• Do you charge directly into every business battle?

    22 Sep 2017 | 12:00 am

    God told Moses to lead the people away from the Philistines, "Lest the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt" (Exodus 13:17 NASB). Effective leaders learn to pick the right battles. When faced with[…]

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Steve Marr's contributions
Aug 22
2017

You Didn’t Get My Email Address

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I was buying several plants at my local nursery and as I completed the transaction I said to the owner “You didn’t get my email address.” “Bill’s” response was, “Why would I need it?”  I explained that he could send me an email reminding me in the spring what plants I should get for my yard or what items to pick up for fall cleanup or let me know what’s on sale. Bill agreed that it was a good idea, finished up with me and moved to the next customer. Bill will likely never act on developing an email list.

I don’t want to interject myself into Bill’s business without being asked. However, if he were to ask me I would tell him to collect email addresses and send out a periodic newsletter. He could write the letter in the winter when business was slow and Bill didn’t have a lot to do. Then he would have newsletters written in advance.

Perhaps Bill was concerned about how to develop content. Bill could summarize good articles from the internet in a brief paragraph and provide a link to the article for more information. Better yet, he could contact the author and see if he could have permission to reprint the entire article as part of the newsletter.

Aug 14
2017

A Garden without Weeds

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I spend time vegetable gardening. While flowers are nice, if I can’t eat it; I don’t pay a lot of attention to it. The other day “Brad”, “Brad” came over and wanted to take a look at my garden. As we walked through Brad made the offhand comment, “Gee, weeds don’t seem to grow in your garden and your plants grow really well. You must be blessed with great soil.”

I explained to Brad that I spent 10-15 hours a week working in the garden. Almost every day I hunt for weeds and pull or hoe them out before they had time to grow much. The reason I didn’t have weeds wasn’t because they didn’t grow, but because I tended to them quickly.

Aug 07
2017

You Can’t Change Just One Thing

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When you make a decision to implement something in your business, it is possible to fail to grasp how it might affect other aspects of the business. An example comes from ministry when I worked with someone who sent out fundraising appeals on a regular basis.  The person responsible for writing and producing the layout for each piece would frequently change their mind after printing had been scheduled. I explained to the organization that these consistent changes impacted others. When the reserved time for printing had to be changed, that affected other projects in the printing queue. Also the staff scheduled to fold and mail the pieces had to be rescheduled.  When one part of the schedule changed, it also involved revising other people’s schedules as well. Sometimes when the printing was pushed back, the time conflicted with another job forcing management to determine which work came first. I counseled the organization to work through the copy writing process in a way that would maintain other parts of the time schedule. In my opinion most of these emergency revisions, which occurred regularly, could have been avoided.         

Jul 31
2017

Guaranteed Results?

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From time to time I encounter a client who wants me to guarantee results. Given the large number of variables that exist, I cannot guarantee results every time. No one can.

Recently I had a client, “Sally,” who wanted my assistance in closing her business. She had another six months   on her lease. However, when I read the document I saw a clause that called for a 60 day notice for early termination. I advised Sally to write the landlord immediately and exercise the 60 day notice. Sally wanted me to guarantee that she would not have to pay rent due at end of the year. I explained to Sally that the language was cloudy. While the lease stated the term was one year, there was also a 60-day early termination clause. I argued that early termination would not be in the lease unless it was an option. I could also see how the landlord might still claim rent to be paid for the rest of the year. 

Jul 24
2017

Buying Other People’s Mistakes

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Most business people want to start out with everything new:   new facilities, new equipment and new vehicles.  However, new is expensive.  For example, consider the difference between purchasing new clothing in a retail store and used clothing in a good thrift shop. While I understand why there is a reluctance to buy secondhand clothing, there should be no reluctance to buy secondhand business equipment.