Everyone needs a “Cash Register Business”
The greatest lesson I’ve had hammered into my head over the last year, as COVID paralyzed our economy and destroyed my best-laid plans, was that I need to have my own “Cash Register Business.” So should all of you out there reading this blog!
Years ago, one of my associates in Arizona told me that his father had pressed into him the need for him to have his very own “Cash Register Business” for when times were tough and his current job or business was lost or had hit a bump. The dad stressed that even when and if his son’s current cash flow (job or business) was interrupted, the bills went relentlessly on and such necessities as paying the rent/mortgage, utilities, food, and debt payments (credit cards, student loans), et al simply had to be addressed.
My friend’s father advocated starting and operating what is now referred to as a “side-hack” but to this man was simply a “Cash Register Business” that would continue to operate in the background as a “sure thing” cash flow generator in good times or bad. It was in the “bad times” that this “Cash Generator Business” became of paramount importance. COVID drove that to the top of my mindset as I reflected upon the personal financial devastation caused by the two “Black Swan” events of COVID and the debacle of polarizing political unrest in this country.
Had I heeded the advice of my friend’s father long ago, I might not have been forced to liquidate assets at “fire-sale” prices and trim down my once extremely comfortable lifestyle quite so drastically. While I do believe that there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel within reach, I vowed to never depend on my current cash flows (when they return) and to seek out and initiate modest but steady “Cash Cows” to help with any future financial bumps in the road.
All predictions of the “Post-Pandemic Economy” point to a re-birth of entrepreneurial fervor in this country unlike anything we have ever seen before and I, for one, eagerly anticipate that. My two brand new initiatives, the veteran-based Vetrepreneur Vision and Millennial-influenced Millennia Queenmaker are my “tip of the spear” for the “Post-Pandemic Economy.”
Indeed, the venerable “McKinsey & Company” has boldly shared their own fact-based prediction on the recently published report below:
McKinsey & Company Special Report-January 2021
The crisis sparks a wave of innovation and launches a generation of entrepreneurs
Plato was right: necessity is indeed the mother of invention. During the COVID-19 crisis, one area that has seen tremendous growth is digitization, meaning everything from online customer service to remote working to supply-chain reinvention to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve operations. Healthcare, too, has changed substantially, with telehealth and biopharma coming into their own.
Disruption creates space for entrepreneurs — and that’s what is happening in the United States, in particular, but also in other major economies. We admit that we didn’t see this coming. After all, during the 2008–09 financial crisis, small-business formation declined, and it rose only slightly during the recessions of 2001 and 1990–91. This time, though, there is a veritable flood of new small businesses. In the third quarter of 2020 alone, there were more than 1.5 million new-business applications in the United States — almost double the figure for the same period in 2019. 6
Yes, many of those businesses are single-person establishments that could well stay that way — think of the restaurant chef turned caterer or the recent college graduate with a cool new app. So it’s intriguing that the volume of “high-propensity-business applications” (those that are likeliest to turn into businesses with payrolls) has also risen strongly — more than 50 percent compared with 2019. Venture-capital activity dipped only slightly in the first half of 2020.
The European Union has not seen anything like this response, perhaps because its recovery strategy tended to emphasize protecting jobs (not income, as in the United States). That said, France saw 84,000 new business formations in October, the highest ever recorded, 7 and 20 percent more than in the same month in 2019. Germany has also seen an increase in new businesses compared with 2019; ditto for Japan. Britain is somewhere in between. A survey published in November 2020 of 1,500 self-employed people found that 20 percent say they are likely to leave self-employment when they can. 8 At the same time, however, the number of new businesses registered in the United Kingdom in the third quarter of 2020 rose 30 percent compared with 2019, showing the largest increase seen since 2012. 9
On the whole, the COVID-19 crisis has been devastating small business. In the United States, for example, there were 25.3 percent fewer of them open in December 2020 than at the beginning of the year (the bottom was in mid-April, when the figure was almost half). 10 US small-business revenue fell more than 30 percent between January and December 2020. 11 But we’ll take good news where we can get it, and the positive trend in entrepreneurship could bode well for job growth and economic activity once the recovery takes hold.
As I write this blog a memory of my own sort-of “Cash Register Business” from 45 years ago comes to mind. I had just started my first “official business” as a result of my college business plan project that manifested into millions of dollars in short order…see Peter J. Burns III — The “Moped Rental King” | by Peter J. Burns III | Medium.
A small corner in the front of the dirt lot which displayed my mopeds on my Nantucket Island leasehold came with a little popcorn stand that had been there for many years. Conveniently located right across from Nantucket’s one movie theater, people lined up around the movie theater providing a wonderful opportunity to sell those movie patrons hot buttered popcorn and a slurpy (flavored ice) before they even got into for the featured film. I manned the stand with pretty young salesgirls and a fan inside my stand blew the smell of fresh popcorn in the direction of the people in line. The little stand was only open during movie hours and managed to feed my extended family every meal, whether at home or at any number of Nantucket’s outstanding world-class restaurants every summer for years.
Several of my Millennial Queens” have their very own “Cash Register Business” like Jewel and her coffee kiosk Another “Millennial Queen” in-the-making… | LinkedIn and most recently, Taylor from Oklahoma with her FOREX currency trading sideline New “Millennial Queen” in-the-making… | LinkedIn. Then there is my original Millennial Queen, Alyssa with her online clothing boutique for young women entering the business world A Classic “Millennial Queen” Candidate | LinkedIn
So, to my tens of thousands of readers…heed my sincere advice to each and every one of you to get a “Cash Register Business” for yourself…NOW!
Follow the “Adventures In Capitalism” of Serial Start-Up Entrepreneur, Peter J. Burns, III at www.peterjburns3.com