Retire… Are you done yet?

You've all seen ads for retirement. Ads for planning and preparing to retire, investing, rolling over your 401k, making sure you’ve saved enough money, and warnings that retiring is going to cost you more than you think. There is only one problem with these narratives. They make the assumption that retirement means no longer contributing to the world while receiving a paycheck. The Concept of Retirement Before the 1880’s, there was no institutionalized concept of retirement. Then in 1889, German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck invented retirement when he announced that he would pay a government pension to all non working Germans after they reached 70 years of age. Bismarck wasn’t trying to spread goodwill, but rather stave off the expansion of socialism in Germany. The retirement age was later lowered to 65, but no one really benefited because life expectancy during that time was about 46 years. Retirement was an unknown…

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“My Business IS my retirement.” Really?

I usually begin my talks at NAMM or sharing groups with three questions: 1-How many of you are relying, on the proceeds of your business to help fund, at least in part, your retirement? Half the hands go up. I jokingly say, for those that have not raised their hands, you either have a rich spouse, are expecting an inheritance, or  plan on selling real estate, because we both know you can't live on social security alone. 2- How many of you know how much monthly cash flow you'll need from your business or other sources to support your personal retirement? Fewer hands go up. 3-And how many of you know how you're going to create the cash flow in a tax effective manner, and know what you will do in your personal life after you exit?  Here hardly anyone raises their hand, but I do usually hear a few laughs. The primary…

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Want more profit? Look to your intangible assets, not your inventory.

As the S&P Market Value chart indicates, in 1975 tangible assets which consists of your inventory, building and other balance sheet items, represented 83% of  S&P 500 corporate value. By contrast intangible assets, which consists of  primarily people and enabling technology, represented only 17% of S&P 500 corporate value. Now turn the numbers upside down, because in 2015, intangible assets represented a whopping 87% of value and tangible assets was only 13%. For the MI retailer this observation is key, because of the inordinate amount of time & resources invested in inventory & other tangible assets. “In today’s knowledge economy, company value is no longer driven primarily by physical or tangible assets, but is increasingly attributable to non-financial business drivers — the intangible assets of an enterprise.” CGMA- Chartered Global Management Accountant The two primary business models retailers can chose from is either the Apple model, or the Amazon model. A hybrid puts you in the…

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Musical Instrument Museum: A model for music retailers.

Is their a need for physical shopping spaces in a world of AI intelligence and a global community tethered to their device? Yes according to retail guru Doug Stephens. I agree.  I believe that consumers, will pay according to the value of the emotional connection they have for the special “moments” only brick & mortar retailers can create; aka customer experience. This is not pie in the sky talk. Humans are wired to shop, to interact with people, to be entertained, to share stories. This is how joy central  kicks in and releases the beloved dopamine we all want and can't get enough of. In fact customer experience is so important to the world of global commerce, there is even a Customer Experience (CX Index). Forrester's Customer Experience Index is based on consumer survey data. Criteria for Customer Experience Index rankings include how effectively respondents felt their needs were met and how they assessed the…

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Excuse Me. Will You Be My Successor?

I was once teaching a financial education class to retirees, about the importance of assigning someone to be your  power of attorney. For those that are unfamiliar with the term, it is a legal document which appoints someone you trust, to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf when you are unable to. A gentleman in his 60's raised is hand and said. I'm not married. I have no family. I have no friends that I trust. Will you be my power of attorney? At first I thought he was joking. Here I am, a total stranger, talking to this gentlemen in a classroom filled with people, and he asks this question. It was no joke. He recognized the importance of a POA, but had not developed the necessary human relationship with any one that he trusted, so he asked a total stranger. Yet there is a strange similarity to this conversation and…

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Winter NAMM 2018

Five Ways to Add Value to Your Business—Fast! Jaimie Blackman,  CEO, Jaimie Blackman & Company. Jaimie will be speaking at NAMM Idea Center. Saturday, January 27th, 2:00 Adding value to your music retail business is critical, whether you’re looking for a competitive edge, a line of credit or even a successor. Plus, successful entrepreneurs do it every day with limited time and resources. In this session, financial expert Jaimie Blackman of Jaimie Blackman & Company, will show you five unique ways to maximize the value of your music store in just 90 days. He’ll look at value-building activities—employee talent, processes and technology, customer relationships, community outreach, and professional and personal fulfillment—to capture opportunities and ignite innovation in your business. This session is for everyone from owners and key managers to aspiring owners.

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