Work at Home, Home Business, Small Business, The Stay-at-Home CEO

The Stay-at-Home CEO™
My only mission:  to help you
  "Make More Money and Have More Fun"
with your small business!

FREE Newsletters and More!
for small/home business owners who want to
"Make More Money and Have More Fun"

Newsletter Archive


Speaking Topics

Educational Resources
("Big Bucks Boutique")

Product Reviews

Published Articles

Who IS this guy?

Life on the Ranch

Contact Dave


Newsletter Archive
May 8, 2002

Previous Next
A FREE electronic magazine...                         May 8, 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)
(Scroll to end for subscribe / unsubscribe instructions)
The "Big Bucks Boutique" is now open!  Resources and materials
that will help you "Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your
business are now available online with secure ordering.  Take a
look now! Limited time... FREE T-SHIRT WITH ANY ORDER OVER $30!
I n   T h i s   I s s u e . . .
   1. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
   2. Feature: Article
               "No Rules"
   3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
               "Should I go into business with this guy?"
   4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
               "Visitors from the porch"
   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
  know it's from you, or they'll think I spammed 'em!)  Thanks!
Copyright (c)2002, A Few Good People, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
I recently bought some shoes at a discount shoe store.  After I
made my selections and brought them to the counter, the cashier
very carefully opened each box, made sure that each had a left
and right shoe of the same size, and laced-up each shoe that
needed it.
It doesn't take much to give that little extra touch of customer
service, does it?
22222 A r t i c l e "No Rules"
By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
For an interesting experiment, I suggest that you go to any local
event where there are a number of different small businesses
exhibiting or selling their wares.  A swap meet would be a good
example, or a street sale, or a local fair.  When you are there,
observe the different styles of the businesses.
Some people put their merchandise on a table and then just sit
there and wait for the customers to come.  Others arrange
everything "just so" with colorful table coverings, plants, and
other decorations to create an inviting look.  They put up signs
that describe who they are and what they offer, and then they
greet the passersby with a friendly smile.  Then there are the
outrageous ones who dress-up in costumes, have loud music blaring
from behind the tables, or try to entice customers with
entertainers.  The variety of approaches to accomplish
essentially the same goal is fascinating.
But, as usual, there is a lesson here:  there are no rules about
how to conduct your business.  Sure, there are some basic things
you should do, but the key word here is "should".  For example,
it's simply common sense to treat your customers with respect,
but even that can be ignored as in the case of a restaurant that
I know where the big attraction is that the servers are rude to
their guests!  Insults are the "special of the day", and believe
me they let 'em fly!  It's a successful business, too.  Go
Since we're talking about rules, let me clarify one thing:  there
are definitely rules to follow as stipulated by the management of
the event.  If they say that you can't have loud music, then you
can't.  If they say that you have to stay within your assigned
booth when doing business, then you do.  I just returned from
sharing a booth at a book fair.  Some of the people in the booth
chose to ignore that particular rule, and they evicted us!  They
actually came on the morning of the second day and moved all of
our materials into the street so that new occupants could move
in!  It was unreal, and it was done in a rude, arrogant, and
unprofessional manner (but that's another article!).
The point is this:  don't worry about the "right" way to do your
business, but rather worry about what works!  Just because others
in your field do things a certain way doesn't mean that you have
to as well.  I think it's important to stand out from the crowd,
so don't be shy!  I walked around that book fair (which drew
75,000 people the first day) in a bright white terrycloth
bathrobe with a sign proclaiming myself as "The Stay-at-Home
CEO"!  Do you think that other authors were doing that, or
anything remotely like it?
We have a local tourist-oriented magazine and it carries a number
of advertisements from real-estate professionals.  One particular
page caught my attention because there were at least a dozen
business-card-size ads that were virtually identical except for
the photos.  I was astonished.  What is it that would cause a
reader to pick one particular agent out of the crowd?
So, write your own rules.  They are the only ones that matter.
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 help you make "Big Bucks"!
   (Maybe not!)
Today's question:
I have been involved (but not in paper yet) in a dry-cleaning
