Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Strategic Planning
Jun 18
2014

Must A Business Grow?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

A question that some ask from time to time is whether a business must always grow. I believe the answer is yes. King Solomon wrote “A growing population is a king's glory; a prince without subjects has nothing.”  (Proverbs 14:28, NLT)

Businesses rarely stay the same.  They either grow or shrink, and a shrinking business is a dying business. A business may gross $200,000 this year; but with $198,000 the next year, it is shrinking, although slowly. Slow declines have a way of turning into fast declines. There are rare examples where a business won’t grow but is still profitable. Arm and Hammer Baking Soda is an example.  They have 90% or more of the market, great profitability, and growth from an increasing population.  This is the exception.

Jun 16
2014

Setting Prices

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Sometime I help clients establish the correct price for products or services. Many sellers believe they set the price. I believe this is incorrect; it is the customer who sets the price.

Business occurs when a willing buyer and willing seller agree on a transaction. The only exceptions are when an authoritative power requires a transaction, like eminent domain forcing a property sale. The seller may set an initial price, but the buyer confirms whether the price is right or not. 

Apr 28
2014

How to Block Out Time for Projects

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Frequently, the clients I work with have key tasks or projects that need to be completed. These are what I call their 80/20 goals: items that will see 80% improvement for a 20% time investment. This requires that you understand what is most important and commit yourself to complete those key tasks. Often, these are the tasks that you set aside because other things keep interfering. If you are not careful you slide into the next week or month with no progress on the most important tasks.  “Where did the time go?” you ask.

Apr 24
2014

Learn a Language to Boost Your Business

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When I was in international trade, I met with a person in Antwerp, Belgium. During the course of our day he spoke to others using Dutch, English, German as well as his native Flemish language. Business leaders in most countries speak multiple languages. In the United States, speaking another language is an exception.  In Europe and many other countries, failure to have multiple language ability is an entry barrier for many businesses. Even junior hires are expected to have this skill.

There are so many native-born Americans, that we don't have to learn foreign languages.  Those who learn another language have business opportunities others can’t access.  This creates real opportunities for people who have the ability to learn a foreign language.

Consider learning Spanish.  Very few Anglos are bilingual.  By becoming bilingual, you will identify yourself as somebody who ought to be on the payroll. Businesses need to effectively connect with Spanish speaking customers and employees in many parts of the country.

Mar 26
2014

Assess the Value of a New Location

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Ken and Margret owned a candy shop in a resort town. A storefront opened up a few blocks away with better foot traffic, and they were wondering if they should take the space at a higher rent.

I asked two questions.  How many people pass by your store in your current location?  Can the real estate agent document foot traffic for the new location?  The answer to these two questions is critical in making a wise choice.