business ethics scenariosWe have been talking about Christian business ethics this week.  We talked about what Christian business ethics are and we talked about how to set up policies for your business.

Today, I want to look at ethical scenarios.  There are no right or wrong answers as long as you are continuing to run your business on biblical principles.  With that in mind, take time to read these scenarios with your team, even if you are your own team.  Write out a step by step solution on how you would handle these scenarios.

 

Ethical Scenarios for Christian Business*

 

Business Ethics Scenario 1

The purchasing manager for a large company agrees to give you an order (their first).  He expects you to make a $200 donation to his favorite charity, a local youth sports team. How do you respond?

 

Business Ethics Scenario 2

A customer executive from Southeast Asia will visit your HQ facility and meet with your executive team. Your independent Southeast Asian agent requests that you reimburse the customer for his expenses, including expenses that could violate your company’s policies (and maybe even your Christian morals.) The agent will reimburse you. How do you proceed?

 

Business Ethics Scenario 3

A large, prospective client calls you and asks about a competitor’s reputation. One of your long time customers had a very bad experience with this competitor. What information do you share with the prospect? How do you respond to the prospect call?

 

Business Ethics Scenario 4

As department manager, you are hosting an informal celebration in the office. The food budget is $200. Your next door neighbor has just started her own catering business and asks to supply the food. Since she is just starting out, she’ll do it at cost and provide extra items at no charge. What might you want to consider?

 

Business Ethics Scenario 5

You see on social media that someone is smearing your company.  They are touting that your product or service is useless.  They claim that you charge too much and you are not a company of values.  This is on multiple social media channels including a review site that your company uses.  What do you do?

 

 

Business Ethics Scenario 6

You are in a head-to-head battle with your arch competitor, Evil Enterprises. One of your co-workers approaches you. He has recently joined your company after having worked for a second competitor for several years.

He suggests, “I made notes on all of Evil Enterprise’s bids when I could get the data. They use some clear cost standards. Would you like me to bring my notes to the office tomorrow and let you look through them?” How do you respond?

 

TAKE ACTION

Take time to go through these scenarios in depth.  Write down a step by step process on how you would handle each scenario.  After you have done this, answer the following questions based on what you found.

  • How would you respond?
  • What written policies do you have in place to guide your decisions?
  • What guidelines, policies or procedures do you need to implement in your business based on your decisions?
  • Do your employees know where to find these policies?  If not, consider a training event to focus specifically on ethics in the workplace.

 

Christian ethics in business means making the tough decisions for the right reasons. #ChristianEntrepreneur #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEthics Click To Tweet

 

*Scenarios from Markkula Center for Applied Ethics 

Christian Business PrinciplesThere are a lot of principles to consider when we are talking about Christian business principles.   It can be something practical like how and what to post on social media or it can be more general guidelines that guide day to day activities.

When I talk to Christian business owners, many of the issues that they bring up about being a Christian in business has to do with principles.  I have had people ask me if it is OK for them to make a profit.  I quickly tell them that if they don’t make money, they can’t help others.  Ultimately, it is about how helpful we are and charging what we are worth and their customers can afford.

As far as Christian business ethics, there are a lot of principles to consider.  I pulled together a list from various places online.  (See links at the bottom.)  These are issues that each Christian business owner must consider in their business.

Caring for one another vs competition

If you have a sales team, does competition overtake caring for one another?  When a new position opens up, is there resentment from those not hired?  How do you structure your business to enhance caring over competition?

Resource Management vs Waste

How do you handle buying supplies and keeping track of what is in stock?  How do you care for your employees with salaries and cost of living increase?  What happens when budget needs to be cut?

Greed vs Giving

How much money do you give from your business to Kingdom work?  At what level does giving change?  How much money do you keep in the bank?  How much money do you invest in your employees?

Earning Profit vs Helping Others

How do you define the parameters of how much you will charge for your products or services?  How do you define the value you bring to customers?  How do you help others who need what you have but truly cannot pay for it?  How do you mentor young people?

Borrowing and Lending

How does your business handle borrowing?  What is the policy for buying new equipment or larger facilities?  Do you lend money to others from your business?  Do you put money in stocks?

Protecting Reputation vs Attacking Others

How do you respond to negative publicity?  What happens when someone leaves a negative comment online?  Who is responsible to respond via social media or public events like a news conference?  What happens if someone else responds or makes a comment from your company?

