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Rave Parties Back in the Day


An old friend of mine used to throw these humongous parties back around the year 2000. They were basically raves. But he always liked to put some kind of spin on them. There was one where he had a cowboy theme complete with mechanical bull, another with costume ball themes. The one that was the most fun for me was one that was supposed to be a formal ball, with people dressed in tuxedos and girls wearing their finest gowns. He went all out on this one, renting a ritzy hall off the water and booking a small band to play classical music in one of the seating areas. There was even a lady playing a harp at the front door.

He might have made more money that night if he was the one booking the limo service for everybody, because there must have been about three dozen limousines in the parking lot of this place. Stretch limos, party bus, coach rental, vanosines, the danged Hummer limousine, they were all there. My friend had Ron Jeremy host the event so this guy had to be picked up in his own limo rental from airport services and driven to the event in luxury transportation of his very own. Not to mention, my buddy also booked a couple big name DJ guys for this thing and of course they needed limousine service.

Anybody who drove by this waterfront club would have thought there was a bachelor party or a wedding transfer or prom service or other gala event going on with all of these limousines, party bus, coach and luxury transportation rental going on. I’m not making this up, I believe there was even somebody who did a hearse rental for the night and showed up in that. I wonder if he rode in the coffin.

Whoever was running the hourly service for all of this limousine rental must have made a fat check on that night. The valet guys probably did pretty well also. This party was like a wedding, bachelor party and funeral all wrapped up in one, not to mention the “celebrity” guests that also needed limo service. It was like Christmas come early for these limo drivers and the limo rental service business was booming on that night. Better than my wedding limo service

My fondest memory of that evening was when a girl I was friends with got into a fistfight with another girl while we were on our way out. There was security on hand and a couple police officers stationed out in the parking lot to keep an eye on this strange party, so I had to break up the fight and get her out of there before she got herself arrested. So my night ended with me carrying this drunk friend of mine over my shoulder, weaving around all these coach limos and stretch limos and party wagons and vanosines and Hummer limos and maybe even a hearse rental, who knows. I made my way back to the limo rental we had lined up and told the chauffer to step on it before the cops could stop and ask what was going on. Good times.

CrossFire Balkan Style!

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Critiquing Local Business websites


Lately I have been in touch with several local business owners and one thing become pretty apparently really quickly is that most of them don’t really know how to operate an online presence effectively. Some of them don’t really know how to operate a computer. Local business owners today grew up in a time where computers weren’t around and they didn’t have the training for computers at all.

But they are running local business for decades and know how to do it well, yet more and more of the business and sales is occurring online as we become more digital each year.

This creates a whole new market of local business owners and their demand for someone that can show them how to dominate the online marketing space is increasing.

This is where I find that my knowledge and technical background actually holds bit of power and it is worth money for local businesses.

The fact is many people are searching for product or service on the search engines everyday mostly occurring in Google. and so it become imperative that your business appears in front of those people that are searching.

How do you get in front of those people?

Well you need a website but not just any website, a website that is loved by Google is what you really need. Because at the end of the day it do you no good if you have a pretty site but it doesn’t get any traffic.

As someone that has been blogging since 2007, I have learned that it is authoritative content that is the number 1 important thing for ranking well in Google. Take for example, Wikipedia who is always ranking well and it is an example of a site that Google loves, because Google wants to feed the best search results for the end user because they want to be the best most relevant search engine and give the end user exactly what they were looking for.

Thus having authoritative well written content means Google will look at your site as the best site for search engine and end user. This is key because everything else you do all derive from this fact. When you have a powerful well written website with many pages of content there is just that much chance for Google to find your website and people to land on your site looking for whatever they were looking for.

So I was in Jackson, MI the other day and I needed a limo service for the night with my date. I searched for local limo company and found Jackson Limo

I was looking over their site and it was clear why they were top of the search results because the website had well-written content and it positioned itself as the authority for local limo service in Jackson, Michigan.

Their site had not just 1 paragraph per page but nice multiple paragraphs explaining in detail what they do and why people should choose them.

Now this type of content is called authoritative not only does it provide customer with the information they require which is information assisted selling as Grant Cardone talks about but its also a very good way to pick up more traffic as people search all kinds of various search terms in Google to come up with the result.

I will begin critiquing more local business’s online presence, because I realize it is an important facet to their business and their survival. It is important to not only have great service and excel in the service itself but its becoming increasingly crucial to out do your competitors in the online space. And the trend is only headed that way…

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Some Online Strategies for Local Business Revealed


They say leads or customer acquisition is the life line of a business, one of the biggest pitfall for local business I see nowadays is that they stick to the old ways of acquiring customers which is through having a visible store front and word of mouth referrals, which of course are very important to local business but in the year 2015, many shoppers are transitioning more and more into the online space and finishing their shopping there.

