Obviously the main thing to talk about is the Coronavirus. Needing no introduction, it has got my mother really worried.
The first text came early February urging us to stop travelling and to return the UK before the pandemic properly erupted. And the second was worry that my businesses were going to meltdown and I’d end up in debt.
I think the travel topic has been done to death, so let’s talk about the second.
Will The Coronavirus Ruin My Business?
My instant reaction was a slightly offended “of course not! They will be fine. Obviously I am well prepared for a pandemic”. But really it is a very legitimate question. If I ran ‘normal’ businesses I could be in real trouble.
I have four main areas of business that pay for my life and they all could and probably will be affected by the virus.
- The stock market is going down meaning I am losing money. Who knows how far it will go?
- Sports goods brands where production is in China
- There is the potential for supply problems as China places restrictions on factories.
- Borders may get locked down reducing the flow of our goods into consumer countries.
- Alcohol brand where production is in the UK
- Communal gatherings such as events or bars and clubs could be banned reducing alcohol consumption.
- This blog
- Maybe people will be too busy with their own problems to read this blog anymore?
- Although I actually expect the blog to get more popular. During difficult times alternative ways to make money get more popular.
I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that my overall business takings will reduce. Maybe a 20% decrease?
So why aren’t I bothered? Because none of those businesses or myself are fragile or ‘normal’. Even if my takings reduced by 90% the businesses could survive and I have plenty of savings to protect me during times like this.
If they were normal businesses, with high staff costs and large debts, then a small decrease in sales could break the business. When you hear about household names going bust it’s not because they suddenly lost all their sales. It’s because their income reduced a bit, but their costs stayed the same or rose.
All my business are purposely designed to have tiny overheads. They have no debt, no payroll, tiny rents. They will never be as big or ‘successful’ as traditional high-risk businesses, but I’m also protected from all the but the worst apocalypses.
So to answer my mum’s question. My finances will be fine, even if the coronavirus gets really bad.
- Be Ready For Anything – Surviving The Turmoil Of Post-Brexit Britain
- How To Start An Amazon FBA Business
- How To Start A Gin Brand On A Budget
So now we can forget about the virus let’s talk about what interests me at the moment, video games!
I’ve wanted to make games ever since I was a little kid and following that dream was why I studied computer science at university. But then at university, I decided I wasn’t good enough or clever enough. And instead chose to chase riches and a lazy life.
But now, over ten years later I’m back to square one. I still think I am not going to be good enough to make a career from games, but I’ve decided it doesn’t matter.
My goal is to spend 6 months to a year making a series of short games I can create in under a month each. Once I think I have the skill I will do a larger project that I can hopefully sell. I am recording my progress in my game dev journal here. Two games made so far!
How Are My Businesses Doing?
I am not going to talk about my businesses too much as this post has been too long already. But briefly:
My Amazon FBA businesses all grew in February due to Amazon changing the way reviews work. They are now combining all review scores across multiple countries. So in places like Italy where each of my products only had a few reviews, I now have hundreds.
I have also switched off most advertising. I assume we are going to have some supply issues (see coronavirus above) so don’t think there is any point spending money to increase our sales. Adverts off mean more profit per sale.
- How To Start An Amazon FBA Business
- Tips And Tricks For Marketing Your Amazon FBA Business
- Automating My Amazon FBA Accounting
Pipehouse Gin had a slow start to the year and February wasn’t great. But as the month went on sales have started to pick up. I expect a decent March.
- Starting a Gin Brand Episode 1: Doing The Research
- Starting a Gin Brand Episode 2: Creating The Recipe & Branding
- Starting A Gin Brand Episode 3: Delays & Legal Schmeagols
- Starting A Gin Brand Episode 4: Labels, Packaging & Marketing
- Starting A Gin Brand Episode 5: We Have Finally Launched Pipehouse Gin!
This Blog & Podcast
The blog made £2,200 in February. Not a bad result considering I haven’t done much work on it. But not great and well down from the peak in 2017 where it averaged over £5k a month.
I still think that long-form content on personal blog is dying out. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. I am sure if I put some serious work into the blog I could get it back up to where it was. I just have other priorities at the moment.
I haven’t done any work on the Lazy Entrepreneur Podcast in February. But plan to start again in March or April.
And That’s It!
A bit of a different report that I am trialling at the moment. I think that the old style had got a bit repetitive, especially as there were often very few things to update. So instead I want to talk about what I’ve been thinking about that month over the backdrop of my businesses and projects. Let me know what you think? Is this style more interesting?
Until next month, stay safe out there and wash your hands.
Previous Monthly Reports: