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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

Attorney General aims to close online sex-trafficking loophole

 

By Katie Ritchie   Online sex-traffickers have been hiding behind a loophole in a South Carolina law. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and 46 other state attorneys general want Congress to protect you from online crime. The AGs hope to address a misinterpretation in the 1996 Communication Decency Act (CDA). Some courts have allowed…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Four Common Mistakes When Engaging The Media

 

By Heather Matthews NP Strategy   In all my years as a journalist, it never failed: 5:50 p.m. and my work phone would ring.  Did the caller not know we had a 6 p.m. newscast?  During the decade I spent working for a variety of television stations, the ‘show stopping phone call’ was one of…

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

Can Absolut vodka teach us anything?

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Have your products and services become commodities? Are you forced to compete on price, discounts and other concessions? Take a lesson from a former dish washer and French master marketer, Michel Roux. He made Absolut an iconic vodka with snob appeal in the booze market. As head of the firm importing…

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

Try a free spam blocker

 

By Katie Ritchie   If you followed the instructions from last week, you should be on track toward a much cleaner inbox. It can take up to 30 days for unsubscribe requests to take effect. This is even on legitimate company mailing lists, so try to be patient. The next step involves blocking the actual…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

How to get rid of email spam

 

by Katie Ritchie   The best scam email I’ve ever gotten read as follows: Dear beneficiary, I have been mandated to inform you that, “Yvonne Wachendorfer” has come to let us know that you are dead, but before you die you instructed her to come to us and claim your $970,000 which has been deposited…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Leaving the Nest: Financial Strategies for Life After College

 

By Ann J. Beckwith, CFP®   With spring upon us, nearly 3 million college students are preparing to proudly accept their hard-earned college diplomas and storm the “real world.” With their ambition, ingenuity, and creativity, many of these graduates are bound for success and will truly make an impact for good on the world. If…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, banking-and-finance, on-the-move

Dog Trainer, Manager, Entrepreneur?

 

By Connie Cleveland   A Business Owner’s Perspective Listening to a recent interview, this question was posed to comedian Brian Regan: “Your colleagues are in awe of how much material you produce. How is it that you come up with so much material?” Without any hesitation he responded, “I see funny where other people see…

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Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, business-services

Are you neglecting your best branding tool?

 

By Marcia Purday, APR NP Strategy   Companies throughout the nation invest millions (or billions!) in their brands – from research and communication strategies, to analytics and more. But ultimately, the key to your brand’s success has always been and will always be your employees. So why do businesses neglect this important branding tool? For…

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

Make it fun to do business with you

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Dian and Gerald Harmon worked hard to make their concrete business successful and sold it for a bundle long before they were ready to retire. They started a “fun” business – a Christmas tree farm with hay rides, spooky Halloween rides and other events for kids. It was fun and profitable,…

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

Use secure passwords

 

By Katie Ritchie   Are you using a common, easily hacked password? The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) released the first UK Cyber Survey. With it, they released the 10,000 most used passwords found in data breaches. If your password is a loved one’s name or common phrase – change it! 23.2 million people who…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Social Media and the Need for Brand Standards

 

By J. Bradley Studemeyer NP Strategy   Small businesses often find themselves in a difficult position with social media marketing: on one hand, many feel like their current revenue streams aren’t profitable enough to justify adding a marketing professional to their staffs, while on the other, many intuit that one of the best ways to…

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

Do you have enough cash to avoid disaster?

 
Jerry Bellune

by Jerry Bellune   Do you want profits or wealth? As a business owner, you need both. You cannot have wealth without profits, says our friend Ruth King of ProfitabilityRevolution.com . Many business owners focus only on the Profit & Loss statement and totally ignore their Balance Sheet. They focus solely on profits rather than…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, business-services

Time to upgrade your entire system?

