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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

Forget Your Job Title. Here Are 4 Reasons You Are in Sales and it’s a Good Thing!

 

By Dr. Cindy McGovern A firefighter, a professor, a computer repair technician and a lawyer are having dinner together. Which one is the salesperson? None, right? One is in the business of saving lives; another teaches; one fixes stuff; and the last one keeps people out of jail. They’re not in sales. Or are they?…

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Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice

Can you stand and deliver real value?

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   What value do your products and services deliver to your customers? You know you will have to show that to your prospects. Your ‘value proposition’ is a clear statement of the results a customer gets from using your products or services, advises our friend Jill Konrath. It reveals the critical issues…

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

Are generic cell phone chargers safe?

 

By Katie Ritchie   Who made your cell phone charger? If it’s not your phone manufacturer, you may be at risk. Electrical Safety First, an electricity safety organization in the UK, did safety testing of 64 generic iPhone chargers. They found 58% of the generic chargers failed electric strength tests. That indicates a breakdown of…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Guarantee your advertising will work

 

By Jerry Bellune   Highly successful retailer R.H. Macy said he suspected half of his advertising didn’t work. He just didn’t know which half. Macy was smarter than that. You don’t spend millions of dollars a year without knowing what works and what doesn’t. Here are 5 ways to make your ads work. You can…

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

Breaking the Bad News: How to best deliver tough information

 

By Sara McCarthy   We receive bad news almost every day. It comes to us indirectly through the news and social media, or directly in emails, letters, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations.  Bad news can be global or individual, life-changing or trivial. We receive the bad news of a security breach at a bank, for…

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

What are your business’s values?

 
Jerry Bellune

by Jerry Bellune   Paul Davis believed that for your business to succeed you must always practice your basic values. What are yours? Here are 3 of our values: • Our internal and external customers come first. We take care of those who invest their time, money and trust in us. • Honesty is the…

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

Changes to Business Entertainment Expense Deductions

 

By Eileen M. Stevens, CFP®   The introduction of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 brought many areas of uncertainty, some of which are only being clarified over time as the IRS releases further explanation. One such question is how businesses treat deductions. Prior to 2018, businesses could deduct a variety of…

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

Wait for a letter announcing jury duty

 

By Katie Ritchie   Have you ever been summoned for jury duty? If so, you know official jury paperwork comes through the mail. For Federal cases, you may get a letter which directs you to fill out an online questionnaire. Note, even then the first contact will always be made through the mail. The online…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Did your mama ever tell you not to judge a book by its cover?

 

By Ken Gasque   Why did she tell you that? Did she feel that looks were superficial and shallow? Did she feel that looks could be deceiving? Did she feel that looks could be very influential? She probably felt all of these things were true. Do you judge a book by its cover? Yes, you…

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

Are the police after you for an accident?

 

By Katie Ritchie   What would you do if you got a call from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department? The deputy on the phone claims he needs to discuss a traffic violation with you. He claims you’re accused of a hit-and-run accident and you need to clear your name. Captain Adam Myrick, Public Information Officer,…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Rank your business on the SWAG Meter

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Last week we talked about you and your business’s SWAG. That’s: S = Self Confidence. Customers trust you because you believe in yourself. W = Wonderment. Your confidence creates their feelings of being amazed. A = Assertiveness. You don’t wait for something to happen. You make it happen. G = Greatness.…

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

Have you and your business got SWAG?

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   If you are an entrepreneur or business owner striving to grow your business, you need SWAG. This attracts and keeps customers, says our friend MaryEllen Tribby. MaryEllen has a simple SWAG Meter you can use to gauge your SWAG and how it relates to your business success. S = Self Confidence.…

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

Workplace Safety and Summer Heat

 

By David Dubberly Summer temperatures can create hazards for workers, and employers can be liable for not addressing conditions that could lead to injuries and illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Liability can arise whether work is being done outside in construction, landscaping, and agriculture, or inside in non-air conditioned manufacturing plants and…

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

US Attorney prevents fraud with Bingo campaign

 

By Katie Ritchie   “Fraud Bingo!” That was what seniors called out at a Justine Department awareness campaign. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Stephens and Rob Sneed shared tips for seniors. These tips were to help seniors avoid financial exploitation and scams. Although this event happened in the upstate, it could happen in Lexington County. I…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

It’s a Match: Pairing Your Passions and Career Goals

 

By Amanda Loveday   The perfect job can be described as the combination of your passion with your potential. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with interesting and inspiring people and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities along the way. Above it all, though, I am most proud of the work that aligned with my values…

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

Maverick entrepreneurs’ independent lives

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   When anyone asks what’s so special about maverick entrepreneurs, we laugh. It’s like asking why your faith is important to you or why it is that we look forward to each day with such enthusiasm. “If I have to explain it to you,” I say, “you probably won’t understand it.” But…

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

Learn to code for free

 

By Katie Ritchie   Do you have an aspiring software developer or web designer in your family? SC Codes is an online learning platform which launched in September of 2018. It was developed by the SC Department of Commerce and Build Carolina. The website offers courses in front end web development, back end web development,…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Your local advertising drives higher sales

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Local advertising is a small business’s best bet to attract customers, say advertising experts Brian and Michelle Mattingly. A simple, targeted approach to advertising will almost always yield better results if you work with limited dollars. A primary benefit of local advertising is forming local connections. These are more powerful than…

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

FCC responds to Robocall complaints

 

by Katie Ritchie Did you hear the good news? We might finally get some relief from robocalls. The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to give cell phone companies more power to block unwanted robocalls. The FCC said robocalls are the top complaint they get from consumers. This isn’t a surprise to anyone with a phone…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, on-the-move, technology

8 questions, millions of answers

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Ken Blanchard, co-author of “The One-Minute Manager,” “Raving Fans” and other books, has a challenge for us. As business owners and community leaders, we need to spend time developing a personal mission statement by answering these 4 short questions: • Why am I in the world? • What is my overarching…

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