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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Category >> General Business
Jun 21
2019

My Summer Intern

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

This summer I hired a high school student as a summer intern to work in the damage restoration business with which I am involved. Before making a commitment, we agreed on basic compensation, work hours and days, and what work the intern’s exact duties were.

On some days the intern will join me for sales calls even though I will ask him to remain in the car:  Other times, at my discretion, we will visit the customer together. Part of the benefit to the intern is to gain experience in sales visits to decide if this is the type of work he wants to do in the future. The intern will also participate in presentations I make and will experience some of the give-and-take that occurs in the question and answer times.

May 27
2019

Organizing a Home Office

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

At the risk of dating myself, I bought my first house in 1975.  At the time I used the small, extra bedroom as my home office. At that point in my business life, I used the office mostly for personal tasks.  However, since my first home; I have always had a home office of some type. When I left my corporate position in the late 1990s, my home office became significantly more important.  On some days I would spend between eight to twelve hours in my office writing and talking to clients.

When I organize my office, I divide it into two categories:  what I need and what I want.

May 23
2019

Doctor Internet

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I frequently use the phrase, “If it’s on the Internet, it must be true.”  Of course, I don’t believe this. However, I am amazed at how many people read an article or news item and immediately embrace the information as fact. King Solomon wrote, “Only simpletons believe everything they're told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.” (Proverbs 14:15, NLT)

Apr 29
2019

Customers Have More Information than Ever

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

The free market is a large auction where buyers compete with other buyers and sellers compete with other sellers. Few have such a unique product or service that only they can produce.  Even in those instances, we need to be careful that a high price doesn’t push buyers elsewhere.

For example, I’m doing a research project and wanted to buy several books. One book was $75 new, but I found a used copy in “acceptable condition.” I really didn’t care whether the book was dog-eared or marked up; $12 was better than $75. Another book listed for $25, but I was able to purchase a used one for $5.  Without the information Amazon provided, I wouldn’t have been able to make those decisions.

Mar 29
2019

Don’t Give a Car to Charity

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

You have likely seen ads or heard radio commercials urging you to give your car to charity to help an organization and obtain a tax deduction for yourself. Generally, I feel this is not the best exercise of stewardship. The easy part is that you sign a piece of paper and get rid of the car whether it works or not.

Most organizations may not be able to get the best price for donated cars. Also, tax advisors have told me that you have an increased chance of being audited by the friendly IRS when you claim a deduction for a donated car.

The more effective way of moving a used car is to take photographs of the vehicle in the best possible light. Then try to sell it on one of the local auto trader magazines or Craigslist. In most circumstances you can get a better cash settlement than the organization could get. Then, simply write a check for the same amount to the charity of your choice, not just the charity that does a good job of marketing car donations.