Singapore, 5th February 2014
In transit in Singapore on my way through to Perth tomorrow I spent a good part of the day planning ahead. My schedule for the year is filling up very, very fast and any plans that I had of taking a little break for my 60th (!) birthday later this year seem less and less likely to happen. With speaking engagements already locked in for Qatar and Las Vegas’ Light Fair as well as other project commitments over the next couple of months forward thinking is very much a pre-requisite in running a business, certainly your own! Anticipate client moves and schedules, plan your own moves and schedules. And all that is unknowing of the unexpected and as of all of you, you have to expect the unexpected in our line of work at any time. You may throw family commitments in the mix here as well!
Just over the last week we received two “cold” calls from potential customers wishing to appoint us and asking us to come to site within the shortest of times to give start to the project (of course they waited way too long as usual to even consider the appointment of a lighting designer, but that is another story all together). For one these the fee proposal was approved by return, appointment fees paid and as we speak two of my colleagues are on their way to site…the other one may well be confirmed over the next few days with a site visit requested for the end of the month…
The morale of the story is that in your forward thinking, you need to keep your schedule free for at least 20-30% of your time in anticipation of the unexpected, including attending to our own in-house work schedules. Over time you learn how to deal with this sort of planning, but it certainly is something that many young practices (as I absolutely experienced when I started my own practice) have a hard time dealing with, often disappointing the client in the process..
Light Watch 5-16: Since I am talking about thinking ahead, a lot of planning and thinking happens in a library. Some amazing libraries exist in the world…and lighting (both natural and artificial) is a very important and integral part of it!