 

Each business has their own set of rules and situations for their particular situation.  There are some universal principles which gives us a good foundation to build on.  As you can see, there are many other principles to consider, but these Christian business principles should be enough to get you started developing some principles for your business.

EXERCISE: Set aside an afternoon with no interruptions.  Take out a piece of paper.  Go through each of these questions and answer them honestly.  If another question pops up in that category, then put your question and answer on your paper.

What you are doing is developing an ethics and principles document for your business.  Keep it simple.  You can have each question on a sheet of paper in a binder with a simple table of contents.

 

Christian business principles guide us to be Christ’s ambassador in our business. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur #ChristianEthics Click To Tweet

 

Here are some other online resources I found helpful and may help you as you develop ethics policy for your business:

A Question of Biblical Values

biblical values in businessWhen we talk about business, we talk about mission statements and value statements. Yet, we forget the foundational values of the Christian business owner based on God’s word.

We talked about the action of integrity and the decision of character.  Today, I want to get into the values found in God’s word.

Biblical values are the core beliefs that guide everything we do in life and business as a Christian. . . or at least they should be.

Instead of listing all the values we can find in God’s word let’s look at a good and bad example of using values from God’s word.

Let’s start with the bad.  There was a time, horrible as it was, when people used God’s word to force others into slavery.  They took the Bible out of context to fit what they wanted in this life.  They distorted God’s word to suit their needs.  Honestly, there are some churches that exist today that distort God’s word to make life comfortable for them or miserable for others.  That is not and has never been what God’s word is about!

Now the good.  I could recount hundreds of personal stories and all kinds of business stories I have read about God’s word impacting lives.  I could talk a bunch about Zig Ziglar who built an ’empire’ based on Christian values.  He is famous for saying, ‘You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”  I heard him say he got that right out of God’s word.   He ran his business and his life on the Golden Rule. (Here’s a great interview with Zig about his faith.)

Christian values simply means we are basing our lives on the Bible.  We have a foundation to God’s word that undergirds. . . upholds or braces…our entire life.  We use God’s word as the ‘glasses’ by which we see the world.  They tell us how we worship God, treat people, and interact with the world we live in.

The only way we can live by God’s word is to know what is says.  2 Timothy 2:15 reminds us that we must “correctly handle the word of truth.”

As Christian entrepreneurs, we must understand God’s word foundationally.  We must dig down deep into the solid foundational truth of what God says.  If God does not directly state a fact, we must be cautious to tread where only angels dare walk.

The Bible is not a convenient book.  It is however a book that will shape your life and your business in ways that will stand the test of time.  I think back to Zig Ziglar.  He left this world and what he built still stands and still grows because he based his entire concept of life on God’s word.

How good is your biblical understanding of God’s word?  How much do you really know about what the Bible says about business?  How much time do you spend digging into God’s word to find how He wants you to run your business and live your life?

If you need some help getting started, we have a free membership to help you get a strong foundation to what God says about the Bible.  If you would rather, I have a 10 minute webinar that helps you understand how to understand the Bible better.

Whatever you do, take action.

I urge you, plead you!  Until we dig into God’s word and apply His principles to our business and personal lives, Christians will never be respected as the Children of God we are called to be.  Do something TODAY, Christian!

 

Biblical values are the core beliefs that guide everything we do in life and business as a Christian. #ChristianEntrepreneur #ChristianBusiness Click To Tweet

 

Here’s some additional reading:

questions for business growth3 Questions to ask to see if your business is ready to grow

When we talk about business growth I don’t want to focus on profits.  We want to focus on helping people.  When our goal is to help others with our business, we are prepped to take on whatever blessings God chooses to give us.

There are many places in the Bible that mention the fact that God will give us what we can handle and He will equip us to handle the next step when we are faithful.  Look at the latter part of Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

With that verse in mind, ask yourself these three questions to see if your business is ready to grow.

 

Question 1: Stability

If there was a tornado or other natural disaster that caused your business to not work for 2-3 months, would you be able to still pay employees and cover your expenses?

 

Question 2: Responsibility

If you got 2 new employees, do you have enough work for them to do, training to get them started and processes for them to follow? (If you have a large workforce, change the number to 20 or 200 according to the size of your business.  Think in number of a 20% workforce increase.)

