Celebrating with Gratitude: Looking back to look forward …

Celebrating with Gratitude: Looking back to look forward …

Today’s a special day — for two reasons. And, both of them are close to my heart.

Looking back …

July 12th would have been my Grandma Ann’s 103 birthday! Born in Czechoslovakia in 1914, her parents shipped Ann and her sister to the United States at the ripe young age of 14. As parents, their hearts were filled with hopes that their children would have the opportunity to live the American dream. Ann’s mother and father stayed behind, planning to join them the following year. They never came.

I can only imagine the challenges she faced. A young woman in a distant land. Miles away from her parents and friends and other loved ones. No cell phones or internet or Skype to stay in touch. The obstacles she overcame, the courage she had no choice but to embrace, the grace and love she gave to everyone she touched — these will always be imprinted on my heart and soul.

From my Grandma, I pull much inner strength that inspires me as a mother of three beautiful children, a wife of a thoughtful and generous husband, and as an entrepreneur who loves serving others.

I’m truly blessed to have such a powerful example of a woman in my life — a woman of determination, grace and a strong work ethic. For that, my dear Grandma, I thank you. Happy Birthday! Today, she would be proud. Today, she is PROUD.

Looking forward …

While I look back and reflect upon my heritage, I also look forward with a heart bubbling with gratitude, excitement, and possibility!

As I remember and draw upon the strength of my Grandma, I look forward, today, to re-launching my company — Smart to Finish™ — with a brand new website!

Founded in 2004, Smart to Finish™ is an Infusionsoft and online marketing agency. My team members — also know as the Delegation Divas — include top notch implementers with years of experience creating business solutions for clients around the world.

Loyal, hard-working, and talented, the Smart to Finish™ Delegation Divas support our clients with high-touch, focused, and attentive customer care — from start to finish!

Our goal is for each and every client to be our most important client. We are all about you and your business! Our number one goal is to provide quality online marketing solutions that will help you live your dream — whatever that may be.

For our current clients, we thank each and every one of you for your years of support. We wouldn’t be where we are without you to serve.

Pursuing your dream …

For those of you who are new to our site, take a look around and feel free to connect with us on social media. And, if you’re looking to take the next step with your business, feel free to schedule a chat with me. I’d love to hear more about you and your dream and show you how we can help! To connect, schedule your appointment here.

With gratitude,

CEO and Founder
Smart to Finish™

Infusionsoft vs. Ontraport (Office Auto Pilot)

Considering taking your business to the next level with AUTOMATION? Don’t know where to start? Overwhelmed with all the options out there?

Here’s an informative, no-nonsense approach from Wes Schaeffer, The Sales Whisperer©, that compares two popular systems: Ontraport vs. Infusionsoft.


We here at Smart to Finish are knowledgeable and experienced business automation experts, and we can help you make an informed decision on the direction to take your business automation!

3 Free Tools to Enhance & Uncomplicate Google Analytic Reports

Everyone knows that they need to track their marketing efforts. If you didn’t track your marketing you would not know what’s working and what isn’t. Now I know tracking and analytics isn’t really sexy and exciting, but it is a necessary evil that we have to do to determine if our marketing is paying off.

If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up on your website then that is going to be your first step.  Google Analytics does a great job at tracking your visitors as they move from page to page on your website. But if you don’t know what you are looking at, Google Analytics can be very confusing and overwhelming.

The good news is that there are some free tools that can help simplify Google Analytics so you can understand the data that comes from this form of tracking.

Below are 3 free tools that will help simplify Google Analytics for you.


Need to know helps you find out what you  need to know when it comes to Google Analytics.

So what does it do?

Need to know is relatively new and is definitely worth checking out.

N2K gives you a one-page overview of your Google Analytics data. This report will highlight your key information over the last month.  It takes all of the complicated Google Analytics and presents it to you in a compressed format.

It is incredibly easy to use while still giving you a very detailed easy to read report.

Quill Engage

What story will your data tell you?

Quill is another fairly new free service that will take the data that is gathered from Google Analytics and transforms it into an easy to read and understand report.  Quill gives you the option to receive a weekly or monthly email that is written in plain English.

Take a look at this example report from Quill Engage


Why is Quill Engage Useful?

Quill Engage will literally take all of the data you get from Google Analytics and convert them to an easy to read, easy to understand report.  This will allow you to take action on the data that is being collected.


Tracking webpages just got easier.

What does PadiTrack do?

Just like the other two tools shared before, PadiTrack connects directly to your Google Analytics account and displays the data in an easier to understand format.  This tool especially works well when it comes to tracking sales funnels.

How is PadiTrack useful?

One cool thing that Paditrack shows you is the conversions for each and every step of your sales funnel. This allows you to quickly pinpoint “problem areas” in your conversion process.
PadiTrack also allows you to see how well your sales funnels are doing against specific segments.  For example you could create a segment of users from a new email campaign, traffic driven from a specific keyword or from new visitors to your website who found you through Google search.

PadiTrack offers a ton of other great reports and comes with a free version and makes a great “add-on” to your analytics toolbox.

