Not Just Business as Usual!

What's a Good Business?

As I’ve explained elsewhere, a good business is good for: 

  • the people who work there
  • the community where its located
  • the natural environment
  • the society it’s a part of
A Noren “learning expedition” visits self-help law publisher Nolo Press. CW front row, far left. Nolo co-founder Jake Warner back row, slightly right of center.
Working on ourselves together.

A good business is economically successful or well on its way there.

When that happens, you’ll hear people say “That’s a good business to be in.”

A good business is also one that supports and/or performs “good works” such as:

  • Philanthropy
  • Community sponsorships
  • Sourcing and selling locally
  • Taking care of employees
    • better than businesses who claim:
“It’s not personal,
it’s just business.”

And last, but not least, a good business is

  • a business you create . . .
    • . . . as an owner, a partner, or a collaborative, entrepreneurial employee . . .
  • . . . to achieve your personal goals and fulfill your life purpose
  • . . . while supporting others in fulfilling theirs. 

What is Good Business Advice™?

Good Business Advice™ is a consulting and coaching process that expands the meaning of the word “business” to include . . .

  • any artistic, creative, or “maker” project
  • any cause-driven initiative or non-profit
  • any money-making commercial enterprise
Client “Good Vibrations,” a sex-positive retail sex toy store.
Client: “Good Vibrations,”
a sex-positive retail sex toy store.

. . . that aspires to make the world a better place and become financially self-sustaining across time.

Client “Pickle Family Circus,” an animal-free, family-friendly circus.
Client: Pickle Family Circus, San Francisco.
Animal-free, family-friendly, circus.
Client Jim Lewis, popularizer of “Astrocartography,” an astrology-based map of the best places for you to live and work
A learning expedition visit to one-person business Jim Lewis, popularizer of Astrocartography.

Good Business Advice™ helps you start or run a business that

  • takes good care of your employees
  • provides high-quality products and services
  • still makes a profit

With Good Business Advice™ you can:

  • Make your business “recession-proof”
  • Improve your management skills
  • Grow and change with the least pain
  • Learn to use the Internet as The Great Equalizer 

Good Business Advice™ can help you:

  • Develop a business or marketing plan that works
  • Find promotional methods that are more effective than display advertising, whether in print or on the Web
  • Expand or sell a successful business
  • Create better policies and procedures

How Does Good Business Advice™ Work?

To help you find solutions that are true to your personal values and your business purpose, Good Business Advice™ uses:

  • A hands-on approach
  • Personalized attention
  • One-to-one tutorial sessions
  • Referrals to resources and experts
    • (like-minded consultants, teachers, and advisors)
The client "hot-seat" in CW's Potrero Hill office, San Francisco.
The client "hot-seat"
in CW's Potrero Hill office.

Good Business Advice™ is unmatched by any small-business consulting firm.

If you or someone you know wants to start or grow a good business — a business:

  • that pays the bills
  • is good for people and the environment
  • is economically successful
  • gives you more freedom to be who you really are
CW in an online client meeting from his Sonoma office.
Online meeting with client
from CW's Sonoma office.

—then Good Business Advice™ can help.

How Has Good Business Advice™ Been Used?

Here are just a few examples:

  • To help write a business plan to raise start-up capital for a new restaurant.

  • To give marketing, operations, and finance advice to turn around a struggling hotel/spa/restaurant.

  • To provide advice on financial and marketing strategies to Artventure, a mail-order business selling natural fiber clothing.
  • To consult with Crow Canyon Institute on how to establish a retail store as part of an environmental education program.

  • To counsel Hummingbird Associates, a dental practice consulting firm, on the best choices for telecommunication via computer, phone, and FAX.

  • To brainstorm a start-up mail-order business selling “Simple Living” products with Paradox Enterprises.

  • To fill a temporary role as a chief operating officer for the Frame of Mind chain of framing stores during a critical growth period, assisting in business plan preparation, raising capital, and documenting and improving sales, personnel, and management systems.

  • To act as a resource for Taylor Management Associates at a strategic planning conference designed to help The Independent Bankers of Colorado in surviving the “big bank” takeover strategies.

  • To help revise an existing job description for the Alameda County Housing Authority, to attract computer professionals into lower-paying posts in a social service agency requiring their expertise.

  • To help facilitate a meeting between Apple Computer and user groups from around the country to repair a damaged reputation and build a future working relationship.

  • To develop a small business seminar and trade show for a regional phone company to aid in positioning them as small business advocates.

  • To create a training program for faculty, staff, and students in the use of computers at New College of California.

  • To design and implement a computerized tracking system for a proactive community relations program at a local phone company.

