Multi-User Calendar View

Drum roll please……

Calling all multi-user subscribers!

If you have multiple users in your Artichoke account, there is now a calendar view which will display each users schedule for the selected day, side by side.  It’s that simple.  Check it out.

APPOINTMENTS / Select “USERS” in View Drop Down

Multi-user Calendar View

 

Still not using Artichoke?  It’s the all-in-one business platform for appointment-based-businesses of 1 to 10 people.

Try Artichoke free for 30 days

Notification Enhancements

With the most recent release when added some great user suggestions to the notification settings.

Customize Your Special Occasion Notifications

Customize text in Birthday and Anniversary emails: You’ve got your own style and approach so make your birthday and service anniversary messages special. We’ll make sure they are delivered on time 🙂

New On / Off Controls

“It’s been awhile” messages:  Retention messages sent to clients after an extended period of no appointments is great for many businesses but not all.  Thanks to Artichoke subscriber Shari, we’ve made the adjustment so that this notification can be turned off.

Referral Requests: Referrals are your most valuable and low-cost market tool for new clients. Automation of these requests can be very powerful.  However, if that’s just not your style or it’s not appropriate for your business type, you can turn them off.

Check these features our in your account:  SETTINGS / NOTIFICATIONS / WHAT CLIENTS SEE…

 

Artichoke Now Integrates With 1,000 Other Products

Artichoke Zapier Connect

We know that getting your work done requires many different web tools. In fact, the average business uses between 10 and 16 apps. You have your email app, CRM, note-taking tool, cloud storage tool, team communication app, along with project management tools and various to-do lists. Sometimes, it can be a struggle to get them all working in tandem. Now that Artichoke has 1,000 integrations, you can choose your favorite tools and easily integrate them with Artichoke.

Artichoke now connects to 1,000 other web tools, thanks to our Zapier integration. With workflow automation tool Zapier, you can set up your own codeless integrations called “Zaps”. Zaps will automatically send information from one tool to another, so you’ll spend less time manually transferring data between your business tools and can dedicate more focus to creative, big picture tasks.

Boost Your Productivity with Popular Artichoke Integrations

No matter what other apps you use, chances are Artichoke integrates with them via Zapier. Here are some of the most popular integrations that Artichoke users already use to be more productive.

The New Year is the perfect time to evaluate your processes and find ways to boost productivity. Try out some of the Zaps above or view more ways to integrate Artichoke.

In your Artichoke account just go to SETTINGS / INTEGRATIONS to learn more about the endless possibilities.

Don’t Let The Stress Get to You

Owning your own business is the American dream. You studied hard, worked even harder, and finally, you managed to start your own business. You’ve joined an elite group that took that dream and made it real.

That doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. Whether you have a home-based business or a traditional brick-and-mortar one, you need to pay close attention to all aspects of your business. That means you can face a lot of stress over it all. Instead of letting it get to you, read on to discover how to avoid the dreaded burnout from being a small business owner.


Image Source: Pixabay

Why Burnout Is A Problem

What can lead to burnout? As Inc.com explains, there are several things that can stress out a business owner. You typically will be working harder than ever before, and all those “overtime” hours can stress you out. All that work can lead to eating poorly, not getting enough sleep, and skipping exercise. And although your business life has direction, it’s easy to forget you need that in your overall life as well.

Is getting stressed out a big problem? This is not something you can just power through. Entrepreneur.com shows that feeling burned out can lead to feeling like you have no energy. You can even start to have panic attacks and feeling like your life is beyond your control. Besides the damage this can do to your home life, imagine how it affects your small business.

Realistic Goals & Other Tips

With stress being a particular problem for business owners, how can you cope? One way to improve your chances is to set some realistic goals for both your business and personal life. Business Insider notes that you should make sure that you have a good understanding of what you can and cannot accomplish. Setting a goal you never reach is obviously bad, but making goals way too easy won’t help you feel better either.

You also need to take small breaks throughout your workday. Yes, the proverbial buck stops with you. But you cannot work that hard without getting stressed and burned out. The key to making these work is to avoid tasks during these breaks. Don’t use them as an excuse to get more done. Go for a walk, stare out the window, or just lie down for five minutes every so often to give your mind a break from stress.

Home-Based Challenges

Taking some breaks can be harder when your small business is run out of your home. It’s all too easy to forget you’re off work and start checking emails and working on orders. That’s why Redfin recommends that you be careful about your work hours. Some people work best in the morning, while others do better in the afternoon. Experiment to find what works for you, then use the opposite time to rest and play.

Of course, there will be times when you absolutely must work. Do what you need to do, but remember that being a business owner is stressful enough on the best of days. You have to set limits on your time and stick to them whenever possible. If your work-life balance gets out of order, you are facing burnout.

Don’t Let Stress Take Over

As a business owner, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But if you get too stressed out, your efficiency will disappear. Worse, you might end up resenting your choice to start a business. That’s why you have to worry about your stress level, make some realistic goals, and manage your work hours effectively. This way, you can be there when your business needs you the most.

Shameless Plug: Using business solutions which help you do more with less effort is also a big part of managing stress.  That’s what we’re all about at Artichoke.

Article written by Jason Lewis

Introducing Artichoke for Small Teams

Based on feedback from our awesome community of business owners and entrepreneurs, Artichoke is now available for small teams!

