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The Stay-at-Home CEO™
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  "Make More Money and Have More Fun"
with your small business!

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December 6, 2001

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A FREE electronic magazine...                    December 6, 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
    Comments, suggestions, or questions are always welcome.
(Scroll to end for subscribe / unsubscribe instructions)
                       Happy Holidays!
I n   T h i s   I s s u e . . .
   1. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
   2. Feature: Topic of the Month
   3. Feature: Article "That Personal Touch"
   4. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
   5. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
   6. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
   7. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
   8. 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!
(c)2001, A Few Good People, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
My wife and I needed a new mattress.  Being a good shopper I
wanted to explore all options, so I called a mattress-by-mail
company to request information.
"Thank you for calling, sir.  We'll get that out to you in 2 to 4
TWO TO FOUR WEEKS!?!?!?!?!  How do these people stay in business?
If you can't be more responsive than that in this age of "I have
to have everything NOW" you won't survive.
By the way, we've already purchased a new mattress and STILL
haven't received that package.
22222 T o p i c   o f   t h e   M o n t h
This month's topic...
   What do you consider to be the most difficult thing about
   owning your own business?
Take a look at prior "Topics of the Month" along with
their responses at
33333 A r t i c l e "That Personal Touch"
by Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"
What makes a person want to do business with one business but not
with another?  I'm not talking about wishy-washy preferences
here, like "Well, I'd prefer this to that".  I'm talking about a
definite want to do business with a particular business, and a
definite aversion to another.  "I can't wait to buy from
so-and-so, but I wouldn't go to such-and-such if my life depended
on it."  This is one of those questions of the ages - a timeless
problem that business owners face day in and day out.  Do you
ever ask yourself that question?  Do you ever wonder why someone
picks you to do business with instead of the guy down the street?
I got some terrific insight into this dilemma in an informal
discussion with my sister last week.  She was casually telling me
about an antique store she happened to visit and after being in
there for only a few minutes, she found herself wanting to find
something to buy.  Imagine that!  Wouldn't you like to say that
you had that effect on your customers?  I asked her what made her
feel that way.  Her answer, like the answers to many questions
that seem complex, was very profound and very simple.
"They really cared."
I was floored.  Of course that makes a big difference, but I
never consciously thought about it in those terms.
She had gone in to see a particular lamp, and the person who
helped her said that the design had a special meaning and went
out of his way to find out what it meant, the history of the
piece, etc.  It was an attitude of being helpful without being
pushy.  It was the personal touch.
She went on to tell me about a chain of drugstores in her area
where it is common knowledge that the people who work there just
don't care.  Common knowledge!  Can you imagine operating a
business where your customers expect to be treated badly???  You
can ask where something is and they will say, "Aisle 13", sound
annoyed, and not even look up from what they are doing.  Well
excuuuuuuuuuse me!  She avoids that place like the plague.  She
says that their badges should say "Hi!  My name is Mary and I
don't care."
The difference is in the personal touch.  It has nothing to do
with the size of your business or how many employees you have.
Employees of large companies like a drug store chain can show it,
and small businesses may not.
Instead of the scenario above, how about this:  "Where's the
toothpaste?"  Stop what they're doing, give a big sincere smile,
"Here, let me show you.  What brand are you looking for?", then
get up, walk to the proper place, find their brand, hand it to
them, and then "Can I help you find something else?"
Nordstrom's Department Stores is a large company whose employees
are legendary in their personal touch.
You should be too.  It will make an amazing difference in your
44444  "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"!
   (Maybe not!)
Today's question:
I sell wholesale Leisure & Recreation Packages and would like to
market to businesses and corporations to use as an incentive,
reward, to recruit, retain or maybe even in their benefits
package.  My question is -- how do I market to them?
How do I find out where they hang out i.e., newsletters, e-zines,
newspapers etc.?  And how do I find out what businesses would be
interested in this type of thing?  I know I can send out a direct
sales letter but that could get pretty expensive with little
                       L.K., Washington
   Dear L.K.
   It seems to me that before you can find out where they 'hang
   out', you need to know who they are.  Ask yourself some
   questions.  For example, what kind of companies would purchase
   such packages?  Due to the relatively optional nature of your
   product, I would suggest that your potential companies must be
   doing well financially.  Also, they would have to be companies
   that care about such things as benefits and rewards.
   Based on those two questions alone, perhaps a good place to
   start would be the "Top Companies to Work for in America", as
   identified by Fortune Magazine.  Then narrow that list to
   industries that are doing well.
   Another thing to do is to look at your competition.  Who are
   they marketing to?  Look at their websites and see how they
   have positioned themselves.  Would that work for you?  Is it
   working for them?!
   After asking and answering these kinds of questions, you can
   develop a 'profile' of the kind of company to go after.  THEN
   you can figure out how to reach them.
   Good luck!
55555 "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"
   (Photos and short bios of the complete "cast of characters"
   are posted at )
Last week we got our first real rain of the season and you know
what that means.  Come to think of it, you probably don't!  It
means trenching time.
The barn is set in a such way that runoff has a tendency to flow
into the paddocks, which are the 30' by 40' outside enclosed
areas for the horses.  That makes the paddocks mushy, which can
cause a dangerous infection in the horses' hooves if they stand
in it too long.  Which means that we have to dig trenches and
otherwise conspire to divert rain water so that it goes where we
want it to and doesn't go where we don't.
In anticipation of the storm, Chris was out in the windy,
40-degree weather in her hot-pink boots (with raspberry soles)
and royal blue velvet dress (why save the dress for a 'special
occasion' when every day with her horses is a 'special
occasion'?) making berms and digging trenches with a pick and
shovel.  And right by her side, 'supervising', were both of the
horses.  She loves it!  Really, she does!  She says it's quite a
thrill, though a little unnerving, to realize that two 1,000
pound animals are looking over her shoulder while she works!  I
went out to help, but she had already done most of it.
The rains came and, I happy to say, her berms and trenches did
the job perfectly.  Maybe she was a civil engineer in a previous
66666  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:
   -You requested it on my website or after seeing me at a
    speaking engagement
   -I know you personally and thought you'd like it
   -I asked you if I could send it and you said "Yes"
   -Someone forwarded it to you because they thought you'd
    like it.  Scroll to the bottom for subscription instructions.
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
77777  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
Visit me at for descriptions of
the programs and educational materials that I offer.
88888  H o w   to   S u b s c r i b e   /   U n s u b s c r i b e
Please note:
   - This newsletter is sent every other week.
   - Subscriber information is NEVER shared with
     anyone for any reason.  PERIOD.
   - Contact me at
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                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391



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