How are Sheep and Free Cell Phones Alike?

Sheep
Creative Commons License photo credit: Brainedge

We’ve all seen these offers: Free Cell phone! Free Credit Report! Low Monthly Payments!

They’re so friendly, like the fluffy sheep at the petting zoo (maybe a little smelly but in that good, earthy kind of way).

Their happy bleats are enticing: Only $10 a month to join the Business Hotline Reporting News, or just $20 to monitor who’s checking you out on the I-Quiz Social Network, or pennies a day for the Porridge-of-the-month club. You get all warm and fuzzy petting the little critters and decide to adopt them. It feels good to take them home and the monthly feedings seem easy enough to handle, so it’s not going to hurt anything. Continue reading How are Sheep and Free Cell Phones Alike?

Customer Service: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish?

O Canada
Creative Commons License photo credit: Michael Scheltgen

True Story – Jacaranda Designs

This is the first of a periodic series of the business experiences of real people. Today, we’ll hear from Jane of Jacaranda Designs on Etsy. Jane sells one of a kind vintage inspired beaded and metal jewelry with a sharp eye on customer service. Continue reading Customer Service: Penny Wise or Pound Foolish?

Free for All: The Customer Love Challenge

Sweet Little Bird
Creative Commons License photo credit: geishaboy500

Well, that sounds a little pervy doesn’t it? It’s really not; let me explain.

LaVonne Ellis, who is The Complete Flake (no really, she calls herself that), took a leap in November of last year and hosted the very first ever customer love challenge in which participants were challenged to lavish time and attention and LOVE on their customers for 28 days with no strings attached. The last two days were left for asking for something back.

LaVonne must have gotten more than she bargained for because she’s hosting it again this November with help and a dedicated website.

The Love in Action

I want you to ask those questions about your business management and accounting that you’ve been putting off, don’t know who to ask or aren’t quite sure what to ask. Ask me and I’ll give you an answer – for free this month.

Like This:

You can ask something like “Am I charging enough for the sparkly fizzle doodle I make?” Send along as much information as you have (it’s all confidential – I promise) on your current price per fizzle, the cost of materials to make it and the time it takes.  I’ll figure a bit and Poof, an answer!

Or, say you don’t quite have all that on hand and the question is more like “I’m not really sure how much it costs to make my fabulous sticky snoodles, can you help me figure that out?” Sure, just include a listing (nothing fancy) of the amounts you’ve spent for materials and supplies, how long it takes to make a snoodle and how many you’ve made over the last few months. I’ll take a look at that pile of information and Presto, an answer!

Maybe you’ve got questions like “My interlocking ingerrands are selling well but I’m not making as much as I thought. Can you help?” Yes, if you tell me some basic figures for sales, expenses and how much it costs to make an ingerrand (a standard profit and loss statement, that would do it too). I’ll analyze your numbers and Voila, an answer!

But I don’t know enough to ask!

Don’t think you have to know the question. Just ask what you think is the right question. This is all strictly confidential – no one will see and I’ll help you get to the question you really want.

Don’t think you have to have scads of information to back up a question either. Just send what you have. You’d be amazed (maybe even a little frightened) by how much I can tell from a few numbers and I’ll ask if I need more.

Details,  Details

You may have noticed that these examples are all about management and accounting. That’s because most tax matters are best left to your local tax experts. Each taxing jurisdiction has its own fiendishly complex rules and you’re better off with someone who can hack through that particular jungle. General questions are fine though.

Oh, there’s no limit on the number of questions. Please, send one at a time. I’ll work through them in the order they come in. Some may take longer than others with more details or longer research and analysis.

So, Go Ahead, Send ‘Em In!

Click Here to send a question – or just to say hi, I’d like that too!

Splashy Modified Contour Drawings

My friend, a lovely neighbor and ikebana artist, was lamenting her drawing skills so I was all “Do the exercises in “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”* and then realized I haven’t done it myself in a long time. Since I’ve been feeling an urge to do something more free form and direct and after telling her that, I had to take my own advice! Continue reading Splashy Modified Contour Drawings