• 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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Category >> General Business
Jul 21

Understand a Seller’s Motivation

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When you negotiate, you tend to think of the exchange as a battle between buyer and seller. However, I think about it as competing against other buyers.  The seller is really competing against other sellers.

An auction illustrates this point. You want something and start bidding. If the price gets too high, you drop out; not because of the seller, but because others outbid you. Likewise the sellers compete against other consigners.  You may be selling your dining room set along with six others. Buyers decide which ones they will bid for and how much they will pay. If yours has more dings, buyers will pay less because others offer a better product. Negotiations occur because the seller and buyer don’t have all the information.

Jun 17

Use Gardening as a Teaching Tool

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Regular readers know I am a firm believer in developing a future oriented way of thinking. One possible tool to help teach your children the value of future orientation is to develop a family garden.
Set aside a place in your yard. Talk with your children about preparing the garden and planning what to grow. Have them help you prepare the ground, plant the seeds, water, weed and take care of the garden.

May 25

Private Branding May Work for You

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We all see private brands on store shelves. Some are introduced to provide low cost options; others are designed to create a higher end appeal. Usually we think only large establishments or national companies can effectively use private branding. This is not always the case.

I frequent a great breakfast place. It is very popular with local residents. When they get a pancake order, they ask if you want the house syrup which is included in the price or prefer 100% pure maple syrup for a $2.00 charge. The syrup arrives in a small 1.75 ounce bottle with a label from the local restaurant. The cost of the syrup is around $.75. Each sale creates an additional $1.25 in gross profit. While it may seem like a small amount; this adds up to $13,000 per year, more than chump change.

Additionally, they offer the same private label in 12 ounce and quart sizes. They sell several bottles every day, adding additional profit. Because customers like and trust the establishment, customers perceive the product as good, even without a brand name.

A hair salon with 4 branches worked with a manufacturer to develop a hair product as a private brand. The salon assured the manufacturer of future orders, and the hair salon was able to charge a bit more for the product because customers perceived added value because they considered it a “special” brand. In addition, a customer knew they probably could not get the same product at a competing establishment. The salon likely increased profits several thousand dollars as a result.

Smaller businesses may have a product well suited for private labeling. Some think a manufacturer wouldn’t offer this option. However, the marketplace reality is that if one business won’t private label; someone else will.

Private labeling also provides an opportunity to alter the recipe, especially if you believe you have a better option to offer. Long ago the Lord spoke to Moses and said, “See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 24:40, NIV) Likewise, you can ask a manufacture to make a product after your pattern.

Don’t be afraid of private branding.  It could be an effective way to increase your sales.


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May 04

Release a Business after Selling

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When someone asks me for counsel about selling a business, I start with the important financial questions.  I help them identify a fair and appropriate valuation.  Then, I ask, “What is next?”
Sometimes the person wants to be available for a volunteer ministry. Selling the business accomplishes that goal. Excellent. Other times the person wants to change direction. Selling the business will open possibilities to pursue a new direction. Fine. Often, the seller wants to take the money but continue to work for the business. This rarely works well, for the buyer or seller.  Here’s why:

Apr 24

Business is a Marathon with an Occasional Sprint

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Running a business requires long term energy. Every day you have to get up and get going.  While most of the time, it’s more of a marathon; occasionally you must be prepared to sprint.
King Solomon wrote, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:10-11, NIV). A marathon runner does not rest along the way.  He keeps running and sprints when necessary.