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with your small business!

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Newsletter Archive
March 12, 2003

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A F*REE electronic magazine...                March 12, 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
               "Quick-Draw Your Business Cards"
   4. Feature: "Ask Dave" - My take on your business problems
               "Marketing the Virtual Assistant"
   5. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
               "Mending the fence"
   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

You are on our list as <$email$>

(To be added/deleted from this list scroll to end for link.)

  PLEASE FORWARD THIS issue 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 sent
  it without asking, which is a big no-no!)  Thanks!

(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
      and products.

      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.)

Announcing "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe Marketing Tips" Newsletter

... and it's FR'EE

I am very excited to announce a new newsletter focused on
Internet marketing.

"Big Bucks in a Bathrobe Marketing Tips" will be delivered
to you by email twice a month, containing lots of tips and
tricks that will help you increase your business and exposure
on the Internet.

Read all about it here:

Tax time again...  UGH!  Here's a resource that will help
reduce the pain.

I used to think I was pretty sophisticated when it came to
taxes and tax strategies.  Having owned my own corporation
for over 20 years, and hating to pay taxes, I learned a lot
of neat (but legal) tricks.  Yep, I thought I was pretty
cool when it came to taxes.

Until now.

I found a tax book that had a few tricks that even I didn't
know about.  As I read through it, I was pleased to find
most of the things I knew about plus a few that I didn't,
all explained in an easy-to-read style.

It isn't fancy, with colors and graphics that dazzle your
eye, but it is jam-packed with valuable, no-nonsense
information that will easily save you many times its cost.

* The Tax Reduction Toolkit *

How Any Small Business Owner or Self-Employed Person Can
Save Thousands In Taxes (without any fear of an IRS audit!) Wayne M. Davies, a Tax Professional with over 15 years
experience helping people like you to slash their taxes.

Anyone can understand the tax-saving methods covered here.
And, if there is something that you don't understand, the
Toolkit contains coupons for consulting services so you can
ask the author your questions for free!

Here's what you'll find in "The Tax Reduction Toolkit":

* 29 little-known legal loopholes that will reduce your
taxes by thousands -- for self-employed people and small
business owners only!

* 9 biggest mistakes taxpayers make (and how to avoid them)

* How to audit-proof your income tax return forever

* $395 worth of tax consulting and tax planning coupons

* plus several more bonuses that will dramatically improve
your financial situation immediately

I suggest that you take a very close look at this valuable

22222 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation

We were driving around the other day and encountered a
plumber who was driving a van.  The sides and back of the
van were covered with advertising for the company, with cute
slogans and a caricature of a plumber.  It was informative
and amusing.

As he pulled away we saw the back of the van and the phrase
"Caution:  snake inside!" and showed a cartoon of a
plumber's snake, rolled up on a caddy, but with a real
snake's head on the end.  We laughed out loud at that one.

How hard would it be to add a little humor to your
advertising?  It gives your business some personality, and
creates the impression that you're fun to do business with.



"Secrets of an Actual $5 Million Home Business"

Eight e-mails in eight days that will change the way you run
your small business!

33333 A r t i c l e "Quick-Draw Your Business Cards"

By Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO(tm)"

I just returned from a three-day conference for business
professionals.  There were about 500 in attendance and, as
I'm sure you would expect, there was an awful lot of
networking going on.  In fact, the networking opportunities
were one of the stated benefits of this particular event,
because in this particular group of people almost everyone
was in a position to help everyone else in one way or

As I "worked the conference" I exchanged business cards with
at least 50 different people.  I was absolutely astounded at
the fact that, with very few exceptions, each of them had to
hunt for their business cards:  they looked first in one
pocket, then another, or searched through their purse or
conference bag.  Since people were usually carrying
something, they often had to put it down on the floor or
on a table as they searched.  Then, they would find the
cards in a little business card pouch or container, which
they then had to open and try to grab a card.  It was almost
comical.  Some didn't even have any cards with them; they
had left them at home, left them in their hotel room, or run

What's wrong with this picture?

Why even have a business card if you can't produce it when
someone wants it, especially at an event where networking is
one of the principal reasons you go in the first place?

I hate to pull this very tired expression on you, but it's
true:  you only have one chance to create a good first
impression.  How impressive is it when you can't produce a
business card for someone who may want to do business with
you?  Or, perhaps worse, to fumble around, searching your
person or belongings to find one, creating a mini-disaster
area as you set things down (or drop them) while looking?  I
know what my impression is:  this person isn't very
organized.  Do you want to leave that impression?

