Do you have enough cash to avoid disaster? Do you want profits or wealth?

Do you want profits or wealth?
As a business owner, you need both.
You cannot have wealth without profits, says our friend Ruth King of ProfitabilityRevolution.com .
Many business owners focus only on the Profit & Loss statement and totally ignore their Balance Sheet. They focus solely on profits rather than building wealth.
You can go out of business ignoring wealth to focus solely on profits.
Ruth tells of a contractor who, in a single week, lost 3 major clients to bankruptcy and more than $1 million in uncollected receivables. He needed cash to survive.
Had he focused on building cash (i.e. wealth) in addition to profits, he might have struggled but his business survived.
Here are 2 steps you can take.

  1. Check your Balance Sheet the last day of each month. Is your checking account growing this month over a month a year ago? By how much? Should you transfer any of that to an interest-bearing account?
  2. Ask yourself how you might grow your cash faster. What expenses might you trim or eliminate? What can you do to grow your gross sales and net profits?

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com . Purchase an electronic copy by visiting Amazon.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to get prospects to open your emails

How can you get prospects to open your emails?
Want to write subject lines that work?
Subject lines that prospects will open?
You are competing with the 121 other emails most of us receive each day.
The only way to attract traffic, conversions and sales is to stand out.
These subject lines are backed by 20 studies. Your goal should be to use the best-performing email subject lines.
Put these 10 subject line templates in your “swipe file”and post by your computer.
• 3 steps to a {desirable outcome}
• What a new {idea, product or service}can means for {prospects’ life or career}
• Stop {undesirable emotion} now
• What {credible influencers} say about {topic, idea or strategy}
• {Someone prospects look up to} can afford any {product} but she uses this…
• You’re missing out on {something prospects desire}
• Tonight Only: A {prospect’s role, goal or career}’s dream
• Want 587% more {sales or results}?
• If you’re sick and tired of {whatever}
• {Name}, gain {something desirable} today only
Use these in ads and sales letters, too.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com. You can purchase an electronic version on Amazon by clicking here.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Productivity: How to double your productivity

Our friend Andrea Nierenberg shared with us these ways she makes her 24 hours each day more productive:

• Awaken 10 minutes early and you’ll be surprised to discover how much time you have created through those extra minutes.
You can start a project, connect online, write a note to people in your network, catch up on important reading or exercise.
Squeeze extra productivity out of your day.

  • Ask yourself these 5 questions:
  1. How much of my time is spent with clients or people in my network?
  2. Do I confirm appointments?
  3. Is my paperwork done completely?
  4. Am I willing to meet with people at their convenience instead of mine?
  5. Do I frequently have productive coffee and lunch meetings with my network?
  • To help yourself list.
  1. All the ways you waste time and how you will stop doing them.
  2. How you can be more productive.

Time can be your best friend and worst enemy. It keeps moving, so use it wisely.
Don’t multi-task. You’ll make mistakes.
When someone meets with you, give them your undivided attention. Always ask, “How much time do we need right now?”
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Secrets of storytelling

Have you heard someone drone on and on?
They love their story and tell it again and again.
All of us want to be good storytellers, orally and in print.
If you retell a story, give it a fresh slant.
Share new lessons the experience taught you.
Make the lessons ones that will benefit your audience.

Here are tips from experts, courtesy of Elizabeth Bernstein.
Elizabeth writes for the Wall Street Journal.

  1. Make a point.
    This why you tell stories.
    You don’t have to state it but keep it in mind.
    I tell the story of how we started our 1st newspaper.
    The facts are the same but the way I tell it differs.
    And I draw different points in each telling.

2. Open dramatically.
You need a “James Bond opening.”
One of my favorites is one Charlie Farrell tells.
Charlie was a Marine fighter pilot.
His story is about his 1st landing on a carrier at sea.
The carrier deck looked like a postage stamp from above.
It is a white knuckle run.
Charlie makes you feel what he felt.

Paul Zak, who studies the neurobiology of storytelling, says:
• You must have reasons for us to want to read or listen.
• An exciting opening produces dopamine in our brains.
That helps to focus our readers’ attention.

3. Put flesh on your characters.
What are the people in your story like?
How did they act, feel and look?
Make readers care about your characters
Their brains will produce oxytocin, the bonding hormone.

4. Build tension.
Deepen your story. Create cliffhangers and surprise.
These give a reason to care about your characters.
It will engage them with your story.
When they are emotionally engaged, they bond with you.

5. Make personal disclosures.
Research shows that self-disclosure helps people bond.
But don’t exaggerate. It kills credibility.
You can make yourself the butt of the story.
Readers love those of us willing to show our vulnerability.

Final tip: If you’re retelling a story, admit it.
Research shows repetition makes you look inauthentic.
But if you admit it, it seems to make it all right.
Write or say, “One of my favorite stories is…”

Is someone secretly stealing from you?