 

Question 3: Sustainability

If you got 10 new customers a month, could your current system handle the additional workload without bogging down? (If you are a bigger company change the number accordingly to 100. Think about a 20% increase.)

 

If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, you are well on your way to growth.  Now all you need to do is beef us getting your message out.  We will talk about that in our next article.

 

Asking the right questions gets you the right answers. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

steps to grow your business3 Things you need to understand to grow your business

Growing a business takes a lot of work.  We all hope for the day our business becomes viral and people flock to us like moths to a flame, but in reality, growing a business takes a bit of time.  It takes a foundational understanding of what we do, who we do it for and how to tell them about it.

 

Understand what you sell in business

I know a lot of business owners think they know what they sell.  I am always surprised to see that they really don’t know what they are selling.

Let’s say you sell new cars.  There are thousands of different cars to choose from, so how do you stand out?  You stand out by understanding what you are selling.  If you have a minivan, you may be selling safety and security.  If you have a sports car, you may be selling power and prestige.

Here’s a quick exercise.  Take your product or service and define how your customer’s life is different after they use your product.  Then, ask “Why?”  Do that five levels deep.  Once you do that, you will truly understand what you are really selling.

For example, let’s say you sell minivans.  Your customers have a car that fits all of their family together.  Why?  Because having enough room is important.  Why? So the kids don’t fight.  Why? So they have a more peaceful ride. Why? So the parents can concentrate on the road.  Why? Because family is important and we want them to be safe.

If you follow those five levels you will see that family is important to people who buy minivans.  You are selling the idea of family, unity, peace and security.  You are not just selling a minivan.

 

Understand who you do business for

Once we have nailed down exactly what it is that we are selling, we must understand who needs it most.  Our customers are the people who are going to purchase and if you get this one wrong, we will always have a struggling business.

First thing we must get right is how they think and talk.  Each group of customers speaks a different language.  They may all speak English, but what they say is different.

A twenty something new mother is going to use different vernacular than a forty something female executive.  They are the same general persona, but they have widely different circles of influence, habits and values.  What is important to one may not be as important to both of them.

It is important that we really nail down our ‘best type’ of customer.  If we try to get everyone into our business, we will find ourselves doing a lot of work and getting minimal results.

Think about fishing.  Depending on what type of fish you want, you need the right type waters (lake, river, ect.), the right bait, the right hooks, the right equipment to get where they are, and the right timing.

The more we understand our ideal customer, the better we can talk to them and help them with the business that we have.

Here’s a quick exercise.  Write down 10 things your ideal customer values.  Write down 10 habits they may have.  Where do they shop?  What do they drive?  Where do they spend leisure time? Etc.  Once you nail down those 20 items.  Write a ‘day in the life of’ you ideal customer.  What does their life look like before they use your business and what will it look like after they use your business?

 

Understand how to tell customers about your business

Everyone likes to buy but no one likes to be sold.  People love getting a good deal and finding things that help them with problems they have in everyday life.  They love businesses that can speak their language and if they can relate to your business, they will be a loyal customer for life.

I can’t express this hard enough.  If we want our customers to buy from us, they must like us.  They must feel like we understand them and are there to help them.  No longer are we in the days of yelling the loudest to get the most attention, we are in the days of whispering in the ears of good friends and engaging them on a personal level.

You have a message about how you can help your customers.  They want to know how you can help them.  Put together the two ideas from above.  Do they fit?  If not, fix the one that makes the most sense.  Remember, people love to buy things that help their lives and solve pain points they feel, but they only listen to you if they feel like you are talking directly to them.

 

Putting it all together

Here is a real life example. I was talking to an insurance sales man.  Their motto of their company was “for all your insurance needs from A to Z” (slightly altered to protect the company).  I asked what they did different that all the other companies that say they have all kinds of insurance.

He said, “Well, we are Christian and we pray for our people.  We have all the insurance they need and can probably get them a better rate than they are currently getting.”

I asked, “Many insurance agents offer all types of insurance and a lot of them say they can save you money. What are you doing differently?  Are your customers Christian?”

He said, “Why, yes, most of them are. I don’t guess I ever realized that.”

I suggested, “Then why don’t you emphasize your Christianity?  I would put our some ads, geared at Christians that said, ‘When was the last time your insurance agent prayed for you?’ When people know you are praying for them, they realize that you really care for them and that is different than other insurance agents.”