Everyday more moms and older generations are getting the handle of their iPad or iPhone and any fool will tell you the trend is shifting, obviously all the young kids are using it as easy as putting on underwear and more and more younger kids are getting their iPhones.

So what does this changing environment pose for the local business owners many of them pushing 50 years old and are not too good with computers? but they have decades of experience and great at everything else they do? Well they are losing their business to the newcomers in the industry, business owners that are younger and more versed with the computers, this is a shame because the internet is creating an unfair playing field not because of difference in quality of service but simply because of generation gap. This is also a shame for the customer because often times the older guys have much better services to offer than the online selection available.

This poses a big need for authentic, reputable online marketers that can actually produce results to partner up with some of these local businesses and take over the online aspect of marketing for them. It creates an essential need for survival in the year 2015 and onward, where the society becomes more internet based than anything else with advent of new technologies and smartphones.

For local businesses, I believe this is something that should be embraced instead of treating it as the doom and glory and end to local businesses as we know it. I find that its much the opposite scenario where it gives local businesses opportunity to share their great services with more people now because the internet allows for larger voice and more influence over your community or state if you have the right marketing strategies at play.

So lets take a look at the few online venues available for business owners.

1. Google Organic Rankings: This is the most effective way to promote and advertise your local business as studies suggest that more than 80% of users use google as their search engine of choice, now the #1 spot on Google search is worth a lot of money because it simply drives tons of money in hand buyers to that online property. People that are already searching for your service with credit card in hand ready to make a purchase.

2. Google Adwords: Many people get confused between organic search and google adwords, the main difference is that you have to pay google to get your google adwords up while Google Organic search is free, the latter however takes great online skills to get while the former only takes money. Google adwords is how Google makes their money and you will get an ad up on top of the search engine under the ads area which some people click and the business will get leads, however each click has a certain cost associated with it. It is a good strategy for people that do not have a high performing website, online downside is the cost and also studies have been showing that many people are beginning to block out the ads section and go straight to organic searches, you can thank the many spammy unrelated ads that trained people to skip over them for a long time.

3. Google Maps: This is listing that has to do with the google maps and the rankings within those maps. When you do a search for any local business for example Towing Service in Sterling Heights, MI. You will first get some paid ads up to, then maybe 1-2 website links (organic search result) and then you will get a list of 5-6 Google Plus listings with the business name and phone number, this is Google Maps, and it is a big place to get leads especially for towing companies, where people search on the phone in which case the google map listing will only show up to 3 spots. So having a strong presence in Google Maps become critical.


Paid advertising is what most will result to as it only takes capital to get up and running. Although I agree it is good short term strategy because a brand new website will not rank well in the search results, but for the long term the businesses that own the coveted #1 spot on Google Search Organic results will rake in the most amount of leads for years to come.  For local business owners that doesn’t have the strategy for how to get to that top spot this will be almost impossible, the best thing then is to partner up with an expert in this field and have them take over the online marketing for you. Even Steve Jobs didn’t build iPhone by himself, no he hired bunch of wonderful designers, engineers, concept artists, software programmers to get him there.

Warren Buffet said that the best business to invest in is a one with a system so good even an idiot can run it. What is a good system? Nothing more than well positioned, components that work together in synergy. In human terms, it is the concept of letting people do what they are good at or were born to do.

If you are interested in taking your local business to the next level and see explosive growth by dominating the online space, give me a call 248-891-9460, if I do not answer, make sure to leave a voice mail.

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How do you register a business? Local business owners need help with online


One of my mentors that blog about local business wrote an article recently stating that many local businesses don’t even have google places to get clients. As I continue this project of interviewing business owners, it became clear to me that many of them simply had no idea what they were doing.

This past week I interviewed a tree care service and I was told that he get his business by passing out flyers from time to time and word of mouth by doing great service in his case removing unwanted trees or emergency tree care when a big storm comes through and tears the trees apart. We have had few very big storms in Michigan this year.

Apparently that tree care service guy tried to verify his listing through google and waited for the code to arrive which took over 3 weeks. The he finally approved his listing and it was up for 48 hours till it was knocked down again and when he called the big G they told him he needed to show proof of license which he didn’t have on him at the time so he just gave up on the whole google thing.

