throughout the year, and works with the natural flow of your sale seasons.
It's also more about YOU and your life and health. Your mindset. Your self-care. After all, as a sole trader, freelancer or small business owner you are the biggest asset of your creative business!
DREAM PLAN DO is much more than just a planner.
It’s a year of expert business coaching in a book. It asks the right questions at the right time, so you can come up with the best solution for YOUR business, life and clients. You'll stop going round in circles chasing your tail, always busy but not focusing on what really matters.
It comes with online training and a private Facebook group. To inspire and help you even more, EVERY purchaser of the planner journal will get access to 2 hours of online training, plus our active private Facebook group to share your questions, challenges and successes along the way.
And if you want even more support and accountability, join our special Dream Plan Do VIP club and international online community!
DREAM PLAN DO uses proven tricks, tools and techniques to stop you procrastinating and help you to make the right decisions for your business, get into action and stay on track. Each month, you’ll work on the most appropriate aspect of your business, slowly building up to launching your collection at the perfect time to make the most of your sales season!
Step-by-step to your best year ever!
With Dream Plan Do, you’ll work on the right thing at the right time. From your strategic 'Big Picture' hopes and dream, to quarterly plans and goals, to the very practical monthly and weekly plans and to-do lists.
You’ll tackle your business in a logical and timely way, making full use of your quieter months to get ready for your busy season – whether that’s the run-up to Christmas or another time of year. In 2018 you will stop wasting your time and get ready to make the most of what you've got!
You’ll look at ALL aspects of your business – even the ones you’d prefer to avoid, like marketing and finances! You’ll ‘put your big girl’s pants on’ and make this the year you get serious about making a success of your creative business.
You will be more focused and in control because…
You will focus on what really matters and start to make time for that. By writing down and visualising what you really want from life and your business, you'll set out YOUR path. By regularly reviewing you'll see how far you have come already, and adjust if need be. And by planning ahead in the long and short term, you'll focus on turning your dreams into action.
Even the biggest challenges (such as launching a new collection or website, getting more wholesale or online sales, moving home or studio, or getting back on track once your kids are at school) will be broken down into small, do-able steps.
You’ll focus on YOUR ideal clients: how to identify them, get to know them, approach them professionally and launch a collection they won’t be able to resist buying!
And you’ll do it YOUR way! Use your planner journal to work on your business creatively - when and where it suits you best, whether that’s on the sofa with the cat on your lap on Sunday evenings, or over a coffee in your favourite café.
Take your first step: pledge today!
How can DREAM PLAN DO help me?
DREAM PLAN DO uses proven tools and techniques to help you:
- Think BIGGER - stop fantasising and start to look at your 'BIG picture'
- Tackle big ideas and projects in manageable, do-able steps.
- Make decisions - confidently
- Prioritise to use your time, money and energy wisely
- Plan ahead and get off the hamster wheel!
- Review & learn from your mistakes and successes
- Get into action AND stay on track
- Quarter by quarter
- Month by month
- Week by week
PLEDGE TODAY to make 2018 your best year yet.
What’s in your planner?
- Bite-size chunks of invaluable information on ALL aspects of running a business
- A different topic each month so that you will create the right business for you and your ideal clients step-by-step. From setting financial goals to branding and marketing, to selling online and social media.
- Thought-provoking & reflective questions to help you explore your vision
- Practical creative exercises to help you visualise, brainstorm and doodle your way to success! Did you know that if you write your goals down you are 40% more likely to achieve them?
- Juicy goals (set by you!) lasting 90 days – the scientifically proven best timescale to make changes without losing momentum
- Visual quarterly + annual reviews of how both you and your business are doing
- Strategies (and tricks!) to help you overcome procrastination and stay on track
Meet the expert behind DREAM PLAN DO
DREAM PLAN DO has been created by Patricia van den Akker, the Director of The Design Trust in London (UK), the online business school for designers and makers.
Patricia has worked as a creative business adviser, trainer and coach for over 15 years, and she's worked with thousands of small businesses, especially in crafts, design, giftware and homewares for over 20 years.
