A FREE electronic magazine... September 13, 2001
B I G B U C K S I N A B A T H R O B E
Make More Money & Have More Fun With Your Small Business!
Publisher: Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
Back issues at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/bucksarchive.htm
Comments, suggestions, or questions are always welcome.
(Scroll to end for subscribe / unsubscribe instructions)
I n T h i s I s s u e . . .
1. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
2. Article "You Are Not Alone"
3. "Ask Dave" - Can I Help You With a Business Problem?
4. "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
5. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
6. How to Subscribe / Unsubscribe
PLEASE FORWARD THIS to each of your friends who have small or
home-based businesses; they'll LOVE you for it! (Be sure they
know it's from you, or they'll think I spammed 'em!) Thanks!
11111 A b o u t "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" N e w s l e t t e r
Welcome! You are receiving this because either:
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My goal is a bi-weekly newsletter that will:
-help you with your small or home-based business
-share articles of interest
-be informal and informative
-answer specific questions asked by readers
(c)2001, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
22222 A r t i c l e "You Are Not Alone"
By Dave Balch, the "Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
The life of a home-based businessperson can be a lonely one.
Some home-based businesses are just that: home BASED but there
is plenty of outside activity. For example, a home-based
plumbing business may have an office at home but all of the work
is done outside the office. They are the lucky ones. Most of us
sit in our home offices with our telephones and computers,
marketing, selling, and doing all kinds of things to promote our
businesses, but no one is around except the dog. Who do we talk
to? Who do we interact with? Who do we bounce ideas off of? To
whom are we accountable?
This is a common problem among us bathrobe-types, but do not
despair. you are not alone. There are several ways around this
problem, but you have to work at it to make it happen. One way
is to join your local Chamber of Commerce, and attend all of
their events. The idea is to get out there and talk to other
business people. Find out what they are doing, and tell them
what you are doing. Just the process of talking about it will
help you think! And hearing about other people's activities will
give you ideas. Finally, you just might stir up some business
with other members! You just can't go wrong attending Chamber
Another aspect of this problem is accountability. You know what
you have to do, but if you don't do it you don't have to answer
to anyone. Sometimes things can slip if you don't have to
explain why. Sounds kind of silly doesn't it? If you have to do
something, just do it. Right? Wrong. It can be very difficult
to do what you have to do, especially if it's something you don't
like to do or if you just don't feel like it. And if there is no
one to answer to, it's just too easy to let things slip. I know
I often have that problem, and it helps to have someone to answer
to if I get lazy. The trick is to find someone who you can work
with that will help keep you on track. It doesn't have to be a
professional person; ideally, it can be someone else with a
home-based business that has the same problem. Schedule a
10-minute phone call once a week so you can check up on each
other. It's amazing how much of an incentive that can be! And,
there is always the added benefit of being able to bounce ideas
off of each other, network, and learn from each other's
Running a home-based business is a dream come true for many, but
as with most things in life there are trade-offs. You don't have
to be alone if you don't want to be. So don't.
33333 "A s k D a v e"
(Can I help you with a business problem? I will field
business questions in every issue. Send them to
Ask whatever you'd like... all letters will remain anonymous.
Maybe my 2-cents'-worth will make you "Big Bucks"!
I am paranoid about my customers finding out that I work out
of my home. How can I make my business "look and feel" like
it's bigger than it really is?
First of all, if you are asked point blank if you work at
home, do not lie about it! I guarantee that your lie will
come back to haunt you.
That said, there is nothing wrong with trying to create the
appearance of a bigger business. Here are some ways to do it:
1. Get, advertise, and encourage your customers to use a
toll-free number (prefix 800, 888, 877, and now 866). There
are many good reasons; this is but one of them. Sure there is
an expense involved, but it isn't much more than if YOU called
2. Install music-on-hold on your phone.
3. Make sure that all of your brochures and printed materials
are top quality; well designed and printed, on quality paper,
AND NO GRAMMAR OR SPELLING ERRORS. Everything that leaves
your office should look like a million bucks.
4. Have a separate phone line for your business, and DO NOT
use call waiting. Make sure that, if a call comes in while
you are on the line, a voice-mail system will answer so the
caller can leave a message.
5. Return calls promptly.
6. Be sure that when you make business-related calls there is
no noise in the background such as traffic, radios, TV's,
barking dogs, or screaming kids.
7. Have a fax that has, ideally, a separate phone number.
44444 "M e a n w h i l e, b a c k a t t h e r a n c h..."
A Glimpse Into the Life of This "Stay-at-Home CEO"
I am sitting here trying to think of something cute to share
about life on the ranch and, frankly, I can't. I'm still in
shock over the events of the last few days so I'm going to offer
I have always maintained that TV is an arch enemy of the
home-based business owner because it's so easy to get sucked-in
and then completely distracted. The solution I recommend is to
never turn it on in the first place. That said, when there is a
major news event I find myself in terrible conflict; should I
keep my nose to the grindstone or just 'give-in' to the
temptation to keep up with what's going on? I have found myself
in this predicament during major events such as the Columbine
shootings and the Northridge earthquake.
When something happens that is so devastating, so traumatic, so
incomprehensible as the recent attack on our country, I am not
doing myself a favor by 'resisting'. I NEED to keep up with the
details. I NEED to know what's happening. I NEED to feel
involved in some fashion, even if vicariously. So I gave myself
permission, and just left the TV on.
I didn't get much done, but it doesn't matter. I did what was
most important at the time. I'm in great pain because of what I
saw and heard, but in retrospect I really had no choice. It was
simply not possible for me to ignore what was happening so that I
could get some work done.
If it's a really important distraction, give yourself permission.
55555 W h o t h e H e c k a m I, A n y w a y ?
I've generated over $5 million (so far!) from my own home-based
software business and I have a lot to share with you about how I
did it and what I learned along the way. Now, as a professional
speaker, I offer programs that will help you and your employees
"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small or home-based
66666 H o w to S u b s c r i b e / U n s u b s c r i b e
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