Case Study

Creating Freedom to Play


Cloudfields developed a business plan for Practice Y taking into consideration the Founder’s lifestyle and ambitions for the future which included their desire to build a self-funded Art + R&D arm for their business. With a strategic plan in place based on their business objectives, we created a financial model that provided opportunity to fund research and creative work alongside paid work with a rationalised, sustainable business model that offered direction for the future.

The details

Practice Y approached us requesting support with articulating a plan for their business. Their company had been set up a year earlier and was now reaching a point where it needed real direction for growth that incorporated the Founder’s lifestyle and ambitions. The previous year was a growth year in terms of establishing the offering and relationship nurturing but now was the time to think deeply about why Practice Y existed and where it wanted to go in the future. Cloudfields proposed creating a business plan for them which gave them the opportunity to dream about the future while practically understanding what was required in the present to get there.

We wanted to create a realistic plan for Practice Y that took into consideration where the design industry sat in terms of the pandemic, but one that also gave some perspective on what the Founder was trying to achieve in the long term, giving them the confidence to move forward with a business that serves their needs and goals.

As is standard for Cloudfields, we built the plan from a clear purpose + mission, as it is essential work from which to build a cohesive brand and company structure. The Founder of Practice Y is intensely creative and business admin is not something they actively enjoy, so we needed to build a company structure around the need to make art for arts’ sake, as well as create simple and clear infrastructure for financial management, so the Founder’s focus and time wasn’t weighed down too much with admin.

The Business Plan for Practice Y took the standard form of a business plan, which alongside purpose + mission, articulated clear values, goals and operational infrastructure. It articulated some simple marketing tools that the Founder could employ to build his business further.

The financial modelling, while digging into longer-term numbers and goal-setting, also included three basic pieces of information that the Founder could easily remember to help keep them financially stable in the present:

An understanding of base costs per month which lead to…
A baseline of sales required each month to cover costs and wages, as well as…
A small percentage of all sales to be set aside to fund creative and art-based projects.

The key for this was to help the Founder understand that their time has a cost to their business, meaning if they are spending time working on unpaid work, they are draining their business of resources. Cloudfields created infrastructure to help them have both – financial stability to do creative, unpaid work, but simple financial modelling to keep the business financially stable.

To date, the Founder of Practice Y has created a business that works for them: one that gives them the freedom to make and create, but one that also offers financial stability, and a plan. A Business Plan’s true purpose is not to be rigid and adhered to strictly, but to offer its owner the chance to think wider and longer than the present, so that as things inevitable adjust and meander in the process of growing a business, the long-term vision remains with a proactive instead of reactionary approach. Ultimately, a business’s purpose and plan is unique to the founder as anything, and a business should be built accordingly. Cloudfields’ work with Practice Y gave us the opportunity to reiterate our belief that business is not one-size-fits all, and we can help create structure and simple metrics to make a business work for the Founder, and ultimately, it’s clients and team.