Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Optician Project: Switching the focus

FreeFoto.comI'm an optician, I'm about to leave my premises to put advertising leaflets on the windscreens of local cars. I have hired a temp to help me distribute the leaflets. We have fifty leaflets each to distribute.

In the previous post -- Listing key information with category-triggers -- I showed how the category-triggers can be used to list key information. However, when I am doing this listing (or have completed the listing) I can find that my attention is drawn to some information that seems as though it would be a good subject itself for the listing of information with the category-triggers.

For example, when listing places relevant to the leaflet project, one of the places listed was: the optician's premises. The premises would make a worthy subject for the listing of information and I can opt to make the premises my main focus; if I am Mind mapping "the optician's premises" becomes the centre of the Mind map.

Listing key information with category-triggers

As the optician's premises is now my main focus of attention I can apply the procedure described in the last post -- the listing of key information with the category-triggers. However, here's an important point: when I get to the stage of listing projects (of the optician's premises) the first project I should list is the optician's project -- the distribution of the leaflets to attract new customers. It's almost as though the premises and the project have swapped places in the Mind map -- the optician's premises becomes the centre of the Mind map and the project (leaflet distribution) becomes a branch of that Mind map (click to enlarge)

The optician's premises: information listed with category-triggers

Opening time. First customer of day arrives. New stock arrives. Closing time. Anniversary of first opening.

The Christmas period. The half hour it takes for an eye-test. Weekends. The business year. Purchase made.

The front counter. The display area (for glasses). The front window. The eye-test room. The forecourt.

The leaflet distribution. Arranging the displays. General maintenance. Utilizing latest technology. Finding the right product for each customer.

Me (as optician). The receptionist. All customers. Rival opticians. Dissatisfied customers.

The ambience. The winter/summer temperature. The risk of vandalism/shoplifting. Demand. Size of premises.

Any glasses on display. Contact lenses. The telephone. Eye-test equipment. Furniture.

Receiving a phone call. Cleaning. Maintaining records. Greeting customers. Arranging stock layout.

The option to stay mindful of the original focus

It may well be that both the premises and the project (leaflet distribution) are worthy focuses in their own right and can thus be treated as separate entities. However, I may choose to remain mindful of the original focus (the leaflet distribution project) as I list information about the premises. Here is an example of how that can be a valuable strategy:

When I listed places relevant to the premises I listed the forecourt. Now if I turn my attention to the original focus -- the leaflet distribution project -- I see that the leaflets were listed as one of the leaflet distribution project's objects. Turning my thoughts to creativity I can "cross-pollinate" (the forecourt and the leaflets) to create an idea: the forecourt could have an advertising board that is similar in appearance to the leaflets -- same colouring, style and logo etc. Thus the "brand" of this opticians will be more recognisable, and any leaflet-recipient seeking the opticians will immediately recognise the optician's shop as the place they need to go.


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