Skip to content

logo-n

How to earn your prospects’ trust

 

By Katie Ritchie   Occasionally you may have to cold call. It’s no fun, but there are ways to get in the door. Here are 2 suggested by so-called experts at a sales seminar our friend, sales coach Scott Channell, attended: • Find on Linkedin the college they attended and send them a knick-knack or…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Beware dangerous phone chargers

 

By Katie Ritchie   It has happened to all of us. You’re out and about and realize your phone is running low. It’s especially common when you’re traveling. Airport waiting areas often have clusters of nomads around outlets and power strips. Unfortunately, a scam called “juice jacking” makes charging your phone or tablet risky. Juice…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

How to create effective marketing? It’s simple use your magic!

 

By Ken Gasque   Magic is the most powerful tool you have. Use it! And the most powerful tool for creating magic is a pencil. It is a magic wand when it is used to define goals, and create paths to reach those goals, and to illustrate a new concept, and to visualize new brand…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Business Communications in an Era of Fake News

 

By Alfred Leach NP Strategy No one knows what to believe anymore. Misinformation, disinformation and propaganda are being shared from an ever-increasing breadth of “fake news” sources (from social media to fake websites to search engines). It can wreak havoc on your company’s bottom line: killing sales, impeding product performance and turning employees against you.…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications, on-the-move

Have you planned your exit strategy?

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   This time of year many of us have much to be thankful for. And those of us who have been at it many years are starting to think about selling our businesses and what our exit strategy should be to retire. Business coach Ruth King says we need profit and wealth…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, business-services, marketing-and-communications

Do Not Call Registry data book released

 

By Katie Ritchie   Over the last year, robocalls have been a popular Tech Talk topic. One of the resources I mentioned for stopping telemarketers was the Do Not Call Registry. The Registry was launched in 2003. As of September 30, 2019, there were 239 million active registrations. How does it work? Telemarketers and phone…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

4 magic words to deal with fear

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Physicist Albert Einstein said that to solve problems we’ve never dealt with before we must develop a new way of thinking about the problems and our fears. Author and entrepreneur Harv Eker believes we must hone our thinking to gain a free, happy and balanced life. Most of our problems are…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

State Treasurer’s Office Works to ‘Serve Those Who Serve’

 

By South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis   Our nation’s military members know what it means to serve. They are selfless individuals who have committed themselves to safeguarding our country, its values and freedom. The significant sacrifices our service members make are usually not made alone. They are shared by those that support them the most…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, government, on-the-move

Simplify cooking and grocery shopping

 

By Katie Ritchie   Have you planned your Thanksgiving menu? How about your holiday meal grocery shopping list? If you still need to work on it, there are free apps that can help! The best news? You don’t need to wait until the next big holiday to start using them. My favorite option is the…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Making Your Event Stand Out Through Sponsorships

 

By Emily Eckert NP Strategy   Think back to an event that stuck out in your mind. The one you attended where your mouth dropped open when you walked in, you left with a smile on your face or that you tell stories about. Was it your event? One that your corporation hosted or your…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications, on-the-move

The 20% rule of costs and returns

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   A friend called the other day to pick our brains. He wants to start a small weekly newspaper in his community and wanted to know what we did in starting ours. Here’s the Cliff Notes version. 1. Create a business plan. Recruit your tax accountant to help you crunch the cost…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Just hang up on a robot

 

By Katie Ritchie   If you’ve been bombarded by more robocalls than usual in the last 2 months, you aren’t alone. A reader emailed to report he has gotten calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. Please remember, the SSA and other government agencies will not contact you by phone. They will never…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

End of the Year Finances…4 Reasons Why They Are So Important

 

  Caffeinated Conversations: Tuesday, November 12th at 7:45 am at the United Way of the Midlands   Expect the Unexpected Mike Tyson, former heavyweight champion of the world, once made the statement about a plan: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Whereas it’s almost impossible to plan for every occurrence…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, non-profit

SC vulnerable to ID theft, fraud

 

By Katie Ritchie   Identity theft and fraud are serious issues. From January 1, 2005, to August 31, 2019, there have been 10,818 breaches. That comes out to 1.6 billion records compromised. According to a recent Wallethub study, South Carolina ranks 5th most vulnerable in the nation for ID theft and fraud. Wallethub looked at…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Your 3 best connecting strategies

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   MaryEllen Tribby believes “connecting” is a better word than “networking.” Her 3 best connecting strategies are: 1. Cultivate relationships. Project an image of warmth, approachability, understanding, knowledge, empathy, and an ability to engage. Be genuine. Take an interest in everyone you meet. Remember their names. Listen to understand their needs and…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Bipartisanship: in Business and in Politics

 

By Sam Johnson NP Strategy   Senator John McCain notably stated that “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.” He understood that the ability to act despite knowing the potential political ramifications of those actions embodied real courage, instead of elected leaders that acted because they felt…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications, non-profit

Never forget the Scouts’ motto

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Were you a Scout as a kid? If so, you will remember that famous motto – “Be prepared.” It’s not just for when you were young. It’s for business and for life. Ace copywriter John Carlton reminds us that no matter how many good customers we have, it is smart to…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Five things your graphic designer wants to tell you

 

  By Stephanie Heikkila Holman NP Strategy   Working with a designer to bring your business or organization’s vision to life should be an exciting and creatively fulfilling experience. Based on many years of experience, here are five things your designer wants you to know. Talk early – and talk often. Your brand isn’t just…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications, on-the-move

Can your business pass this financial test?

