LBN Covers Local Business News

Beauty Specialist Offers Supermodel Treatment in B’ham

Beauty Specialist Offers Supermodel Treatment in B’ham

Beauty Specialist
Offers Supermodel
Treatment in B’ham

05

FEBRUARY 2020

BY REBECCA CALAPPI

LBN Community Series

Birmingham

For more than 20 years, Jenny Brethen has been trusting Elizabeth Arsov to help her feel vibrant.

“I always leave there feeling like a supermodel,” said Brethen recently. “I have some other friends in the same field, but no, I’m very loyal to Liz. She’s does a great job and she always makes me feel good.”

ELIZABETH ARSOV

ELIZABETH ARSOV

OWNER, ELIZABETH'S HEAD TO TOE

The praise goes to Arsov, owner of Elizabeth’s Head to Toe. Arsov is an aesthetician and makeup artist who has won national acclaim for her work, especially in eyebrows.

She’s been an aesthetician for more than 12 years. Early in her career, a peer realized Arsov’s potential and went into business with her. From there, the business kept growing, culminating in Elizabeth’s Head to Toe.

Getting into the beauty industry seemed natural for Arsov. As a child, her sister and friends would come to her to get their hair braided or their eyebrows done. As she got older, she did makeup for friends, too.

“Growing up, my grandfather had a barber shop and my mom stayed home with the kids and did hair out of the house,” said Arsov. “I’ve been doing eyebrows since I was 11. It was something I was always good at, but I never thought that would be how I could make a living. I just thought it was a hobby. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens, early 20s that I got introduced to people in the industry while I was waiting tables.”

Today, she owns Elizabeth’s Head to Toe. She started the business in 2009 on Woodward and moved into the current building, on 14 Mile in Birmingham, in September 2019.

“I do love my job. I get to make people feel pretty,” said Arsov. “I’d like to think that goes beyond the surface of what that sounds like. We could have people come in who lost a spouse and they want a change. You can change somebody’s attitude.”

Check Out This Week's Birmingham City News

Arsov owns the building where she works, but shares the space with the hair salon Beauty Collective as well as with a spa upstairs.

“The stylists are coming from all different places and have landed here,” said Arsov. “I feel like we’re really fortunate to have this cool work environment.”

 

Elizabeth’s Head to Toe offers services with a strong focus on waxing, brow-shaping and cosmetics. Additionally, there’s a quaint shop area where Arsov artfully displays seasonal fashions for purchase.

Customers come to Elizabeth’s for eyebrow-shaping and –tinting and facial-waxing, including sideburns, cheeks, chin, lip, neck and hairline; services also include eyelash-tinting and eyelash-lifting, which is a perm for lashes. Clients can also get two-week or one-day lashes as well as makeup applications, eyes-only makeup, minifacials and European facials. Serums or masks can be added for an additional cost.

Elizabeth’s also offers body-waxing services for men and women, including for the back, underarms, bikini area and stomach. A Brazilian wax — a more extreme form of the bikini wax — is also available.

“I just want people to feel good. I like people to laugh. I like to keep things light,” said Arsov. “I just want people to be happy. If you’re taking time from your life to come see me, you should feel good about it.”

Acknowledged in Allure magazine as a brow specialist, Arsov’s specialty is giving clients the perfect arch. She uses a combination of tweezing and waxing to shape the brow, but also offers microblading.

“Microblading is a semi-permanent eyebrow,” Arsov explained. “Instead of using a tattoo needle, with microblading you make a series of cuts in the skin and pack it with pigment. It lasts from one to three years, depending on skin type, time in the sun or how aggressive your skin-care regimen is. You can wake up with eyebrows.”

In an industry that thrives on loyalty, Elizabeth’s Head to Toe is rich with customer rapport and Arsov’s caring attitude.

“At the end of the day, you leave there feeling like you got a service and you have a friend,” said Brethen. “She makes you feel good when you leave her. You look good, but you also feel good.”