She's an expert in training and supporting sole traders, freelancers and small business owners to start and grow into successful creative businesses.
The planner that comes with a coach
EVERYONE who backs the Dream Plan Do 2018 planner journal on Kickstarter or purchases it later online will get exclusive access to 2 hours of online training - a series of practical 10-15 minute online videos, coaching you through the exercises in the book. Available from January 2018.
You can also join our private Facebook group for Dream Plan Do-ers, to get a weekly thought-provoking question from Patricia as well as support and feedback from designer-makers like you around the world.
Your Planner is like a private journal
It’s the perfect place to jot down those unfledged ideas you’re not yet ready to show anyone, or to brain-dump those fears that chase around your head at 3am.
When you put pen to paper something powerful happens.
Your ideas become more real.
Your commitment grows.
You can literally see yourself making progress.
This is YOUR chance to create a personalised, step-by-step route to your goals.
Remember, this is about building a successful creative business, on your terms.
Only YOU know what that success looks like.
And as you go through the exercises in the planner, you’ll discover what works best for you.
About to PLEDGE for your planner?
Wait just a moment ...
The DREAM PLAN DO wall planner is a very practical but useful wall planner for craft and design businesses:
- A practical A2 size that you can hang horizontally or vertically
- Space for your appointments and events
- With all the major design/craft events in the UK and abroad & the major gift festivals and other memorable days all in one place
- On the reverse you will find another favourite planning tool from me to plan your year ahead
The DREAM PLAN DO Wall Planner works in partnership with your journal planner.
If the journal planner is your private space to plan, the wall planner is your public facing pledge to take action!
This high quality A2 size (594 x 420mm, 16.5 x 23.4in) wall planner shows all the days of the year and is ideal for pinning up in your work space.
Beautifully designed, it enables you to fill in your meetings and deadlines, but also make time for your goals and actions, giving you a complete overview of your year, month by month.
The Dream Plan Do planner journal
The Dream Plan Do journal is available:
- With 2 different colour cover options: cool aqua or golden ochre with stripes. You will be able to choose which colour cover you want when we send out the post-Kickstarter campaign questionnaire in early November.
- In A4 (29.7 x 21cm, 11.7 x 8.3in) or A5 format (21 x 14.8cm, 8.3 x 5.8in). PLEASE NOTE: The A4 planner journal will ONLY be available during the Kickstarter campaign, and will not be available to purchase online later.
- In softback and a more durable hardback, perfect for 'on-the-go' planning. To see what you will get in both options see below.
The DREAM PLAN DO VIP CLUB
Do you want extra accountability and support to make 2018 your best year yet?
Join our Dream Plan DO VIP CLUB!
The DREAM PLAN DO VIP Club is our exclusive online training and support community, hosted by me - Patricia van den Akker.
It’s open to professional creatives of any age, any discipline and any level of business experience, anywhere in the world.
Think about it.
If your goal was to get fit, you’d probably achieve more by engaging a personal trainer or joining a regular exercise class.
If you were looking to lose weight, you’d at least consider joining a diet club.
Why? Because they not only give you regular access to an experienced professional, they also provide a support group of like-minded people, looking to achieve the same goals, who can share their experiences and egg you on when you feel like quitting.
Learning from others.
Sharing successes and setbacks.
Giving and receiving support. That’s how goals are achieved in life.
So why should running your own creative business be any different?
Join the DREAM PLAN DO VIP CLUB
and you will receive:
- The A5 hardback planner journal. You can choose which colour you want when you fill in the post-campaign questionnaire in early November.
- The unique option to get the planner journal dedicated (to yourself or somebody else as this is a popular gift option! Hint to your partner?) with a signature or dedication by Patricia van den Akker, the creator of DPD.
