Business Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs
This $149 course walks you through all of the systems and platforms you will need to manage your money, minutes, and marketing. (The $149 price also includes a 30 minute mentoring session, a $99 value). By adopting these platforms and practices you can accelerate the implementation of these vital systems, and begin to get control over the business side of creativity, so you can get back to creating—which got you into this business in the first place!
You can review the contents of each of these videos below, but you will need to buy the course to view them.Buy the Business Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs Course
These training videos help bridge the gap between the “what” and the “why” of managing a creative services business and the all important “how to's” of implementation.
00:56 - The "how-to's" of managing a creative business
01:06 - Real world examples
01:16 - Adopting the same platforms
01:50 - Accelerate your path to implementation
These principles for evaluating digital platforms will help you filter through the vast number of options out there. I explain the three key aspects of simplicity, flexibility, and economy.
Whereas Quickbooks manages past and current transactions, it doesn't predict future performance. A cash flow spreadsheet helps you make business decisions based on vital financial projections.
00:40 - Contrasting Quickbooks and Cash Flow
01:52 - The need for a flexible system
02:50 - Overview
03:20 - Projected balances
04:53 - Running balances
06:16 - Summary rows
09:20 - Invoice rows
10:00 - Using color codes
12:52 - Expenses tab overview
15:00 - Rollover retained and rollover transferred
16:50 - Employees tab
17:38 - Contractors tab
17:48 - Savings tab
18:35 - Unearned revenue
Managing cash flow requires a flexible system. But the more flexible a system is, the more prone to error it becomes. Therefore you must follow a structured workflow when updating the cash flow spreadsheet.
00:59 - Regular updates
01:58 - Complete updates
03:25 - Workflow
03:40 - Update balances
04:58 - Revision history
05:45 - Remove receivables
05:59 - Remove expenses
06:20 - Updating rollover categories
08:02 - Adjust remaining receivables
09:05 - Adding new invoices
10:02 - Closing out a month
11:44 - Adding new months
Managing your money involves more than invoicing, paying bills, and reconciling accounts. You need to listen to what your money is telling you. Your bookkeeping system provides important insights.
01:09 - True accounting systems
02:05 - Why Quickbooks?
03:25 - Technical support
The typical creative service business uses just a subset of what Quickbook can do. This video isolates just the areas you'll need, so you won't get confused or distracted by the rest.
Being familiar with your chart of accounts simplifies the processing of weekly transactions. And since it structures the Profit and Loss report, the better you know them, the better you'll understand your P&L.
Maintaining your books on a weekly basis should enable you to process your expenses, match and receive payments, and reconcile all your accounts in less than thirty minutes.
01:10 - Setting up bank accounts
02:20 - Bank registers
03:06 - Adding transactions to registers
04:30 - Splitting transactions
05:37 - Receiving invoices
06:10 - Receiving batched invoices
09:19 - Undeposited funds
10:50 - Matching deposits with payments
11:56 - Reconciling accounts
This video walks you through the process of setting up and sending invoices in QuickBooks—I’ll also provide some tips that can make your clients more comfortable with your billing practices.
00:49 - Designing invoice templates
02:10 - Creating a new invoice
03:22 - Assigning terms and service type
05:18 - Clear transaction descriptions
06:15 - Milestone invoice descriptions
07:29 - Billing practices
08:19 - Adding to cash flow
08:38 - Payment terms
The Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss Statement are key financial reports. Reviewing these reports regularly will help you learn from the past as you navigate the future of your creative practice.
Since most creative service businesses are billed by the hour, there is a strong overlap between the topics of Money and Minutes. For the time and material business model, time really is money.
00:29 - Alternative billing models
01:02 - Comparing time and materials to product models
02:03 - Lego analogy
02:32 - Overhead hours
04:17 - Hard costs of your "inventory"
05:25 - Fee based model
Creative services are typically billed a on time and materials basis. The hour is the essential billable unit. And so managing your time requires a mission-critical inventory system.
