Posts Tagged ‘cash flow’

Nothing New

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 by AdvisorCatalyst

During the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s, my grandpa and his brother built and exited a number of different business ventures. They began by helping their dad with his cattle business and launched into a full-scale dairy operation. (I have a photo circa 1930s of a delivery van with “Schrock Dairy” and “Natural Milk & Cream” written in fancy lettering across the sides and back.) From there, they launched a full-scale apple orchard business. Then, with the full-gut commitment unique to entrepreneurs, they tore down all of their orchards and started a hybrid seed corn growing business. They later added a fertilizer (anhydrous ammonia) business with multiple plants and distribution facilities across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. This business was eventually sold to Standard Oil of Indiana. (I guess anhydrous ammonia was the rage those days.)

Today, we are more than a half-century removed from these entrepreneurs, so naturally, we have different business concerns than they did, right? My dad was recently reading through their correspondence and found two consistent themes:

1. Get the right people in the right positions.
2. Cash flow! Cash, Cash, Cash. It was never far from their minds.

OK, so maybe business really isn’t much different today! The key issues facing entrepreneurs 75 years ago are the same for entrepreneurs today, and they will still be the same 75 years from now.