Business Ideas Still Flowing

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - New business ideasI am always fascinated by new business ideas and new ways to run them. I like to watch a small business grow from a sales cart to a brick and mortar store or office. Last year, I came across an old Black Enterprise magazine about a young lady who took her dancing skills to the Detroit community by gutting a bus and starting a dance studio to teach dancing.

In the past, I have seen a group of unemployed grocery store workers join together and start a grocery store. I think about that one when I pass the empty grocery store on Villa just east of Lake in Pasadena, each week as I travel around town. I think about restaurants when I pass the three (or now is it four?) La Estrella Mexican restaurants which started as one food truck on Fair Oaks and Villa. Food trucks are more and more popular. Even grocery stores on wheels are visible in certain neighborhoods.

This week, I saw an article in the Pasadena Star News about a vintage clothing store in a converted truck. The store is the brainchild of two young ladies who realize that they can’t afford a brick and mortar store but want to start their own enterprise. They built a stairway up into the back of the Truck, converted the inside, and they were off and running. They find places to park, open up the truck, and place a few tables outside to display products and they are in business.

The newspaper called them Mobile Merchants I call them entrepreneurs who know how to stretch their dollars. As America pulls in more immigrants, they bring their business ideas with them. We all see the small Ice cream and fruit carts that are pushed around Latino neighborhoods, before they open up a neighborhood store. We all see some guys pushing lawn mowers around starting their gardening and clean-up business. Then, we see them with a truck and employees. We all need to start somewhere. Molly Maids are now probably incorporated and franchised. Maid services companies are the businesses that grew out of what we might call “The Help.”

We all know about mobile libraries. In the legal business there are lawyers who only make appearances or only do depositions. The idea is to get started with your business and not wait on someone else to start it or finance it, while you are sitting at home saying that was my idea!

It will be a long time before the American economy is back to where it was some years ago. In the meantime, people have to eat. Stealing will get you a place to live with three meals a day and a place to sleep, but the problem with that is your roommate will be a guy who you didn’t choose, and who knows what else you might get from you cell mate.

Years ago, I wrote a book called Effective Entrepreneurship Strategies. One chapter was entitled Moonlighting. It had a subtitle called, Starting a Business Without Missing a Meal. Basically, that chapter told the reader that they could start their business and keep their regular job until they were ready to depend totally on the new business. That chapter ends with the answer to why one starts their own business. The last reason for starting your own business is that it can be the start of a family business and direction for your children.

You can come by the office and pick up a copy of that small book or meet me at the Black Writers on Tour in Carson, April 19, 2014. Or you may call Dr. Rosie Milligan at 323-750-3592323-750-3592 for more information.