 

by Katie Ritchie   Do you have an older computer using Microsoft Windows software? You’ll need to update your computer. On May 14, Microsoft announced a computer bug it had just patched. Hackers had not exploited the bug as of Microsoft’s announcement. However, the company believes the Windows flaw will be targeted with malicious software.…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

How to get prospects to open your emails

 
Jerry Bellune

by Jerry Bellune   Want to write subject lines that work? Subject lines that prospects will open? You are competing with the 121 other emails most of us receive each day. The only way to attract traffic, conversions and sales is to stand out. These subject lines are backed by 20 studies. Your goal should…

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

Devices to block landline robocalls

 

by Katie Ritchie   42 Attorneys General called on the Federal Communications Commission to stop illegal robocalls and spoofing. The AGs urged the FCC to adopt proposed rules specifically targeting calls to the US from overseas. TheAGs report increases of nearly 50 percent of spoofed calls and financial loss associated with them in recent years.…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Workplace Violence Citation Upheld – Decision Highlights Steps To Prevent Violence At Work

 

By David Dubberly In December 2012, a “service coordinator” (similar to a home health worker) employed by Integra Health Management Inc. was fatally stabbed during a home visit to one of the company’s clients. The client had a history of mental illness and violent criminal behavior, including convictions for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon…

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Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, law

The Toughest Crisis May Be the One You Don’t Know You’re In

 

By Erin Sanders Senior Communications Advisor with NP Strategy   The shooting at the UNC Charlotte (UNCC) college campus on April 30th resulted in the death of two students and wounding of four others. In interviews the following day, the school’s chancellor, Philip L. Dubois, noted that while two young lives were tragically lost, many…

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

How to double your productivity

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Our friend Andrea Nierenberg shared with us these ways she makes her 24 hours each day more productive: Awaken 10 minutes early and you’ll be surprised to discover how much time you have created through those extra minutes. You can start a project, connect online, write a note to people in…

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

Can you block robocalls from landlines?

 

by Katie Ritchie Can you block robocalls from your landline phone? Bruce Donatelli, the reader who wrote me about robocall landlines, followed up last week. He graciously let me know about his progress against his landline robocallers. He had already registered for the “Do Not Call” list, and had been registered for years. Clearly, the…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Where Organized and Spontaneous Collide

 

By Connie Cleveland   I had the opportunity to spend a week in Hawaii with my cousin. The first day, I discovered I loved snorkeling, and every morning, when my feet hit the floor I was anxious to get to the beach. The fourth morning my cousin had had enough. “Sit down,” she told me,…

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Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice, business-services

The worst thing Barr did this week had nothing to do with the Mueller report

 

By Catherine Rampell   The worst thing that Attorney General William P. Barr did this week arguably had nothing to do with possible contempt of Congress or the Mueller report. It had to do with health care. On Wednesday, amid the circus over alleged special counsel snittiness, the department that Barr oversees formally asked a…

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Posted in: lowcountrybizsc, midlandsbiz, upstatebizsc   Category: advice

Is someone secretly stealing from you?

 
Jerry Bellune

by Jerry Bellune How do you know your bookkeeper, employees or vendors aren’t helping themselves to your hard-earned revenue? After working with business owners for 38 years, our friend Ruth King can almost smell when the books are not right. Often it is a bookkeeper, employee or vendors. Ruth hates telling owners, “Someone is embezzling…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice

Why is your customer buying from you? It may not be why you think.

 

By Ken Gasque   This is the first question I ask CEOs, Presidents and owners when they want to talk about branding or rebranding.  The truth is it is a very difficult question and most CEOs, Presidents and owners can’t tell you why their customers are buying from them.  Friendly service, good people, and quality…

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

Stop robocalls on your landlines

 

By Katie Ritchie   Do you get robocalls at home? A reader wrote to me recently because he was getting robocalls on his landline. Although there are no 100% methods to block all robocalls, I found a few things we can all try. This will cut back on annoying robot and scammer calls. Join the…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Engaging Your Employees with Your Social Media

 

