How you can survive covid-19 nonsense

Some of us are starting to suspect there was more to the lockdowns and non-essential business shuttering than science and epidemiologist caution. Could this have been a conspiracy to wreck the economy in a presidential election year?

Conspiracy or not, the effect on the economy was the same – probably in your industry and ours. We publish newspapers.

A friend sent us news of a metropolitan daily newspaper publisher deciding to give up print and take his chances publishing online only, we wish him well.

This is sad but you will see more of this in daily newspapers. They are burdened with overhead and debt. Their publishers can’t give up their club memberships, 2nd homes at the beach and limousine lifestyle.

The small newspaper owners like us are different. Most of us own everything debt-free, run lean operations with a few skilled people and have loyal advertisers and readers who believe in us. We are truly blessed.

Like us, we hope you are debt-free, watch your payables and receivables closely, collect what your customers owe you, pay your bills to protect your credit rating and sleep soundly, knowing your top and bottom lines are in great shape.

 We share such strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Your best new business strategy

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Use covid-19 to strengthen your team

Retired university professor Preston Hardy wrote us the other day with the story of a boy in rural Ohio who became the first human survivor of rabies. 

His doctor lacked the training to deal with such a devastating infection where everyone else had failed. Instead of treating his young patient for rabies, which he did not know how to do, the country doctor treated each symptom as it appeared. 

He knew how to treat a patient with high fever, or one experiencing kidney failure or one who had swollen limbs. 

The tireless doctor treated each symptom that arose. Finally there were no more symptoms. You don’t actually have to “cure rabies,” to cure rabies.

A crisis like we’re experiencing is a great time to use the doctor’s example for team building. A series of short-range goals can help unite your employees while demonstrating to all of them that an overwhelming catastrophe does not have to be overcome all at once. It is more effectively dealt with in small steps. An added advantage of team building is enhanced productivity.

We share such field-tested ideas in “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a $10 copy of the $20 book, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: How to survive covid-19 nonsense.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Build greater loyalty in a pandemic

Churches, civic and networking groups, book and garden clubs share a secret many business owners ignore at their peril.

Which of these 2 customer groups would you prefer: Transitionals who only buy when you offer steep discounts or relationals who come back to you no matter what?

You’re right. Relationals mean success.

And what more can you do to build greater relational loyalty? How about creating an exclusive club membership for them.

The clothing company, Evereve, has an exclusive membership option: 

If you order $100 or more worth of products while the store is closed, you’ll be automatically enrolled in its exclusive club, whose members get a 10% discount card.

This option is different than offering a basic gift card and encourages customer loyalty. If the customer decides to buy now, they’ll get a long-term reward. 

It helps you because customers are more likely to buy now and then keep coming back to enjoy that 10% discount.

Additionally, send club members a regular newsletter. In it provide valuable, useful information and teach them what more you can do for them.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”  For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695. 

Next: Team building in a pandemic.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to make more money in a pandemic

The real question is not should you but what should you advertise. 

Take Kentucky Fried Chicken. Even after covid-19 became a pandemic, they ran ads of people licking their fingers in public. Finger-lickin-good. Ugh! After hundreds complained, KFC “paused” the campaign.

Corona Beer and Hershey chocolates made similar brainless ad goofs.

The virus has changed our world. That doesn’t mean you don’t advertise, advises Success Magazine Publisher Darren Hardy.

Stopping your ads will not help your prospects with the solutions you provide.

Ad volume is down. That means less competition for your prospects’ attention, needs, wants, problems and dollars.

Prices are down. That means lower cost for the same results – prospects’ business.

Online and social media usage is up. That means you can reach more of the people who need what you offer.

It’s the perfect trifecta, Darren says.

During the last recession, 600 companies’ advertising was tracked. The 1st group decreased or cut their advertising. The 2nd group maintained or increased ads.

The growth and revenue of the 2nd group was 256% higher overall.

You can read more such strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy fill out the form at the top of this page.

Next: Build greater customer loyalty

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

A plodder or a sprinter?

Good morning, fellow toiler in the writing vineyard,

We want to talk about speed vs. craft today.
Bill Fox would never brag about it but he was a sprinter.
Bill taught writing at Carolina and wrote stories and books.
You may recall Southern Fried and The Wild Blue Yonder,
Bill inspired many young writers.

He used to visit my Midlands Tech writing classes,
His formula began with turning your monitor to black.
You could not see what you were writing.
Just write the story that’s in your head in one sitting.
Then save it and walk away. Let it marinate.
Come back later when you can be analytical. 
Correct your typos. Kill your darlings.
Read it aloud. Rewrite it, Make your sentences sing. 

The first sprinter I worked with was our city editor.
He called me at the office at 12:30 one morning.
A cargo plane had crashed at the Air Force base.
Jim dictated a perfect 10-sentence story.
His story made the late city edition.
One day I will be able to do what he did, I hoped.
I learned to sprint. To dictate from the scene.

Bll Zinsser admitted he was a plodder.
His On Writing Well is one of our craft’s best books.
As I grow older, I have become a plodder, too.
I have to write the story in my head.
Decide where it begins and where it ends.
Write a sentence. Read it aloud.
Move the words around. Polish them. 
Read it aloud again. Then move on to the next sentence.

It does not matter if you are a sprinter or a plodder.
You will face times when you need to sprint.
Breaking news demands it. Learn to do it.
With the luxury of time, you can plod along.
Write. Rewrite. Polish. Make every word count.
Either way is right, depending on the time you have,

Are you a sprinter or a plodder?
What are your own thoughts about this?
Please write to me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

PS. I was plodding along on Compelling Writing Volume 1
It took more time than I suspected.
It will be available soon.

