I have a little over 2 weeks before I begin my 1 billion ISK low sec challenge. I'm really glad that our characters train skills in real time no matter what, because while I'm busy with my two main characters I can train up a third. I have a PI/datacore farming/mining/tech 1 hauler alt who usually just zips around in a Venture visiting R&D agents. But now that I'm expanding my goals, that pilot is going to have a bigger role.
I have a gaping hole in my ammunition product line. I try to cater to Minmatar ships because that's what I fly and if something doesn't sell, I can always use it at a later date. I manufacture standard missiles, but I don't offer Caldari faction missiles, mainly because my characters have great standings with the Minmatar and Gallente. Great standings with those two usually means poor standings with the Caldari. Somehow Wandering Rose managed to maintain positive standings with the Caldari (social skills FTW) but I have other plans. Like datacore farming.
One of my personal rules in EVE Online is to try to accomplish multiple goals with a single task. So what I want to do is grind standings with a Caldari NPC corporation that has R&D agents. Not only do I get the loyalty points needed for purchasing Caldari faction missiles, but at the end of the grind I get access to a greater selection of level 4 R&D agents. More importantly, I'll have 3 pilots with access to level 4 R&D agents. As I continue to grind the loyalty points, I'll eventually reach 6.67 standings with the corporation, which means perfect refining is possible in that corporation's stations. If I go at it long enough, I'll even reach 8.0 and have access to buy jump clones without having to go through a corporation. That's always convenient.
With increased importance comes more expensive ships. My alt will switch from flying a Venture to a Prorator, which is the best blockade runner for doing courier missions. I still need to train Evasive Maneuvering to 5 and my social skills up to maximize my standings and loyalty point gains, but that's no reason to not start flying now. Of course, the fact that I'm doing other things on my main characters does keep me from taking my new Prorator for a spin. Which is why I'm so glad I don't have to actually do things on my alt to increase skills.
My plan is that by the time 1 March arrives that my alt will have at least standings of 3.0 with my target Caldari corporation so that I'm running level 3 courier missions. I think I can push that to 5.0 and level 4 missions by then, but I don't want to let optimism rule my decision-making. And then I can put even more products out for sale.