• Do you ever complain about a coworker?

    30 Oct 2020 | 12:00 am

    King Solomon instructed, "Do not testify against your neighbor without cause" (Proverbs 24:28 NIV). When mistakes crop up at work, we may quickly cast blame on others. Next time the ball is dropped, determine the cause of the fumble and[…]

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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Mar 25
2020

Should You Become a Mentor?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I try to coach or mentor 1-5 businesspeople at a time.  I believe this is part of my calling. I want to strengthen others in business and use biblical principles in my mentoring. My perspective is that most business owners and leaders don’t see themselves as mentors. Some large corporations may have structured programs for mentoring, but most do not.

For example, you can read a sales book, attend seminars and even engage in expensive training as a part of a mentoring program. These may provide an excellent return on your investment. However, there are many aspects of sales that you cannot learn from a book or training session. Selling involves reading the prospect’s body language, discerning what the customer wants and reacting to questions that are not predictable or can be scripted.  I read that no battle plan survives the initial contact with the enemy.  Similarly, most sales plans don’t survive much past 60 seconds into a customer contact.

Mar 20
2020

A Lesson from Yellow Fever

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

History is a great teacher if we listen.

During the summer of 1878, yellow fever broke out in New Orleans. At the time people didn’t know how the disease was transmitted, but everyone knew the disease was deadly. During the initial outbreak 25,000 people departed the city, and 17,000 stayed. Eighty percent of those who remained became infected; 5000 died. Many departed the city because there had been four previous yellow fever epidemics with devastating results. 

The fever marched up the Mississippi River toward Memphis. Daily reports came by telegraph.  The disease was reported in Grenada, Mississippi on August 9, only 100 miles south of Memphis.  However, the Memphis newspaper simply reported:

Mar 06
2020

Credit Scores Could Change Under New System

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

A recent article on cnbc.com reported that up to 110 million customers in the United States will have their credit scores altered under a new logarithm. Individuals who have a higher level of debt and/or some additional late payments on their record are more likely to see a negative change while those with less overall debt and strong payment histories will likely see an increase in their FICO score.

A person in business needs to maintain a sterling credit history.  King Solomon wrote, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”  (Proverbs 22:1, ESV) When a small business seeks credit for their business, the credit history of the owner or owners is critical in the approval process. Also, we know that the higher the score the better the terms; the lower the score means less desirable terms. 

I understand these changes to be reasonable changes. Those who are more reliable with a lower debt load should be viewed as a better risk and therefore should receive a higher FICO score.

Mar 04
2020

The Coronavirus Outbreak Impacts Main Street

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We see daily news reports of increased infections worldwide from the coronavirus.  Financial markets gyrate but move sharply lower.  For most of us, not much has changed . . . yet.

 

Scripture is clear that we cannot predict the future. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” (James 4:14, NIV) Many want to see into the future in order to take the right steps for success. However, the future is not predictable. We are better prepared when we understand the changes that have already occurred and act on those changes.

Feb 28
2020

Passing on Credit Card Fees

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When a business accepts credit cards, there is a cost to the business. Most pay around 3%; although some charges may be higher or lower depending on volume and other factors. At the end of the month we see these processing costs and may think about how to pass these costs directly to our customers. One way or the other we do, either by absorbing them into a slightly higher price or charging extra for credit card use.

The question this brings up is should we add the charges to consumer cost? An article in the local newspaper caught my eye when an upscale restaurant started adding 3% to customer bills when paid by credit card. My initial thinking was that this was not a particularly good idea.  The gross margin in most restaurants is 60%.  If you lose a few customers over the 3% charge you’re probably way behind.

Gas stations at times have two prices: one for cash and one for credit. I tend to avoid these because the cash price is close to what I pay using my credit card someplace else. I prefer to manage my expenses through a credit card while at the same time gaining cash back. When I thought I would save $.05 or $0.10 a gallon, I might just go in and put $20 or $40 down and take the savings.