A F*REE electronic magazine... January 29, 2003
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
I n T h i s I s s u e . . .
1. Feature: The Stay-at-Home CEO Recommends
2. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
3. Feature: Article
4. Feature: "Ask Dave" - My take on your business problems
"Imposing on references"
5. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
"Kate bites the dust"
6. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
7. Who the heck am I, anyway?
8. How to get on or get off of this list
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(c) Copyright 2003, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS
11111 The Stay-at-Home CEO Recommends:
According to my recent subscriber survey, many of
you wanted my recommendations on various books
You can read past recommendations here:
(While it is true that I may make small amounts of
money on some of these recommendations, my integrity
is NOT for sale: I would never recommend something I
didn't believe-in 100%, just to make a buck or two.)
The 52 Most-Asked Marketing Questions
I want to recommend an awesome new course that answers the
52 most asked questions about running a business online.
It covers everything from setting up an e-commerce site, to
which e-mail company to use to send your online newsletter.
It is easy to understand and is quite thorough.
If you have a Web-based business, and want to make more
money online, you'll love this package. And for a limited
time, you can listen to it totally and completely f^ree of
I suggest that you check it out at:
22222 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
Since we live in a relatively remote area, we do a lot of
our shopping by mail order. It is cost efficient and time
efficient and the selection, of course, is unlimited.
Recently I opened one of our orders and there were several
items, so I checked the packing list to see if everything was
The packing list was indecipherable. I realize that item
numbers are different for every company and I have no
complaint about that, but the item descriptions were in some
sort of code. There was no way that I could have read it,
so it was useless to me.
Why make it more complicated than it has to be? If they are
going to the trouble to put descriptions in there in the
first place, why don't they make them readable for their
employees AND their customers?
Are you putting unnecessary complications into any part of
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33333 A r t i c l e "The Difference"
By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO(tm)"
My wife recently went to a car wash and came home just
raving about the place. Mainly, she talked about the man
that detailed the car after it comes out of the washing
line; he dried all of the water droplets, polished the
dashboard, cleaned the windows, used Armoral on the tires,
etc. He worked long and hard, gave her a big smile when she
came to claim her car, and then proceeded to make sure that
she looked at everything and was completely satisfied. She
couldn't say enough nice things about the service and would
certainly be back.
I have had a similar experience with Scott, the man who
delivers the feed for our horses. He is always personable,
friendly, and remembers our names and the names of our dogs
and horses. He'll do just about anything to make sure that
we are happy; for example the last delivery he brought 2,000
pounds of pellets, which we use in automatic feeders. They
come in 50-pound bags, and he has to carefully stack them in
the barn so that they stay neat and don't fall over. As it
happened, we still had about 10 bags left from the previous
delivery and I didn't want them on the bottom of the stack
because they were already several months old.
Scott says, "No problem! I'll just move them out of the
way, stack the new bags, and then put the older bags on top
of the new stack." That's ten 50-pound bags, and he moved
them twice. He was genuinely happy to do it.
We always use the same feed store, mainly because of Scott.
Do you see a pattern forming here? It only takes one good
employee to make the difference for your customers, the
difference between buying from you or buying from your
competitor. When you find such an employee, do whatever it
takes to keep them happy; they are making a huge difference
in your business.
I have been blessed with two such people in the history of
my business. The first was Andy, a salesman who worked the
phones tirelessly and was as charming a fellow as you have
ever met. People loved to talk to him even if they weren't
interested in my software, just because he was, well, Andy.
Many of them eventually made a purchase because of the
personal relationships that Andy had made.
The other is Kate, my assistant. Fiercely loyal,
hardworking, and always willing to do whatever has to be
done, Kate has been with me since 1990. She is delightful
on the phone and callers always enjoy talking to her, plus
she is usually even more excited that I am when something
They both did so much for me, that I included them in my
pension plan even though I didn't have to. Andy was
actually a "leased" employee and Kate is part-time, so
neither were eligible for the plan the way it was written.