Elizabeth’s Head to Toe is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

130 West 14 Mile Road
Birmingham, MI 48009
248.203.9933

elizabeths.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST BIRMINGHAM POSTS

Surprises Abound at Mount Clemens Vintage Boutique

Surprises Abound at Mount Clemens Vintage Boutique

Surprises Abound at Mount Clemens
Vintage Boutique

30

JANUARY 2020

BY REBECCA CALAPPI

LBN Community Series

Mount Clemens

There’s nothing ho-hum about Max & Ollie’s Vintage Boutique in downtown Mount Clemens. From the array of throw-back merchandise to the owner, the store is chock-full of pleasant surprises.

Diane Kubik has owned Max & Ollie’s for 15 years, but the whole thing was a bit of an accident. Her sister saw the empty storefront just around the corner from where the store is now located. The deal was, Diane would put up the money and her recently unemployed sister would run the shop. When the sister was unexpectedly called back to work, Diane, then a stay-at-home mom of five, found herself in an unfamiliar position.

DIANE KUBIK

DIANE KUBIK

OWNER, MAX & OLLIE'S

“I could get diapers snowy white, but I knew nothing about vintage, antiques or running a business,” Kubik said.

When Max & Ollie’s first opened, Kubik’s youngest sons and the store’s namesakes, Max and Ollie, were 6 and 8 years old. Originally, the store was evenly split between crafts and vintage, but keeping up on the crafting was unrealistic, so Kubik converted over to strictly vintage.

“We had just one goal: Keep the doors open,” said Kubik. “We just filled the shop with things we loved. We’re not a high-end store and we don’t want to be. We want people to buy things that are fun. People come in and reminisce and relive memories, and we hear a lot of, ‘My grandma had that.’”

Within six years, Max & Ollie’s had outgrown its 300-square-foot space. When a larger space opened on Macomb Place eight years ago, Kubik made the move.

The store is beautifully organized and displayed in a manner not typical for vintage stores. Instead of stacks of dishes and piles of knick-knacks, Kubik thoughtfully arranges her wares. Kitchen and home goods are on one side of the store, while the clothing is on the other.

“The biggest part of that is to make people fall in love with things. Keep it clean, keep it neat keep it fun,” she said. “My strong background was crafting, but it really ended up that creative problem-solving was my strongest. You have to get really creative with the solutions and it worked out OK.”

Check Out This Week's Mount Clemens City News

Customers can find anything from costume jewelry and clothing to kitchenware and linens at Max & Ollie’s.

“Aprons are a huge seller,” said Kubik. “We sell the sheer aprons for when something other than dinner is cooking. Valentine’s is coming!”

 

In addition to the unique merchandise, Kubik likes to make a visit to her store an experience.  Her dynamic personality comes through in conversation. To each customer, she offers freshly baked cookies right out of a toaster oven next to the cash register.

You can also find Kubik in other shops in downtown Mount Clemens, helping with displays or giving a bit of business advice. It’s just the kind of person she is.

“We’ve morphed a lot over the years, but the thing I wanted to be most is fun,” said Kubik. “We managed to hold it through the toughest economy since the Depression. My favorite part has got to be the customers. I love the stuff, but the people have been incredible. It’s been an adventure. It’s the greatest job ever.”

Max & Ollie’s is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Closed Monday.

65 Macomb Place
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
586.868.3092

Pinterest

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST MOUNT CLEMENS POSTS

From a 2 KB Memory to Today’s Laptops, Tech Has Seen it All

From a 2 KB Memory to Today’s Laptops, Tech Has Seen it All

From a 2 KB Memory to Today’s Laptops, Tech Has Seen it All
29
JANUARY 2020
BY LEANNE ROGERS
LBN Community Series Royal Oak

Ray Lareau has been working on computers for a long time — about 44 years, which takes him back to the dark ages of personal computing.

The owner of Royal Oak-based Computer Services of Michigan, Lareau built his first computer at age 9.

Armed with some computer books given to him by a brother-in-law, including one on building a computer, Lareau said, he also taught himself to program.

