How to beat the Grinch in 2020

How do you get the Grinch to go away?
Think about where you want to go, what you want to do and write it down, advises our friend Ruth King. The simple act of writing it down will propel you to do the goals even if you don’t think about it.
A student in Ruth’s BOSS (Business Owner’s Survival School) class wrote down his 1, 3, and 5 year goals and put them away.
Years later he found the goals. To his amazement he accomplished most of them without consciously thinking about them.
3 things you want to write down:

  1. What net profit per hour do you want in 2020? In other words, for each revenue generating hour how much gross and net profit do you want? The average business is open 2,000 hours a year, closing on New Years Day, Christmas and other holidays.
  2. What sales revenue do you want to generate in those days in 2020?
  3. Are you happy? If you are, what will you do to stay happy? If not, what will you commit to so that you achieve happiness.
    If you are not happy, then as the owner, your business suffers. Happiness is a precursor to business success.
    We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a complimentary copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com or call us at 803-359-7633.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

4 magic words to deal with fear

Physicist Albert Einstein said that to solve problems we’ve never dealt with before we must develop a new way of thinking about the problems and our fears.
Author and entrepreneur Harv Eker believes we must hone our thinking to gain a free, happy and balanced life.
Most of our problems are caused by the way we think. Problems we experience beyond our primal needs for food, shelter and water are created by our minds.
Our minds are survival oriented. We are always looking for what could go wrong.
If you’re considering a new opportunity, perhaps trying something a little risky, your mind will look for problems and try to stop you. Your mind is 100% fear-based.
If you know your mind is fear-based, you know your problems are in your mind.
To create real solutions and act freely, you’ve got to get outside your mind. By trying to protect you, your mind is limiting your capability to think and act.
Admit your concerns and say 4 magic words: “Thank you for sharing.”
Then do what needs to be done.
Our minds are our greatest assets and greatest liabilities. When we overcome fear, we have the power to act freely.
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 20% rule of costs and returns

A friend called the other day to pick our brains. He wants to start a small weekly newspaper in his community and wanted to know what we did in starting ours.
Here’s the Cliff Notes version.

  1. Create a business plan. Recruit your tax accountant to help you crunch the cost and revenue numbers.
  2. Project what your costs will be as accurately as possible. That will take several days to research and talk with potential vendors, asking for discounts and deals.
  3. Project where your revenue will come from, who your ideal customers will be and how much they will invest with you.
  4. List your top 20 ideal customers and go see them. Share with them your plans in confidence. Ask them to talk you out of doing it. That will tell you right away if they are truly a prospect.
  5. Shave 10% off your revenue projections just in case you don’t make them. Add 10% to your cost projections to cover the unexpected. From that 20% swing, figure how long it will take to become profitable.
    Do you have enough cash? If not, where can you get what you need? Will your bank give you a loan? Interest rates are low but lenders want to see a good business plan.
    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. To get an electronic version, click here to visit Amazon.

Your 3 best connecting strategies

MaryEllen Tribby believes “connecting” is a better word than “networking.”
Her 3 best connecting strategies are:

  1. Cultivate relationships. Project an image of warmth, approachability, understanding, knowledge, empathy, and an ability to engage. Be genuine.
    Take an interest in everyone you meet. Remember their names. Listen to understand their needs and how you can help.
  2. Make small talk. Learn to talk to anyone about anything. Initiating conversations helps you connect with people who may become valuable contacts.
    Use a few key phrases such as “Where are you from?” “How did you get started?” and “Do you have children?”
  3. Actively listen. Connecting is not about selling. It is about listening and showing your interest in them. Allow others to open up and talk freely. Give your undivided attention even if it is only for a few moments.
    Take an interest in what’s said and acknowledge this by nodding or agreeing.
    Use positive body language with eye contact. This means you are not looking over their shoulder to see who else is around.
    We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633. To get an electronic version, visit Amazon by clicking here.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Never forget the Scouts’ motto

Were you a Scout as a kid? If so, you will remember that famous motto – “Be prepared.” It’s not just for when you were young. It’s for business and for life.
Ace copywriter John Carlton reminds us that no matter how many good customers we have, it is smart to have a few more prospects in our pipelines at all times.
A perverse habit many entrepreneurs fall into is becoming too comfortable when things are going well, Don’t close your eyes to opportunities to serve new prospects. Providence may decide to rattle your smug little cage and teach you a lesson.
That happened to us the other day. We thought we had a big ticket proposal sold and an email came days before the deadline. The prospect decided to do something else. And we had to get someone else fast to take an annual publication’s back cover.
It can happen to you. Your client gets angry, dies or is dragged off to the hoosegow with no other prospects in your pipeline.
You need a plan for when things go bad. An escape hatch. Money for rainy days.
Start with long-term goals. How do you want the next 10 years to go? Where do you want to be when it’s time to retire? How much moolah will you need?
 We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633. Get an electronic copy from Amazon by clicking here.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Can your business pass this financial test?

