• Do you treat company property well?

    17 Jul 2018 | 12:00 am

    Jesus taught, "If you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you which is your own?" (Luke 16:12, NASB). Often we treat company property poorly. We need to realize that we have[…]

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Category >> Strategic Planning
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

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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.

Apr 26
2017

Unpredictable Success or Failure

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I have written before about how much of business results from unpredictable and random events.  This is why following King Solomon’s advice is wise, “Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. (Ecclesiastes 11:2, NIV)

For example in the 1800’s if the railroad went through an area, prosperity typically followed. Unless someone had inside information, you would not know what path the railroad would take. While you could research likely routes, you couldn’t confirm the final route. A business located at the right time and the right place would prosper.  During the gold rush in California, businesses in places where prospectors gathered prospered greatly. Clearly they did not have advance knowledge about a gold strike that would create a boom.

Consider television programs. TV networks works spend millions of dollars in research to produce new shows.  Many of them still fail to get viewership and are canceled.  Sometimes these new shows make you wonder what the networks were thinking in the first place.  However, many of the hits followed unpredictable paths that led to their success. It is true that careful research and effort go into planning these shows. However, the same effort goes into the shows that fail. My point is that one cannot predict accurately which shows will be successful and which will fail.  If one had the skill to accurately predict a foolproof formula, they would earn millions of dollars each year in directing the efforts of each network.

Feb 10
2017

Specialized Help Saves Money

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I recently encountered a computer glitch which I struggled to work through. Rather than continue to frustrate myself and waste time, I hired somebody for $60 to fix the problem. The money was well spent.  

In your business it is important to know when to hire a specialist to do tasks you cannot do or could accomplish more effectively with their help. When you do, you allow yourself and others to concentrate on higher value work.