RAY LAREAU

RAY LAREAU

OWNER, COMPUTER SERVICES OF MICHIGAN

  “I built a computer that would flash eight lights. I didn’t care what it did — I was interested in the process,” said Lareau, who has learned about embroidery, cookie-decorating and other skills while writing programs on those tasks. In the 1970s, Lareau got a TRS 80, a cheap computer from Radio Shack. Having saved up $200 in paper-route money, he said, he went to a store to buy what he needed to expand the computer memory from 2 kilobytes to 64 KB. (The typical laptop today has 8 gigabytes — that’s more than a million KB.)
“The store owner didn’t want to sell it to me. He figured I’d just burn it up. He finally agreed to sell me the memory after a second visit,” said Lareau. “I installed the memory. The computer still works — it’s in the back (of the business).” With his partner Maureen Landau, Lareau opened their business on Rochester Road just south of 13 Mile in Royal Oak 22 years ago. They had met while working at Michigan Bell/Ameritech and originally struck out on their own with a voice-mail business.
Eventually, the primary business became servicing computers, and Lareau and Landau have seen public preference move from desktops to laptops, with the latter now predominant in the market. “No one has been doing this longer than Ray. He’s very picky,” said Landau. Having a background in psychology, Landau had worked in communications and marketing. That’s a role she still has with Computer Services. “Ray is the technology, I’m customer service. I talk to the customers. I calm them down and serve candy,” said Landau. “I adopt the customers like they are my kids.”
“She talks to people about their kids and puts them at ease. I listen to figure out what they need,” Lareau added. Flyers about the business say, “You Click It We Fix It.” “People believe what they see on the Internet,” Lareau said, and that causes them to click on things they should leave alone.

Check Out This Week's Royal Oak City News

Landau points out, for example, that before clicking on an e-mail about a package delivery problem, it’s a good idea to think about whether you were expecting a delivery. An even more common problem, especially with laptop computers, comes from food and beverages. “Your laptop is not meant to be eaten over,” Lareau said. When it comes to soft drinks, he said, diet pop can cause more problems than drinks with sugar — because the sugar residue can be more easily be cleaned up than that left by diet pop. “Kids will tell us that they spilled orange juice on the computer but we can tell it was beer,” said Landau. “We had one laptop come in just stuffed with cat hair. The husband would turn on the computer at night for the cat, who liked to sleep on it because it is warm. Never do that — get the cat an electric blanket.” Physically cleaning the computer when it is brought into the shop is always the first step on any service, Lareau said, even if it turns out the computer won’t run again. The two are proponents of customers getting what they need from their computers and keeping the devices running well. “It’s always cool to get a new computer. Do you know where your data is and all your passwords are? No? We have a sheet for people,” Lareau said. 
When it comes to computer services at a big-box store, the emphasis will likely be on getting the customer to buy a new computer rather than providing his or her existing computer with needed repairs or upgrades, the couple said. For many customers who are getting a new computer, Landau said, a popular service is to have Computer Services transfer data and software to the new device.  
Customer Pat McKinley stopped in with her old laptop and a new one to have it set up in the same way the old one has operated. “I’m keeping both computers. I love my old computer — I’m used to it. Windows 7 isn’t supported anymore. They can fix that for me,” said McKinley. “I’ve been in here a few times. They do a great job. I had a really old computer. It was 15 years old and the screen went out on it. They fixed it.” For customers used to a certain setup on their computers, Landau said, the company can set up a new computer in a way that is familiar and easy to use. Along with servicing personal computers, Computer Service also works on corporate accounts and handles forensic work, often involving divorce cases. Landau and Lareau, the latter one of 16 siblings who grew up on a Commerce Township farm, operate a self-described mom-and-pop business. The lobby has some computer accessories on display along with photos of family members, including grandchildren. On a recent day off from school, granddaughter Sadie Falcon, 10, was spending the day at the business. She sometimes helps with intake as customers drop off computers. Sadie noted she has sometimes provided some technical support when it comes to her grandmother’s cell phone. “People feel more comfortable with a family business. Customers will ask if Ray can see all their personal data when he works on their computer, and he can,” said Landau. “I had a customer say, then, he’d take the computer somewhere else. I told him anyone who tells you they can’t see your personal information is lying. There has to be some trust.” Computer Services of Michigan is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.

