Before we get started with today’s blog post, just a quick reminder that we launched the Hope in Hell newsletter and postcards this week! You can find out more here.
Today I’ve been working on blueprint modelling, using a couple of ideas from the NESTA handbook. They say that companies work in 3 essential stages:
- Engagement Stage – planning your business, engaging with your customers etc
- Development Stage – designing and creating your business
- Delivery Stage – the time it takes to get your product/service to the customer
They also want you to think about your activities in each of these 3 stages as either “on stage”, or “off stage” – on stage things are seen by the customer, they’re public, and they can plausibly be paid for by a customer. Off stage things, meanwhile, are behind the scenes – you can’t charge a customer for the marketing materials you used to entice them in, for example. That sort of cost has to come from your profit.
I found this approach difficult, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’m trying to do everything on stage, in the sense that it is all public and subject to scrutiny. Secondly, I have two types of customer, the artists and the audience, so things which are hidden from the audience (such as rehearsals) are foregrounded for the artists.
Despite my reservations, it’s definitely worth thinking about the theatre as a process, or flow, rather than an active and total whole. Its also good to consider which parts of the business can be directly paid for, and which bits need to come out of profit.
Speaking of which, tomorrow is a very exciting blog post! For me! Because I have been doing some budgeting exercises and I’d really like to share them! So watch this space.