A FREE electronic magazine... January 3, 2002
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)
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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 "Show Your Cards"
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)2002, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
Two years ago at Christmas my mother died suddenly (but
peacefully and painlessly). She had apparently ordered something
from Haband! (a mail order business) because the next day a
package arrived containing a pair of pants. We sent it back,
requesting a refund for obvious reasons.
The pants were sent back with a note stating that "...their
return policy does not extend to beneficiaries". Plus, the note
was crudely copied, crooked on the page, and tattered.
I wrote a polite letter of outrage to the president of the
company. I'm still waiting for a response.
A nice way to treat customers, don't you think?
22222 T o p i c o f t h e M o n t h
This month's topic...
Interruptions: what kind do you have, how do you handle them,
and what do you do to minimize them?
Take a look at prior "Topics of the Month" along with
their responses at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/tom.htm
33333 A r t i c l e "Show Your Cards"
by Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"
I just found a stack of business cards hiding under some papers
on my desk. I had collected them at a recent speaker's
convention to add to the distribution list for this newsletter.
I was amazed at how little I remembered about these people! I
met them, shook their hands, and conversed with them; but all I
have to remember them by is that little piece of card stock. It
suddenly dawned on me that those business cards have a big job to
do. Is yours doing a good job?
Whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not, people
get an impression of you just by the card you give them. Oh,
sure, many times you've already met them face to face (like I did
at the convention) before you even whip out that card, and a
first impression has been made, but what about when the card
appears three weeks later and they say "Who WAS this?" What do
First, the quality of the card speaks volumes about you. Not
only the quality of the paper, but the print quality as well.
Flimsy cards that look like they were made on a copier leave an
impression alright; a bad one.
Colors/patterns/designs: do they convey an image that you want
to have? Professional? Fun loving? Dignified?
What is on the card is important too. Here are just a few things
that your business card has to include. (Some are obvious, some
- Who you are and how to get in touch. Duh! Remember the
fax number and, if you have one, toll-free number. In fact,
if you do have a toll-free number, project class and good
service by showing it as your only voice number. Whatever
phone number you show, "bold" it so it stands out. - What
you do. A job title is nice, but does it really convey what
function you perform and what your responsibilities are?
- What your company does. "ABC Flowers" tells a little about
what you do, but you need to add something like "Specializing
in birthday arrangements". "ABC & Associates" doesn't say
ANYthing about what you do; is that a consulting firm? If
so, what kind? Computer? Legal? Erosion control?
- Products and services. Briefly list some of what you or
your company offers. Brevity is key; just say enough to get
them to ask for more information.
- Internet information. Don't forget your web address and
e-mail address, too. (WHAT? You don't have web or e-mail
addresses? GET THEM, AND GET THEM NOW!)
That's a lot of stuff to get onto a 2" x 3 1/2" card, isn't it?
Don't forget the back of the card, too! That's a lot of "real
estate" which is often wasted, and the extra cost is minimal.
Your card does have a big job to do; it's cheap, front-line
advertising. Make the most of it!
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"!
I have a product that I know can really sell, but no matter how I
present it, I cannot get anyone interested. I am a consultant
and others I know are doing great. Can you offer some tips of
presenting tings you are a consultant for to others?
Dear A. E.
It is important to concentrate on what your customers need
rather than what you have. A very well-known figure in the
speaking business told me once, "Don't sell. Serve." and it
really jerked my head around.
Are you clear on exactly who your ideal customer/client is?
Write a detailed description of them. Are you clear on what
your ideal customer/client's needs are, where their pain is?
Are you talking to the right people? Are you addressing that
What are their objections: why are they uninterested? If you
don't know, find out. It may be painful to hear, but it will
be valuable. Maybe they have misunderstood what you can do
for them. Maybe you are not qualifying your prospects well
enough. Maybe you need to modify the product.
Then there is this: how do you 'know' that this product is
viable? Many people ask their spouses or friends what they
think, but these people, while well-intentioned, don't always
know the marketplace. As much as I hate to say it, maybe the
trouble you're having is a sign that says "Try a different
product". Sometimes it's better to cut bait and move on. You
are the only one that can decide when that time has come, but
if things don't improve you will eventually come to that
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 http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/theranch.htm )
Every day I marvel at how lucky I am to live and work in a
mountain resort community. Today it is the wind in the trees. I
have never heard a sound so soothing, so natural, so downright
Oh, sure, you can hear the wind in the cities, but it's just not
the same. There are other noises such as traffic, flapping
flags, and people. Here, there are no other sounds to interfere,
so it's different.
It's also different because we live in the middle of a great
forest of pines, firs, and oaks. In fact, I can see over 200
trees from my desk. And I'm talking 80- to 90-foot trees here.
(Yes, I've actually measured them using shadows and a proportion
technique that I learned in high school and never expected to
use!) There are so many trees that we can't see any buildings
from our home except for our own barn. And, when the wind blows,
the trees sing. Sing and sway, sing and sway.
The topography at our home is such that the wind is rarely on the
ground. That's because, being on a mountain and positioned just
so, the wind hits the side of the mountain below us and then
sweeps about 30 feet overhead. That means that it can be blowing
hard on the trees, but it's just breezy on the ground; no wind
chill when it's in the 20's!
So today, as I walked the dogs in the midst of this singing,
swaying forest, I marveled at how lucky I am to be here to enjoy
For me, windy days are Thanksgiving Days.
66666 A b o u t "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" N e w s l e t t e r
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My goal is a bi-weekly newsletter that will:
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-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 http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com for descriptions of
the programs and educational resources that I offer.
The "Big Bucks Boutique" offers resources and materials that will
help you "Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your business.
Take a look at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/boutique.htm
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
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