3125 Rochester Road
Royal Oak, MI 48073
248.585.6166

Email

Website

                       

LATEST ROYAL OAK POSTS

Chill Treats Get Hot Reception At Clawson Ice Cream Shop

Chill Treats Get Hot Reception At Clawson Ice Cream Shop

Chill Treats Get Hot Reception at Clawson Ice Cream Shop

22

JANUARY 2020

BY TIM SMITH

LBN Community Series

Clawson

Froze Creamery owner Cynthia Haddad has no qualms about opening up her Clawson ice cream shop in the middle of winter.

She and her husband, John Haddad, are banking on the notion that if they “roll it” people will come.

And so far, their unique offering of made-to-order rolled ice cream is garnering raves and repeat customers just a couple weeks after they opened the doors at 230 South Main. The actual grand opening will be Saturday, February 1, after a month or so of getting the place up and running.

CYNTHIA HADDAD

CYNTHIA HADDAD

OWNER & CEO, FROZE CREAMERY

“People have been waiting, they’ve been waiting,” Cynthia Haddad said. “The first day we opened we were slammed. And none of the employees showed up; it was just me and my husband.”

Just weeks into their new venture, social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and word-of-mouth are paying dividends. On tables are wooden signs with the handle #FrozeCreamery. So far there are more than 600 likes on Facebook.

“That always helps anyone build their business, the social media,” Haddad said. “It’s always from family and friends that people come in here and try the ice cream. If I didn’t have that, I don’t know.

“Clawson’s a pretty tight community though. A lot of people are always around here. They needed a new ice cream place that was open all year ’round. … A lot of people, I’m telling you, are already obsessed with some flavors.”

Haddad said it was coincidental that she and her husband opened their business next to the seasonal Dairy O (which remains closed until spring). But she welcomes the chance to give customers an ice cream option.

“He has nothing like what we have. Ours is completely different,” she said.

Rolled ice cream is the main attraction. But Haddad will provide novelties such as Dragon Breath and Snow Ice along with bubble tea.

“Nobody has the Dragon Breath around here,” Haddad said. “They’re like cereal puffballs that we soak in liquid nitrogen and when the customer eats them it blows out smoke.

“It is popular (with kids) and with adults ­— you’d be surprised. And then the Snow Ice is a special mix that we make.”

Haddad said it was her dream to open a newfangled ice cream shop. Now that it is a reality, she plans on working long hours (not to mention commuting from Canton) to make it a successful one.

The detail and décor underscore how much the business means to the Haddads.

When customers walk in, they see the colorful Froze Creamery logo painted on a wall behind an enticing display of dessert toppings.

Check Out This Week's Clawson City News

After choosing from a menu — with options such as Fruity Pebbles, Caramel Pretzel, Matcha Lady and more —  they can watch Haddad go to work on their ice cream order.

“We’re getting a lot of feedback that customers are really enjoying the fresh flavor, not like freezer-burnt ice cream,” Haddad said. “And they’re really enjoying watching us make it.”

Among repeat patrons is Clawson’s Melissa Liford, who recently made her second trip to Froze along with 13-year-old daughter Evie.

“It’s good, very good,” said Liford, who discovered Froze on Clawson’s community Facebook page. “It’s a different texture than the soft-serve, and you get to add the flavors that you’d like. They have the menu that you can choose from and you also can make your own flavors.”

 

Having tried the Birthday Cake offering her first visit, she opted for Morning Toast her second time there. Morning Toast combined elements of French toast and cinnamon toast.

Evie chose Strawberry Chocolate. “It’s really good, it’s just something different and something new,” she said.

Watching Haddad create their rolled treats added to the experience. After pouring vanilla base onto a circular cold plate, she added all the ingredients and mashed them together before spreading the mix as flat as a pancake.

 

From there, Haddad pushed a spatula forward in the same way a house painter might scrape old paint.

With each scrape of the plate, circular tubes of ice cream are created. They are then dropped into paper cups or (very popular) waffle “taco” shells, and customers tell her which toppings to add to personalize their choice.

“The base that we use, we get it specially made,” Haddad said. “We put that down on that cold plate machine we have. Then we mix in the toppings and spread it out flat, and then we roll it.

