Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Streetwise Bulletin

The Streetwise Bulletin is our email newsletter which is published every weekday. At the Streetwise Bulletin website we catalogue the bulletin content, and you can search for ideas by subject or date published. Some of that content is featured here in this business ideas section of the site. If you’d like to see more of the same, you can do so by visiting the site.

Art Lovers Trip

Luxury magazine Veryfirstto has created a holiday with a difference. It’s a trip that takes in 12 locations of famous paintings from around the world. Everything from the mountains of Saint Victorie painted by Cezanne right through to Garrowby Hill in Yorkshire, painted by David Hockney. The trip gives art lovers an insight into what inspired the great artists they admire. And perhaps the trip itself will inspire you to come up with an interesting business idea.

The demand for bespoke and personalised trips is growing. If a trip for art lovers is viable, how about one aimed to cater for other enthusiasms and interests. Might well-heeled football fans enjoy a tour of the great stadiums of the world for example? Or how about a tour of famous film locations for movie buffs? The possibilities are almost endless.

Pieces Of There

This is an idea from the United States, and I’m not sure how applicable it is to the UK, but I thought I’d bring it to you anyway. It may well trigger off an idea.

Pieces Of There is a subscription based services aimed at students and other individuals who are living, working or studying away from their home state. It’s for people who want a reminder of their home state which is delivered via monthly gift boxes. The company have boxes for each of the 50 states. They also have boxes for British, Indian, Irish and Chinese students living in the US.

Each box contains items with a strong association with that state. For example the New York boxes may include a city map and some Hampton Coffee, while Alaskans could get some wild berry tea and an Ulu knife. The Louisiana boxes feature Old New Orleans Rum and a Mardi Gras mask, while Washingtonians get Portlock Smoked Salmon Filet and Starbucks Frappuccino.

I’m not sure whether there are sufficiently strong county associations to make this work here, but what about International ones? Might Australian, Middle Eastern or Chinese students studying in the UK be a valid target market for something like this?

The Closet SOS

Closet SOS

My daughter recently attended her school prom, and after spending an age choosing an outfit, I considered the nightmare scenario of what would happen if she damaged or dirtied the dress just before the big day. Maybe something like Closet SOS is the answer.

Closet SOS is at the moment, little more than a short-term promotional idea created by Oglivy and Mather for fashion chain Forever 21 in Costa Rica. The idea is that you call a special number and the company send a fully stocked van to your location to bail you out of your sartorial problem.

Now as I said, this is a short term promotional idea at the moment, but I wonder whether it has wider long term potential. Might there be a market for an ‘emergency store’ service like this? Don’t confine your thinking to fashion. It could equally apply to other markets. If there is a demand, for obvious reasons, you could probably charge a premium price.

Profit From Royalties

Imagine how satisfying it would be to get a steady flow of cheques coming in for doing nothing. That can be the reality for people who build a number of income streams based on royalties.

Some of the biggest companies in the world pay out millions in royalties every year to people who have come up with something new. Proctor and Gamble for example, now gets half its ideas for new products from outside inventors which it then licences in return for a regular royalty based fee.

For inventors, the licencing and royalty route is definitely the best way to market with an idea. Inventors simply don’t usually have the expertise, infrastructure or financial clout to go it alone with what they’ve developed. Handing the idea over to a large organisation can be a win-win for all concerned.

So if you have an invention which you don’t have the resources to fully develop, give some thought to which companies might be best placed to capitalise on it, and then work towards exploiting the ‘money for nothing’, royalty route.

If you want to know where to focus your efforts, the industries offering the highest profit margins probably have the most potential. A recent study by mathematician Greg Lemmon suggests that finance and banking and computer software offer the highest potential with gross margins in excess of 40%.