Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Planning
Nov 02
2015

Evaluating a New Business Start-up

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“Kim” asked me for advice about starting a grocery delivery service. The target market was residents in a retirement community. I pointed out a number of problems with the idea.

Sep 02
2015

The Evolution of Photography

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When I was younger I fancied myself as a photographer. I shot 35 mm with a Pentax camera and had several special lenses. At the time the bag of equipment was expensive. I used slide film because the processing cost was lower than print film. Then, I could order prints for the better pictures. My commercial success was limited to three published photos in a local weekly paper. I may have received $2 or $3 per picture. Considering the film cost, I lost money.

Apr 25
2015

What Are Your Assets?

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Often I work with a business person who can’t take the next step because of limited money or assets. I start with Mathew 15:32-38 as I work with this person. It’s the story of Jesus feeding the 4,000 with limited assets.  Consider the discrepancy between need and assets and what Jesus did:

The disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?”  And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.”  And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.  And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full.  And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. (Mathew 15:34-38, NASB)

Oct 08
2014

Learn Real-time Activities of Your Customers

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I ran across an interesting website called “Busy States of America” that documents the real-time activities of millions of Americans. The site uses information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  With our current Federal Budget issues this may be an opportunity to cut back on expenses, but since the information is available we may be able to apply this information to our businesses.  The site is available here: http://bit.ly/1pH80UL . The site allows you to see how many Americans are doing what for 24 hours a day. Consider how useful this information might be when broken down by age, gender, and employment status.

Feb 21
2014

Maple Syrup and When a Fact Becomes Myth

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One problem we all have in our businesses is that we think what we know won’t change. One recent study for the maple syrup industry changed everything about how to collect sap for maple syrup and companion products.

Maple syrup and candy products have been prepared the same way for 200 years. The process involves tapping the tree, collecting the sap in buckets or by hoses, and boiling the sap down to syrup.  When I lived in Michigan, I tried this as a project.  I didn’t get very much syrup, but it was fun to try.

“Everybody” knew that sap came from the tree’s crown. The University of Vermont did a research and concluded that 200 years of thinking was wrong; that the maple sap came from the roots, not the crown. The moisture was, in fact, taken from the root system.