She can also take care of vegan customers by using a specially made coconut-water base.

Plans call for eventually serving food (chicken wings, cheese sticks) at the shop, and expanding to add more of the 24-inch diameter cold plates. That would allow more employees to work on the rolled ice cream orders as business increases.

For those who can’t make it to Froze Creamery, Haddad intends to take a portable cold plate on the road to elementary schools and birthday parties.

The personal touch is quickly reaping benefits for the new business.

“During the day, they (women customers) brought their kids in and at night they brought their husbands,” said Haddad, smiling.

The hours at Froze Creamery are 2-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2-10 p.m. Friday, 12-10 p.m. Saturday and 2-8 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday.

230 South Main Street
Clawson, Michigan 48017
248.307.7147

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST CLAWSON POSTS

A Passion for Fashion: Boutique Owner Marks 25 Years in Business

A Passion for Fashion: Boutique Owner Marks 25 Years in Business

A Passion for Fashion: Boutique Owner Marks 25 Years in Business

17

JANUARY 2020

BY HONEY MURRAY

LBN Community Series

Berkley

On an unassuming side street in Berkley, a few feet from 12 Mile Road’s relentless stream of daytime traffic, longtime boutique-clothing entrepreneur Patti Brock has created a cozy, richly stocked space for the apparel shoppers she’s been serving for 25 years — and for those who’ve just discovered her here at Annabelle’s Couture.

“I’ve always loved clothing and fashion,” Brock said recently at her store. “For 10 years, in the seventies and eighties, I enjoyed working part-time at specialty clothing store Patti Smith’s in Royal Oak. I became a buyer there. When I needed full-time work, I went to It Was/It Is, another Royal Oak boutique, where I worked for two years.

PATTI BROCK

PATTI BROCK

OWNER, ANNABELLE'S COUTURE

“I finally realized, ‘I think I could do this myself!’ Was it a leap of faith? Stupidity? Passion? A little of all,” she said with a laugh.

A Ferndale resident at the time, Brock noticed a Pleasant Ridge location for lease on Woodward.

“The landlord did not want a retail business there, but finally relented. That’s when I went to work: knocking down walls, painting, decorating, doing everything I could to open my store on a very tight budget.”

After operating Excelsior! Couture there for fifteen years, Brock downsized to a new location in Royal Oak and renamed the business Annabelle’s Couture, after her first granddaughter.

“I had been caring for my mother, who was loved by our customers and had always worked with me as a seamstress,” Brock said. “After she passed away, I took some time off. Eventually, I found my current space on Robina Avenue in Berkley and have been here for three years. And now I’m celebrating 25 extraordinary years of owning my unique clothing business.

“We don’t carry any brand you find in a mall. We work with artistic companies that are able to produce things that are not mainstream, from America and all over the world, including lots of handmade jewelry.”

Shawn Lombardo of Pontiac, a university librarian, has been a customer since 1999.

“I’d been looking for casual wear,” Lombardo said, “and my boyfriend told me about a place where his co-worker shopped. It was Patti’s store, Excelsior! Couture in Pleasant Ridge. It was an amazing personal shopping experience. Just as it is now at Annabelle’s, there were brands you’d never seen before.

“I’m from Long Island,” Lombardo continued, “and when my sister and mom visit, they say, ‘Where did you get that dress? Do they have any more sweaters like that?’ So, I long-distance shop for them.

“People might think of librarians as conservative dressers, but shopping here has made me take chances in what I wear. Patti is so enthusiastic and encouraging. She’s also the first person to say, ‘Take it off’ if it doesn’t look good.

“Annabelle’s is almost like home,” said Lombardo. “I’ll be running errands, and I’ll stop by just to say hi.”

“It’s a dangerous place! Very dangerous,” teased regular customer Laura Lies of Berkley. “I live a block and a half away.

Check Out This Week's Berkley City News

“I came to this location when it was previously a Pilates exercise studio,” Lies said. “I wish I had known about her previous locations.

“I get my fun clothes here, my dressy, jazzy, nobody-else-has-it things” she said.

