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with your small business!

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Newsletter Archive
August 28, 2002

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A FREE electronic magazine...                     August 28, 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)
   "David made over $5 million at home and wants to help you
    do the same or more"
             Mark Victor Hanson, co-creator of the #1 best selling
             "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series
(To be added or deleted from this list, scroll to end for link.)
"Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business"
Eight e-mails in eight days that will change the way you run your
small business!
I n   T h i s   I s s u e . . .
   1. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
   2. Feature: Article
               "Size Matters"
   3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
               Book publishing question
   4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
               The great toad mystery
   5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
   6. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
   7. How to get on or get off of this list
  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 don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty sick of unwanted
Offers to get a larger you-know-what or a smaller waist
line, lower mortgage rates or life insurance, make thousands
of dollars every week with no work no investment and no
risk.  Give me a break.  It's like I'm being forced into a
world I don't want to be part of; a sleazy con-man is
knocking at my door 50 times a day.
I know that all I have to do is delete it, but it is more
than that.  I found a remarkable article about this
phenomenon, how to help yourself, and how to avoid becoming
part of the problem.  I encourage you to read it.  Here is
the link:
AOL users: <A HREF=" ">GO!</A>
22222 A r t i c l e "Size Matters"
By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
My sister just told me an astounding tale of woe regarding a
repair of her refrigerator.  Frankly, after hearing this, it
amazes me that this large company makes any money at all.
Here's the story.
The service technician arrived, opened the refrigerator door
and announced that it needed a new fan.  He ordered the
part, which arrived a few days later.  He returned, replaced
the fan, and the problem was NOT solved; the fan was not the
At that point he removed the bottom panel (which he should
have done on the first visit), and determined that the
problem was with a long, thin, part made of glass; similar
to a fluorescent light bulb, but about one third the
diameter.  He ordered one, which was sent directly to my
sister's address.
It arrived broken because it was shipped in a flimsy
cardboard tube, wrapped in newspaper.  Can you imagine that?
A two-foot glass cylinder packaged with such little care?
As my sister said, a computer part half that size would have
first been packed in bubble wrap, then in shipping peanuts,
and then put in a box the size of Rhode Island.  Tick, tock:
it is taking a long time to repair this refrigerator.
They ordered another, which also arrived broken.  Tick,
tock.  The technician was as disgusted as my sister and used
his radio to complain to his office.  She could hear their
response, "Oh, that happens all the time!"
Next, he ordered TWO of them.  You guessed it; they both
arrived packed the same way, and broken.  Tick, tock.
Repeated calls to customer service yielded no results,
mainly because she never talked to the same person twice,
and because each person she did talk to had to write up the
problem and then send it via computer to someone else.  What
do you think they did next?  They ordered THREE of the
parts.  Tick, tock.
Finally; the law of averages kicked in and one of the three
arrived unbroken.  (They were all packed identically to the
first one; frankly I'm amazed that even one made it
The technician came over and installed it:  TA-DA, the
refrigerator is fixed; after SIX WEEKS!!
Let's take a look at this.  This job should have required
two trips to her home and one glass-tube-part; a total of
three days with a broken fridge.  Instead there were at
least six trips by the technician, seven glass tubes and a
fan, and they ended-up absorbing the entire cost of the
repair because of the extensive delay.  (At least they got
that part right!)  Not to mention a very unhappy customer
(who had to take time off from her graphic design business
for each service call).  Then there are the toll-free calls
to customer service, the time spent by their staff... need I
say more?
The point:  this probably would NEVER have happened with a
small business.  If the customer has a problem, they are
talking to the owner or one of very few employees; employees
that more than likely care about good service.
No bureaucracy.  No red tape.  No passing the buck.  No
communication problem.  How many broken parts would it take
before a small business responded by improving how it is
packed?  ONE!
Remember this the next time a customer is reluctant to do
business with you because they think your business is too
Size matters:  smaller is better.
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:
Dear Dave:
I have written two first draft books.  They need polishing
and I'm doing that until summer's end.  I got married and
moved to Italy (where my husband has been an international
sculptor for half his life) in order to have the time to
write what had been on the back burner for a LONNNNG time.
Now one agent has told me I can't get one of these books
published because I'm not out doing seminars and workshops
in America.  BUT I'm starting to do them in Europe (for
AMERICANS) and I want to offer my speaking services GRATIS
to those in America who would like to SHARE a podium with
me, or send me on speaking tours.  Have you any thoughts
about this?
               K.A., Italy
   Dear K.A.:
   As a matter of fact, I do have some thoughts...
   1. Don't offer 'gratis' right out of the chute.  I
   assume you offer that in order to get exposure which will
   help your book sales.  But why not accomplish that AND
   get paid to speak??  You do NOT have to give away your
   speaking services.
   2. I don't know what your topic is, so I don't really
   understand who would send you on a tour or who would
   share the podium, but a good place to start would be to
   contact others with similar topics or topics that would
   appeal to the same audience.  Try the National Speakers
   Association at
   3. Publisher, shmublisher... have you considered
   self-publishing?  No matter who publishes the book, YOU
   are responsible for promoting it.  No one else.  Here is
   a great resource to get you started:
   4. What about publishing your work as a eBook and selling
   it on the Internet?  It really isn't that difficult, and
   doesn't preclude publishing a printed version as well.
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 )
There is a mystery here at the ranch.
As I've mentioned before, we have a lovely toad (Marilyn)
living in one of the planters in front of our house.  We see
her several times a week enjoying one of the water bowls we
have put out for her.
(Previous mentions of Marilyn...)
Now we have discovered a toad down by the barn.  I have
named her "Barnice" and she also enjoys water bowls placed
there for her.
I have never seen them both on the same night, it's either
Marilyn or Barnice.  Are they one and the same?
Their markings seem to be the same but we don't know how to
tell for sure.  I tried writing an 'X' on her back with a
Sharpie, but it didn't work.  I suppose I could cut off one
of her legs, but if it truly is the same toad how would she
then get from one place to the other?  (Calm down, I'M JUST
The mystery thickens when you realize that it is almost 100
yards between the two locations up (or down) hill, and that
the only practical way to get from one to the other is
through a drain that goes under the house from the front to
the back, where she can then make her way through the horse
turn-out area to get to the barn.  And, when you consider
the complexity of the journey, how did she ever find her way
and why would she do this in the first place?  We did see
her one night, however, making her way toward the drain
entrance which is why this theory came up in the first
Imagine... a toad with a 2nd home.  Do you think she can
write it off when she files her taxes?
-------------------- CHRIS' CANCER UPDATE
Chris's third chemo was last Friday.  The Saturday before
that she went for a hike and came back with a rash.  She
thought it was poison oak which would have been bad, but as
it turns out, it is worse:  Shingles.
It is extremely painful, but we did find a lotion that
seems to help.  (In case you don't know, Shingles is a form
of herpes that comes from the Chicken Pox, which hides in
your spine until it has an opportunity to come out.  Factors
that can trigger it are stress and/or a compromised immune
system which is common for chemo patients.  It is an area
about the size of the palm of your hand that extends from
her chest to her spine, and it is covered with sores and
She is being extremely brave and is dealing with it
remarkably well.  She is currently experiencing extreme
fatigue and now thinks she may be coming down with something
because she is coughing a lot.
As our friend Anne said, "What's next?  Locusts?"
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
AOL users:
<A HREF=" ">GO!</A>
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.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391



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Twin Peaks, CA   92391
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