Fresh Off the Presses! Awkward Conversations: Guide for Small Business Owners [Free eBook]

Our good friends over at FreshBooks are offering this amazing (and free) eBook to help small business owners (like all of you) best manage, navigate and dominate uncomfortable conversions. Read on for a quick introduction and to download the eBook for yourself. 


Remember that time when you had to talk about budgets with your first client or when you crafted an uncomfortable email to someone who hadn’t paid up?

As a small business owner wearing all the hats, it might feel like you’re constantly bracing yourself for the next awkward conversation (or email or text exchange) with a client or prospect.

Of course, you want to put your best face forward, be liked and act professional. But there are times when you need to assert yourself. And while tools like FreshBooks make it easy to automate some of those conversations with rinse-and-repeat templates, you still have to figure out WHAT to say.

Sounds exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve created 38 templates to help you address all your most awkward conversations. From money talk (eek!) and communicating scope creep to cold pitching and asking for referrals, we’ve got your back on all levels of uncomfortable situations.

A Crash Course in Branding Your Massage Practice

We recently wrote a three-part blog post for our friends over at ABMP about standards and best practices for branding your massage therapy business. Part one is included below, but head over to the ABMP blog to read the entire series.


Most solo entrepreneurs and small business owners decide to go out on their own for two reasons: they have a passion for what they do and want more control over the customer’s overall experience. Sound familiar? While amazing motivators for getting us off the couch and into action, the road to converting these intentions into reality is often much more complex.

You know that you have an amazing product and an amazing experience to offer your potential customers, but you don’t know how to really stand out in the market. The answer lies in rock-solid branding.

No matter if you’re a business-of-one or if you’re all-in managing a massage practice, branding can (and will) make or break your business. In an industry so centralized around face-to-face communication and personal interaction, the brand that you create should be equally as personal, purposeful, and positive to keep customers coming through the door.

To help you along the path for branding your massage practice or small business, we break down the basics of what a brand is and how to craft the perfect one for your business.

Read more

How To: Use Zapier to Export Artichoke Data into Your Favorite Apps

We frequently get asked if Artichoke integrates with a number of popular business management and automation apps, including FreshBooks, Google Calendar, and Mailchimp. And, the answer is YES!

With our partnership with Zapier, you can integrate Artichoke to 750+ other apps in just a few clicks. 

Here’s a quick guide to get you started and answer common questions about how to set up any integration.

  1. Be sure that you have an active Artichoke account. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for a 14-day trial right here. Then, make sure that you have Zapier integration enabled. You can learn how to do that here.
  2. Sign up for a Zapier account. The free version should satisfy the needs of most small teams.
  3. To send data from Artichoke into another app:
    • Click the “Make a Zap” button in the top-right when you’ve logged into Zapier
    • Select “Artichoke” as the Trigger app
    • Select which pieces of data that you want to send out of Artichoke. Here are your options:
  4. Select any of the 750+ apps that Artichoke integrates with.
  5. Follow the steps to complete the integration.

Looking for more specific direction for a particular app? Leave suggestions in the comments!



Customer Spotlight: 3B’s Massage & Bodywork


Vicki Buelow

“Artichoke is extremely easy for myself as the business owner and also from the client perspective. When asked the majority of clients stated it was very user friendly. From a business perspective, it has been extreme time saver for booking and keeping track of appointments.”

Vicki BuelowOwner & Operator - 3B’s Massage & Bodywork, LLC

Member Since: August 2017
Appointments To Date: 3,000+
Location: Wisconsin, USA

About: My name is Vicki Buelow, and I am the owner and operator of 3B’s Massage & Bodywork, LLC.

My philosophy is to treat the body as a whole; to encompass both the physical therapeutic benefits of massage along with the energetic benefits of Reiki and Crystals to achieve balance in the body and mind. The question of how that happens is often and frequent; my answer remains the same: “Balance is as individual and unique as a snowflake. Each journey towards balance is specific to the person looking to achieve it.”

I was born and raised in the Fox Valley, and I have been living here for over 40+ years. I am happily married and have a wonderfully beautiful daughter, a very vocal cat, two delightfully goofy basset hounds, and one decidedly lazy AraApp (Arabian & Appaloosa) horse.


FreshBooks Guest Post: How to Keep Cash Flowing in Your Small Business

The cash flow of a small business is not unlike the act of breathing. Fresh oxygen (cash earnings) in; carbon dioxide (cash expenses) out. For most of us, our respiratory system takes care of itself. Our financials, on the other hand, need special care.

Good news: you don’t have to be a CPA to successfully manage cash flow for your small business. With a watchful eye and the right accounting system, you have complete control over what comes in and what goes out.

Here’s a quick primer on the concept of cash flow and how to keep yours in balance.

Read more

Quick Tip: Get to Know the User Guide

Many of you have asked our awesome Customer Support Team if Artichoke supports a wide variety of features and functionality. While our goal with Artichoke has always been to make using the app as simple as possible, it does include a number of features that you may not know about.

So, we’ve put together this handy User Guide summarizing some of the lesser known features and functionality that Artichoke offers. 

Regardless of whether your brand new to Artichoke or if you’ve been with us for a while, we recommend that you take 10 minutes and give the User Guide a quick read.