“I love everything from here,” Lies added later. “The velvet skirt I got, which goes with everything; the burned-velvet kimono I wore on New Year’s Eve; all kinds of jewelry, shoes and accessories: in fact, everything I’m wearing right now. And every time you come in, it’s like a little party. Even if you don’t know the other customers, everyone is always having fun.”

 

Nicole Artanowicz, another Berkley resident, has been a customer since 2014.

“I tagged along with my friend, Shawn,” she said, “and I fell in love with Patti and Annabelle’s. I bought a perfect dress for a Berkley school fundraiser. It was an Alembika burn-out velvet cocoon dress. I love the slimming illusion, and I can wear it all year.

“I’m also impressed that Patti is very community-oriented and always gives back. She has become such a bright spot in our community.”

 

Annabelle’s was a dropoff center for the Berkley Moms Club’s diaper drive for the Judson Center, a social services agency, and also has a yearly fundraising fashion show.

“We had an extra-special event recently,” Brock said. “Chemistry Salon, Ullman’s Health and Beauty and Annabelle’s — three business here in Berkley — treated a winning caregiver of a veteran to a fantastic prize of clothing, jewelry, shoes, beauty items and salon services.

“It’s a great community here,” added Brock. “I hope it grows but doesn’t lose sight of the positive impact of retail.”

There is no website for Annabelle’s. “Shopping is an experience you cannot get by ordering online,” Brock said.

However, a visit to the store’s Facebook page is almost like being at a merchant event. Pictures of new arrivals are posted throughout the day, prompting enthusiastic requests that a dress or shirt be put on hold, questions about size availability, exclamations of product admiration, and encouragement for fellow readers’ purchases.

“I also have my ‘first-dibs’ email list,” Brock said. “When items come in, I can let customers know, especially when it’s items I know they like.

“I love helping women feel beautiful in their clothing, jewelry, and shoes. And I love being part of this community. And, best of all,” Brock added, “with Annabelle’s, you definitely won’t see yourself coming and going.”

Annabelle’s Couture is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Annabelle’s Couture
3369 Robina Avenue
Berkley, MI 48072
248.544.9008

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST BERKLEY POSTS

Seeing 2020: Business Cheerleader’s Advice For Success in New Year

Seeing 2020: Business Cheerleader’s Advice For Success in New Year

Seeing 2020: Business Cheerleader’s Advice for Success in New Year

15
JANUARY 2020

BY PAMELA A. ZINKOSKY

LBN Community Series

Farmington

Every business needs a cheerleader, and Tisha Hammond has been one for small businesses for the last five years. Her Farmington Hills-based Ascent Small Business Promotion LLC, popularly known as From Launch to Ascent, offers consulting services, online training, inspirational talks, business retreats and more.

While Hammond calls her blog Pep Talk, she’s by no means just a pompom-brandishing cheerleader. She was a badge-and-gun-carrying police officer for 10 years. She spent 21 years working for the government, the last part of that service conducting equal employment opportunity investigations.

TISHA HAMMOND

TISHA HAMMOND

FOUNDER, FROM LAUNCH TO ASCENT

There’s something both tough and soft about her, though, most likely because of the road that led to where she is today.

In 2014, both her brother and sister, neither of them yet 40, died. In addition, she and her husband mourned the passing that year of 24 other people they knew. It was a tragic year that ended with a “moment of clarity,” she said.

On Nov. 29, 2014 — yes, she recalls the exact date — she had a dream that featured the Ascent logo in its blue and gold colors and the “Small Business Cheerleader” tagline. “It was one of those dreams I didn’t forget,” she said.

Not much later, she took a test at work to find her “dream job,” which came up as either in public affairs — her husband’s field — or as a small-business promoter. “I said, ‘What’s a small business promoter?’ ” she said with a laugh.

Once she learned, she realized that, through all her employee interviews over the years, she encountered so many people who would rather be doing something else for a living. They weren’t living their passions. Ascent Small Business Promotion was born as a home-based business devoted to helping people make money doing what they love.
A place of her own

Hammond ran Ascent out of her home from January 2015 through March 2017 while still working for the government. In 2018, she retired, going full-time with Ascent in March of that year. That’s when she opened her office, an appointment-only consulting space that includes a meeting room for clients and an area for in-person training sessions.

