A new year to Dream, Plan, Do!


A year spread out ahead can be both exciting and refreshing and daunting and overwhelming. Lots of makers and artists are busy making exhibition plans, designing new ranges and developing their skills, whilst others are finding it hard to find that elusive post-Christmas holiday mojo! Whichever position you’re in, January is a time when we can all feel the pressure to have a clear direction, but this isn’t always conducive to a maker or artist who craves creative freedom. Running a business can get in the way of creativity. We’re also facing a year of uncertainty and change, and this is bound to make it harder to make plans. We’ve heard good things from some of our makers about The Design Trust’s ‘Dream, Plan, Do’ planner. It helps makers and artists put some structure into their lives in a supportive way, giving them a monthly focus in order to enable them to work on developing all aspects of their businesses. We caught up with The Design Trust to find out more…

The Design Trust is an online business school for small creative businesses. Set up in 1994, its key function was and still remains today, to support designers, makers and artists who want to set up in business but lack the necessary commercial skills. Creatives are taught the trade; making, techniques, design, but when it comes to selling the work and effectively running a business, training and education is most often lacking. The Design Trust, headed by Patricia van den Akker, seeks to offer business skills training for creative businesses via online learning, workshops and free resources through its website and social media channels.

Dream Plan Do is a planner written by Patricia in 2016. The book is based on Patricia’s 25+ years’ experience as a business adviser, trainer and coach to thousands of creatives, especially designers and makers.  Dream Plan Do was the result of Patricia seeing so many creative businesses struggle. Stepping out of a creative education or trying to turn a creative hobby into a business is extremely difficult with no business training. Making something beautiful is one thing, selling it to someone is a whole other story. Patricia saw that many makers lacked business knowledge as well as focus. They weren’t setting clear goals, nor were they working on their finances or marketing. They simply weren’t making enough money for all the hard work they were putting in to creating.

Patricia says, “What started as an idea in my head has become this wonderful ‘adventure’ book for so many creatives on this journey. I’m so proud of what creatives across the world have achieved because of Dream Plan Do! They’ve made fundamental changes in their lives and businesses, launched new collections and better websites. They have dared to approach new clients and dreamed bigger dreams. They have truly grown. On their own terms.”

The planner contains practical planning tools and check lists with expert business advice to get creatives more focused and organised. New for this year, Dream Plan Do has organised accountability groups in Bristol, Worthing, Cheshire and Cornwall with more in the pipeline where owners of the planner can meet up every month to talk about struggles, celebrate successes and discuss next steps. A busy Facebook community offers a place to share stories, concerns and share advice on all matters relating to running a small business.

The online Dream Plan Do VIP CLUB offers members bi monthly online training from Patricia in topics connected with the chapters of the book. It gives members the opportunity to learn not only from Patricia but also from other creatives, to ask questions, to chat, to be accountable, and to feel part of something.

The Design Trust has received some very positive feedback…

“DPD VIP Club is the best value for money I have ever spent on my business. With just the planner, on my own, I know I would have fallen by the wayside (I know what I’m like!) instead I have had bi monthly support from Patricia who has been very generous with her time and information, in the form of webinars, one to ones and downloads. Coupled with an accountability partner (now friend,) I am still here good and strong.”

For me it has been the Wheels that have really brought things home for me. That I don’t want to settle anymore and that I CAN change things for myself, that I CAN make a difference, and that if the first thing doesn’t work, to try another and another and not to give up.”

If this sounds like the tool you need for your creative business, you can find out more about Dream Plan Do and buy the planner, wall chart and join the VIP Club at: https://www.dream-plan-do.com/shop or search #dreamplando2019 on Instagram where the community has been busy sharing their images and stories.

And, as a little something for madebyhandonline followers, Patricia is offering 10% off the Dream Plan Do planner journal, the wall planner or the Dream Plan Do VIP club which includes two monthly online training sessions + a lot more accountability!  All you need to do is go to www.dream-plan-do.com/shop/ and place your order. Then use this promo code: MBHELLO

Please note the offer code needs to be all in capitals. That’s it!  The offer code is valid until 27 January 2019.

Many thanks to The Design Trust and we wish everyone a healthy and happy 2019, whatever it may bring…

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