The crucial moments this crisis calls for you

The 2 most important days of your life, Mark Twain said, are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

You were born for specific purposes. 

Everything within you is geared for that. It should consume you with fire and fervor, says and ace copywriter John Carlton. 

If you are not pursuing that purpose, you will forever be unhappy. That unhappiness means you’ve wandered from your path.

If you stumble into the task, no matter how unprepared, you will fulfill a joyful purpose probably beyond your ability. But you’ll find our way by doing, Submit to your destiny, and get busy.

One hint: It is not the pursuit of money.

No. You are built for far nobler things. It may be much closer to home than you thought. Raising good children is a magnificent goal. Teaching is up there, too.

What you choose to do may involve more heat than you thought possible. The entrepreneur world is not for cowards.

Figure it out. Line up the challenges you will face and plot their obliteration starting today. Stop cowering in the corner

Step 1: Find your true purpose.

Step 2: Pursue it with all your heart.

Step 3: Keep a record of your progress.

For more on this, read “Your Life’s Great Purpose.” For a personally autographed copy of the $20 book for only $10, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Turn problems into solutions

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

More trends that may help or hurt you

Last week we talked about 3 trends that can help or hurt you.
Here are 3 more:

  • A friend observed that the political bickering in Washington is building popular sentiment for term limits. Don’t expect anybody in Congress to favor limiting their own terms. Yet their actions will make incumbents vulnerable to challengers and cost them millions in campaign donations.
  • When restaurants and non-essential retailers are able to reopen, they face the problem of hiring workers and restocking inventories at a time when they are cash poor. Smart lenders are going to have a field day. But many of these businesses are going to face higher costs with fewer customers and will have to cut their margins to attract customers to come back to them.
  • The pandemic has already driven many weaker owners out of business. This reduces the competition for consumers’ dollars when the stronger ones are open again.

Be sure you are ready to provide 1st class service and products to take advantage of this less competitive market.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know by writing JerryBellune@yahoo.com

We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”  For a complimentary copy, please fill out the form at the top of the page to join the mailing list.

Next: Protect your credibility during covid-19 to retain your customers’ loyalty. Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

In a crisis, focus on survival, not fear

Our friend MaryEllen Tribby’s daughter Delanie is training to play pro tennis. She has won dozens of junior tournaments and observers say she’s the next Chris Evert. 

Delanie as once plagued with doubts and would get nervous before her matches. 

She feared losing — the opposite of how she should have been thinking. Rather than say, “I don’t want to lose,” she is learning to say, over and over, “I want to win.” “I want to win.” “I’m going to win.” “I can win.”

Like a magnet, when she thinks of getting beat or making mistakes, she starts attracting errors and loses matches.

Just as she trains her body to hit the ball in a certain way to get a desired result, she trains her brain to focus on the ace serve, the cross-court winner and the perfect lob.

She focuses on what it will feel like to win. The more vivid her thoughts are on winning, the more likely she is to win.

MaryEllen uses her daughter’s example to teach an important lesson. During this time of trial, no matter what your situation, think “what must I do to get through this  and your brain will rise to the challenge.

Please let me know what you come up with. I will share it with other readers.

We share such field-tested tactics in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies,” For an autographed $20 copy, email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Trends to help your business.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

What can you control in trying times?

Our friend Jill Konrath admits it’s tempting to slip into “poor me” thinking. But we have a single option right now. We need to focus on what we can control.
Our brain loves challenges. It rises to the occasion, scanning memory for useful information. It pulls together unlinked thoughts to find new strategies. Ditch the word “problem.” Instead, say: “We have a real challenge here.” Ask yourself:

  • How can we attract new clients?
  • How can we keep our current clients?
  • What greater value can we create?
  • How can we make it easier for our customers to make buying decisions?
  • How can we increase our share of each customer’s business with us?”
  • How would Zig Ziglar or another successful salesperson handle this?
  • Which prospects need what I have?
  • How can I best show them?

When you do this, new ideas emerge.
Let’s be blunt. Nearly 90% of entrepreneurs need to improve their sales skills.
Spend time preparing for your calls.
Do your homework on prospects.
Learn about their issues and concerns.
Figure out how your offer will help with what they’re trying to accomplish.

We share such field-tested strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”
Claim your free electronic copy by filling out the form at the top of the page.
Already on my mailing list? Email me for your free electronic copy at JerryBellune@yahoo.com .

What are you doing to survive today? Share your ideas with us and other readers by emailing JerryBellune@yahoo.com .

Next: Focus on success – not fear

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Never let a crisis go to waste

President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
Savvy entrepreneurs understand.
Look at the bonanza grocers are enjoying. Products are flying off their shelves and ringing their cash registers. Well, maybe not cash registers. They use more sophisticated computer systems. But they are making a killing and with little effort other than to keep getting supplied every day.
Amazon plans to hire 100,000 more employees at their distribution centers to meet an escalating demand for online delivery.
Bars and restaurants are having to adapt as public officials order them to close their dining areas. But they will pick up business with take out, pick up and delivered meals.
Your local druggists and the pharmaceutical industry is working 24-7 as are hospitals and just about everyone in health care.
The demand has not been this high since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
So what kinds of products and services do you offer that could be tailored to meet this increasing demand? Think about it.
We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy of this $5 business eBook, go to JerryBellune.com
Got a thought about the above? Please write me at JerryBellue@yahoo.com
Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.