He said he had never thought of that and would have to do some work to see if he could get more people.

See, he wasn’t just selling insurance, there are thousands of people doing that.  He was selling a company that prayed for you.  In essence, he was selling insurance agents who care about you and your needs so much they will take time to pray for you.

Being in business as a Christian may not mean you only have Christian customers, but some do. You must identify your ideal customer and how you can help them.  Then, and only then, will you be ready to tell them what you have and how you can help them.

 

People love to buy, but they hate being sold. #Christianbusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

 

Moving From Failure to Success

from business failure to successWe’ve been talking about Christians failing in business because I think we are missing the point of being in business.

Let me state it as plainly as possible: Business is the vehicle that brings people to God.

Our entire lives have been sculpted and guided by God.  Every moment of success and failure have been used to help us become the person we are today.  All of those moments lead us to be a business owner and because we know God is real and our lives are touched by the hand of God, we are Christians.

Yes, we must make money in order to survive as a business, but ultimately we can’t make money if we are not helping people.  The best way I know to help people is to show them the undaunting love of Christ through our words, actions and our business.

Not until we fully realize that our business is God’s business will be really begin to undertake the transformation that we need to do business.  I know this may sound like pie in the sky thinking or some preacher telling us something we remember today and forget tomorrow, but it is more than that.  Being a Christian is a way of life and if you are in business, it is the way you do business.

 

Practical Faith In Business

Let’s get practical for a moment.  What does this really look like to live out faith in a business?

I work in the world of business marketing.  Many of my clients ask me to help them with Facebook ads.  When I set up ads I ask about their goals and their strategy.  Often, their goal is to get more customer and they say their strategy is to use Facebook ads.  I press in, “Why do you really want to get more customers?  What would happen if you got 100 new customers?  Could you help them?”  I get various answers.

It is here that something different happens.  I begin to pray right in the middle of the meeting.  I had prayed before the meeting, I prayed for this client throughout the week and I prayed for my understanding about using Facebook ads.  I even read my Bible each day to gain wisdom from God and here at this very moment I am seeking and searching for God to guide my words and give me wisdom.

You’d be surprised at how quickly the moment turns.  I have had people share with me about struggles in their family, medical issues, etc.  All because I asked about their business and took time to engage God in the midst of my conversation.

It is in these moments that I offer to pray for these people.  If I find out they are a believer at any stage of believing I may point out a Bible verse.  Yes, we complete the Facebook ad, but until this person is free from their pain, they can never truly engage their customers and grow their business.

I have had clients start reading their Bible, start going back to church and even  getting involved in group studies at their church.  It excites me to see God working in their lives, not because of what I did, but because of what God did in these people.

You may say, “Well, sure you can do this.  You are a Reverend and trained to do things like this.”  I would answer in two ways.  One, I did the same thing before I even knew I was going to be a minister.  Two, I will remind you about 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Even before I knew that I was called into ministry I was involved in business.  I was talking to a family before I even knew I could be a minister and they were having medical struggles.  I simply told them that I cared for them and I would be praying for them.  They became great friends and I got to walk with them as they got back involved in church and the Mother went into remission.  We rejoiced greatly and gave God all the Glory.

I am nobody special.  No more than you.  You can impact and influence people’s lives just as easily as I did.  You know how I know?  Because the same God that lives and works in me, lives and works in you.

 

You are Gifted

Each of us are gifted in different ways.  You may be able to reach people I could never reach.  You may be the one person who could bring a particular person to know Christ.  You have a responsibility. . nay…you have a privilege to bring people closer to Christ with every encounter and every contact.

The reason Christian businesses fail is that they do not see God as the sole reason for what they do. They don’t give God the glory for every victory and ask His wisdom in every triumph.  Remember, it is not about what you do, it is Who you do it for that makes the difference between a flourishing business and one that is holding on by a thread.

 

Lining Up Your Business with God

Take action.  Go back to our previous article and do the three exercises (click here).  Line up your life and your business with God as your CEO.  Commit to the basics of reading your Bible, praying, getting involved in church, giving and worshipping our Savior.

You may not know me, but I am praying for you.  I prayed for everyone who will see this post.  I prayed that my words would be His words and your life will be edified because of Him speaking to you through these words.  If you sign up for our Faith Membership, which is totally FREE, I have your name and I will pray for you by name.  If you want me to pray for you specifically, just let me know by responding to one of my emails.