Positive sayings adorn the walls of her office, which features a flat-screen television, plus a small treadmill and a stair-stepper, so she can get in some exercise while conducting calls or catching the news.

Adjacent to her office sits her husband’s photography and videography company. Hammond sometimes borrows his equipment to record videos or snap photos for her business’ social media pages. Before her interview with Local Business News, she posted a video saying she was praying for clarity in conveying her message — an idea that’s relevant for all business owners.

Hammond, who’s a small-business owner herself and an expert in equal opportunity and human resources issues, counsels and trains clients around the world. “My clients are health-care providers, ‘solopreneurs,’ nonprofits, corporations, agencies, small boutiques,” she said. They run the gamut of industries, but all of them can benefit from a few pieces of advice, she said.

Check Out This Week's Farmington City News

To start 2020, Hammond offered 10 pointers for small businesses:

 

  1. Build community. “Envelope yourself in a community — a team of people who will fuel you, share resources, help you change course when necessary, introduce clients,” said Hammond, who has done this throughout her career. She keeps a networking table with business cards from her clients and associates, and she never discounts the value of belonging to an organization of like-minded people. A fellow member of the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce, for example, helped connect her to a women’s organization in Bosnia. She formed a partnership with that organization to teach classes for her online training academy.
  2. Know your financials. “The IRS will consider your business a hobby if you’re not profitable,” Hammond said. It’s important to work toward making a profit and know what it takes to get there.
  3. Get a mentor. If a natural mentor hasn’t emerged for you, or if you’re shy about asking someone, check out www.score.org, Hammond suggests.
  4. Build capacity, and prepare for scaling. Hammond tells stories about people who had a product, did a media interview and then received more orders than they could fill. It’s a good problem to have, but it can be avoided, she said. Think in terms of scalability. Devise ways to contract for extra help as needed, or build an inventory you can draw upon.
  5. Invest your own money. “You have to put some skin in the game,” said Hammond, noting that five years ago she would have advised clients not to use their own money for startup costs. With experience, she’s learned that if you have invested dollars, you’re going to work that much harder on your business.
  6. Do your legwork. “I have to find people where they are,” Hammond says. That means email, Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest. For her part, Hammond is calling people from whom she’s collected business cards and asking for their email addresses so she can send them the weekly newsletter, Inspiration for Your Inbox, she plans to start. That’s something she wouldn’t have done five years ago, but recognizes the need for today.
  1. Use your time wisely. Five years ago, Hammond said, she would have told business owners to go to every networking event they could find. Now, she says, business owners need to be selective and go to those that make sense. She advises putting the phone away, too; mindless Facebook and LinkedIn scrolling wastes time you could be spending on other things.
  2. Understand the importance of self-care. “Self-care is crucial and no less important for entrepreneurs,” Hammond says. She suggests regular exercise — remember, she has exercise equipment right in her office — as well as limiting late-night work and finding inspiration wherever possible. When you need a boost, seek out an inspiring story, call a friend or talk to your mentor, she suggests.
9, Find the right price point, and pay attention to expenses. This goes along with finances, but Hammond advises knowing what you’re worth and being prepared for expenses like office supplies, rent and utilities if you’re in a physical office. Also, be prepared for people to offer you a lower price point, and have a strategy to either say no or find a path to getting the amount you want.

  1. ” ‘No’ is a complete sentence, and there’s always a path to yes,” says Hammond. Hammond advises a succinct “no” when something doesn’t feel right or goes against your values. She also tells people that there’s always a path to getting what you want. If the answer to whether someone will do business with you is no for now, you can find a way to get to yes if you’re creative and smart. If someone won’t pay what you’re worth now, work toward showing your value and finding a path to that amount.

In other words, don’t give up.  

Ascent Small Business Promotion LLC is available by appointment only.

Ascent Small Business Promotion LLC
37460 Hills Tech Drive
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
248.987.2865

Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATEST FARMINGTON POSTS