I changed the rules of the plan, though, to include them
because I valued and appreciated their hard work and great
The opposite is also true; a bad employee can quickly drive
away a good customer. Permanently. Plus, consider all of
the people that that unhappy customer will tell about their
bad experience. Just the mood that an employee is in can
make a significant difference in the customer experience,
and if they can't put on a smile even when they don't feel
like it, either let them go or put them in a position where
they don't interact with customers. When my wife worked at
a supermarket, there was a sign in the break room that the
employees saw when they left the room to go back to work:
"Smile. You're On!"
Your employees are arguably some of the most valuable assets
of your business. Handle with care.
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 help you make "Big Bucks"!
I market a legitimate (and successful) business opportunity
worldwide and my question is this:
When investigating my business, prospects generally ask for
references (which I understand and I provide gladly).
However, many times, prospects call with numerous questions
and it becomes an imposition on the existing business
owners. In some cases, prospects will even try to get free
information. I've tried printing out reference letters,
including testimonials in my marketing materials and online
but most people want to talk with someone "live". Any
advice on how to handle this?
Interesting problem... you can't NOT give references
without looking shady, but on the other hand you don't
want to abuse the people that are kind enough to offer
1. When someone agrees to be a reference, warn them about
the tendency of prospects to suck up their time and remind
them that THEY HAVE THE OPTION TO END THE CONVERSATION AT
ANY TIME. I don't mean to be cold about this, but it is
the reference's responsibility to protect themselves
against abusive prospects. They may want to cut off
someone who is taking advantage but don't because of
loyalty to you. Perhaps if you tell them that you
understand such an action, they may feel less obligated to
endure any abuse.
2. Reassure the references that if they get too many calls
that take too much time and/or they begin to feel taken
advantage of, that you will take them off the list
3. Tell the prospects that they should limit their
conversation with the references to five minutes or so,
that they have volunteered to vouch for you, and that the
prospect should respect their time and not abuse the
privilege of talking to them.
4. Get as big a list as possible and rotate them, i.e.,
don't give them all to everyone who asks. The objective
here is to give references to anyone who wants them while
minimizing the number of calls to any one reference
55555 "M e a n w h i l e, b a c k at the 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 )
Kate and her friend took the horses out for a ride last
week. She has been doing this to help out while Chris is
recovering from all of her treatments because the horses
need to get some exercise even though Chris can't take them.
(Pretty tough, don't you think? Kate has to go horseback
riding to help us out... what a gal!)
They were galloping down a road in the forest and, when they
reached a corner, Keno was going a little too fast to
properly negotiate the turn and ran off the road into the
forest. Kate is an excellent rider, but as Keno tried to
slow down he made some unusual movements and Kate lost her
balance and fell off, landing on her head. Thanks to her
helmet she was okay except for a few bumps and bruises, but
something special happened afterward, and that is why I'm
sharing it here.
When Keno was finally able to stop, he came right back over
to Kate and sniffed her to see if she was alright. He then
waited patiently while she got up, brushed herself off, and
got back on for the rest of the ride.
Isn't Keno a good boy??
-------------------- CHRIS' CANCER UPDATE
I'm happy to say that this will be the last update! Chris
finished her radiation on the 15th and walked away with 3rd
degree burns on her chest and under her arm. They were very
painful and nasty.
It has been two weeks now and most of the skin has turned
from blood red to pink, and Chris is down to one pain pill
per day, from about 5 pills per day. Some days she doesn't
take any at all, so she is healing nicely.
Last weekend she did something that she has been dreaming of
doing for about six months: she went riding on Keno, taking
Kelley with her on a lead rope. They went on their usual
route through the forest, walking, trotting, and cantering,
then returned without incident.
SHE'S BACK, BABY!!
66666 A b o u t "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe"
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-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 business!
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
<A HREF=" http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/boutique.htm ">GO!</A>
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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