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Our friend Ruth King says financial statements are our scorecard. We need them on time to properly price our offers, make good decisions to earn a profit, spot minor issues and resolve them before they become major crises. A financial statement prepared by the company’s accountant quarterly is unacceptable. Boxes of…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Secure your accounts

 

By Katie Ritchie   This week’s Cybersecurity Month topic is multi-factor authentication (MFA). It’s a mouthful to say, but a simple idea. Think of it as another level of security. If someone steals your username and password, MFA can keep thieves out of your account. It buys you time until you can change your password.…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Avoid your biggest business nightmare

 

By Jerry Bellune   Running out of cash can give you hyper-stress and sleepless nights. This happens when you don’t have enough revenue in slow times, haven’t saved enough to cover those times, an employee is stealing from you every week or you don’t set prices to make a profit. Here are 4 ways our…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Keep devices safe while traveling

 

By Katie Ritchie   October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so I’m sharing tips for traveling safely with your devices. Keep this list on hand when traveling during the holidays. They are good for any device, even if you only travel with your cell phone. Things to do before you leave: Install and update antivirus…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Improve decisions & your bottom line

 

By Jerry Bellune   Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie’s top advisers are women – an exception in a male-dominated sport. Lurie says he didn’t set out to hire women but to hire the best candidates possible. He was looking for diversity of thought. He wanted executives who viewed challenges and made decisions differently. That meant…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Whistleblower Protections and Retaliation Risks

 

By David Dubberly Whistleblower issues are in the news, mainly because a U.S. intelligence officer recently filed a complaint against President Trump under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA).  The complaint, which asserts that the president engaged in improper conduct in interacting with the government of Ukraine, has led to an impeachment inquiry.  The…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, on-the-move

New phishing scams are here

 

By Katie Ritchie   October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. For the rest of October I’ll be sharing information on cyberthreats and how you can avoid them. This week is a new form of phishing scam. Phishing is when a scammer tries to impersonate a person or company. It’s often an attempt to steal money…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

How to Pitch a Reporter and Be Heard

 

By Angela Rogers  NP Strategy   Today’s reporters – both print and broadcast – are always on the move. Pivoting from one story to another, preparing a “package” for the 4, 5 and 6 o’clock news, or an in-depth investigation for web AND print, you’ll rarely catch one with ‘down time.’    With a journalist’s…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications, on-the-move

3 steps to own your digital marketing power

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   We see many large and small businesses make these 3 digital marketing mistakes: 1. They have a family member set up a clunky web site that may look pretty but is difficult to read on a mobile device. 2. The site just sits there with no enticing product or service offers…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Make your iPhone battery last

 

By Katie Ritchie The last in this series of battery boosting tips is for the iPhone. I saved the iPhone for last because iOS 13 released an update September 24. Software updates can sometimes make changes to the interface or menu options. If your device is eligible for a software update, you’ll want to download…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

ABLE 529s: A Special Account for Special Needs

 

By Aaron E. Graham Abacus   You may be familiar with 529 accounts. 529 Plans are so named from the originating IRS Code section and serve as tax-advantaged college savings accounts. A new account known as the ABLE 529 is now available as a similar vehicle to save for expenses unique to those with special…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, banking-and-finance

Tiny ads can pack a powerful punch

 

By Jerry Bellune   Imagine you are desperate for steady work to get your spouse off your back about feeding your family. Your kids are under-fed and always hungry. Then you see this tiny ad in the Help Wanted classifieds: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, etc.” The effect is electric, writes ace advertising…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

You can boost battery life of Pixel 3

 

By Katie Ritchie   Last week I shared ways to extend Note10 battery life. This week features tips to boost Pixel 3 battery life. Many of these tips also apply to earlier Pixel phones. Have a specific phone or tablet you’d like battery tips for? Email me at [email protected] . Adjust the Ambient display. If…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Unconventional Excellence

 

By Heather Matthews NP Strategy   A standing ovation, mixed with enthusiastic cheers and a chorus of “good mornings” welcomed me as I walked in to get my car oil changed.  You read that right, loud clapping from the ENTIRE STAFF as I walked into Gerald’s Tire in Mt. Pleasant, SC last month, right when…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

5 questions all business owners must ask

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   How do you build a business that rocks? Our friend Ruth King told us that Jim Howard who published her book, The Courage to be Profitable, asks business owners: What is your reason for being in business? Why are you doing this? What does your customer get out of it? Your…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Tips to boost Note10 battery

 

By Katie Ritchie   Last week I shared ways to extend your Windows 10 laptop battery life. This week I’m sharing tips to boost your Samsung Galaxy Note10. Have a specific phone or tablet you’d like battery tips for? Email me at [email protected] . 1. Adjust your display resolution and brightness. One of the perks…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Extend your laptop battery life

 

By Katie Ritchie   Does your laptop battery last long enough? Most folks answer that with an enthusiastic “no,” regardless of what device they mean. In this series, I’ll share tips for making your mobile device battery last. Have a specific phone or tablet you’d like tips for? Email me at [email protected] . Boost Windows…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Are starvation diets a dumb idea?