As your business expands and you hire additional team members, so does Artichoke! Adding users to your account is super easy:

  • Log into your Artichoke account
  • Add a new user in “SETTINGS”*
  • Permissions can be set to easily restrict access to things like financials, select services, and client info or you can share everything openly among all team members.  It’s completely up to you.

Artichoke is now the only truly simple, all-in-one, business platform for small teams of 1 to 10.

Questions?  Feel free to contact us anytime. support@getartichoke.com

Try Artichoke for free today!

*Each new user added to your account incurs a $25/month fee. Or, get unlimited users for $199!

In the News: Artichoke in Inc Magazine!

We’re pleased to be featured in Inc. Magazine’s recent online article:

The Software Circle: Why Apps Are Moving Right Back to All-in-One Programs

Artichoke CEO, Justin Shelby, weighs in the evolution of software and why the market is driving savvy business owners to specialized “all-in-one” solutions vs. a hodgepodge of single purpose apps:

“Solopreneurs, freelancers, and micro-teams don’t just exist in the communities anymore. They include occupations across the spectrum, many of which didn’t even exist during the last census–traditional careers like wellness practitioners and educators, exploding categories like home health, and completely new professions like digital media buyers.”

Hungry for more? Read the whole article here.

Niche Marketing Basics: Find Your Niche

Here’s a sobering truth most business owners don’t want to accept: Not everyone is your target customer. One of the biggest mistakes many startups make is claiming their product will appeal to the masses, but this is true 0% of the time. Read on for a few tips to help you find your niche, and ditch the ideals that are costing you money.

Offer a unique but marketable product or service that will appeal to a specific group of people.

Whether you’re offering a product or a service, if you want to master your market, you must be very specific in what you offer. Even the largest companies in the world (think Walmart) have a target customer in mind. For example, Lu La Roe, a direct sale apparel company, targets women with body issues who have an eye for fashion and want to be part of a crowd. Lu La Roe offers a limited selection of patterns in each style, which drives competition and encourages women to boast about their exclusive “Roe” wear, further driving sales.

Avoid oversaturated markets.

Competition is fierce so make sure you are targeting people that others have pushed to the sidelines. Many markets trend for a short amount of time, attract an abundance of service providers, and then expand exponentially, leaving these new businesses clamoring for their share of customers. While this might sound like a perfect opportunity, targeting your business to appeal to a very specific group of people that have unmet needs will help you build your reputation and establish a loyal customer base.

Define your serviceable demographic and remain focused.

Bigger isn’t always better. In order to find success in a niche market, you must know exactly who you’re selling to. For instance, if you sell custom mother/daughter jewelry, it is not enough to define your target customers simply as parents. However, when you start marketing to suburban housewives with pre-teen daughters and an income of $75,000 or more per year, you will likely find that your product moves much faster.

Write a marketing plan.

 

Hopefully by this point, you already have a business plan, but you also need to write a marketing plan. Keep the four Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion – in mind as you draft this. They will guide your strategies and should align with your business plan. A marketing plan should take the following into consideration: goals, research, competitive analysis, buyer personas, strategy, tactics, and channels. It’s going to take some time and effort to craft a sound plan, but once you have a clear vision, the execution will come much easier.

Relentlessly stalk the competition. 

If you’re going to be successful, you have to know who you are up against. No matter how unique your business is, there will likely be others vying for the same customers’ dollars. Utilize social media and other online outlets to see what your competition is doing right and wrong. You can emulate and adapt their sales techniques to best serve your shared clientele.

Scrutinize your decisions.

Even after you’ve decided on a target market, you’ll need to do some self-reflection to determine if your company is really a good fit. Ask yourself things such as:

●     Are there enough people in my target audience?

●     Is my product useful?

●     Do I really know what drives my customer’s decision-making process?

●     Can my potential customers afford what I’m offering?

●     Are my customers accessible? Will my message resonate with them?

If you cannot answer these questions in a way that encourages you to push forward, you may need to reevaluate your decisions and change things up before investing in a product launch.

In summary, it takes work to define your target market. However, if your product or service is appealing, affordable, and focused, you can be successful. Keep in mind that most small business owners succumb to the pressures within the first year, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t turn an immediate profit. Don’t give up on your dreams and remember that you are a consumer, too, and probably not all that unique in your desires. If you see a need for your product, chances are, there are others with unmet needs ready to open up their hearts – and wallets – to you.

Guest blogger:  Jason Lewis jlewis@strongwell.org

Payments by Client and Service

If you dislike the word “report” as much as we do, read on…. At Artichoke, we don’t talk about reports, we talk about useful information presented in a simple way. It’s also a perfect transition into our latest product update, two new income blocks 🙂

Although you can easily view individual client payments inside their client profile, we’ve added two new blocks to the “Income” tab of your dashboard.

  •  One displays a list of your top 5 clients in order of payments received
  •  The other does the same for your top 5 services.

Either list can be expanded to show all items.

SO WHAT? Well, if 20% of your income is coming from one client, that’s a potential risk you should be aware of in the event that the client starts to fall off.  If 25% of your income is coming from one service or product, maybe there’s an opportunity to up-sell additional services or expand your offering to protect your revenue against changing consumer preferences.

Below are a few screen shots of the new income blocks.

How to get there…

Artichoke Dashboard

 

What to look for…

Artichoke Income Blocks

 

Artichoke Payments by Service

 

Interested in using the Artichoke all-in-one business platform to run your solo gig or small team?  Let us know. support@getartichoke.com