• Are you an encourager on the job?

    25 Apr 2019 | 12:00 am

    Job was told, "Your words have helped the tottering to stand" (Job 4:4 NASB). Our company colleagues will become discouraged at times. You can help by finding genuine, real encouragement to lift an associate during a tough time. Your peers[…]

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Mar 05
2019

Four Key Elements of Marketing

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Jerome McCarthy identified four priorities in marketing.  He called them the four P’s: product, price, place and promotion. In marketing we do well to follow them because when any of these elements fails, the marketing campaign falls apart.

Product

In my view, the product or service delivery is the most important.  The best marketing materials will fail to generate repeat business if the product or service delivery falls short of expectations. Remember, expectations minus reality equals disappointment.

Mar 01
2019

Optimism Doesn’t Make Everything Better

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

A rock climber lost his grip and started a 600-foot fall to the bottom of the canyon. In the first several seconds as he found himself in a mid-air free fall, he thought everything was going well. However, his optimism didn’t give him a safe landing.  In business, as in life, we need to balance idealistic optimism against unrealistic pessimism.

When facing a serious business crisis, total optimism that says:   the situation will resolve shortly; isn’t our best tool.  Neither is extreme pessimism that makes us want to fold up our tent and go home. 

Feb 25
2019

Maintain Quality

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Quality is subjective to some degree. Quality partly depends on our expectations and the price we pay for them. If I walk into a McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin, my expectations are considerably lower than if I go to a resort serving a wonderful breakfast for $25. Either option may fall short on quality. The McDonald’s breakfast may sit in the warming tray for 45 minutes or the resort breakfast could be disappointing, but our expectations are different in each situation.

Feb 21
2019

Teaching Staff the Cost of Mistakes

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When I started out in an office job, I had the responsibility to input customer information to be processed by a computer. My number of processed transactions was quite high. However, my error rate was also high. One day my supervisor showed me how every error had to be manually retyped. In those days it created quite a bit of additional work for colleagues. Seeing the reality of the extra work and the consequences of my mistakes made a lasting impression.  I began to focus more effectively and slowed down my speed to eliminate errors.

Feb 18
2019

Free Estimates?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Many businesses struggle with the idea of offering free estimates. However, since businesses have different business models; the wisdom of offering free estimates versus paid estimates will differ.

I checked prices with local carpet cleaners.  One had a flat price of $129 for any three rooms. Another posted a price list of any three rooms for $119 but specified that each room must be under 250 square feet.  The same site posted pricing for halls, steps, walk-in closets, moving furniture, etc.  Both sites were designed to avoid sending someone out for an estimate. The flat price company might lose money, but an occasional loss is less than the $40 cost the business assumes with each free estimate. Plus, the estimator makes no money for the company while making the estimate. 

Large commercial properties need to be treated differently. Most carpet cleaners I know don’t make use of estimates.  They simply quote a flat price.  Their experience gives them confidence that the flat rate price will be correct. Then, when a customer calls; the carpet cleaner has an opportunity to close a sale.  If time slips by after the phone call, the deal may expire.  It is much better to set an appointment and send the cleaning crew than set an appointment and hope that an estimate brings a sale.