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.

Leaders plan – even in the shower

Jerry Bellune’s January 2019 Leadership Letter

January is always a good time of year for entrepreneurs to look back – and ahead.
Take a look at the goals you set last year. I did and was surprised that half are undone.
Sure, many other opportunities came along and we jumped on them.
As to the unmet goals, we just ran out of time – not desire or energy.
Those go on the 2019 goal list or, if no long valid, go into the dustbin of history.
How’s that for a fancy phrase?
If you aren’t holding yourself accountable, you can bet your colleagues and family are.
Friend and fellow entrepreneur Ruth King advises us to plan and track our results.
Ruth suggests investing at least 15 minutes a day to planning and tracking. Where do you get that? Try:
• 7 minutes in the shower. That’s half the day’s 15 minutes.
• Close your door, shut off your phone, and research for 15 minutes, but at slower times of the day
• Stay home and think. You will begin to enjoy the quiet.
• Plan while you are walking your dog. 
Ruth walks Blackie. I walk Gypsy and Scoop. Or they walk me.
• Get your kids involved. They hear you talk about business and you’ll make them feel like grown-ups when you ask for their opinions. They may come up with ideas you would never think of.
Here are 3 goals at our newspaper and book publishing business you can adapt to your own operation:
1. Lower payroll to 35% of total expense.
2. Cut other expenses we can control by 5%.
3. Raise net profit 5%
Your Leadership Challenge
1. Can I make walking the dog and time in the shower more productive this year?
2. What can we do to improve and track our profits in specific revenue areas?
3. What can we do to lower and track our payroll and other expenses this year?

January Takeaway. Great leaders are entrepreneurs at heart. If you aspire to be one, order “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” In it 11 entrepreneurs share their strategies. Be among the first to receive the book. Purchase digital copies through Amazon by clicking here. Get your autographed copies by calling 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com .

Create memorable client experiences

A client’s experience is critical for every successful business, says local business owner Emily Wright. It should never be ignored.
Think like the people who run Disney World or a 5-star restaurant. How can you make what you provide reach such high standards of customer enchantment as Mickey and his friends at Disney do?
Train your employees to ask for referrals. Everyone in your company who interacts with clients should be taught to ask for referrals.
This should NOT be a pushy, high-pressure kind of interaction. Train them to listen to your clients and ask questions about where they find value in your services.
For example, you have a service rep who goes to a client’s home to repair a problem. Once they finish and the client pays and signs off on the work, they usually say “thank you” and leave, right? You and they are leaving money on the table.
During that interaction, train your service rep to ask, “Is there anything we could have done today to give you better service?”
Whoa! That’s a dangerous question. But it’s necessary.
Here’s the key: EMPOWER that service rep to DO whatever it is the client says they would like done, within reason.
Emily explains these steps and more in a new book “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” Autographed copies are available for $20 by calling Katie and Jewel at 803-359-7633.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Who are you selling?

Little-known secrets of selling yourself

Do you have a competitive service or product? Do you, work for or run an amazing company that treats each customer the right way?
If so, you have 2/3rds of the perfect formula for racking up outstanding sales, strong profit margins and the income of your dreams.
The missing ingredient is you.
That’s right. The other 1/3rd is you.
All of us must learn to sell not just our products and services and their benefits but ourselves first and foremost.
Learning to sell yourself to the potential client is the secret. It may sound simple. You might think that people already love you. But if they’re not doing business with you, they must love someone else more.
Think how you can build trust with a potential client. Think about a few more ways you can build a relationship with a complete stranger. Strangers are only strangers until you get to know them.
If you focus your energy on selling yourself to the prospect, you’ll more easily sell your product or service to prospects.
“Once I learned this,” entrepreneur Mike Ward says, “I focused on selling myself.”
Mike reveals his secrets of selling in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” This new book will help you sell and run your business profitably.
To place your order for a $20 autographed copy or a discounted bulk order for Christmas gifts, call 803-359-7633.

Does your advertising make money?

The secrets of advertising that works

Brand marketing is pushed on business owners and professionals by many marketing and advertising companies.
This kind of advertising emphasizes the owner or the professional, their credentials and services they provide. Little of it is about the prospects’ problems, writes successful dentist Greg Wych in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
This advertising is usually “pretty” and plays to the ego of the professional, not the needs of or benefits to the prospect.
Although the transaction size can be large, especially in sedation or cosmetic dentistry, this type of advertising has a poor return on investment.
Wych began to study and use direct response and lead generation advertising through the ideas of Dan Kennedy.
This type of advertising may look “ugly.”
No white space. No pictures of the doctor.  No mundane lists of services.
Dan Kennedy preaches the use of the right media to deliver a message that cannot be ignored.  Most importantly, the results must be measurable, Kennedy says.
If you don’t know which ads bring you business, you may be wasting your money.
Wych and 10 other entrepreneurs reveal their secrets in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies” which will be published next month.
To reserve your copy, call 803-359-7633.

Do you dare do this kind of advertising?

Outrageous ads gain outrageous results

Some time ago we offered a 10-year newspaper subscription. We were delighted when a 93-year-old optimist took it.

This week we are casting caution to the winds and offering a “lifetime” subscription. It is expensive and we really don’t expect many will take us up on it. You never know, though, until you try it.

A friend of ours thought we had lost our minds with this offer. He may be right. The full page color ad will attract attention that we want. In a PS at the bottom of the ad, we offer a somewhat more modest and less expensive 20-year subscription. That’s what we’re really selling.

One of the major problems we see in advertising today is that it is boring. It does not address the target audience. They need and want what you have to offer.

Boring ads tell no intriguing stories. Make no outrageous offers. Neglect to tell you what’s in it for you. Make no irresistible calls for action. Do not give you multiple ways to respond and place your order.

Our outrageous message is going to more than 30,000 people who can afford what we’re offering. We aren’t courting the universe – just a few affluent readers.

Think about your own advertising. Is it outrageous enough to attract attention?

To place an advance order for our new “Maverick Entrepreneur’s Million Dollar Strategies” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com. Bulk orders are available, too.