Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Barker Bag

It seems like there are few lengths that owners won’t go to pamper their dogs, and here’s further proof. Andy Storms took his dog, Barker, camping, but didn’t like the idea that the pooch didn’t have his usual home comforts. That was the motivation behind The Barker Bag, a sleeping bag designed specifically for dogs. The bag features a collar in place of a hood – to stop the dog running away, and a zip to attach it to the owners sleeping bag. The retail price is $69.

Depending on your attitude to dogs, you’ll either think this is a great product or a complete waste of money. There are millions of dog lovers who will be in the former category though, and these are people who will spend any amount of money to keep their dogs happy.

So, what other ‘human product’ could you convert into a doggy version? The answer could make you a great deal of money.

Local Meat

Affluent consumers are becoming increasingly selective about the food they eat, and that’s opening up a huge market for companies like AgLocal based in San Francisco. AgLocal offers a monthly subscription service to consumers, providing meat packages with produce from local farms, together with detailed information about what they’re eating plus recipes.

The success of the service depends on consumers being prepared to pay a premium price for top quality produce while helping local farmers at the same time. It’s not something you’d want to try to copy in a downmarket area then, but could be something to copy in an affluent area of the UK.

Mollie’s Shop

The Daily Mail recently reported on Mollie Price, a 6 year old who has supposedly just opened her third confectionery shop in the Welsh market town of Welshpool. Each one is appropriately called, Mollies. As a result, she has been declared one of the youngest entrepreneurs in Britain.

Now I hope I’m not bursting anyone’s bubble when I say that I don’t care how bright a 6 year old is – they can’t open and run one proper shop – let alone three. But as a vehicle for getting some free publicity, they take some beating. Mollies mum or dad obviously realised that a 6 year old with a shop is more interesting than a 36 year old with a shop.

So could you ‘use’ your kids in this way? Don’t feel guilty, they’ll cost you a fortune over their lifetime, so why not get some of it back in advance!

The Chinese Internet

China is now home to over 618 million Internet users, 80 percent of whom access the web via their smartphones. A large proportion of those – something over 30% – are now also shopping online.

It’s so easy to get locked into your own small world, and not even think of the potential elsewhere. But with over half a billion web users in China alone, that seems to be a pretty foolhardy approach.

So do you have a product which would appeal to the Chinese market – or could you create one? If you do or you could, the sales could make what you’re doing here in the UK look pretty pathetic by comparison.

Vintage China Rental

I just came across a business in the United States that rents out fine china for events ranging from wedding to afternoon teas, right through to pig roasts. The owners have built up a collection of thousands of pieces and are now capitalising on it. This seems like a pretty limited market to me, but I could be completely wrong. Maybe there’s an opportunity for someone here in the UK to do something similar. Perhaps there’s a bigger market to be had in renting out antique furniture for events – either private or commercial.

If this interests you, I’d suggest researching the market and then forming an alliance with an established antique furniture dealer. They may welcome the opportunity to make some money from their slow moving stock.