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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
Nov 04

Amazon vs. Office Depot

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I’ve written about how retail stores continue to face tremendous pressure especially from retailers like Amazon. A recent example of this for me had to do with a printer cartridge that I needed.  While I like to keep an extra one available, I allowed myself to run out. I called Office Depot and they confirmed there was one cartridge in stock. I jumped in my car and drove 20 minutes to the Office Depot store.

Nov 02

Location and Lifestyle

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I grew up in Detroit and never gave a lot of thought to moving for a number of years. I had a good corporate position, shopped at the same meat market my grandmother did and was the fifth-generation living in the Detroit area. I don’t think I would have moved except that my wife had severe allergies and her doctor told us we needed a climate like Arizona.  For that reason I resigned my corporate position and made the move.

Oct 31

Lead by Example

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Looking back at my college experience, I don’t remember tons of information from those four years. What I gained most was what professors taught me about how to think as a business person. I remember some one-line phrases that became “keepers” for my business career. One was, “Your business will become a reflection of you.”  The professor elaborated by explaining that if you come in late, sloppy, hungover; the staff that you attract will follow your lead. Likewise, when you are professional, honest and have a passion for serving customers; you will build a similarly focused staff.

Oct 26

Customer Attention Span

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Articles tell us that today’s readers have short attention spans. I agree that it is less than it was in the past. The error I believe many make is to limit marketing ad copy.  This often results in an ineffective and incomplete argument to prospective customers.

It is true that we have a short time to gain a customer’s attention. The goal of the first several seconds of ad copy or video is to engage the customer enough so they will continue to read the material.

Oct 24

Firing Clients

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Occasionally I hear from someone that they’ve fired their customer or client and sound as if they are bragging about it. Generally I feel this is a mistake.

At one point in my international trade career I dealt with a man named “Otto” who was a real problem. He would buy machinery from factories in Europe, and we arranged shipping them back to the United States where he would resell the equipment. Otto was a tremendous consumer of time, my time as well as some staff time.  I thought about firing Otto.  Then, the idea came to me that rather than firing him and telling Otto to find somebody else; why didn’t I price the job to include the extra work he caused? The next time he asked for a quote, I raised the price to cover what I called the aggravation involved in what I knew would be time-consuming follow-up work.  While Otto complained a bit about the price, he still accepted the quotation.  He was always a bit of a problem, but at least we got paid for the work.  Looking back this was a better solution than simply firing a client.