• 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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Steve Marr's Blog

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Jun 12
2018

Too Many Choices

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I was looking over a restaurant’s menu of multiple pages and was struggling to figure out what to order. After a few moments I found an old stand-by. It was a safe choice, and I placed my order. Others at the table had similar challenges.  There were just too many choices.

A study published by Ragan’s PR Daily offered one group of shoppers 24 different samples of jams while another group was offered only six possible selections. Interestingly, the customers with six choices chose 20% more product than those with 24 choices. Sometimes by offering fewer options we increase our chances of making the sale. Too many choices may make the customer indecisive and confused.

Jun 08
2018

It’s not a Problem until It Is

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Like many of you I've been watching the Kilauea Volcano devour neighborhoods on the big island in the Hawaiian chain. Watching people's houses swallowed by lava flows is heartbreaking. Some years ago when I was visiting the area, someone told me that a lot of the houses were built in what was known as the “red zone.” The red zone was land subject to volcanic activity. Building in the red zone meant that insurance was either costly or impossible to obtain. At the time I remember thinking these nice houses were in an ideal environment, unless the volcano turned angry.  That’s when I was reminded of the key principle in business:  it’s not a problem until it is. 

Jun 05
2018

What's the Value of Your Time?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Recently, I looked into replacing a coffeemaker that bit the dust. I pulled into the Walmart parking lot, entered the store not sure where to find coffeemakers. My first inquiry sent me in the general direction. I checked out several options and put one in my cart. Then, I walked to the checkout line, made my purchase, and trekked back to my car. The whole experience took about 30 minutes.

Now I am wondering why I didn't just go to Amazon.com, search coffee makers, check out a few online reviews, and make a purchase. I would've saved nearly an hour of my time. In essence I wasted an hour by going to the brick-and-mortar establishment, time I didn't really have to waste. I wasn't valuing my time correctly.

Jun 01
2018

Understanding Buyers’ Motivations

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

In our businesses we need to understand why a customer clicks to buy on their computer or picks up a product and buys it in a store. I understand why I make purchases, but I'm not everyone. I need to understand what motivates my customers to buy. This is not easy.

I am involved in a damage restoration business.  The motivation of the customer is pretty obvious.  A sewer backup pushed water into the bathroom, into the molding, wall and into the bedroom carpet. The customer’s motivation is to get the problem cleaned up as quickly as possible. Closing the sale is not difficult if you are the first one to connect to the customer with a good solution.

May 28
2018

Entry Barriers

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When I meet with entrepreneurs looking to start a business I ask them to identify their main entry barriers.

A person who wants to start a new airline will experience formidable barriers to entry. The cost of aircraft is only the first step. One must acquire gate space at major airports which is costly and difficult because most gates are leased long term.  In addition, there is the cost of hiring pilots, cabin attendants and setting up a reservation and ticketing system. While it isn’t impossible to start a new airline, the entry barriers are significant.