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Steve has learned from 40 years of business experience that God's way works. As an author, speaker, radio host, and business consultant...

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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
May 31

When Someone Asks for Free Financial Advice

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I have written before about the pitfalls of giving unsolicited or free advice. Recently “Connie” asked me to provide advice to an elderly lady about how to invest $150,000.  When I hear requests like this my first thought is they don’t want to pay an investment advisor because they don’t want to disclose all aspects of their finances.

May 29

Get the Agreement in Writing!

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I met with “Arthur” who wanted to start a business. During our conversation Arthur told me that the business owner, Dennis where he worked had promised to sell him the business in the future. However, later the owner’s son joined the company and Dennis began to transfer the business to his son.  Arthur understood that he had little choice but to accept the reality of the circumstance.

In another instance, “William” was promised the opportunity to become a partner in a business within two years. However the promise was not kept. When the business was sold several years later, William was out of a job.

May 24

Don’t Market to Everyone

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

At times I review a client’s marketing materials. Frequently the sales pitch is too broad.  The client is trying to reach everybody in town. As a result they will likely snare fewer customers. I believe the issue is that the businesses failed to properly identify the target customer; therefore, they really have no idea who they’re trying to reach.  The result is wasted advertising and fewer customers.

My marketing strategy is to think through who my target customer is.  I need to identify the exact person I want to reach, the person who will buy my product or use my service. Then, I write my ad copy specifically for them. 

Living in Arizona I worked with an exterminator who told me that there was a specific part of town with a severe rat infestation which was annoying and destructive. “Nancy” was going to mail their standard brochure to this area in an effort to snag new customers.  I suggested that rather than send their regular piece, they needed to write something specific on eradicating pack rats and send it instead.  Prospective customers concerned about rats would not be as concerned about scorpions or other insects their service brochure addressed. Their target customer was those who have problems with rat infestation. After changing their brochure and sending it, the response rate was considerably higher than expected.  I believe the reason is because they effectively identified their target customer.

May 19

How Should You Invest Church Funds?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I received a question from a church board member asking for advice on investing church funds. The church was currently earning less than .5% interest and a board member was proposing to invest the funds in several stock funds that would yield a 5% return each year.

I started my discussion by ignoring the original question. Instead I asked what the funds were being held for. For example, if the funds were being held to build up cash reserves to allow debt-free expansion within five years, you should take no risk with this money. Instead, the low bank interest would be acceptable.

May 15

Correcting Staff

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When we work with staff who need to improve performance, our primary goal is to help them develop the skills they need to be able to continue their employment.  A good guide comes from the words from Ezekiel: “I don't want you to die, says the Sovereign LORD. Turn back and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32, NLT) Just as the Lord does not want anyone to perish, we should do what we can to prevent discharging an employee.