• Do you form partnerships with your best customers?

    21 Sep 2018 | 12:00 am

    Scripture states, "Do two men walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3 NIV). A key word is to agree. Too often we believe agreement means price only. A true customer partnership includes understanding the client's needs[…]

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Category >> Management
Aug 20
2018

Who Pays When a Client is Late?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When I make an appointment with a client in my consulting work, I set it with a specific starting time. Sometimes, the person arrives late or may not even show. When this happens, what do we do?

I established a policy that states if a person is significantly tardy or fails to show for two appointments, there will be consequences. A person who has trouble arriving for an appointment on time or misses two appointments has a chronic problem related to meeting their commitments. This is something I do not ignore.

I keep my phone line clear for 15 minutes after the agreed appointment time. If I don’t hear from the person within those fifteen minutes, I'm free to go on to other work commitments. Furthermore, if I scheduled a 60 minute appointment and the person calls and arrives 10 minutes late, that appointment just became a 50 minute appointment at the same charge. Why should I bear the cost of someone else’s lack of planning?

Feb 26
2018

Small Differences; Big Results

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

The movie, “Founder,” covers part of the story of how Ray Kroc started the McDonald’s Corporation. Ray sold milkshake machines and a restaurant in San Bernardino, California ordered six machines.  With them they could mix six milkshakes at a time and significantly increased their business.  Ray drove out to see why the restaurant was doing so well.

Oct 09
2017

Different Standards

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I was cleaning my garage the other day, not one of my favorite tasks. I was reflecting on what represented a reasonable standard for cleaning the garage. I attacked the floor with my shop vacuum and cleaned up the dead bugs by the window as well as reorganized a number of things.  The result was more order and a cleaner space. From time to time I must undertake this effort.

Aug 07
2017

You Can’t Change Just One Thing

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When you make a decision to implement something in your business, it is possible to fail to grasp how it might affect other aspects of the business. An example comes from ministry when I worked with someone who sent out fundraising appeals on a regular basis.  The person responsible for writing and producing the layout for each piece would frequently change their mind after printing had been scheduled. I explained to the organization that these consistent changes impacted others. When the reserved time for printing had to be changed, that affected other projects in the printing queue. Also the staff scheduled to fold and mail the pieces had to be rescheduled.  When one part of the schedule changed, it also involved revising other people’s schedules as well. Sometimes when the printing was pushed back, the time conflicted with another job forcing management to determine which work came first. I counseled the organization to work through the copy writing process in a way that would maintain other parts of the time schedule. In my opinion most of these emergency revisions, which occurred regularly, could have been avoided.         

Feb 15
2017

Fixing the Unacceptable

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Unacceptable is a very clear word to me.  An unacceptable circumstance is intolerable for business or customers. I’ve used an auto repair shop that’s convenient, reasonable in cost, and has an owner I believe is ethical.  However for six weeks, their phone system hasn’t worked properly. When I call and no one picks up the call, it goes to voicemail except you cannot leave a message on any of the extensions. I brought this situation to the owner and manager on several occasions.  Clearly this is extremely frustrating because I can’t get through to make an appointment to bring my car in.  Or if my car is in the shop, I can’t find out if it’s ready.