These 3 tools are just a few tools to check out that will assist in making those hard to read Google Analytic reports a breeze to understand and read.  Smart to Finish offers website analytic tracking support that will help give you a leg up on your competition.

E-commerce News You Should Know About…

New Tax Rules for Selling to European Countries


If you haven’t heard, the European Union has new rules on value-added tax (VAT), which took effect on January 1.

To put it simply, ANY businesses selling digital goods and delivering them electronically to customers in European Union member countries will be required to collect and pay VAT based on the VAT rates of the country where the customer is located and does apply to businesses based outside the EU who sell to consumers in the EU.

So what does that mean to you? Well, if you are selling digital products to European Countries, it might be something you want to have us setup in your tax settings to collect the tax for those specific countries.

What are the consequences if you don’t? This is a new thing, so we are not sure on that and would probably advise asking your accountant.

If you want help with us setting up your shopping cart so that you are in compliance, contact us at assist@smarttofinish.com, we are happy to help.

Customer Service – Is it Just a Department in Your Organization?

We have all heard the cliché “Customers are always right.” While that is not always the case, they ARE always the customer – your most valuable business asset. Without customers, your business wouldn’t exist – it would just be a hobby. So obviously, how you meet, greet, and keep customers is a vital part of your business success. Customer service IS more than a department in your organization. It should be a part of everyone’s job – whether the owner, manager, or the janitor. (If it’s not, then you might want to research and find some customer service training programs available, for you AND your staff )

In today’s market, you need every competitive edge possible to succeed. How you provide customer service is just as important as the actual product or service you provide. You could have the “best” of whatever product or service you offer, but if you don’t have a system in place when issues arise, then you are like a sail boat without a sail, going nowhere fast. (Notice I said WHEN issues arise, not if issues arise.)

Let’s look at some key components (and thought provoking quotes) to providing great customer service.

Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement. – James Cash Penney

Customers appreciate being treated with courtesy and respect. It gives them a sense that they are important to you, not just for the money they spend, but for the connection they have with you. When you value your customers more than their money, you will cultivate a long-lasting, mutually satisfying relationship that goes far beyond the cash register. They will become the best word-of-mouth advertising for you and what you offer. Customers who are well taken care of and satisfied will be sure to tell everyone they know, and that is far more valuable than the dollars allocated to any advertising budget.

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong. – Donald Porter, V.P British Airways

Yes, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. But how we handle those mistakes can make the difference between a happy customer and a lost customer. When a customer is dissatisfied with the product or service they have received, the process to communicate with you should be an easy one, and the customer should feel that you are actually LISTENING to them. If your response to customer complaints is “Sorry, you’re wrong, that’s not our policy,” or “There’s nothing I can do for you,” then you can literally kiss those customers goodbye. A better response would be “I could be wrong, let’s take a look” or “I’m not able to do that, but I can do this….” The goal should always be to resolve the situation to your customer’s satisfaction.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. – Bill Gates

If you believe that fewer complaints mean more money, you are…..WRONG. The majority of customers who are dissatisfied will never complain because they perceive it as too much of a hassle; they will just never come back. For those who DO actually take the time to complain, it is your BEST opportunity to learn, make adjustments, and correct the things that need to be fixed. Remember the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well, there’s a flip side to that old cliché: “If you don’t know it’s broken, how will you fix it?” If you don’t welcome feedback from your customers, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, you are operating in the dark. And once you DO fix the problem, imagine the benefits of having a customer who has experienced you “fixing” it. You have turned a negative situation into a positive one for them, and they will long remember it the next time they need the type of product or service you offer.

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. – Roger Staubach

Going “the extra mile” is something that can pay huge dividends in the long run. Of course, it should always be your goal to meet your customers’ expectations. Exceeding those expectations, however, is what can set you apart from your competition and be the deciding factor when a customer chooses to do business with you. Not everyone takes the time to fully “serve” their customers. They offer their product or service, receive the money, thank the customer on their way out the door, and that is all there is to it. The most successful business owners or managers strive to be the best at what they do and offer the most value for what the customer receives. A huge part of that “value” is conveyed to the customer in how they are treated when they receive your product or service. If the standard operating procedure is to just “get the money and run” without any regard for the customer relationship down the road, you may get a lot of customers, but you won’t keep them. Sometimes the little things can mean the most. A simple follow up “thank you for your purchase, please provide feedback” card or email goes a long way to solidifying the connection with your customers. Customer loyalty programs or Bring-A-Friend offers are excellent ways to reward customers for their continued interactions with you and your business.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. – Warren Buffet

Reputation. It can be, and very often is, the very thing that makes or breaks a business. If you have a bad reputation, then customers will hesitate to do business with you. Customers are not willing to associate themselves with a business that has a bad reputation for fear that it will “rub off on them” or it will affect how they are perceived (You are doing business with THAT company??) If you have a good reputation, however, customers will flock to you, and they will bring their friends with them. Providing excellent customer service is one way to establish your reputation. When customers know you will “take care of them” no matter what, they will be some of your most loyal advocates. It has been proven time and time again that when customers identify and connect with a business based on more than economics, they are staunch supporters of that business.