00:22 - Time tracking as an "inventory system"
01:00 - Alternative time tracking options
01:55 - Benefits of Harvest
03:20 - Clients, projects, and tasks
03:45 - Setting up clients
04:10 - Open ended projects for ongoing service
04:31 - Billing for incremental service time
06:00 - Setting up projects
07:05 - Setting up tasks
08:00 - Phases or sub-tasks
10:48 - Project tasks and overhead tasks
11:33 - Administrative task categories
12:11 - Adding time entries
14:10 - Complete time entry
A timekeeping “inventory system” is an invaluable resource for evaluating productivity and sharpening estimating skills. The further back your records go, the more you’ll see trends and establish benchmarks.
01:10 - Overview of Harvest reports
01:36 - Customizing time ranges
02:05 - Project task reports
02:48 - Overall task reports
03:55 - Project summary reports
04:44 - Project tasks compared to benchmarks
05:58 - Overhead time reports
Forecast is to time data as the Cash Flow Spreadsheet is to money. Harvest contains all your past time-data and Forecast shows how your future time resources are allocated.
01:28 - Linking Harvest with Forecast
01:42 - Layout my days, weeks, and months
02:15 - Project view
02:46 - Blocking out time allocations
03:21 - Viewing all team members on a project
04:01 - Hours remaining to hours in budget
06:17 - Team view
06:42 - Daily and weekly views
08:30 - Splitting time blocks
09:00 - Detailed weekly planning
The creative services business is a service business. And so you need to bill for all service, even brief interactions with clients. You'll need an efficient way to log time and enter it into Quickbooks.
01:13 - Billing for communication without annoying clients
02:02 - Open ended projects
02:33 - Terms of service
03:36 - Billing practices
05:35 - Grouping service time with project codes
06:44 - Grouping time
08:12 - Manually adding time to Quickbooks
09:42 - Adding time to Quickbooks
10:32 - Various rates
12:01 - Viewing client account totals
12:30 - Generating an invoice
Putting a marketing plan into action requires basic tools such as a CRM (customer relationship management system), an email marketing platform, and a process for building a prospect list.
00:23 - Narrow positioning
01:06 - Sales vs. marketing
01:40 - Inbound vs. outbound marketing
03:06 - Content strategy
Buying a list is easy. But building your own list will help you gain deeper insights into your prospects. And when you use LinkedIn, the very act of building a list becomes a marketing activity in and of itself.
01:02 - Why build your own list?
02:52 - CAN-SPAM Act
03:29 - Email platform terms of service
05:42 - Using a spreadsheet
07:46 - List size
08:50 - LinkedIn Sales Navigator
09:09 - Advanced search
11:42 - Adding prospect to spreadsheet
12:50 - Added benefits of using LinkedIn
14:11 - Finding email addresses
A CRM is the hub of all customer and prospect information. As you work with leads, you’ll need a system that automatically tags contacts, and update statuses as prospects respond to your efforts.
00:22 - Why a CRM?
01:36 - Free vs. paid versions of HubSpot
02:15 - Native integrations
03:33 - Contacts and Companies
04:09 - Adding and editing properties
06:50 - Importing contacts
08:30 - Customizing lists and detail screens
10:20 - Adding new contacts
Online form submissions are so common that we don’t give them much thought. But when a submit button is clicked, important marketing events get triggered. We need to think carefully about our online forms
01:18 - Submissions trigger marketing events
01:48 - Limitations to HubSpot forms
02:02 - Limitations to Mailchimp and Sendinblue forms
02:40 - Adding a form building platform
MailChimp, SendInBlue, and HubSpots all share native integrations. Additionally, they also all share native integrations with ConvertFlow. This combination becomes a complete integrated marketing platform.
00:42 - Evaluating flexibility and simplicity
01:40 - Costs of email platforms
03:06 - Limited CRM capabilities
08:05 - Overview of Mailchimp
08:44 - Templates
09:00 - Design builders
12:03 - Email automation
13:08 - Modal popups
ConvertFlow allows you to build forms that instantly update HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Sendinblue. Unlike other form platforms it has advanced features that take website marketing to a whole new level.
00:35 - ConvertFlow as form platform
00:50 - Advanced features
01:26 - ConvertFlow CTAs
04:24 - Embed CTA for forms
05:45 - Design settings
08:19 - Form element
09:32 - Adding and editing fields
10:10 - Custom fields
10:50 - Confirmation actions
11:27 - Easy access to integrated platforms
12:30 - Deploying the form CTA
13:40 - Other CTA automations
15:15 - Dynamic website CTAs