How do you know your bookkeeper, employees or vendors aren’t helping themselves to your hard-earned revenue?
After working with business owners for 38 years, our friend Ruth King can almost smell when the books are not right.
Often it is a bookkeeper, employee or vendors. Ruth hates telling owners, “Someone is embezzling and here’s the proof.”
All leave tell-tale signs. Sadly, most could have been caught quickly by owners doing one simple thing – having their bank statements sent to their homes.
If you aren’t getting your bank statements sent home, stop reading this and get your bank to send your statements home.
Check them carefully. The microfiche’s show signatures, who the checks were written to and the numerical sequences. If something doesn’t make sense, ask questions. This is your first line of defense!
Ruth has caught vendors changing the amounts on checks before depositing them. A $40 auto repair invoice became $400 when the vendor deposited the check.
You have to watch your vendors, too.
Get Ruth’s helpful newsletter by writing her at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to drive more profit to your bottom line

Are you happy with your business’s bottom line? We never are. I mean NEVER!
If you are happy with yours, take another look. Over time your costs rise and with it employee and your own pay.
What is the annual net percent of gross for companies your size in your industry? What are their average payroll costs as a percent of gross? How about the average costs of your other expenses?
You may have to raise prices to stay even or to do what others in your industry do.
What if you sold fewer products or services at a higher profit margin? Would that increase your net profit?
What if you sold more at a lower profit margin? Would that increase your profit?
What if you raised prices on your most popular products or services, raised productivity and decreased waste. Any one of these can increase your profits.
One step we are taking is a hard-nosed approach to our operating costs. We aim to shave those costs $100 a day.
With 260 work days a year, that will add $26,000 to our bottom line.
If you did that, what would it add to your bottom line?
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Your ‘Goldilocks Offers’ will close more sales

If you’ve shopped at your local grocer lately, you may have noticed “Yogurt-copia.”
There are so many choices – apple, banana cream pie, orange, peach, strawberry, etc. – it is dazzling and confusing. Which ones should you buy?
Consumer research shows this is having a negative impact on consumer sales. The multiple choices are hurting – not helping – boost yogurt sales.
That should be no surprise if you’ve read Robert Cialdini’s excellent book, “Influence.” Cialdini writes that fewer choices actually boost sales. Otherwise consumers become lost in the forest of choices.
Go to the frozen food section and you will find a similar cornucopia.
You’ll find a staggering array of brands and flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt and ice milk.
Which will your family like?
In the Goldilocks story, 1 bowl of porridge was too hot, 1 too cold and 1 just right for Goldilocks.
She chose the 1 just right.
I recommend you limit, not expand, the choices you offer clients and prospects.Your understanding of your prospects’ wants and needs helps you pick the 3 best choices to offer them.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The best way to gain more customers

Our friend Ruth King told us about her friend who asked for referrals for their new air conditioning system. None of the sales people asked why the friends called.
Make sure your salespeople ask how prospects heard about or who suggested you. Then thank those who referred you.
Prospects who call your company on recommendations are passive referrals.
No one in your company solicited the referral. It came because of a great job you did and your happy customer referred others to you without being prompted. These referrals prove you did a great job and the customer was happy to mention you.
Active referrals come when you ask customers for them. Many do it through social media: “If you liked our service, please review us on Google, Yelp, etc.”
Active referrals can come from incentives. By offering a gift, product or service for referrals, some customers become de facto sales people for you.
Put a statement on the bottom of your invoices that says, “We grow our company through referrals from family and friends. If we did a great job, please let them know.
“If we didn’t, please let us know.”
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Sell by the numbers for greater profits

Houston Rockets basketball coach Mike D’Antoni is passionate about 1.16.
That’s the number of points per possession they must score to be the best offense in basketball history, Ben Cohen writes in the numbers-driven Wall Street Journal.
D’Antoni has long been known for strategies that push the boundaries of his sport.
On points per possession, he decluttered the Rockets play book. If one play produces 0.8 points and another 1.2, why run the 0.8 plays. Run the 1.2 plays every time.
D’Antoni aims to average 1.16 points per possession. Anything above 1.16, he keeps. Anything less than that is thrown out.
His obsession with 1.16 drives the most unusual strategy in the National Basketball Association and why his team has taken the pursuit of peak efficiency to an extreme. They cut out all plays that don’t work.
What if you did that with your business?
Analyze which are your most profitable products and services. Concentrate on advertising and selling them.
Which customers produce your greatest profits? Concentrate on serving them and developing products and services that meet their needs and fulfill their dreams.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at katie.lexchron@gmail.com or call 803-359-7633. For an electronic copy through Amazon click here.

What should your obit reveal?

What should your obit reveal?

My Seton Hall University reporting students’ 1st writing exercise was simple:

Write a 250-word obituary you would want read at your funeral.

Bear in mind that it will appear in the local newspaper, too.

Your loved ones will read it and smile.

“He (or she) was sui generis,” they will say.

If you don’t know what sui generis means, look it up.

None of my students had the audacity of Thomas Mathews.

His sui generis obit was submitted by a funeral home to our local daily:

It prompted my wife to ask, “Why don’t we get obits like this for our newspaper?”

Thomas A. Mathews, 51, passed away on Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2019, from total heartbreak due to a severe case of Dallas Cowboys Fan Syndrome.
Thomas was born July 6, 1967, in Washington and traveled around the world throughout his childhood while his father served this great country.
He settled down in South Carolina where he worked as a Corrections Officer at multiple prisons around the state.
He worked part-time as a bartender while competing in local billiard leagues and enjoyed the misery his Dallas Cowboys brought him on Sundays.

Mathews’ obituary inspired me to write this.

I asked my wife to use it when I pass on to that great newsroom in the sky.

Much-feared newspaper editor dies.
After he lost his hair, many elected officials wondered where Jerry Bellune hid his horns.
Utility executives, corrupt politicians
and other miscreants wondered the same thing.
Two of his life’s great tragedies were being a Carolina Gamecocks and Philadelphia Eagles fan.

No sentences longer than 15 words. Short and to the point.

Here’s this month’s challenge for you:

Write your own obituary.

Show you have a sense of humor.

Make it light.

Give your readers a laugh or 2 among the otherwise grim data about your life.

Send me a copy and I will share it with others.

All of us could use a good laugh in these politically-dark days.

If yours makes me laugh, I’ll send you a complimentary copy of my new book.

It’s called “The Little Red Book of Compelling Writing.”

It has a few laughs in it, too.