By Angela Rogers   In the last 20 years, a horde of social media platforms have emerged. Odds are you’re an active user of at least one platform; between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit and the rest, a vast amount of online time is spent on social media. With employees averaging hours of screen time…

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

How to drive more profit to your bottom line

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Are you happy with your business’s bottom line? We never are. I mean NEVER! If you are happy with yours, take another look. Over time your costs rise and with it employee and your own pay. What is the annual net percent of gross for companies your size in your industry?…

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

Make your internet browsing private

 

By Katie Ritchie   Last week I shared how not reading the terms and conditions on websites can lead to privacy invasion. You can keep your internet history and personal information private with browser extensions. Ghostery is a privacy protection extension which is available for most browsers. It aspires to make internet browsing faster, cleaner,…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

Your ‘Goldilocks Offers’ will close more sales

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   If you’ve shopped at your local grocer lately, you may have noticed “Yogurt-copia.” There are so many choices – apple, banana cream pie, orange, peach, strawberry, etc. – it is dazzling and confusing. Which ones should you buy? Consumer research shows this is having a negative impact on consumer sales. The…

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

Starting reading the terms of service

 

by Katie Ritchie   Are you on social media? When you joined Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, did you read through the terms of service? It’s okay if you didn’t. Between the legal-ese and the length of the documents, most people don’t. Why don’t we read terms and conditions? We trust the sites we go on.…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, technology

The best way to gain more customers

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Our friend Ruth King told us about her friend who asked for referrals for their new air conditioning system. None of the sales people asked why the friends called. Make sure your salespeople ask how prospects heard about or who suggested you. Then thank those who referred you. Prospects who call…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice

Game tantrums: addiction or depression?

 

By Katie Ritchie   Does your child or grandchild play video games? Have you experienced firsthand the whining and tantrums which accompany the end of playtime? Why do meltdowns happen when kids stop playing? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Neurologists claim children and adolescents can’t stop a rewarding activity, like playing…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice

Networking 101: How to build strong connections

 
Jean Cecil Frick

By Jean Cecil Frick   When I was a child, my parents would constantly remind me of the importance of making a good first impression. Little did I know that they were laying the foundations for good networking habits! Regardless of which profession you are in, networking can enhance your career by helping you establish…

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

Sell by the numbers for greater profits

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   Houston Rockets basketball coach Mike D’Antoni is passionate about 1.16. That’s the number of points per possession they must score to be the best offense in basketball history, Ben Cohen writes in the numbers-driven Wall Street Journal. D’Antoni has long been known for strategies that push the boundaries of his sport.…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice

Pursuing Excellence: When Did You Learn To Practice?

 
Connie Cleveland

By Connie Cleveland   My aunt came to visit me soon after I opened the Dog Trainers Workshop. She was trying to be supportive of her niece who had “gone into business for herself,” even if it was merely as a dog trainer. She came to the building and watched me spend 20 minutes training…

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

Verizon battles robocalls with new tech

 

Verizon hopes to stop robocalls by opening access to new technology for its subscribers. The tech, called STIR/SHAKEN, is a caller ID technology you don’t have to install. It is intended to identify when numbers are being spoofed. Robocalls usually spoof numbers to make targets believe the call is legitimate. Usually, they make it look…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice, hi-tech-information-tech

What should your obit reveal?

 
Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune   My Seton Hall University reporting students’ 1st writing exercise was simple: Write a 250-word obituary you would want read at your funeral. Bear in mind that it will appear in the local newspaper, too. Your loved ones will read it and smile. “He (or she) was sui generis,” they will say.…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice

Achieve your goals on time – every time

 

By Jerry Bellune   Our friend Ann Elliott agreed to work with us on our 1st book. Its mission was to teach sales people the top 7 strategies of sales super stars. They were great sales people we had worked with over the years. Ann worked with us about an hour and left us a…

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Posted in: midlandsbiz   Category: advice