- The A2 wall planner with the dates of all the UK design + craft events
- Every month, 2 hours of online training with creative business expert Patricia van den Akker based on that month's topic: 1 hour going into that month's topic in more depth + 1 hour for Q&A or a 'clinic' to review up to 4 members' quarterly plans and goals or specific exercises. Patricia will discuss selected members' plans online. Each session will be recorded and you can join us live or watch it when it suits you, again and again. A unique opportunity to ask questions and to stay on track.
- Join our private online community for DPD VIP members on Ruzuku, where you will find all the recordings of the sessions + presentations + other resources. You can also network with other creative professional VIP members from across the world, ask questions and get additional feedback. You will have access to this online community for 18 months till June 2019.
- We will help to match you to an accountability partner - each VIP member who wants to get more accountability to stay on track will be matched with another VIP member.
- Get downloadable & printable PDFs of all the main planning tools in the journal planner in A4 format - so you can plan to your heart's content, have a bit more space for your plans and start again on something if necessary.
- Additional resources: Get 2 hours of online resources on our main website + access to our private Dream Plan Do 2018 Facebook group.
A BIG THANK YOU
Dream Plan Do is very much the brain child of Patricia van den Akker, creative business adviser, trainer and coach, and the Director of The Design Trust in London.
But I couldn't have done it without some incredibly supportive people around me!
Firstly my husband Guy Sexty, who is my rock and has always believed in my dreams. He also is the Head Designer of The Design Trust so-to-speak, besides his regular job ...
Thank you too to Yeshen + Tash Venema + their team, who have again created a wonderful video and images. You have managed again to turn my ideas and vision into a campaign that I'm proud of. And I look even half-decent in the film!
Thank you Catherine Russell, Colin Scotland + Judith Evans for all the hard work behind the scenes and help me to make the heavy lifting so much easier and fun!
Thank you to all the designers and the London Design Fair for allowing us to film you and your work, including Jenny from Studio Flock, Pui from Scout Editions, Emergents/Craft Scotland, Linda from Linda Bloomfield. You can also see the wonderful ceramics of Jill Shaddock, Emma Lacey and Cor Unum. And Chris from Cookie cafe in Oakwood.
Risks and challenges
Many Kickstarter projects deliver late, due to manufacturing and shipping problems.
Last year I launched Dream Plan Do on Kickstarter for the very first time, and we delivered it all in time, and we learnt a lot in the process, which I am using this time round. We will start printing (and therefore hopefully shipping!) more than 3 weeks earlier than last year to avoid the major Christmas rush.
Again I am working with a marvellous team of designers and printers, who have a lot of experience.
I am working with the same printers as last time, and they delivered a very high quality product with the best glues to ensure that your planner won't fall apart (even after heavy use)!
This time round we again created various prototypes, which we've been using to test them out. We became aware of some issues and have ensured that we are able to give you a high-quality product with non-bleed paper.
The planner is written, and being edited as we speak, so we will be able to go to print as soon as the campaign is finished. We have got time to fix things if they go wrong. The printing will take a couple of days, and I am very keen to start shipping the softback planners and wall planners at the end of November, and the hardbacks in the beginning of December, so that you can start them in the New Year or give them as a wonderful Christmas present.
We are keeping a close eye on the success of the campaign, and if it looks like getting too successful, we may have to limit the amount of copies that we print this year (but only once we are talking about printing thousands!). I prefer to send out a good quality product to a smaller group of people, than thousands of inferior products!
And we are in touch with our printers (based in England) to ensure that they are able to deliver high-quality products on time.
The wall planner is designed and the final event dates will be slotted in in early November. This is a fairly straightforward printing job, and we have a local London printer doing this for us.
We also have a bigger team than last year ready to help with dispatch.
In terms of the DREAM PLAN DO VIP Club - this is what I do for a living! I run a very successful online business school for designers and makers, and have been using the software to broadcast, record and create a thriving online community for the last 6 years. Yes, things occasionally go wrong, but I have always managed to solve these issues.
If a problem comes up with your planner or wall planner, do get in touch immediately as I want to make sure that you are absolutely happy with the quality of our DREAM PLAN DO products. Because I really do care about good quality and good customer care. If you have got any questions then do get in touch.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)