• Do you support your new manager?

    12 Dec 2018 | 12:00 am

    When Joshua was to be named leader of Israel, the Lord told Moses to "encourage and strengthen him" (Deuteronomy 3:28 NASB). When promoting a new manager, provide encouragement. Identify the leadership skills and the strengths that have built your trust[…]

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Oct 27
2018

Demonstrating Passion Isn’t Enough

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Frequently a presenter on Shark Tank will talk about how passionate they are about their product, service or business. Unfortunately for the presenter, the investors don't really care much about the person's passion; they care about what the presenter can do and how the business can be successful. We've all seen people who are passionate about a concept that eventually fails.

Oct 22
2018

Buy on Safe Websites

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Most of us occasionally buy a product on an unfamiliar website. We may think that it's not being run by scam artists; however, the reality is that some commerce websites are fake. They look for ways to defraud unsuspecting buyers on transactions.

A great resource is the scam advisor on this website:  https://www.scamadviser.com . All you have to do is type or cut-and-paste a website address into the appropriate box of the scam advisor.  The scam advisor will report whether the site is a high or low risk for fraud. 

The good news is that the scam advisor gives our site, www.Stevemarr.org , a “High trust - safe to use” rating.  As President Regan said, “Trust but verify.” 

Oct 18
2018

Create Customers

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Management expert Peter Drucker frequently said that the purpose of any business is to create customers. As simple and accurate as this statement is, we often miss the mark.

The challenge arises when we make decisions based on what we prefer to offer versus what our customers demand. An example is “Ken” who owns a pet store that targets healthy ingredients for animals. Ken decided to carry only expensive products. I pointed out that he could easily carry less costly products that would appeal to a wider cross-section of customers and increase sales. By my perspective Ken was too narrowly focused on the product line. He could easily maintain healthy products for pets while adding some lower-cost products. He simply would not do it. In going over a number of issues about how Ken ran his business, I believed Ken was more interested in providing what he wanted to sell rather than focusing on what customers demanded. I tried to repeat that I was not suggesting that he forgo his passion for healthy pet food.  I simply wanted to show Ken how to create more customers.

Oct 15
2018

Don’t Waste Time While Driving

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I spend time in my car that I don't like to waste. I can divide my driving into three categories:  long trips of several hours or more, 30 minute trips and trips of uneven length as I drive around town making visits to customers and prospects. I don’t want to waste my drive time.

For long trips I listen to downloaded preaching messages or business books on audio when it doesn’t interfere with my driving concentration.  When I'm not driving I'm able to take notes. Anytime I read a book, my goal is to learn one or two ideas I can implement.  I'm not looking to remember a lot of detail, but if I can utilize three ideas effectively.

Oct 11
2018

Managing Customer Expectations

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I've read that “disappointment equals expectations less reality.” If I go on a fishing trip expecting to catch 30 salmon a day but only land three, I may be disappointed. However, if I go salmon fishing expecting to catch one or no fish but bring home three, I get pretty excited. The difference is my expectation. Likewise we need to make sure that we manage our customers’ expectations appropriately to avoid future disappointment.

When I have done consulting work with clients, I endeavor to match expectations to reality from a time, cost and result framework. An example would be if I'm assisting a business owner in improving the work results of an employee, I explain that in most cases the best you're going to accomplish is a 10% to 20% gain. If this is not the results you require, then you might be better off discharging the employee sooner rather than endure the pain of a long process. I explained that rarely can a manager take a person producing D-level work and raise them to A-level.  It is more likely that you can get them to produce at a C-level.