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How you can survive covid-19 nonsense

Some of us are starting to suspect there was more to the lockdowns and non-essential business shuttering than science and epidemiologist caution. Could this have been a conspiracy to wreck the economy in a presidential election year?

Conspiracy or not, the effect on the economy was the same – probably in your industry and ours. We publish newspapers.

A friend sent us news of a metropolitan daily newspaper publisher deciding to give up print and take his chances publishing online only, we wish him well.

This is sad but you will see more of this in daily newspapers. They are burdened with overhead and debt. Their publishers can’t give up their club memberships, 2nd homes at the beach and limousine lifestyle.

The small newspaper owners like us are different. Most of us own everything debt-free, run lean operations with a few skilled people and have loyal advertisers and readers who believe in us. We are truly blessed.

Like us, we hope you are debt-free, watch your payables and receivables closely, collect what your customers owe you, pay your bills to protect your credit rating and sleep soundly, knowing your top and bottom lines are in great shape.

 We share such strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Your best new business strategy

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Use covid-19 to strengthen your team

Retired university professor Preston Hardy wrote us the other day with the story of a boy in rural Ohio who became the first human survivor of rabies. 

His doctor lacked the training to deal with such a devastating infection where everyone else had failed. Instead of treating his young patient for rabies, which he did not know how to do, the country doctor treated each symptom as it appeared. 

He knew how to treat a patient with high fever, or one experiencing kidney failure or one who had swollen limbs. 

The tireless doctor treated each symptom that arose. Finally there were no more symptoms. You don’t actually have to “cure rabies,” to cure rabies.

A crisis like we’re experiencing is a great time to use the doctor’s example for team building. A series of short-range goals can help unite your employees while demonstrating to all of them that an overwhelming catastrophe does not have to be overcome all at once. It is more effectively dealt with in small steps. An added advantage of team building is enhanced productivity.

We share such field-tested ideas in “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a $10 copy of the $20 book, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: How to survive covid-19 nonsense.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Build greater loyalty in a pandemic

Churches, civic and networking groups, book and garden clubs share a secret many business owners ignore at their peril.

Which of these 2 customer groups would you prefer: Transitionals who only buy when you offer steep discounts or relationals who come back to you no matter what?

You’re right. Relationals mean success.

And what more can you do to build greater relational loyalty? How about creating an exclusive club membership for them.

The clothing company, Evereve, has an exclusive membership option: 

If you order $100 or more worth of products while the store is closed, you’ll be automatically enrolled in its exclusive club, whose members get a 10% discount card.

This option is different than offering a basic gift card and encourages customer loyalty. If the customer decides to buy now, they’ll get a long-term reward. 

It helps you because customers are more likely to buy now and then keep coming back to enjoy that 10% discount.

Additionally, send club members a regular newsletter. In it provide valuable, useful information and teach them what more you can do for them.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”  For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695. 

Next: Team building in a pandemic.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to make more money in a pandemic

The real question is not should you but what should you advertise. 

Take Kentucky Fried Chicken. Even after covid-19 became a pandemic, they ran ads of people licking their fingers in public. Finger-lickin-good. Ugh! After hundreds complained, KFC “paused” the campaign.

Corona Beer and Hershey chocolates made similar brainless ad goofs.

The virus has changed our world. That doesn’t mean you don’t advertise, advises Success Magazine Publisher Darren Hardy.

Stopping your ads will not help your prospects with the solutions you provide.

Ad volume is down. That means less competition for your prospects’ attention, needs, wants, problems and dollars.

Prices are down. That means lower cost for the same results – prospects’ business.

Online and social media usage is up. That means you can reach more of the people who need what you offer.

It’s the perfect trifecta, Darren says.

During the last recession, 600 companies’ advertising was tracked. The 1st group decreased or cut their advertising. The 2nd group maintained or increased ads.

The growth and revenue of the 2nd group was 256% higher overall.

You can read more such strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy fill out the form at the top of this page.

Next: Build greater customer loyalty

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

A plodder or a sprinter?

Good morning, fellow toiler in the writing vineyard,

We want to talk about speed vs. craft today.
Bill Fox would never brag about it but he was a sprinter.
Bill taught writing at Carolina and wrote stories and books.
You may recall Southern Fried and The Wild Blue Yonder,
Bill inspired many young writers.

He used to visit my Midlands Tech writing classes,
His formula began with turning your monitor to black.
You could not see what you were writing.
Just write the story that’s in your head in one sitting.
Then save it and walk away. Let it marinate.
Come back later when you can be analytical. 
Correct your typos. Kill your darlings.
Read it aloud. Rewrite it, Make your sentences sing. 

The first sprinter I worked with was our city editor.
He called me at the office at 12:30 one morning.
A cargo plane had crashed at the Air Force base.
Jim dictated a perfect 10-sentence story.
His story made the late city edition.
One day I will be able to do what he did, I hoped.
I learned to sprint. To dictate from the scene.

Bll Zinsser admitted he was a plodder.
His On Writing Well is one of our craft’s best books.
As I grow older, I have become a plodder, too.
I have to write the story in my head.
Decide where it begins and where it ends.
Write a sentence. Read it aloud.
Move the words around. Polish them. 
Read it aloud again. Then move on to the next sentence.