5 Free or Low-Cost Digital Marketing Tools You Can Actually Use!


Looking for some low-cost digital marketing tools to help beef up your appointment-based business pipeline? Check out our CMO’s top-five favorites in this guest post that we recently wrote for our friends at ABMP.


The internet is a grand, wide place with many nooks and crannies. And, unless you’re entrenched in it on a daily basis like I am, it’s very easy to find yourself lost, overwhelmed and ready to give up when on the hunt for helpful new tools. Is this product really high-quality? Is it easy to use? How will it actually benefit me?

Here are just some of our all-time favorite marketing tools online today, designed to make a big splash for small businesses without breaking the budget.



What it’s great for: Email marketing, including newsletters, promotions, or any other mass email you want to send to your client database.

Price: Free for up to 2,000 email contacts, then pricing starts at just $20/month.

Why I love it: With pre-built email templates, a really easy-to-use interface, and a super fun brand to top it all off, it’s no wonder Mailchimp is the favorite email provider among small businesses. Plus, most businesses can send up to 12,000 emails per month for free.










What it’s great for: Finding a freelancer for just $5, whether you need a hand designing a new logo or flyer, creating a short video for your website, or need to hire a virtual assistant.

Price: Varies, but most jobs start at around $5 each.

Why I love it: Fiverr is the perfect resource for those with big dreams and not such a big budget. Founded under the concept that getting help shouldn’t cost a lot of cash, Fiverr gets you access to qualified freelancers (with profiles you can browse) that can accomplish a variety of tasks for just $5. Massage therapy practices can find graphic designers, website programmers, writers, social media specialists, and even virtual assistants for just $5.


Google Drive with Google Docs

What it’s great for: Cloud storage for all your documents—and an easy replacement for the costly Microsoft Office. Plus, Google Forms are an excellent resource for intake forms.

Price: Free for up to 15GB of storage. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms are also free.

Why I love it: If you’re constantly losing files on your computer and looking for a centralized, secure, web-based place for all your documents, spreadsheets, etc., look no further. Backed by rock-solid security, all you need is a Gmail address to get started. Plus, web-based documents make it easy to share and collaborate among freelancers, customers, and teams. I love Google Forms for intake forms, which you can even customize to match the colors of your brand.

Amazon Deal of the Day

What it’s great for: Sprucing up your studio with new decorations, bonus gifts for clients, and all the other stuff you didn’t know you needed.

Price: Varies.

Why I love it: Maybe not such a secret, but most folks use Amazon for the regular needs of their personal lives without realizing it’s also an awesome tool for business. Amazon’s Deal of the Day is a great way to get deep discounts on things you already need for your business, and maybe a few things you didn’t realize you needed. Get discounts on antibacterial wipes, aromatherapy oils, small gifts to please your best customers, sheets, towels, and a whole lot more.




What it’s great for: Online booking, automated appointment reminders, financial tools, and more.

Price: Free for 14 days, then $30/month

Why I love it: Call it shameless self-promotion, but the Artichoke all-in-one business platform was designed just for appointment-based businesses. Featuring a wealth of robust tools at a very affordable price point, Artichoke is easy to use and takes the headache out of managing your small business so you can spend more time doing what you love and less of what you don’t. Grab your free trial here.


Product Updates! Liability Waivers & Release Forms

We’ve recently updated Artichoke with the ability to send liability waivers and release forms!

On-boarding new clients mean your marketing has succeeded but keeping up with all the paperwork is time consuming and potentially high risk. When were they sent? Which clients still haven’t completed them? When will you find time to follow up?

Artichoke solves all of those problems with the easiest waiver form feature you’ve ever seen. All you need to do is copy your waiver form and acceptance text into a box, enable the form, and select your sending automation rules. That’s it.

Read up on how to enable Waviers & Release Forms by reviewing our Support Documentation here.

Don’t have an Artichoke account yet? Sign up for a 14-day test drive here.

FreshBooks Guest Post: Conquer Your Fear of Accounting Forever

Most small business owners don’t consider themselves number crunchers. Entrepreneurs are a different breed. They have a passion for what they do with the skills and talent to match. They want to focus on what they love and who they serve. Numbers are a necessary evil of running a business.

Sound familiar? You’re in good company. A 2014 Intuit study found that more than 40 percent of small business owners identify as financially illiterate… and yet 81 percent of them do their business’s finances themselves. This could be why half of all businesses fail within 5 years.

This doesn’t have to be you. Managing money, taxes and accounting isn’t as hard as it looks when you’ve got the right tools and good habits to back them up. In fact, mastering your own accounting will give you insights into your business you wouldn’t find any other way.

Here are 6 helpful habits you can use to gain complete control over your finances.

Read more

Everything You Need to Know About #SmallBusinessWeek

Happy National Small Business Week to our growing community of small business owners and entrepreneurs!

Formally kicked off this past Sunday (April 29th), National Small Business Week is devoted to encouraging and educating people just like you.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) is hosting a ton of free events throughout the week, including a three-day virtual conference from May 1 (today) thru May 3.  Check out the details of the virtual conference here.

The SBA is also hosting a Twitter chat this Friday, May 4th for tips for starting and growing a business.

From all of us here at Artichoke, the work that you do every day is amazing.

Have an idea for how Artichoke can help you grow, manage and simplify your small business like never before? Drop us a line at We’d love to hear from you.