You should live large – like your dog

Ace ad copywriter John Carlton reminds us of an essential truth. To be successful, rich and happy, “we gotta be healthy.”
That means taking time every day to nurture your body, brain and soul.
• Learn to breathe deeply.
• Eat fabulous, fuel-laden food. Pizza and burgers are treats, not sustenance.
• Meditate every day at least 20 minutes. It’s a natural way to recharge your battery.
• Exercise with gusto and purpose.
• Feed your brain. Read good books. Talk with intelligent people. Think about life.
• Feed your soul. Your life force shrivels when it’s ignored. Attending worship services helps if the pastor has a brain and a great spiritual message to share.
Prayer is the main attraction. This is not where you air your wish list. It’s where you ask for divine guidance in meeting challenges and maximizing opportunities.
Your dog knows most of these tricks – stretching with pleasure, running with joyous abandon, eager to walk with you, eating and sleeping with unabashed bliss.
Be more like your dog. Live large like a healthy, gleeful dog. Your rewards await.
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 . Want an electronic copy? Click here to visit the Amazon listing.
Next: Have you ever been hungry?
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

You’d better make a profit – or else

Our old boss Don Carter liked to ask job applicants what they thought was the 1st duty of a business. A few got the right answer – “to make a profit.”
We were reminded of that truth the other day when the CEOs of something called the Business Roundtable declared that their 1st duty was to “social responsibility.”
That sounds warm and compassionate on paper, like the Green New Deal.
In reality, it is entirely irresponsible.
There are many values right-thinking business owners and corporate executives should hold dear, among them are:

  1. Incredible customer service.
  2. Honesty and fairness with customers, employees, partners and investors.
  3. Meeting and beating the competition.
  4. Keeping a keen eye on the bottom line and growing net revenues.
  5. Terminating profit killers and accelerating profit builders.
    After you have complete command of those 5 objectives, you can start thinking about other means to serve the market and community where you live and operate.
    Without profits, you will be useless to everyone and quickly out of business.
    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 copy visit Amazon by clicking here.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to get free business publicity

Savvy business owners seek relations with local newspaper, magazine and broadcast reporters, editors and news directors.
When they have something about their business the community should know about, they know who to call and how to pitch the news to appeal to journalists.
In other words, advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you pray for.
Here are 5 steps you might take:

  1. Know your local editors and news directors or hire a publicist who does.
  2. Find out who reads their publications or listens to or watches their newscasts.
  3. Find out their deadlines and keep your news releases or email messages short and to the point. That means 150 words or less. They don’t have time to wade through your life story. Get to the point.
    And use email and the phone. Save hand writing for your thank you notes.
    By educating yourself about them, their audience and what they will print or put on the air, you’ve taken an important step.
    For example, we welcome business news for our Around Town column.
    If you have won an industry award or some other honor, let us know about it.
    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 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.

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.

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.

Your best source of new business

All of us know we should ask for referrals but we too often forget to ask.
Our friend Ruth King advises her coaching clients to place a statement at the bottom of their bills, proposals and the backs of their business cards.
Print “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provided excellent customer service, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
This statement lets a customer know that you are serious about providing outstanding customer service and that you appreciate referrals. Some will call you with referrals. Some will let you fix a problem rather than spreading the fact that they were unhappy to friends, neighbors, and social media.
The statement on proposals should be slightly different: “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provide excellent customer service when you become our customer, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
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 also order an electronic edition through Amazon by clicking here.

Save time and get more done

Many business owners boast that they have an open door policy. That’s great – if they have nothing else to do. But for many, it is a mistake. They should encourage their people to seize the initiative and solve problems they encounter themselves.
Multiple studies have found that interruptions cause tasks to take 30% longer or more. Many of those tasks are ones that only you as the boss can and should do.
One solution to keep them from coming to you with every 5-cent problem is to teach them to be self-reliant and take responsibility for their work. When they come to you, ask them what they consider the best solution. If you agree, congratulate them and ask them to take care of it. Let them know your confidence in them is growing.
An easy way to improve your productivity 30% is to close your door. You can even post a sign: “Please call back at 3 pm.”
Your employees will get the message and learn that they can talk with you later.
Most of us do NOT have to be on the premises all day every day. We can work part-time at home with few interruptions.
You will get more done and make more time for your family and personal projects.
We discuss this in a new book, “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.