office pick up and delivery business for about 3 weeks now.
I have a strong background in inside sales and have the
personality to take my skills outside, too.  I am also very
creative and had been told have a good mind for organization and
practical structure.  Basically, I could probably build my own
business if I had the money and the drive.
My big concern is this:  I tend to think in terms of putting
everything in black and white, my partner is not.  He says we'll
be splitting 50/50 but he has not even sat down and figured out
which pie are we going to split:  after cost? after taxes? which
cost is legitimate? which is not?
I admire my partner for his vision and 'go-for-it-ness.'  He is
undaunted by any obstacles along the way.  But he is also known
for his lack of organization and a tendency to be misinformed
where it matters, such as:  he thinks everything he spends
personally can be written off as "business expense."
I want to adopt a positive attitude and think that "He is
'teachable.'  It's just a matter of making him see."  Still I
don't want to assume that he would learn these things WITHOUT
great cost such as an IRS audit or something similar.
Am I right in going with this guy?  Or am I better off going it
alone?  My objective in taking part in his business is this:  To
achieve financial independence through an economically viable
business without using too much capital; and to achieve this goal
within five years.
   Dear S.L.
   In a word:  "Run!"
   Many marriages (the romantic kind) fail because one of
   the parties expected to be able to "change" the other to
   their way of thinking.  Like it or not, a business
   relationship like you are describing is a marriage as
   well, but of a different kind.  If you go into it
   expecting him to change, I think you're in for a rocky
   Besides, what you have described indicates to me that he
   is uninterested in IRS regulations, which is, in and of
   itself, pretty scary.  You can get in very deep, very
   And the definition of what it is that you are going to
   split is without question the most important thing in
   your entire potential relationship.  You say it isn't
   defined yet; when will it be?  And how?  When it comes to
   the money, you had better have all of your "I's" dotted
   and your "T's" crossed BEFORE the fact or, quite frankly,
   you are doomed.
   The first business I started was a partnership with two
   other men.  It took us almost a year (part time on the
   weekends) to put together an agreement that we were all
   comfortable with!!
   I hate to be the bad guy, but based on what you've told
   me I think going with this person, although he seems to
   have some good qualities, would be a mistake.
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 )
We have been enjoying beautiful spring weather when, very
suddenly it seemed, it got cold again.  The nighttime temperature
dropped by 30 degrees in about 48 hours.
That meant that some of our potted plants had to come back in the
house after being outside for several weeks.  The largest of them
was on the front porch, so we dragged it into the living room
until the cold spell passed.
That night, Emma was staring intently at something on the carpet;
it was a frog about the size of a quarter!  We knew that frogs
lived in the big potted plant on the front porch, but it never
occurred to us that they were in there so early in the year.  We
figured that we better rescue it before Emma decided to have some
fresh frogs legs for a snack, but when Chris went to cup it in
her hands, it jumped about 2 feet.  We were all startled, but I
don't know why; it's not all that unusual for a frog to jump!
The little guy was successfully rescued, but before we were able
to put the plant out again we had 3 more of them hopping around
the living room.
...and to think that I was actually concerned about running out
of material for this column!!
55555  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.
If you don't want to receive future issues, scroll to the bottom
for instructions on how to unsubscribe.  No harm, no foul, no
hurt feelings!
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
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 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
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
Please note:
   - This newsletter is sent every other week.
   - Comments and suggestions are always welcome!
   - Subscriber information is NEVER shared with
     ANYone for ANY reason.  PERIOD.
   - Contact me at
   - HOW TO SUBSCRIBE If this issue was forwarded to you and you
     would like to receive your own copy (and OF COURSE you DO!),
     subscribe at
                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391




[Home]    [Signup for FREE Resources]
[Newsletter Archive]     [Educational Resources ("Big Bucks Boutique")]
[Product Reviews]    [Speaking Topics]    [Who is this guy?]    [Life on the Ranch]
[Published Articles]    [Links]    [Contact Dave]

© Copyright 2003, A Few Good People, Inc.
P.O. Box 824
Twin Peaks, CA   92391
909-337-4945 Fax