Have you and your business got SWAG?

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner striving to grow your business, you need SWAG. This attracts and keeps customers, says our friend MaryEllen Tribby.
MaryEllen has a simple SWAG Meter you can use to gauge your SWAG and how it relates to your business success.
S = Self Confidence. Customers want to feel you can help them grow, teach new things or solve their problems. You believe in yourself and your ability.
W = Wonderment. Your confidence creates feelings of being surprised or amazed. You encourage and help them find solutions to their problems.
A = Assertiveness. You don’t wait for something to happen. As one with SWAG you make things happen. This builds trust and confidence in your resourcefulness.
G = Greatness. As one with SWAG, you don’t settle for just being good or average.
As Jim Collins wrote in “Good to Great” good is the enemy of great. You won’t settle for just being good. You strive each day to be your best. You aim to make a real difference.
Next week we’ll show you how to measure your business’s SWAG.
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 . To get an electronic edition for $9.99 on Amazon, click here.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Maverick entrepreneurs’ independent lives

When anyone asks what’s so special about maverick entrepreneurs, we laugh. It’s like asking why your faith is important to you or why it is that we look forward to each day with such enthusiasm.
“If I have to explain it to you,” I say, “you probably won’t understand it.” But here goes anyway.
• Mavericks are free spirits – innovators who see opportunity in every challenge in their lives.
• They aren’t looking for a warm stall, a bag of oats and a grooming at the barn.
• They are willing to live by their wits, take educated risks, and push the envelope.
• The comfort of a corporate cubicle, a steady pay check, a 9-5 life and dreaming about the weekend is not for them.
• They aren’t foolish risk takers, irresponsible or idle dreamers. They look for opportunities, knowing there will be risks but if they take action, most of their endeavors work out – and pay off.
• They know if this venture doesn’t work, something else will. Just keep looking and working. Pursue your vision, correct your course and swing for the fences.
None of this tells you how to do it, just why. In our book, “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies,” we not only tell you why but show you how.
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com .
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Your local advertising drives higher sales

Local advertising is a small business’s best bet to attract customers, say advertising experts Brian and Michelle Mattingly.
A simple, targeted approach to advertising will almost always yield better results if you work with limited dollars.
A primary benefit of local advertising is forming local connections. These are more powerful than the shallow, national connections big corporations try to form with a geographically diverse audience.
You need to continue to do digital advertising with social media, your website and online offers to your customers. But Brian and Michelle advise not to underestimate the value in local print advertising.
While others are investing their last pennies in digital campaigns, your audience is saturated with online advertising. You need a presence online, but it’s smart to set aside a healthy portion of your budget to invest in local newspapers.
Find an affordable, reliable printer to help you develop creative local campaigns with booklets, brochures, calendars, catalogs and other tangible resources.
Your dollar will stretch farther and you can measure the results.
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.

8 questions, millions of answers

Ken Blanchard, co-author of “The One-Minute Manager,” “Raving Fans” and other books, has a challenge for us.
As business owners and community leaders, we need to spend time developing a personal mission statement by answering these 4 short questions:
• Why am I in the world?
• What is my overarching purpose?
• What would I like people to say about me after I’m gone?
• What difference will it make that I was here after all?
Our next step is to identify our personal values by answering these questions:
• What is really important to me?
• What do I stand for?
• What 3 values do I want to live by?
• Which values are most important?
This takes soul searching and quiet, thoughtful time. We can’t rush it.
Why is it worth the time and effort?
When we really know who we are, we operate more efficiently and calmly while making often tough decisions.
Even better, we’ll also be able to bring out the magnificence in others. Isn’t that the most important role of a leader?
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 . Get an electronic copy by visiting Amazon.

Marketing lesson: Can Absolut vodka teach us anything?

Marketing lesson: Have your products and services become commodities? Are you forced to compete on price, discounts and other concessions?
Take a lesson from a former dish washer and French master marketer, Michel Roux.
He made Absolut an iconic vodka with snob appeal in the booze market.
As head of the firm importing Absolut from Sweden, he engineered a wildly successful marketing campaign. It lifted Absolut from obscurity to No. 1 imported vodka.

For more winning ideas. Visit the Lexington Chronicle Business page.

I’ll bet you that you cannot tell a difference in the taste of any expensive vodkas.
What made Absolut desirable was not its taste but its snob appeal.
Roux’s ads started simple. An early version depicted a bottle of Absolut under a halo with the slogan “Absolut Perfection.” Artists and other celebrities including Andy
Warhol were paid to promote the brand.

More strategies @ the Lexington Chronicle Business page.

To reach trendsetters, Roux advertised in magazines aimed at wealthy people and those who wanted to emulate them.
You should explore Roux’s strategies in promoting other top brands and think of applying them to your own products.
You can only escape the commodity trap by using similar strategies.
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.

How to win the war with your rivals

Remember what Sun Tzu taught us in his “Art of War” – know your strengths and weaknesses and your competitors’, too.
Our competitors are in print, online, on the air, on cable, you name it. We never under-estimate them. They are savvy rivals.
We watch their every move. We not only need to know what they’re doing but to steal their best ideas as our own.
We read their publications, listen to them on radio, watch them on cable or TV, see who is doing business with them and how their customers invest their precious advertising dollars with them. What are their advertisers offering that our readers, online and in print, might be interested in?
If they offer products or services our people need and want, we would be remiss to fail to give our rivals’ advertisers an opportunity to make offers to our readers, too.
Does that make sense? Your rivals are fishing the same pond for the same fish.
Test their products and services. Check how they treat customers. Even hire a Secret Shopper to check them out.
This is fair, legal … and smart. You won’t be blind-sided ever again. And you’ll never be ashamed that you failed to do this.
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 .

See more great content on this blog or by visiting https://www.lexingtonchronicle.com/business.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Make it fun to do business with you

Dian and Gerald Harmon worked hard to make their concrete business successful and sold it for a bundle long before they were ready to retire. They started a “fun” business – a Christmas tree farm with hay rides, spooky Halloween rides and other events for kids. It was fun and profitable, too.
No matter what kind of business you’re in, find ways to make it fun, too.
Bill and Vickie Shanahan own a collegiate summer baseball team but know they are in the fun and entertainment business.
Last week they unveiled 2 “Fair Food” specials – donut burgers and chocolate covered bananas with sprinkles.
The burger (cheeseburger, too) comes on a sliced glazed donut. The frozen, chocolate covered banana with sprinkles comes on a stick. When their new baseball season opens today, they will also offer corn dogs on a stick, funnel fries and other fair food.
Now ask yourself this:

  1. What can I offer my customers, clients or patients that would be fun but not out of character with my core business?
  2. Ask your best customers, contractors, vendors and employees that question.
    You’ll be delighted by their answers.
    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.

To see this and other great business content you can also check out the Lexington County Chronicle Business Section. Our E-edition has even more content.

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.

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.

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.