Dissertation Prep with Theo Humphries

I had a clear idea from the start that I want to do an enterprise plan for my dissertation. I’ve thought about starting an online shop selling my own designs for a long time, so I thought it would be a perfect way to tie my dissertation into my own practice. Also I wanted to challenge myself as I know next to nothing about how to run your own business, but I feel like it would be a good skill to have for the future.

What I found most useful was the one-on-one talk with Theo, as I felt most of the group talks and lectures we had had before were more geared towards people writing a thesis than a business plan.

What I struggled with was that I didn’t know what my “question” was, as I felt an enterprise plan didn’t really have one, and what the title of my dissertation should be but Theo helped me out with both. We also talked about getting ethics approval, as I might be planning to do some interviews for my dissertation.

I learned that for my dissertation I need to read a wide range of books and journals papers, ranging from business plan writing to fashion industry research.

Theo suggested I should get in touch with the student entrepreneurship people in our university. I took his advice and arranged a meeting with Lee Sharma who is the start-up manager at the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship. Lee told me that the basis of any good business plan is market research, so I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to start to do first. I’m also looking into how to register myself as a sole trader or possibly as a limited company.

I also need to find a way to “test the market” by putting my designs out in the world and seeing if people think they are worth paying for. I’ve already started by starting a tumblr blog (www.vampire-finch.tumblr.com) where I post my illustrations and designs. So far the response I’ve got has been been good, but I need to get opinions from a wider range of people.


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