Cash flow is to business what oxygen is to the body—not the point of life but without it there’s no life.
And you get cash from sales.
So far pretty straightforward, no?
But what precedes sales? The short answer: Attention precedes sales.
Okay, so what precedes attention? The short answer: Invention precedes attention.
Case in point: Adrian Van Anz and his Derringer Cycles.
As per recent article in Forbes magazine, it all started approx. five years ago when Adrian decided he wanted a moped. Here’s a little taste of that article:
“Problem was, the models on the market were too slow, too clunky, too drab. Simply put, they didn’t set his soul on fire. So he took what for him was the logical next step—and built one himself.
A veteran tinkerer whose first big hit was a vodka-cooled computer, Van Anz ordered a 2hp motor from a Chinese manufacturer and rigged it up to a regular bike frame. The result was a vehicle that offered the speed of a Vespa and the lightness of a bicycle; riding felt like coasting uphill. The first time Van Anz took it out in public, a stranger at a Los Angeles eatery offered to buy it for $5,000 in cash.
‘I wouldn’t sell it to him,’ recalls Van Anz, 32, as he hunches over a polished steel-and-glass computer monitor in his Los Angeles bike shop. “I was worried about the liability of selling this guy some bike that he’s going to run into a wall with no insurance. Second, it was mine, and I really didn’t want to sell it.’
But Van Anz had given life to something that generated more than horsepower. He christened his creation Derringer, after the tiny pistol (‘It just looks likes something that’s designed to surprise somebody with death’), and now sells 400 bikes a year to the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Robert Downey Jr. and Robin Williams.”
You can be innovative even if you are running a very small business in a super competitive industry.
Please remember that innovation is not just reserved for high-tech gadgets such as the iPhone.
Case in point: Isadore Sharp, the founder of the Four Seasons.
You might be surprised to discover that Isadore invented the following:
Travel-size shampoo in every room; Fitness rooms in hotels (he liked to exercise and felt that other travellers would appreciate it too, especially after long flights); and Full-service spas to mention a few.