Priming a Possible Buyer

With LessAccounting, our goal is to take a website visitor and turn them into a long-term, 36+ month customer. That’s at least a three-year relationship with us. So how do you take a website visitor and convince them to get into a long-term relationship with you? It starts with priming the customer, overcoming objections and showcasing all your most valuable points. Here’s where the problems for me as a designer and copywriter start. I want

How To Track Personal & Business Finances In One Spreadsheet

I’ve been running a small business for six years and I’ve finally settled on a simple way to answer these key questions: Are we making money? And if so, how much? My business is incorporated, so I get paid as an employee and the business has a separate set of financials. I’ve always found it difficult to answer my own question of “How’d we do last month?” It gets kind of confusing because money flows

Business Planning Really Does Help

Business owners tend to react in one of two ways when asked to create a business plan: They roll their eyes, knowing they will have to create a complex, 40-page report full of lofty narratives and colorful charts.They mutter something about not needing a plan to operate their businesses because they are not seeking a bank loan. Business planning is the most misunderstood concept in entrepreneurship today. The venture capital community has taught us to believe

How We Hire a Developer

I’ve been leading development teams for many, many years. Whenever we needed to hire a developer, I tried all sorts of ways to figure out if the person would be as good (technically) as they say. In the old days, I would ask all the right questions, have someone write pseudo code on a whiteboard or computer, read resumes, talk to their references, etc. What I found was that I would still choose people that

How we hired our first customer advocate

In 2010 LessAccounting had grown to a size that we needed to hire a person to help with customer support. We’d never hired customer support before and didn’t know how to hire the right person. We did know that judging applicants on resumes is stupid. We didn’t want to hire a “customer support guru” or just outsource to the cheapest people in the globe we could find. We started by outlining the qualities of a

Employment Handbooks, why does your small business need one?

The word “handbook” might bring back memories of a little book your high school issued that covered things like the student dress code and grade point averages. Or maybe you remember your Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts handbook, which had everything from how to wear your uniform to how to start a campfire. But you’re a small business owner, right? You and eight or ten employees you know by name. So why does your small

Summer Vacations – How to Save $$$ on Travel

As entrepreneurs it’s vital for you to take time off from your business. Working all day, all week is not sustainable. Here’s how Allan took an 18 day workcation to Costa Rica. Read on to learn ways to save money on your next vacation. The sun is shining, the water’s warm, and more than likely, there’s a summer vacation on your agenda. Getting away from it all is a summer tradition, but too many people fail

An Example of Brand Personality

We live in a fast-moving world. We work in an industry that focuses on metrics, conversion, high profit margins, automation, scaling and data. We struggle to connect with our customers on a personal level. “Hi, I’m a real person here to help you.” …This is rarely how a piece of software or customer support makes you feel. This doesn’t happen because it’s hard to scale and it’s harder to automate. …But when a company does make you

Choosing Fonts, Designing Web Text for Beginners

If you’re new to design, this article will teach you the basics of fonts. If you’re a full-time designer, you already know a lot of this stuff, but you may see something new here. There are many “places” to use fonts. Headlines, headers, sub headers, paragraphs, call to action buttons (and logos, but we’re not talking logo design.) All have different purposes but the first and most important of the criteria to consider is “readability.”

What is Unique Value Proposition for a freelancer?

You’re a service provider–you sell time, you bill hourly, and your customers seek a service. To build a profitable business, you need to discover your “Unique Value Proposition.” A unique value proposition is what makes your service special. It’s how you are different from the competition. For example, a Rubyist who is a pro at helping SaaS companies write awesome onboarding code could demand a premium over a generic Rubyist. Someone who has identified their