I have found that many local business owners are too busy running their business and they have no time to think about verifying things with google or creating websites. Since I know a lot about computers and I even took advertising as my major at Michigan State University, I figured I could show these owners a thing or two that they can implement to begin expanding their business.

It was actually very fun consulting with the tree care guy and showing some of the insights I had, he was very grateful and the interview went very smoothly. He told me everything from how he got into the business, why he likes tree care work, and what his visions are for the future. It was refreshing to speak to a business owner that was still driven and committed to success.


Now after a great tree care interview, I headed off back home when my car suddenly got a flat tire and I forgot I had taken out my spare tire to clean the trunk last weekend. With no where to turn I had no choice but to call a towing service company based in Sterling Heights, MI. They came very quickly and promptly helped me tow my car to the nearest Discount Tire which was like 3 miles down the road and they only charged me $75 which I thought was an amazing price. The owner was very friendly as well. I never thought about interviewing a tow truck guy but here he was right in front of me doing quality service for me so I couldn’t help but to share with him what I do on the side which is to build local business review blogs like these to promote certain businesses that I like and that I know my readers will like. And since I found such a great company to help me with a flat tire without trying to attach my wallet which I felt many tow companies do in the past. I figure I’d interview him quickly and he was all ears and completely down. Like I said, very cool tow truck guy. So I will post about it bit later on, he had a pretty interesting back story of being in a generation tow business from his great grandfather onwards. Now that is passion and commitment to one profession, something I admire.

till Next time

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Balkan’s Blog on Local Business in Michigan

Hi my name is John Balkan, and I used to own a video gaming website previously before I decided to change the site into a blog website to support my new passion which is to marketing for local businesses and doing reviews for them to get them more customers.

A little background about me, I started the flash video game site years ago when websites were still very retro and people would spend hours on playing video games for hours. I never chose to monetize it which is because I believe those flash games should be available free for everyone, to kill time and get through the boring day of everyday office work.

If you want to pay for games, there is always game boys but as Internet involved and the games became more and more complex, I lost traffic because my games were very simple and retro, I only made them from basic programming languages I learned in High School and Early College in Michigan State University (Spartan Nation) I really enjoyed making those games and at what time my site was generating 50,000 visitors per month. It was really fun but as internet evolved so did my interest in other areas. One of them was partnering up with my friend who ran a carpet cleaning business, and then there was a falling out where he moved out of state but I got a state of seeing what its like to go out there and make your own money and being an entrepreneur. So in order to raise some capital till I can start my own business, I decided to change this powerful blog into a review site where I create awesome articles for local businesses which will help customer acquisition for that business and it will be a good way for me to get to know the owners which is half the battle and once I know the owner I can begin to work out a partnership where I can possible earn commission  on new businesses I bring in.

One of the first companies I’ve been talking to in the local area is Taxi owners and Limousine owners and here is why.

These guys run a service based business and the turn around is great. Less overhead costs and as long as you have a good system in place, the rest is simply revenue. Besides limousines are very cool. So I’ve been looking for a good limo owner in Metro Detroit area, particularly where there is more upper class demographics like West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills, Beverly Hills, Novi and surrounding areas.

I’ve been doing my due diligence to try and find a good reputable limo company in the area or taxi company and going through various sites, and actually calling the actual business and pretending like I’m a customer and asking for their service to see their quotes and how they handle the customer. I came across one company that had a really great guy on the phone which it turns out was one of the owner and he was really great on the phone. His tonality was someone that I can trust, and he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.

He was friendly but he was also very directed and straight to the point. Like in programming you have to know the solution and you can get the code to straighten out and work for you. If you don’t know the solution the codes will run wild and take a life of its own and your day will be filled with debugging. Many limo businesses I spoke to usually are using someone that’s hired on a minimum wage and working from a time table. But a business owner with experience knows what the customer wants, and will direct the customer to exactly what he or she needs or requires. Much the same way I felt I was directed well by this man and he seems to be a great closer as well.

I asked him a bit about his business and himself, and he told me he has the largest operation in Michigan and he has been in business for over 25 years. So this perked my interest, since if I will write reviews and promote a business I want to promote the best of the breed for my viewers.

He has several different offices one of which he is building a big operation in West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills Michigan, if you visit their site you will find out very quickly that they have very cool / unique limo and party buses that’s hard to come by in your typical limo company that run with hummers and stretch lincolns.

I have more phone calls to do to look for other reputable company but for now I think I found my first company to write a solid review about and start promoting.

I will let you guys know what I come up with in the upcoming weeks.