Linda’s Intro

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    Hello, my name is Linda Conarroe from the beautiful Barrier Valley SK. I was medically released in 2019 as a PO1 Human Resource Manager.

    Last year I turned my woodworking hobby into a business called Alli’s Custom Woodworking where we make and sell artisan cutting boards, custom furniture and other small items. We are in the early start-up phase where we are exploring income streams and finding our target market. Check out our website at

    A fun fact is that our business name “Alli’s” is a combination of my partner Al and my name – Al Li, the moustache logo/brand is all him because he has a huge handlebar moustache.

    I am very thankful to be part of this group and have the opportunity to learn how to grow my business.

    The two things I would like to learn more about during this course are:
    1 – how do I work smarter and get the most out of my income streams; and
    2 – how do I differentiate my brand in a saturated market?

    Nice to meet you all.


    Hello Linda,
    nice to meet you

    Wow the tables are beautiful!

    Erin Melnychuk

    Hi Linda, it’s great to welcome you to the forum! Those are certainly great questions. I believe the answers to your second question will naturally emerge from the deep work we’ll have you do on developing your business model. You are in a bit of a unique situation because your business is already operating. Many of the other participants are just developing their start up model. Bringing your financial statements into a coaching session with either Judy or myself might be a good way to explore how your business has been performing financially and look for some opportunities to find efficiencies.

    Judy Evans


    When did you start Alli’s Woodworking? What lessons have you learned, so far?

    From a working smarter concept, did you know that time is the shortest commodity for entrepreneurs, it can be more challenging to manage than money. How do you currently manage each day and what are your time challenges? Even saving a minute here and a minute there is worth exploring as those minutes add up quickly.




    Hello everyone and thank you for the kind feedback.

    bottom walker, thank you for the compliment. The tables were fun to build.

    Erin, I will definitely bring my financials. I would love if someone could share some excel spreadsheets that would help track material costs and inventory.

    Love your questions, Judy. What I am hoping to dig into is how to foster great relationships with my retailers and build my online presence so that I can spend more time in the workshop building products instead of in-person selling to customers. I would very much appreciate advice on communicating effectively and regularly with my retail partners.


    Eric McInnis

    Hey Linda, great website! Your products look very beautiful and professional, I hope you find pride in your work. I don’t have many answers, but one things came to mind from your questions. AAR, after action reports. I guess we can’t always go in knowing everything there is to know, but breaking down something you just went through, analyzing it, critiquing, and identifying points to improve always went a long way for future exercises or, now, ventures. Can’t wait to see more!


    Judy Evans


    A simple form for tracking costs of materials and time to produce an item can simply be a Word or Excel table with Product and date at the top, then a table with 4 columns – item, volume, description, price. For wood and stain, it would look like this:

    cedar wood, 5 5/8″ planks x 8′ length, price of wood
    stain, 1/4 litre, price of stain

    Create a binder, file folder or computer folder to keep track of these sheets

    The reason you want to date the top of each sheet, is the fact that prices change and you could even have extra columns on the right for a year 1, year 2, year 3 etc. so that you don’t need to create a new sheet when prices change, you simply insert the current pricing.

    Wordpress is not good at visuals. Darn it.




    OMG, you were so right when you said that time is a huge limiting factor. When I was going through the workbook, I realized that I am not working on the admin side of the house because I have not made it a priority and allocated time. It is necessary to keep up with it so it doesn’t get away and become overwhelming – it is an important task that needs to be addressed daily.

    Good catch! Thank you for the thoughtful feedback.

    ….going to work on my costing spreadsheet…..

    If you happen to have any ideas for inventory management, I would appreciate guidance on template design. I am in ten retail locations.



    Hi Linda,

    Oh wow! your work is amazing.

    Judy Evans


    Inventory management is a science in itself as inventory that is easy to source, such as wood stain or nails/screws, can be left in the suppliers inventory until you need it. However, if the local supplier is 2 hours away, then you need to carry more inventory based on time efficiency.

    However, if there are some items, like specialized woods for instance, that are hard to locate, you may need to care more of that in your inventory because of unstable supply.

    In other words there is no exact science to inventory management, it is all based on your unique business and your supply chain realities. Which by the way is always shifting and changing. Oh the adventures of business!


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