Sunday, February 5, 2012


Just taking a moment to drop in and say hi to all of my small biz friends.

The economy is looking up just the tiniest bit but what I hear people talking about is still:
Cash Flow
Downsizing or Stabilizing
New Markets

The post-holiday slump can be challenging for any small business. Hang in, keep networking and remember to take care of yourself as well as your business. In the small biz world, if you don't take care of both equally, watch out! No room for a tired owner or business.

As always, I'd love suggestions for blog posts. Suggest away...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Special Help for Creative Folks and Others

That title is a bit tongue in cheek, but it is true. There's often something like the fear of a dentist when it comes to dealing with numbers for some folks. Especially the "right brained" ones.

Being creative or operating a bit on the "fringe" or out the the box doesn't mean that your financial life needs to be disorganized. Bookkeeping isn't that scarey. it's about organizing information more than math. Today's bookkeeping software does most of the math. You just need a little help in learning the way things need to fit together to file your taxes and see where your money is going.

I seem to have (nearly) infinite patience for wading through your paperwork and holding your hand through getting your year end stuff in order. I'm happy that I can provide that service to those who find it intimidating or frustrating.

Don't wait any longer! I'm here to help.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back in the City!

So glad to be back in Portland and seeing all my friends. Just a quick post here to tell you all that I'm looking forward to helping you in person with all your small biz and (especially) bookkeeping queries.

I've spent the past 5 months with a deep focus on inventory management. t I've come to understand more clearly that the type of system you need is very much based on how much inventory you have and how much you intend to grow your inventory. One of the biggest issues I see out there is folks not preparing for growth and using a cobbled together system.

Lots to think about here and I'd be happy to share more insights with you and see what we can get going for your small to mid-sized business.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I've Learned Lately

Hello stranger!

Yes, this blog is still active and I am still active as a consultant as well. I've been spending more time on the finance side of life these days and that's just fine. The pendulum swings again.

I hope that everyone has had a chance to get away from the usual routine this Summer. Travel is my favorite way to gain perspective. Whether you live in the city or the country, they way you do business is very much influenced by your immediate environment. Taking a break can give your brain a wake-up call to think of new possibilities. I do some of my best thinking on trains.

I'm heading back for Portland in a few weeks and these were some of my thoughts as I was taking the train back from my apartment hunting trip:
  • Be proactive. If you see a trend, be prepared to hop on it before it's too late.
  • Stay up to date on new technology. It can be a bit hard to play catch up.
  • Don't be shy about connecting with old colleagues. That's what social media is for.
  • Stay open minded. You may have to shift gears quickly and holding onto old ideas will really slow you down.
  • And conversely, don't hop onto the newest thing just because it's new and shiny!
I'm sure that being in a new home will shake some new ideas loose and I'll look forward to sharing them with you soon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the Side

Hey there folks.
I haven't posted to this blog for a while as I've become a full-time owner of another business, Krafti-Kit. I'd like to say to anyone reading here, if you have topics that you'd like more detail on, let me know. I get a fair amount of hits to financial reporting topics. If that's something you'd like to read more about, let me know. Perhaps it's the joy and hazards of working at home?

I'm still here and stay tuned for future posts! Happy Fall.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Better Late Than Never

That may be true in life...sometimes...but not in business. I think it's okay in blogging.

As you can see, I've taken a couple of months off of actively blogging here. I'm planning on taking off a couple of more months and wanted to let you all know what's going on.

I am a bit of a news "hound" to say the least, but you may have noticed that my blog is more focused on giving practical advice that's more "evergreen". I write less about the business news of the day and more about what you may be going through in your business right now. My idea is to create a body of knowledge for the small business owner that can be used, ongoing.

The one thing I continually see is that a person's ability to realize their goals is connected very much to their personality, their ability to be flexible and to handle the ongoing stress of going it on their own. In the past year, in particular, I've met a lot of wonderful folks who are doing just that. Meanwhile, my own practice has become more and more fluid and flexible as well. I've been focusing more and more on design: web, advertising, knitwear and a bit less on mentoring. I don't see that part of my work ending anytime soon as I really love it and it seems to find it's way to me again and again.

With these changes comes a bit of a brain shift. I suppose I'm in less of a mindset to write practical blog posts for the small biz owner right now. So, I'm giving myself a couple more months off on the blog and will return at the end of the Summer for more of what I do best here. Meanwhile, I hope you'll pass this blog on to folks who are small business owners so that perhaps they can find some use from my words.

Always, please feel free to contact me directly with your inquires into my mentoring practice.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Barter or Not

There's been some humor lately generated by the woman who wishes to be a Nevada Senator regarding paying your doctor with chickens. Yeah, it's not something I recommend, but there are those times for all of us when we wonder if bartering is the way to go.

There's two main kinds of bartering, goods and services. Chickens would be "goods".
I would add two other categories:
Too Much Work to Be Worth it and
Great Because I'm Already Doing it.

Things to ask yourself about a bartering deal:
  • Can I afford to not make actual money on this?
  • Will the trade be an equitable one?
  • How long will the trade last if it's for services?
Some things you may not have thought about on the plus side:
  • Is this a good way of introducing someone to my goods or services who will hook me up with work in the future and be a good networker?
  • Does this person have something I really want to promote to help them?
  • Would you not be able to afford their services any other way?
Some down-sides:
  • Are you unsure that they will hold up their end up the bargain?
  • Is the trade or barter vague in some way? (scope of project)
  • Do you not know how long it will last or if it will recur?
Bartering can be a great way to get yourself out there. For instance, I have a friend who places flowers at a store, weekly from her floral shop with some business cards. In exchange she gets custom made clothes, dollar for dollar.

Goods are an easy barter and should clearly be on the books. Meaning, you want to set up a barter account as a liability for each barter that you're doing. When you get an invoice or send a "zero" invoice, it should be posted to this account. Whatever money is sitting in that account on your books should reflect the barter "dollars" as they move back and forth.

Services can be a bit more tricky, and I won't go into the bookkeeping for that, but it's basically the same. Just consult your accountant. The most important thing to keep in mind with bartering your services is that you "feel" a sense of equity. Of course, equity on paper is crucial, but so is the sense that what you are receiving in return for your services is a good trade.

I've been very lucky and bartering has been a great way to make contacts with folks I would normally not come to work with. Just make sure that your business is "balanced" as well and that you have cash income coming in as well. Until the telephone company takes a barter, you've gotta run a cash operation!

Enough with the chickens, already...