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!

2 thoughts on “Free for All: The Customer Love Challenge”

    1. I’m glad you asked! Let’s start with the second question because it tells me something about the answer to the first.

      So, how to get started with bookkeeping if you’re wary of the numbers? It might help to know that the definition of bookkeeping is “recording financial transactions.” That’s it, nothing special required and no mention of numbers at all.

      As you work into getting comfortable with bookkeeping for your business, keep in mind that the numbers are really just information about the health of your business. It’s the math-ness that throws you off. Think of the bookkeeping as routine housekeeping or drawing practice to keep things in order.

      Where you start with that depends on where you’re at now. If you have no system at all, the best place to start is with making sure your check register/listing is complete and includes everything that goes in or out of the bank account. Start with the most recent bank balance and keep a running total of the cash balance going forward. It’s a simple system that can yield a lot of information. As long as you get in the habit of entering every transaction, you won’t have too much figuring to do other than some addition and subtraction. (Here’s a description of the bare minimum you need.)

      If you’re already keeping a detailed register and perhaps some other paper records, you might be ready to move to a computerized system. I say might because there are cases where the time and effort involved to learn and use an electronic system isn’t really worth it. (I talked about that some in this post.) With that in mind, you would want to start with the least complicated and expensive system that suits your needs.

      Now we come to your first question – accounting software for the Mac. One option is the UK based which is an online package offering features similar to QuickBooks. It’s a monthly fixed cost plan with a free trial. QuickBooks itself is the ubiquitous small business accounting program with a UK version as well as an online plan. Either of these is likely to suit your needs from small to large businesses but will both require a bit of time and effort to learn and set up. (Read about the QuickBooks question here.)

      I hope this helps and answered your questions. If it just stirred up more questions, go ahead and keep asking!

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