I’ve written about the strategic planning day we did for my business, and I showed you the view from the hotel and the whiteboard. But I haven’t said anything about the outcome. So here goes… my first attempt at a coherent summary.
Starting today I’ll focus more of my time on “media stuff” rather than “IT stuff”. I’ll include Internet-related media in the mix, but I’ll phase out the time I spend farting around with other people’s computers. I’m interested in computers and the Internet as tools to achieve my own goals, not fixing other people’s tools. I hope to get all the hands-on IT stuff off my plate by the end of September.
This “media stuff” includes quite a few projects, some of which have been slowly incubating for years. There’s 3 book concepts (one of which would also make a good TV series), a set of 6 short films, a piece of music and a couple of things which will take the form of blogs. These will start being developed under the (probable) name Skank Media — more of that one day very soon.
I must admit, I’ve been longing to return to my media roots for ages. It feels good to see a coherent plan emerging to achieve just that.
So what happens to the existing business?
I still want to work with small businesses and their information systems — but by helping them make better use of emerging Internet technologies. And doing that within a planned framework — not just responding to failures or ad hoc requests. We may still provide IT support services, or that might be outsourced, but it certainly won’t be me worrying about misbehaving printers or crawling under desks fixing cables.
My friend and colleague Zern Liew developed a 3-point to-do list which is a delightful example of simplicity:
- Don’t take on any new clients of the wrong sort. Knowing that you can say “Sorry, I don’t do that any more” is immensely empowering.
- Work out how to transition the existing clients. That’s what I’m working on today, and I hope to have contacted every existing Prussia.Net client by the end of business tomorrow.
- Start the new business. Well, there’s a lot under that one point. And there’s actually two businesses to think about: Skank Media and whatever Prussia.Net evolves into. But it puts the focus onto the future, not the past.
I feel really good about this. My target mix for the rest of this month is 20 hours per week billable time on IT and Internet work for existing clients, 10 hours on redeveloping Prussia.Net and 10 hours on Skank Media. Plus the usual extra 10 or 15 or 20 hours on making everything else work. I’ll report back on Friday evening.