When I leave my hotel room or arrive at any event where I
expect to exchange business cards, I put a stack of cards in
my shirt pocket positioned just so:  when I reach in and
grab one then present it, it is readable to the person to
whom I'm giving it before they even take it from me.  It
takes a few seconds of experimentation to get it just right,
but it is very impressive when someone asks for your card
and, before their words have died in the room, you not only
produce one, but it is front-side up, right-side up, and
readable.  POW!  I just made a good first impression.

I also make a point to always put business cards from other
people in a different pocket.  That way I don't accidentally
pull out someone else's card instead of my own.

Women can use pockets or compartments in their purses or
conference bags.  The objective:  produce your card within 2
seconds using only one hand, and present it so it's
readable.  Think of yourself as a gunfighter; when someone
wants your card, you should be "the quickest draw in the
west" and whip that baby out!  The look on their faces is
usually priceless, and you will have made a great first

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"!
   (Maybe not!)

Today's question:

I'm struggling this year with ways to improve and revitalize
my marketing materials.  I made the leap two years ago from
local secretarial service business to virtual assistant and
my marketing materials need a revamp, not to mention my
marketing plan.  I'm just not sure how to promote my
business virtually as opposed to locally.  Any suggestions?

  Dear C.C.

  Personally, I think that the Virtual Assistant concept is
  a good one.  Here are some thoughts.

  1. How are other VA's doing promotion out there?  Take the
  position of someone who NEEDS a VA:  where would you look?
  What would you search for?  (Remember that a potential
  client may not be familiar with the term "virtual
  assistant" so use other terms)

  2. Do you have a profile of your ideal client?  Size of
  business, type of help that they need, type of business,
  industry, etc.  Once you have that, ask yourself where
  such a person would hang out on the Internet.  Then go
  there and see if there are any promotion opportunities.

  3. The most important thing to remember on the Internet is
  that people are looking for free stuff.  Give it to them.
  For example, if you find a discussion board with
  participants that meet your profile, contribute to the
  discussions and put a "signature" in your messages that is
  short and sweet but let's them know that you are available,
  plus a link to your website.

  4. Are there any organizations out there for Virtual
  Assistants?  I believe that there are; join them.  Their
  focus should be on helping people who are trying to do
  exactly what you are doing.

  5. Specialize.  Perhaps you can niche yourself as a VA for
  software entrepreneurs, for example.  That would position
  you as an expert in their particular needs, and make it
  easier for you to target your marketing efforts.

  6. Write articles and distribute them to e-zines around
  the Internet.  Include a "resource box" at the end with a
  link to you so that if you pique anyone's interest they
  can find you.  It's that free information thing again...
  give it away big time and it will come back to you.

  7. Find other virtual assistants and see if you can
  partner with them.  Maybe you can handle their overload
  work and they can handle yours.  If you decide to
  specialize in a particular type of business, perhaps you
  can find another VA that doesn't or can't handle them and
  is willing to pass the business to you.  Maybe you can pay
  them a finder's fee.  Or, maybe you could specialize in a
  certain type of work:  data entry, for example.  Find a VA
  that detests data entry and he/she can sub the work to

  Good luck!


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 )

For some reason, the top wooden rail of one section of our
perimeter horse fencing was down.  It had apparently been
hit hard from the inside of the property, because the rail
was just hanging there from one of the two posts to which it
was supposed to be attached.

The big mystery is who or what caused it to fall.  It could
have been a coyote who was inside the property and jumped
the fence but hit it on the way over.  I don't think so,
though, because it was hit pretty hard to pull out three of
the four nails that held it on.  Besides, we looked for hair
on the rail that would indicate a collision with a hairy
creature, but there was none.

It could have been the horses, but if they had kicked it I
think there would have been a big dent in the board, but
there wasn't.

Regardless, it had to be fixed so I went out there with my
trusty hammer and nailed it back up.  In the process,
however, Keno and Kelly both came over to see what I was
doing.  At one point their noses were so close to the nails
that I couldn't even take a swing.

They were very helpful:  I couldn't have fixed it without

66666  A b o u t  "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe"

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
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If you don't want to receive future issues, scroll to the
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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

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 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

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

Please note:

   - This newsletter is sent every other week.

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                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391



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© Copyright 2003, A Few Good People, Inc.
P.O. Box 824
Twin Peaks, CA   92391
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