Our friend Ruth King says financial statements are our scorecard. We need them on time to properly price our offers, make good decisions to earn a profit, spot minor issues and resolve them before they become major crises.
A financial statement prepared by the company’s accountant quarterly is unacceptable. Boxes of receipts delivered to our accountants at the end of the year are unacceptable. Timely, accurate financial statements on the last business day of the month help you spot and fix minor problems before they become major ones. Our long term survival depends on them.
The first thing to do with financial statements is a quick review. If something looks wrong, question it and get it right before going any further. Is income up or down from this month last year? How about payroll and other expenses? Do you know why they differ? Is this a good or bad sign?
Calculate ratios which answer:

  1. Can we pay all of our bills?
  2. Are costs too high?
  3. Do we have a collections problem?
  4. A personnel productivity problem?
  5. Are we carrying too much debt?
    Ruth’s “The Courage to be Profitable” explains each ratio in detail. It’s available on Amazon. For an autographed copy, call her at 770-729-0258.
    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 . For an electronic copy click here to see the book on Amazon.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

5 questions all business owners must ask

How do you build a business that rocks?
Our friend Ruth King told us that Jim Howard who published her book, The Courage to be Profitable, asks business owners:
• What is your reason for being in business? Why are you doing this?
• What does your customer get out of it? Your reasons have to be big enough for your customer and you to care.
• What is your offer? What can you provide them that they want or need?
Their wants may be different from their needs. Many of us get what we want rather than what we need. People buy on wants and justify it with their need later.
• How do you tell them about the value of what you have to offer?
You can’t build it and they will come. You have to build it, market it and tell them why they should need or want it.
• What pain will you fix? What pleasure can you give? Without pain or a dream to motivate them, they won’t respond.
• How do you retain them as clients?
You must be loyal to them and look out for their interests if you want them to become loyal and trust you.
Long-term maintenance plans and extended warranties with multiple benefits can build their trust in you.
That’s how you build a business that rocks. We share such ideas in Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633. You can get an electronic copy from Amazon by clicking here.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to super-charge your motivation

Do you struggle with motivation? An executive recruiter friend keeps on his desk a photo of a fire truck-red Lamborghini he wants. This is no toy. The car costs $200,000. The photo goads him to achieve his daily goals and buy the car.
He knows exactly how many calls he will have to make, how many rejections he will have to take, how many contacts he must develop and how many executives he has to place to take care of all his other costs of feeding and clothing his wife and 4 rambunctious boys … and buy the Lamborghini.
I’ll bet you any amount of money you care to wager he will do it. He is highly motivated and that Lamborghini goads him.
The workaholic rules a few of us over-achievers live by say work should be its own reward. You and I both know it’s BS.
As you enjoy more success, the risks are greater and the prizes more lavish. You must be motivated to stay on top, achieve your goals and acquire your Lamborghini.
The way to burn out is to finish a grueling project and jump on the next one.
Take a break. Go to the Bahamas. Reward yourself with something you’ve always wanted. Donate to or volunteer for a cause you really believe in.
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 version, visit Amazon by clicking here.
Next: Can you pass this test?

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

What are your business’s values?

Paul Davis believed that for your business to succeed you must always practice your basic values. What are yours?
Here are 3 of our values:
• Our internal and external customers come first. We take care of those who invest their time, money and trust in us.
• Honesty is the only policy. Cheating, lying or simply misleading anyone is not only wrong. It will catch up with you.
• We empower our people to make sound decisions as if they own the business and hold them accountable as we know they will hold us similarly accountable.
Davis founded Paul W. Davis Contracting in 1966, offering fire and other damage restoration. He saw that insurance adjusters who needed ways to settle claims would be his sole source of business. He turned it into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Davis began franchising in 1969, teaching franchisees how to run their franchises as highly profitable businesses. He had an open-door policy, made himself available to all employees, empowered them to make decisions and helped them make corrections along the way. That’s a good model for all of us in our businesses.
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.

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.