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Fellow Maverick Entrepreneur Suzanne Riley Whyte asks if you have ever been really hungry. Maybe you’ve gone on one of those diets where you eat almost nothing to lose a few pounds and then gain it all back in the next month. How did your family like being around you when…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Foreign Manufacturer + Union Campaign = Netflix Documentary (and Lessons for Employers)

 

This week’s article provides insight from Nexsen Pruet attorney William Floyd. NP Strategy is part of the Nexsen Pruet family, working collaboratively alongside lawyers for the benefit of clients.   A few years ago, a major Chinese manufacturer, Fuyao, opened the world’s largest windshield-making plant in Ohio. Fuyao renovated an old General Motors facility, invested millions…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Please, make a profit!

 

By Ken Gasque   Have you heard the news media reporting that Warren Buffett wants to pay more taxes? “Please, raise my taxes.” Legendary investor Warren Buffett said on Monday that rich Americans, including himself, are not paying enough in taxes. “The wealthy are definitely undertaxed relative to the general population,” the Berkshire Hathaway Chairman…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

You should live large – like your dog

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Ace ad copywriter John Carlton reminds us of an essential truth. To be successful, rich and happy, “we gotta be healthy.” That means taking time every day to nurture your body, brain and soul. • Learn to breathe deeply. • Eat fabulous, fuel-laden food. Pizza and burgers are treats, not sustenance.…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Be wary of stalkerware

 

By Katie Ritchie   Jesse’s ex-boyfriend had always been difficult. He called it “over-protective because he cared.” Her family called him controlling. He wanted to know where she was and who she talked to. When they broke up, Jesse started running into him everywhere. He said it was fate. It was actually stalkerware. Stalkerware is…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

You’d better make a profit – or else

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Our old boss Don Carter liked to ask job applicants what they thought was the 1st duty of a business. A few got the right answer – “to make a profit.” We were reminded of that truth the other day when the CEOs of something called the Business Roundtable declared that…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

AirDrop settings may put phone at risk

 

By Katie Ritchie   Is your iPhone open to files from strangers? If you’re an Apple products user, you may have used a feature called AirDrop. It’s a handy filesharing tool. Using AirDrop, you can transfer videos, photos, and documents with nearby Apple users. This can be helpful when sharing family vacation pictures. However, it…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Do you need a videographer?

 

By Taylor Kearns   Finding the best videography services for your business Ask a barber, and he’ll tell you yes, you need a haircut. Ask a videographer if you need to hire an experienced professional to help produce something compelling, and they’ll usually answer in the affirmative. That’s our business, right? But these days, the…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

How to super-charge your motivation

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune An executive recruiter friend keeps on his desk a photo of a fire truck-red Lamborghini he wants. This is no toy. The car costs $200,000. The photo goads him to achieve his daily goals and buy the car. He knows exactly how many calls he will have to make, how many rejections…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

New tech may prevent hot car deaths

 

By Katie Ritchie   Each year infants, children, and pets are in danger during the summer months. The National Safety Council reports that 32 children have died so far in 2019 from being left in a hot vehicle. It claims that on average, 38 children per year succumb to heat stroke after being left in…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

How Engaging with Stakeholders Supports a Company’s Bottom Line

 

By Peter LaMotte Senior Vice President, Chernoff Newman Far too often companies forget that a strong reputation is more than just keeping your nose clean in the media. The truth is that building your reputation can support all kinds of bottom-line activities such as sales, employee morale, stock value, and other important business goals. Traditionally,…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Don’t underestimate the power of a sticker

 

By Ken Gasque   “The human race built most nobly when limitations were greatest.” – Frank Lloyd Wright. I think this applies equally to marketing and advertising. Any fool can take a budget of $2,000,000 and create a great campaign…well maybe not, because I see some very stupid and annoying advertising being produced by some…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

How to get free business publicity

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Savvy business owners seek relations with local newspaper, magazine and broadcast reporters, editors and news directors. When they have something about their business the community should know about, they know who to call and how to pitch the news to appeal to journalists. In other words, advertising is what you pay…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications

Facebook, Youtube address ‘miracle cures’

 

By Katie Ritchie   Have you ever been duped by a “miracle cure”? You wouldn’t be the only one. Phony physicians have promised cure-alls for health problems for hundreds of years. We’ve all seen a Western where a “medicine man” rides into town with dubious elixirs. He is driven out of town when the citizens…

Read More

Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Six Benefits of Stakeholder Engagement

 
Jean Cecil Frick

By Jean Cecil Frick   Business is about relationships, both good and bad. Successful organizations must be constantly aware of who will help move the organization forward, and those who will hold the organization back. Creating a stakeholder map that outlines who will be an ally or foe can be one of the most effective…

Read More

Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, marketing-and-communications