Once you get your business lined up with God if you need some guidance, I offer a monthly training specifically on business principles, strategies and tips.  You can even submit a question specifically about your business for these trainings if you are part of the Growth Program.  In my personal business I have to charge hundreds of dollars for this kind of consulting, but I offer it here on this web page for pennies a day.  Consider getting involved with our Faith (free) or Growth program.

To God be the Glory both Now and Forever, Amen!

Be blessed and be a blessing.

 

Business is the vehicle that brings people to God. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

reasons Christians fail in businessAfter studying a lot of businesses over the years, I have pinned down three main reasons Christians are not growing in their business.

Let me warn you.  I am not writing to offend anyone.  I am writing based on seeing what is working in business in the lives of Christian entrepreneurs.

Take time to read each of these. Don’t just read the title and skim the rest.  Read the meat of the story.  Only when Christian business owners dig into their faith can they dig into the blessings of God for their lives and their busiensses.

 

 

Christian Business Failure #1: Prayer is not integral to the business

We touched base on this in our previous article, but I want to take it a step further.  Let me start by telling you a story.

I was working as a minister at a church.  While leaving one day there was a lady in the parking lot, chain smoking.  She looked up at me and with a straight face said, “I’m praying that God will deliver me from smoking.”  I replied, “It might help if you stop buying cigarettes.”

I have no doubt God can deliver people from all kinds of habits, but we must take action.  We can’t just sit in our office and wait for God to bless us, we have to get out there and see the opportunities that God provides.  We can only do that when we have a constant, consistent prayer conversation with the God of the universe.

I know people who get up at three in the morning to pray for an hour.  That is awesome!  But don’t let it stop there.  Let prayer become integrated into your entire day.  When the phone rings, ask God for wisdom and the ability to help whoever is on the other end of the line before you answer it.

Praying for business is more than just expecting God to grow your business.  Praying for your business means you are seeking God with your whole heart, mind, body and soul.  You are looking to God as your CEO and asking Him before making any decisions.

Here’s a quick exercise: For one day, write down all the things that you can pray for.  Start with employees, customers and vendors.  Then, write down products, divisions and locations.  Write down your website and all your marketing endeavors.

The list will be a long list and that is perfectly OK.  Now you have a road map of things you can pray for.  By doing this, you have set your mind to be aware of how God is working in and through you all day as you work His business.

 

Christian Business Failure #2: Attitude is not focused on true success

Attitude can be a double edged sword.  On one side, we have such a great attitude that we leave God aside because of our ego.  On the other side, we have such a lowly view of life because we are a sinner.  There is balance between the two.

First and foremost, you are child of God.  You are child of the King.  You are child of the King of Kings.  That alone should give you confidence. Yet, that should not give us license to do whatever we want.

We are stewards of the King’s people.  We are to take care of them as if they were our own.  God has entrusted us with the responsibility of the lives He has put in our business.

So what does all of this have to do with attitude? We can read books about positive thinking.  We can watch lots of motivational videos.  Yet none of those really make a lasting impression until we realize our value and our place in this universe.

God gave you the ability to run a business.  He gave you skills and opportunities.  He gave you a brain to learn what you need to learn to grow your faith and your business.  He gave you the wisdom to turn to Him, rely on Him and trust Him.

Our attitude should line up with Jesus who humbled Himself as a Servant.  We are to serve others out of our gratitude to God for all He has done for us.  Our attitude must come from our identity in God, not our success in this world.

Here’s an exercise: (You may want to do this on paper and out of the view of others.)  Write down everyone in your business that you are better than.  Seriously, check your heart.  Who do you feel like you are better than?  Write their name or initials and why you are better than them.  Then, go back through the list.  How is that same person better than you?

This is a tough exercise, but partnered with praying for these people, this could become a powerful exercise for you in your business.  You will see the value in yourself and the value others add.  If you want to take it a step further, take a day to be grateful for each person and send them a hand written note of thanks.  Encourage their character and edify them.

 

Christian Business Failure #3: You is the center of the business

I know this is a tough article for some of us.  God wants to chisel away at the things that are holding us back from doing all that He has called us to do.  As long as we hold on to the comfortable chains that bind us, we will never grow in the blessings that God wants to bring us.

