Sunday, 18 March 2012

Design & the Market: Identifying Customers, Blueprint Modelling & Relationship Modelling.

After reading book three of the ‘NESTA’ toolkit ‘Choosing Your Path’ our workshop went over it in more detail and we filled in the worksheets provided.

Firstly we needed to identify potential customers for our business, if we can’t imagine or don’t know who they are then they won’t exist! My customer group would be business owners perhaps about to open a restaurant or shop. I found this sheet quite easy to fill out I particularly liked drawing a picture of my customer. However I did find the bottom section a little tricky as I’m not sure how much designers usually charge for their work and how many people in the area would be interested in the work I would offer. I feel that more experience and talking to people in industry would give me a better understanding of this.

The next stage was ‘Blueprint Modelling’ which is designed to help visualise how the business will function and describe how business will be done. As my business plan is to start an Interior Design company specialising in interior branding I felt most of my stages were similar to what I already do when carrying out a project. All the items in the ‘Backstage’ section; researching, reading, sketching, developing ideas, getting feedback, are all things I do now. The items in the ‘Onstage’ section I also do now but instead of doing them for a client they are for my tutor.

The next image is the map of my blueprint model including all the steps needed to deliver my service.

‘Relationship Modelling’ identifies the relationships needed to make the necessary steps when running a business happen. For example I may need to employ someone in P.R. to attract clients for me, I will probably need to employ staff or have a partner to produce designs and share the work load. When distributing my product I will need to hire builders and other contactors to carry out the final stages and build my design which is my finished product.

The business I have been working on for the past few weeks is not one I will start up straight after university as I feel I would like to work for someone to gain experience but I’m really enjoying the workshops. As the weeks go by and we’ve been filling in the worksheets they have made me focus and think in more detail about the types of things you must think about before starting a business.

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