A FREE electronic magazine... February 27, 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: Article "Don't Panic!"
3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
Business failed; what should I have done?
4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
Chris, dogs, and kindergarteners
5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
6. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
7. 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
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Copyright (c)2002, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
Having a 'niche' is almost always a good idea. Either a
product or a market niche will do plenty for you; establish
you as an 'expert', make your product or service more
valuable, make your marketing more effective and less
Here's a good example: I saw a psychologist on TV the other
day that specializes in emotional eating. Good niching,
22222 A r t i c l e "Don't Panic!"
By Dave Balch, the "Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
We can learn a lot from horses; I sure did. Before my wife
got me interested in them, I couldn't even spell hoarse (!);
now I am learning from them while learning about them.
Today's lesson was learned when Kelly, our mare, found her
way into the breezeway of the barn. The breezeway is the
area where we walk when we feed or visit the horses, and
also serves as a storage area for horse-related supplies.
It runs alongside the two stalls, which are on the left as
you walk in. (We get into the stalls from the breezeway,
the horses enter and exit through doorways on the opposite
side.) The breezeway is full of horsey temptations and
dangers, including bags of food, treats, and medications
that, if ingested in large quantities could make them
seriously ill: think of it as a candy store for horses. A
very narrow candy store for horses.
Kelly got in there when I carelessly left a gate open that
should have been closed. There she was, sniffing away and
looking for goodies in a fairly confined space, considering
she weighs in at about 1100 pounds.
Uh-oh! She can't be in there! She could get sick or hurt!
What should I do?!? I remembered being told once that when
a horse is in a dangerous situation, you must remain calm.
After all, what do you think she would have done had I run
in there yelling at her? She would have bolted, perhaps
further into the breezeway, perhaps towards me trying to get
out. Getting run over by an upset horse is not my idea of a
good time. Who knows what she would have bumped into,
broken, stepped on, or??? Causing her to panic could have
easily caused 10 times more damage than I was trying to
So, I stopped to think. I made sure she had a clear route
to where I wanted her to go. And then I walked in there and
said in a firm, but quiet and somewhat disgusted voice,
"Kelly! You know you're not supposed to be in here!" She
slowly looked up at me, turned around, and casually walked
out with a look that said, "Gee, dad, you're no fun!" She
went where I wanted her to go, I closed the gate behind her,
and that was that.
It occurred to me that this was a great lesson for our
businesses. Things happen all the time that could have very
bad consequences for us. New competition, new laws that
adversely affect us, loss of an important client,
significant world events such as September 11... the list
goes on and on. How do we react? If we react emotionally,
we could make the problem worse.
Your gut reaction may be to yell at an important customer
that's giving you a hard time. Stop. Call them back later.
Cash flow not what you need it to be? Don't panic. Think
Does your local government suddenly want to slap license
fees on home businesses? Be calm. Discuss it with some of
My point is this: if a 'horse' gets into the 'breezeway' of
your business, remain calm and carefully consider your
options before reacting. The business you save may be your
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"!
A few years ago I went into business with a friend; we
opened a small retail store. Business was good but not
great and our overhead was high and eventually we had to
In the process of closing we discounted our merchandise and
customers flooded into our store, buying up everything so
quickly we had to restock several times before our closing
date. My question is "how could we have known how to draw
in customers before it was too late?"
1. I'm a firm believer in OPE ("Other People's
Experience"). When you noticed that sales were not good,
did you look to see what other, busier businesses were
doing to attract business?
2. Did you get training? Did you seek out seminars for
small retail stores? Books? Tapes?
3. Did you test? You can test lots of things...
advertisements, signage, mailings, etc.
Sorry to hear that it didn't work out. You learned a
lot, though, I'm sure, and your own experience will help
you if you give it another shot.
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"
(Photos and short bios of the complete "cast of characters"
are posted at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/theranch.htm )
Chris was walking the dogs recently and passed by the elementary
school that's behind our house. It happened to be recess and
about six of the kindergarteners stopped playing and ran over to
the fence to see the 'doggies', which were especially intriguing
because they are both black standard poodles and look virtually
The dogs were licking their outstretched fingers through the
fence, and a teacher came up and told the kids that they needed
to leave the doggies alone. Chris looked at them and said, "Can
you say 'lawsuit'?" She raised her arms like she was conducting
an orchestra and they all said "laaaaawwwwwssssuiiitt"!
I'm not sure if the teacher thought it was funny, but I sure did!
55555 A b o u t "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" N e w s l e t t e r
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66666 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.
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Take a look at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/boutique.htm
77777 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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A Few Good People, Inc.
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