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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!

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The Two Essential Skills You Need to Start Your Business

Creative Commons License photo credit: Legozilla

I’ve worked with many people over the years who started out unsure of themselves in their new business. “But, I don’t know anything about accounting,” they would practically wail in my office. My answer was usually something that boiled down to “So what?”

That’s right, knowing about accounting (or how to fix a copy machine or the airspeed of an unladen swallow) has nothing to do with your ultimate success as a business owner.

I believe there are two things that do matter – a lot.


You have to know the thing you’re in business for. If you make one-of-a-kind art jewelry, you must know how to design and craft your wares; if you paint decorative murals, you should know how to layout and paint the scene; if you create heirloom stitchery, you have to know how to thread and use a needle. In other words, you have to know your business, be an expert even. Makes sense, right?


Don’t panic – you don’t have to be uber organized to the point where your shoes are labeled and the pantry has an alphabetized directory. You do need to be organized enough that you can find important papers like last year’s tax return with a reasonable search. Reasonable includes having looked in two file folders and a box under the bed before it turns up. The point is that you keep what you need and can find it even if there’s room for improvement in your system.

Two things – just two, that’s all it takes to be qualified to start your new business. Everything else you can learn or pay someone else to do (sort of like paying a plumber instead of fixing your own pipes). So, I now pronounce you fully qualified to be a business owner.

Realize your strength is in your unique expertise and don’t feel that you have to know all about everything else. You don’t know a SEP from a SIMPLE or what that button with the fireworks icon on the copy machine does?  So what? You know what you need, now get going!

How does this make you feel? Tell me, in the comments or a note, what great stuff you know.

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Welcome to The Artful Business!

Are you ready to share your creative light with the world? Want a successful online business but don’t know where or how to start? Let me help you get your business going fast.

Why me? Because I’ve got the experience and judgment to guide you forward. I specialize in no-nonsense business advice; direct but compassionate and always with your best interests first.