My initial goal with PI while in the hole is to minimize risk to my ships while getting my ISK earning started quickly. That means I want minimal ship runs. Minimal runs to me means not having to move resources from one planet to another. There are no P4 products where this is possible. However, there are a few P3 products that you can produce on a single planet. They can make you as much ISK as a P4 product, if diligently handled.
So why P3 and not P4 items? Well, it has to do with cargo hauling capacity. My Viator has 3750m3 in its cargo hold without cargo expanders. I use inertia stabs to make the Viator quick as possible - it's all about risk reduction don't you know. A single P4 product takes 100m3. A single P3 item takes 6m3. I can haul a lot more P3 than P4 items. They may sell for less, but I get a lot more out with every run. That makes the overall profit nearly the same when you take into account the shorter amount of time spent making them. Again, no planet to planet transfers and one less production step means less time in process. Never forget time is money.
First, I needed to know what I could actually produce on the planets in the hole. You can ID these resources using Eve Planets. Click on a single planet and then click on "Push." When the site refreshes, it will tell you what products you can produce with the planets selected. By selecting only one planet you see what it alone can produce.
As for which planets to choose, I choose the more rare planets because less people produce those things. Then I choose the ones with the smaller diameters because link costs suck. If you have a choice of two gas giants and one is 50,000 km in diameter and the other three times that, why pick the one that will triple your link costs? If you don't want to log into Eve to see your planetary diameters, you can always use DotLan but it requires several clicks to get where you want to go. I like Eve Eye. It has a more streamlined interface for my purposes and provides other very interesting information with links to Evelopedia, Eve Survival and other really useful sites.
Of course, it was not enough to just make these decisions and not know what the potential profit would be. Before investing in any venture you should know how your investment cost stack up against potential profit. My initial setup is not designed to maximize profit in the traditional sense: maximum production of most valuable commodities. It is designed to minimize risk. That will initially preserve profits as I learn how to live in my new home. Ship replacement costs could easily eat up any extra profit I make going the more traditional route. I am very cognizant of that fact and you should be as well if you've never lived in a WH.
What I needed next was a spread sheet - of course. The spreadsheet would tell me how profitable these P3 products might be. To create the spread sheet I pulled that static data for PI products from the EveHQ database (for now.) There is also the option (for now) to use the CCP provided official database. _noise_ over on The Phoenix Diaries did a great piece last Sunday on how to set this up. When you marry this up with Blake's wealth of knowledge over on K162 you can do just about anything. Unfortunately I have to say "for now" because CCP, in their infinite bone-headedness (and I say that with extreme affection,) are dumping the SQL database download for an all text yaml file system and we'll all have to do this all over again. ARRRRGGG!
Anyway, what I finally ended up with was a nice table that looked like this.
But understand, this is all just INITIALLY. I can't stress that enough. There are far more profitable PI setups in our hole. They would require multiple planetary transfers to maintain however. When I am more sure of WH life, I will no doubt reconfigure my planets and attempt to maximize my profit. When I do, I will be sure to let all of you know.