• Are you up-to-date in every aspect of your business?

    14 Jun 2019 | 12:00 am

    A prophet wrote, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6 NASB). Today, business requirements will change at the drop of a hat. Read trade magazines, attend industry seminars, and attend trade shows to keep abreast of the[…]

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Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Strategic Planning
Jun 03
2019

Developing a Key Passion for Success

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I was asked to consult with a young entrepreneur wanting to start an ice cream store.  “Bill” agreed to see me mostly because his father asked him to spend time with me. Bill was shocked by my first question, which was, “Do you like ice cream?”  Bill stared back and didn’t really answer. He countered my question by asking if I liked the money ice cream can make.

I told him that I don’t recommend starting a business for any other reason except serving customers. I explained that If you’re going to be in the ice cream business, you need to enjoy ice cream.  You must like making ice cream and ice cream-based treats.  You must enjoy the happy faces of your customers and their families when they enjoy your ice cream. You must love creating an experience they want to enjoy again.  The ice cream business is not about a methodology that will make your cash register ring.

May 09
2019

E-commence vs Physical Stores

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Most people know that new sales online have been increasing.  In 2018, e-commerce increased 14.2% from 2017. The increase has been steady for years while we see retail stores struggling with stores closing in large numbers. This includes large retailers like Kmart and Sears but also involves smaller stores in strip malls. 

However, an interesting statistic is that, though retail sales in brick-and-mortar stores have been stagnant while e-commerce has increased; the increase is clearly at the expense of growth that would have occurred in traditional stores.  It is also true that while traditional stores have suffered decline, there is still a tremendous amount of retail activity. Over 90% of sales are still conducted through traditional storefront locations.

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.

Jul 24
2017

Buying Other People’s Mistakes

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Most business people want to start out with everything new:   new facilities, new equipment and new vehicles.  However, new is expensive.  For example, consider the difference between purchasing new clothing in a retail store and used clothing in a good thrift shop. While I understand why there is a reluctance to buy secondhand clothing, there should be no reluctance to buy secondhand business equipment.

Jun 12
2017

Beware of Changing Business Models

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Business models and the landscape for them change quickly. Several recent examples include Kodak's bankruptcy because they failed to embrace the new digital camera technology.  We all know that Amazon is wreaking havoc on the traditional brick and mortar stores.  Newspapers all over the country are folding because they are unable to compete with new online models.