Some of the “ingredients” for a successful customer service experience are summed up in this acronym:


The nutshell: In order to achieve customer satisfaction, you should greet customers with enthusiasm and respect, and convey their value to you, beyond the money they spend or any issue at hand. When they complain, you should welcome their feedback with integrity and courtesy, and the problem should be dealt with fairly and quickly. When these guidelines are followed, your customers will truly experience the excellence possible when customer service becomes more than a department in your organization – it is a part of everyone’s job description!

Written by – Janet Broer, Smart To Finish Diva

Delegation Revelation: Do What Only YOU Can Do

To Do ListTo Do ListAre you overwhelmed by your To Do List? Is there so much to do that you don’t know where to start? If you are doing tasks that someone else can do, then who is doing the tasks that ONLY YOU CAN DO? The answer: ???? Effective time management = The ability to delegate.

For most everyone, regardless of position, the cliché is true: Time IS money. If we don’t manage our time correctly, the business won’t run smoothly and there will be things, important things, that don’t get done or aren’t done correctly. If you are like most people, there is always the temptation to do it all yourself, because it is easier than delegating it to someone else and trusting that they are going to get the job done right. However, if you are stuck in that mind set, you are also stuck in the rut of “too much to do and not enough time to do it”. There are steps you can take to bring focus to your life, both professionally and personally, and organize your day so it doesn’t disorganize you.

The first step is to realize you need to delegate. Without the willingness to delegate, learning about time management is like cooking a delicious meal and then just sitting at the table and not eating it. Sound ridiculous? Yes, is does. But so is trying to do everything yourself. Delegate, delegate, delegate. You may ask, “How do I decide what to delegate and what to do myself?” Here are some tips:

Surround yourself with people you trust and who can do things you can’t do. Having a team you can rely on, a team with skill sets that you don’t necessarily have, is vital to any organization’s success. You personally don’t have to know or learn everything about everything. That takes a lot of time, energy AND money. You don’t know HTML? When you need your website updated, it is a wonderful thing to have an HTML diva on your team who can do it for you. You’re not a good copy writer? Delegate it to someone who has a way with words and knows the ins and outs of today’s market place. You can decide to delegate and then have the final approval and, yes, control the outcome.

Make a list of what needs to be done. This is a complete and comprehensive list of tasks – from answering the phone to making bank deposits and everything in between. Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly things. Things like checking emails, calling clients, picking up and dropping off the mail, doing annual inventory, sweeping the floor, setting up a webinar, arranging travel to a quarterly conference, etc. The list goes on. The important thing here is to make sure the list is complete. Write down the things you do as you do them and how often you do them and how much time it takes to do them. This is an excellent way to get an overall time snapshot of your world.

To Do ListMark the things on that list that ONLY YOU CAN DO. Not the things that you WANT to do, mark the things that only you can do. These are things that are unique to your position, whatever that is – functions that only you can perform. This can be the hard part, though, because there are probably things that you have been doing that you like doing and want to do, but someone else can do them. You need to let go of those things. You need to focus your time and effort on areas where you are most effective. That is usually doing the things only you can do.

Provide the details when you delegate to other people. How you delegate tasks to other people is as important as the actual delegating. If you don’t provide enough information when you delegate (details AND a deadline), then don’t expect the results to necessarily be what you want. Yes, occasionally there will be someone who “knows what you are thinking”, but most people don’t know unless you tell them. The degree of detail you provide is directly related to the level of success you can expect when you delegate a task to someone. Of course, delegating the task of sweeping the floor doesn’t sound like it needs much detail, right? But if you don’t specify that you want all of the furniture moved and swept under, then those lint balls will probably stay under the desk. If you delegate the task of organizing your filing system and don’t give any detailed instructions, then you probably won’t be able to find that file you are looking for when you need it. Always be sure to delegate with details and a deadline.

Trust them to get the job done. Micromanaging is NEVER a good thing. It will suck the time out of your schedule, and it can be worse than not delegating at all. If you have ever had to work with someone “looking over your shoulder”, you know that is uncomfortable and counter productive, so don’t do it when you delegate. If you have surrounded yourself with knowledgeable, trustworthy people, you can delegate and let it go. People tend to live up to expectations, so if you maintain a high standard of expectation, your delegation process should be a success.

Be willing to adjust your delegating plan. We always have the best of intentions when we start anything new, and this is no different. Once you have your list made, your tasks assigned (to yourself or to others), and your people and your plan place, be flexible and willing to adjust along the way. If you have a team with diverse skills, then you should have no problem in delegating to the right person to get the job done, on time, and the way you want it done.

Regardless of your situation, whether a solo business entrepreneur or a high level manager, your ability to delegate is a key to smooth work flow and overall business success. When you figure out what only you can do and delegate the rest, you are well on the way to the next level. Have a “Delegation Revelation” and take the first step: Let the Smart to Finish Office Solutions virtual assistant team come alongside you to implement your day to day operations and Infusionsoft support, so you can focus on your mission and your passion – DOING ONLY WHAT YOU CAN DO! Happy Delegating!

written by – Janet Broer, Smart To Finish Diva