When we have ‘you’ as the center of our business our business will never grow.  Yes, there are large personalities that grew large businesses, only to quickly fail with one attack to their character.

A business built on ‘you’ is centered on what you can do and what you want to do.  It does not take into consideration all that God has done or His guidance.  It focuses on making a buck so that ‘my’ life can be better.

I struggle with this just like everyone else.  This week I have turned down at least three great ideas that would have made me a lot of money.  I could jump on some fad or sell some hot product, but in the end that does not bring glory to God.

God is the center of all we do as Christians.  When we place ourselves on the throne instead of God, our values and ideas become warped.  I am sure you can think of some movie or TV series where the wrong king got on the throne and ruined the entire kingdom.

God gifted us with skills, talents and aspirations.  He does not want us to give up our personality to serve Him. He wants to complete that personality.  He wants to help make you the best you possible.  He created you and knows the best version of who you are.

Business may be started as a solo act, but as we grow we need to let others take on parts of our business.  Delegation is a valuable skill and you can see it all throughout the Bible.  God gave you a personality, to bring other personalities and help more people with His business.

Business is about helping people and bringing Glory to God.  When ‘you’ is the center of the business, all glory goes to self.  The business will slowly depreciate and the ‘you’ that is on top will soon find that it is lonely at the top.  It does not need to be that way if you line up who you are with who God is.

Here’s an exercise: Write down all of the things that make you special.  Write down your talents, skill, and training. Look on your resume or your LinkedIn profile.  Write down any rewards, certifications or awards.  I want you to write down everything that you are proud of.  It should be a long list and that is a good thing because God has made you a blessed person.

Now, take that list and one by one, check off each as you thank God for giving you that gift.  Take a few days.  Really pray and thank God for that item on your list.  Pray more than just a single sentence prayer.  Pray for everything that surrounds that item.  You will begin to see God’s interweaving your life to make you the person you are today.

 

Conclusion

Whew!  This was a tough article to write.  I have prayed and really searched for the words that I felt like God wanted you to hear.  It is not easy to line up our lives with what God wants, but it is worth it.

Take each of the above exercises seriously.  Do one a week for the next three weeks even if you think you are on course with God.  It will strengthen your resolve to be a Christian first and a business owner second.  It will line your business up with God and His plans for your business.  It will show God that you really think He is the CEO .

 

God gave you a personality to help people with His business. #ChristianEntrepreneur #ChristianBusiness Click To Tweet

why do Christian businesses fail?I often wonder why Christian businesses fail.  It really bugs me and honestly, I think it bugs God.  God does not set us up to fail.

I have to share a little rant today. . .

I’m tired of seeing Christian in business fail!  There are too many opportunities in this world and with God on our side, why are not more Christians succeeding?  We can’t help but succeed . . . IF we put Him first.

That is the first issue I have with Christian business owners.  Sure, they pray, but prayer is not an integral part of their business life.  They say a prayer like, “God help me succeed in business today.”  What a selfish prayer.

Look at what James says in Chapter 4, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

See the slight difference?

We are to put the Lord FIRST.  When we start our business.  When we open for business each day.  When we are doing well.  When we are failing.  When we are mad and want to give up.  When we are excited and ready to take on the world.

God is with us each step of the way.  He wants us to acknowledge Him as the True Owner of our business.

 

I work with all kinds of business owners.  From multi-million dollar companies to businesses that are just starting out.  I work with Christian and non-Christian business owners.  The Christians who are succeeding have a breath of fresh air about them.  They have God integrated into their whole way of doing business.

 

Christians who are succeeding have God integrated into their whole way of doing business. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

It is more than just quoting some Bible verses and putting God in our value statement.  It is whole-heartedly following Jesus as a true believer . . . a disciple.  It is understanding that God is in everything we do and everything we do, we do for Him.

Listen Christian business owner, let’s not wait for something to happen, let’s make it happen.  Let’s call on God and sit down with Him in a One on one ‘board meeting.’  He is the Owner and we should not move until He says move.

And when God says move, we should take action.  We should learn all we need to do the most excellent work for a Most Excellent God.  We should implement with His plan in our business and wisely take the steps we need to prepare for the growth that He wants us to have.

