Avoid your biggest business nightmare

Running out of cash can give you hyper-stress and sleepless nights.
This happens when you don’t have enough revenue in slow times, haven’t saved enough to cover those times, an employee is stealing from you every week or you don’t set prices to make a profit.
Here are 4 ways our friend Ruth King advises to prevent running out of cash:

  1. Be your own banker. Use a savings account to transfer money each week. Save 1% of every check that comes in the door. Transfer it when you make the deposit.
    This is easy to do and easy NOT to do. Over the years this 1% adds up to a lot of dollars to cover payroll or other expenses.
  2. Watch your accounts receivable. If an invoice is to be paid in 30 days, call your account on the 31st day with a friendly reminder to pay by credit or debit card.
  3. Make it a policy to get payment at the time of order or at least a deposit. You can also charge a 1.5% carrying charge per month on delinquent accounts.
  4. Weekly cash flow reports will track incoming and outgoing dollars every week. Then predict cash inflows and outgoes for the next week. Email Ruth for a weekly cash flow report (rking@ontheribbon.com).
    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 your own electronic version online visit Amazon by clicking here.

Improve decisions & your bottom line

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie’s top advisers are women – an exception in a male-dominated sport.
Lurie says he didn’t set out to hire women but to hire the best candidates possible. He was looking for diversity of thought.
He wanted executives who viewed challenges and made decisions differently.
That meant looking for talent outside the world of pro football. As a result, the Eagles think more progressively about player evaluation and in-game decision making.
Philadelphia has been at the forefront of analytically-driven decisions that led to their Super Bowl win 2 years ago.
Recent research indicates diversity in management is the best way to run any business. McKinsey & Co. looked at the financial data of more than 1,000 companies and found those with diverse executives scored bigger profit margins. Companies at the top in gender diversity were 21% more likely to outperform competitors on profit.
In our publishing company we hire the best talent we can find. As a result, 80% of our key people are women, and half of our ownership is female. It has paid off.
We share such ideas in Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius: 30 Days to Incredible Sales Production. This is your guide to greater sales and a higher income.
You can get the Kindle edition for only $5 at https://amzn.to/2SibuhN .
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Tiny ads can pack a powerful punch

Imagine you are desperate for steady work to get your spouse off your back about feeding your family. Your kids are under-fed and always hungry.
Then you see this tiny ad in the Help Wanted classifieds: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, etc.”
The effect is electric, writes ace advertising copy writer Denny Hatch.
This is an advertising masterpiece. It would be as effective in 2019 to out-of-work millennials living in their parents’ basements as it was 116 years ago.
This ad is the stuff of legend – 30 short, dynamic words. It generated hundreds of responses. From it Ernest Shackleton put together a crew of 27 adventurers for a celebrated expedition to the South Pole.
Are you looking for people who are willing to take a chance on you and your business? People who have the guts and brains to help tackle your challenges?
We published a similar ad for sales help. It extolled “Set your own hours. Be your own boss. Reap the rewards.”
We didn’t want order takers or people who just showed up for a paycheck. The ad appealed to the entrepreneurs we wanted.
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.

3 steps to own your digital marketing power

We see many large and small businesses make these 3 digital marketing mistakes:

  1. They have a family member set up a clunky web site that may look pretty but is difficult to read on a mobile device.
  2. The site just sits there with no enticing product or service offers or fresh information to attract visitors.
  3. They use social media to post personal photos but nothing about their business.
    Are you one of them? Too busy running your business that you ignore digital marketing’s great and inexpensive power?
    Because we are in the news business, we invest a lot of time in posting breaking local news on our site. We use social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to let visitors know where to find out more about what’s happening. It’s like having our own radio and TV all news, all the time.
    On an average news day more than 2,000 users will visit our site. When we have a particularly dramatic news day such as high school football weekends, that will jump to 6,000 visits a day.
    Those users come to our site where they also see our advertisers’ messages. They can click through to their web sites, see their latest offers and place their orders.
    We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius: 30 Days to Incredible Sales Production.” Get a digital copy for only $5 at https://amzn.to/2SibuhN.
    Subscribe to the Chronicle online at www.lexingtonchronicle.com or call 359-7633.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Make them see, hear, smell and feel

You may find this hard to believe.
Our outdoor writer Cole Stilwell is 16 and a high school student.
I wish I could have written at 16 as well as he does.

Cole’s hiking buddy is his grandfather, Chuck McCurry.
Chuck wrote our popular Church Buzz column.
Writing well must be in their genes.

All of us are pleased by Cole’s progress.
He started with us as an internet intern.
He still posts news on our website and social media.

Recently, Cole wrote about 2 park rangers in nearby Aiken.
Here are 3 suggestions we shared with him that may help you, too.

1. Always get their life stories. 
People like to tell their stories.
Readers like to read them.
Unfortunately, too often no one listens to them.
They are pleased if you take an interest in them.

Our readers would have liked to know, for example:
– How the park rangers picked their careers.
– What it took them to get there.
– What they love about their chosen work.

2. Use the Big Eye, Big Ear approach to reporting. 
Give readers details so they see and hear what you saw and heard.

For example, they would like to have known what it:
– looked like, 
– sounded like, 
– smelled like, 
– even felt like
kayaking down a blackwater river such as the Edisto.

3. Make them see. 
Our journalism colleague Gene Roberts, a Pulitzer Prize winner at the NY Times and Philadelphia Inquirer, started his career working for a blind North Carolina publisher. 
The publisher’s wife read him the stories for each week’s edition.

Gene’s publisher insisted that he “make me see what you saw.”
He even had Gene write “This Week’s Prettiest Sight.”
Gene hated doing it. The guys at the pool hall kidded him about it.
But he learned a valuable lesson in observation and writing.

I hope this helps you as well as Cole. 
Keep watching, listening, feeling – and writing.

PS, Let me recommend Annie Dillard’s “The Writing Life.”
It will inspire you as it has done me.
For an exciting chapter from her book, visit
https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/06/24/annie-dillard-dave-rahm/ .

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.

Are starvation diets a dumb idea?

Fellow Maverick Entrepreneur Suzanne Riley Whyte asks if you have ever been really hungry.
Maybe you’ve gone on one of those diets where you eat almost nothing to lose a few pounds and then gain it all back in the next month.
How did your family like being around you when you were on this diet?
Do you think you made really good decisions when you were on this diet? Like buying that new car because you were angry at the squeak in the front tire of your old car or choosing to smoke cigarettes you cut out 20 years ago to help curve that craving for chocolate and other calories.
Probably not really good decisions.
I mean how can you be happy when you eat an apple for breakfast, a salad for lunch and steamed broccoli for dinner? Let alone making major decisions like what to do for your spouse on your 35th anniversary.
Diet, focus and happiness don’t go together.
The next time you see your pets running and hiding or your family disappearing and you’re left home alone and hungry, get out our book “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” In it, you will read how hunger, thirst, and exhaustion keep you from what you want in life.
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact Suzanne at info@matrxcoaching.com .
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

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 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.