It does not matter if you are a sprinter or a plodder.
You will face times when you need to sprint.
Breaking news demands it. Learn to do it.
With the luxury of time, you can plod along.
Write. Rewrite. Polish. Make every word count.
Either way is right, depending on the time you have,

Are you a sprinter or a plodder?
What are your own thoughts about this?
Please write to me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

PS. I was plodding along on Compelling Writing Volume 1
It took more time than I suspected.
It will be available soon.

5 steps to turn problems into profits

Has the covid-19 crisis crippled your confidence, your sales and your income?

Our friend Jill Konrath says that when she faces the same thing she:

  1. Tells herself she has a challenge, not a problem. That matters. Our brain responds positively to challenges. It wants to find answers. In short, it clicks into gear.
  2. Reminds herself that she’s successfully handled other challenges. What did she do then? It builds her confidence.
  3. Poses questions such as:
  • What could I be doing differently? 
  • How do my colleagues deal with this?
  • What can I do to get more business from my existing clients? What messages or offers may result in a better response?
  • What will it take to make this decision a higher priority? How can I help prospects gain consensus on an important decision?

4. Experiments with different strategies, approaches, techniques. Calling what she does an experiment frees her from failure. Instead she is seeking new solutions. 

5. Steps back to evaluate the experiment. What went well so she can repeat it. What didn’t. Was it what she said? How she said it? What she didn’t say? Was the offer strong? 

Be honest with yourself.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Make more sales in a pandemic

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The crucial moments this crisis calls for you

The 2 most important days of your life, Mark Twain said, are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

You were born for specific purposes. 

Everything within you is geared for that. It should consume you with fire and fervor, says and ace copywriter John Carlton. 

If you are not pursuing that purpose, you will forever be unhappy. That unhappiness means you’ve wandered from your path.

If you stumble into the task, no matter how unprepared, you will fulfill a joyful purpose probably beyond your ability. But you’ll find our way by doing, Submit to your destiny, and get busy.

One hint: It is not the pursuit of money.

No. You are built for far nobler things. It may be much closer to home than you thought. Raising good children is a magnificent goal. Teaching is up there, too.

What you choose to do may involve more heat than you thought possible. The entrepreneur world is not for cowards.

Figure it out. Line up the challenges you will face and plot their obliteration starting today. Stop cowering in the corner

Step 1: Find your true purpose.

Step 2: Pursue it with all your heart.

Step 3: Keep a record of your progress.

For more on this, read “Your Life’s Great Purpose.” For a personally autographed copy of the $20 book for only $10, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Turn problems into solutions

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

More trends that may help or hurt you

Last week we talked about 3 trends that can help or hurt you.
Here are 3 more:

  • A friend observed that the political bickering in Washington is building popular sentiment for term limits. Don’t expect anybody in Congress to favor limiting their own terms. Yet their actions will make incumbents vulnerable to challengers and cost them millions in campaign donations.
  • When restaurants and non-essential retailers are able to reopen, they face the problem of hiring workers and restocking inventories at a time when they are cash poor. Smart lenders are going to have a field day. But many of these businesses are going to face higher costs with fewer customers and will have to cut their margins to attract customers to come back to them.
  • The pandemic has already driven many weaker owners out of business. This reduces the competition for consumers’ dollars when the stronger ones are open again.

Be sure you are ready to provide 1st class service and products to take advantage of this less competitive market.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know by writing JerryBellune@yahoo.com

We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”  For a complimentary copy, please fill out the form at the top of the page to join the mailing list.

Next: Protect your credibility during covid-19 to retain your customers’ loyalty. Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Trends to help – or hurt -your business

Alert business owners and entrepreneurs need to be aware of new consumer trends that may help – or hurt – their business.

A local ad agency survey found that some behavioral changes may be long-lasting. While 92% of consumers wanted to go out to eat, 67% planned to cook more at home and 41% planned to order take-out once the covid-19 crisis subsides.

67% missed going to movies but 56% were more likely to stream movies at home.

Bringing manufacturing back to the US, especially in critical products such as drugs and technology, could have positive impacts on South Carolina. Low labor costs and lack of union resistance to modern production methods will make right-to-work states appealing to manufacturers.

Consumers who rarely if ever bought products online have been forced to turn to the internet. Now that they realize how convenient it is for many products, they are expected to continue to buy there. As for shopping in women’s fashions, they can watch shopping channels and buy there,

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: More trends that could help or hurt your business’s bottom line.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

In a crisis, focus on survival, not fear

Our friend MaryEllen Tribby’s daughter Delanie is training to play pro tennis. She has won dozens of junior tournaments and observers say she’s the next Chris Evert. 

Delanie as once plagued with doubts and would get nervous before her matches. 

She feared losing — the opposite of how she should have been thinking. Rather than say, “I don’t want to lose,” she is learning to say, over and over, “I want to win.” “I want to win.” “I’m going to win.” “I can win.”

Like a magnet, when she thinks of getting beat or making mistakes, she starts attracting errors and loses matches.

Just as she trains her body to hit the ball in a certain way to get a desired result, she trains her brain to focus on the ace serve, the cross-court winner and the perfect lob.

She focuses on what it will feel like to win. The more vivid her thoughts are on winning, the more likely she is to win.

MaryEllen uses her daughter’s example to teach an important lesson. During this time of trial, no matter what your situation, think “what must I do to get through this  and your brain will rise to the challenge.

Please let me know what you come up with. I will share it with other readers.

We share such field-tested tactics in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies,” For an autographed $20 copy, email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Trends to help your business.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.