Christian, take action today.  Sit down with the True CEO of your business.  Get away from the office if you have to, but take time to really seek His will for your business.  Only then, with that solid foundation, will you have a business that succeeds and honors God.

VIDEO: Christian Business Books

Reading is an important part of growing as a Christian entrepreneur.

As a Christian, first we must dig deep into the Word of God. As a business owner, we must look to those who have been successful as Christians in business.

In today’s video, Smart and Relentless shares some of their favorite Christian business books.

 

 

What is your favorite Christian business book outside of the Bible?

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My favorite Christian business book is . . . .#ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

marketing strategyA marketing strategy is a growth mechanism for any business. Christian entrepreneurs understand they need to pray for growth and plan for it with an on-going, effective marketing strategy.

We’ve talked about business strategy and communication strategy.  Today, we get practical by putting these two together in a marketing strategy that brings in new customers.  Let’s define marketing.

Marketing is making sure those who need what you have know about it.

In other words, you help solve a problem in your business and it is your responsibility to make sure potential customers know that you can help them.

Before we go too far, let me say that marketing and advertising are different.  Advertising is the item you are using to market.  A flyer is an advertisement.  Marketing is strategically placing that flyer at the most effective location and making sure it has the most effective draw to your ideal customer.

 

Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy is lining up your ideal customer with your ideal message.  Start with your customer and their needs.  Then, add in relevant and specific messages in a way that communicates with them.  We have other articles about your ideal customer and communicating well in marketing (see links at the bottom of this article).

When you refer back to your mission and vision, you should see a consistent pattern in how you help people.  The way to help people is the key to marketing.  It is not about shouting from the roof tops, though that may work for some businesses.  It is about creating a message that specifically and effectively talks to your ideal customer and helps them with a pain in their life.

 

Marketing Channels

An effective marketing strategy understands there are many marketing channels.  Each of these channels must line up for a specific message for your customer.  Basically, you must decide where the most effective location for your marketing would be best suited.  You have to define where your customers go to get information to solve the problem your business solves.

Here are some marketing channels to think about:

  • Webpage (SEO, Content marketing, etc.)
  • Social media
  • Coupon books
  • Billboards
  • Flyers/Mailer/Direct Mail
  • Whitepapers and reports
  • Webinars and video series
  • Commercials on TV or Internet
  • Digital ads (PPC or CPC)

 

I don’t want to inundate you with ideas.  I have a list of over 100 ways I can help businesses market their company.  My background is in helping businesses find ideal ways to grow through marketing.

As a matter of fact, you can have one million ways, but until you know your goals and understand your customer, it will be hard to create a marketing strategy.  You must start with a specific goal.  There will be some trial and error, but you must engage your customer to understand them better.  Then, you must go where they go and make it seem as though you are everywhere they are.

 

Marketing strategy is creating a message that is an integral part of your customer’s life. #Christianbusiness #Christianentrepreneur Click To Tweet

 

How to set up your marketing strategy

  1. Start with your vision and mission.  Set a goal that you want from your marketing.
  2. Once you have a goal, set up a valuable sequence to bring your buyers from knowing about your product to actually buying your product.  You must know where your customers are in the buyer’s journey.
  3. Do your research.  Talk to current customers.  Engage online in forums and social media to really get to know your customer.  Look for pain points and common terms among your potential customers.
  4. Based on your research develop a marketing sequence.  Post your ads where they will get the most attraction and make sure it lines up with the terms and pain points of your potential customers.
  5. Evaluate each piece of your marketing to test its effectiveness.  Make sure any calls or emails that you gather have tracking so you know where your customers find out about your business.
  6. Once you know the most effective source, put more time and effort into developing a solid campaign.

 

Conclusion

It may sound like a lot to do, but you are fine tuning how you communicate with your customer.  You are defining how they hear about you and making sure you can help them.  As Christians, we should want to help as many people as possible.  It is our duty and responsibility to treat people with kindness and integrity.

Marketing strategies are simply aligning how you help with where your customer are.  Whether it is online, at a location or some other idea you found when doing your research, get to where your customers are and make sure they know how you can help them.  Do it in a way that benefits your customers and not just for your sales.

Here are some articles you may find helpful:

If you need a professional to help you design a solid effective marketing campaign for your business, here is a link to a Christian Marketing Consultant I trust.  Just tell them you found him on Christian Business Revolution and he’ll give you a great deal.