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Steve Marr's contributions
Dec 29
2016

Dodging Questions

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Frequently I receive questions I prefer not to answer immediately.  Sometimes it is because I believe I need more background information before I answer the question. If I answer the question without background information, I could turn my prospect off and lose the opportunity to connect further. On the other hand, I don’t want a prospective client to think I am dodging the question.

Dec 26
2016

Learn from a Master

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Often I will advise a client against opening a new business until they have apprenticed for at least one year and learned from a master in their field. If you want to open a bakery but have little experience in that field, you are setting yourself up for losing money and your business. You need to learn the basic aspects of the business first.

At times the client will ask me for some help with starting a business in a field with very little specific information available. One example was “Tom” who had an idea to provide massage services to corporate employees. The idea was to contact businesses and contract them to pay for their employees to receive a massage as a way to increase productivity while providing a nice fringe benefit to staff.

Dec 23
2016

Give Logo Products

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

As Christmas approaches you may consider giving a gift to a customer. Many businesses give products with their logo as a way of keeping the organization in front of the customer.  While this practice seems forgotten these days, it is still effective in many instances.

A study completed by the Advertising Specialty Institute indicated that 85% of prospects will remember the name of a business that advertises with a logoed item.  Further, the average American owns ten promotional products containing a logo.

I looked through my desk as I wrote this article. I see nail clippers, a flash light, a pocket knife, a letter opener, a note pad and a pen with business logos; and I haven’t even left my chair.

King Solomon wrote, “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” (Proverbs 18:16, NIV)  Most of us like to receive gifts; that’s one reason children have birthday parties.

When thinking through the gifts you may want to give to customers, consider the value of your service and your target customer. In some instances an inexpensive item like a pen may be an appropriate gift. In other circumstances a more elaborate or expensive item is appropriate. One business I worked with gave their best customers a fairly expensive desk clock. I was gratified to see some of these clocks on customer desks when I visited them. Make sure your gift fits the value of your service or image.  If you’re selling an inexpensive service, a lower-priced gift is appropriate.  For a higher-level image, match the value of your gift to the image you want your customer to remember.

In your marketing plans for next year do not ignore the effectiveness and value of giving branded products to customers and prospects.

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Dec 21
2016

Establishing Policy

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I often encounter circumstances with a client who becomes angry with an employee who did the wrong thing even though there was no policy against the action.  Granted some circumstances are so basic they don’t require the cover of policy, but the majority of procedures should be covered.  I recall one manager who left the warehouse door unlocked which resulted in a theft. One of the defensive comments was “We didn’t have a policy about locking the door.”  Rather than saying exactly what I thought, I said nothing. The manager got the point.

Dec 20
2016

Avoid Becoming a Guidance Counselor

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

From time to time I encounter clients whose circumstances go beyond business issues and into personal counseling matters. I try to be clear with myself and my clients that I am not a counselor; I’m a business consultant and business coach. If I allow a client to move me outside my area of expertise into becoming a counselor, I am likely to do everybody a disservice.