  • To consult with Pacific Bell on a seminar about “alternative work options” (job sharing, flextime, telecommuting) following the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

  • To train middle managers at a regional phone company how to telecommute via computer after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

  • To provide advice and counsel on the full spectrum of management and marketing issues, to hundreds of small and really small businesses, following the path to meaningful work that allows them to do what they love and still pay the bills.

A few of the types of adventures I’ve worked with:

Accountants, Acupuncturists, Architects, Archivists, Art Galleries, Artists, Attorneys, Bodyworkers, Bookkeepers, Consultants, Chiropractors, Dancers, Doctors, E-Commerce, Editors, Farmers, Financial Planners, Floor Finishers, Gardeners, Historians, Hotels, Landscapers, Mail-Order, Manufacturers, Market Researchers, Makers, Martial Arts Instructors, Musicians, Painters, Plumbers, Photographers, Potters, Printers, Publishers, Restaurants, Retailers, Small Manufacturers, Teachers,  Trainers, Weavers, Writers, and more.

"We were quite glad you changed your plans so that you could be with us. Not only did you contribute to [our client's] thinking, you contributed to ours, too! We look forward to working with you on other projects."

Matt Taylor 3Cat Model
Matt Taylor, Founder
Matt Taylor Associates

"You took the time to understand the business before contributing your clear and effective advice. Your ideas were really helpful and you pin-pointed the key problems with our company. Thank you for all your help over the last two years."

Tom Asher

Tom Asher, Mill Valley

Art Venture, clothing manufacturer

We have learned an incredible amount about personnel benefits, what it takes to create a business, how banks function, what our limitations are, and how we thrive on being challenged. We greatly appreciate your support and willingness to help during our gestation period. Thanks for everything.
Placeholder - Yin
Nina Weisbord, San Francisco
Frame of Mind (small chain of framing stores)

How much does Good Business Advice™ Cost?

Fees for Good Business Advice™ are usually project-based in alignment with the client’s budget.

If you want to start a new business or improve an existing one, call or email for an initial 30-minute conversation to discuss your needs and determine if and how Good Business Advice™ can help. There’s no charge if you choose not to make an appointment for further advice.

Project-based fees: Contingent upon client budget and project scope.

Cupped pair of hands filled with U.S. quarter dollars

Accountants, Acupuncturists, Architects, Archivists, Artists, Bodyworkers, Bookkeepers, Consultants, Chiropractors, Dancers, Doctors, Editors, Financial Planners, Floor Finishers, Historians, Lawyers, Mail-Order Companies, Manufacturers, Market Researchers, Martial Arts Instructors, Musicians, Painters, Plumbers, Photographers, Printers, Publishers, Retailers, Stock Brokers, Teachers, Weavers, and Writers.

Visit this page for a more detailed listing of my Good Business Advice™ clients.

Undefined projects or exploratory conversations may be hourly until a project is defined. The hourly rates are based on your annual revenues and/or the number of employees/team members:

Hourly Fee Schedule

  • Less than $5 million gross annual revenues or fewer than 10 employees:
    $150 an hour
  • $5 million to $25 million gross annual revenues or 11 to 150 employees:
    $300 an hour
  • $25 million or more in annual revenues, more than 150 employees:
    $600 an hour

How do I get started with
Good Business Advice™?

The best way is to send me a message using my contact form or by emailing [ claude AT – replace AT with the @ sign ]

You may also leave a voice message at:


(This is voice mail, but is automatically forwarded to my email inbox.)

If you prefer old fashioned mail and writing on paper, you may send a letter to:

Claude Whitmyer
601 Van Ness Avenue
Suite E, Box 433
San Francisco, CA 94102-3200

(Writing is slow, but it will get to me eventually, no matter where I happen to be traveling.)

Remember: "Everything is a business!"

My focus on right livelihood means that when I say "business" I mean any . . .

  • creative project
    • (art, music, craftspeople, makers, inventors)
  • cause-driven initiative
    • (social, political, ecological, spiritual)
  • non-profit service
    • (religious, social services, poverty, health)
  • money-making enterprise
    • (small, really small, and one-person businesses)

. . . that plans to pay its way across time.

This payment can be received through donations, subscriptions, dues, product sales, service fees, grants, or any other form of fundraising, financing, or revenue generation.

This approach is based  on understanding and mastery of the practices and behaviors represented by the first and second laws of money (from The Seven Laws of Money by Michael Phillips and Salli Rasberry) and using mindfulness as a frame for this mastery.

The Laws

  • Law Number 1: Do it!
    • If you're doing the right thing, the money will follow.
  • Law Number 2:  Money has its own rules.
    • Records, budgets, savings, borrowing.

You can learn more about my "right livelihood" approach to "business" by clicking on this button: