Monthly Archives: January 2015

Private Rubbish Collections

I’m not sure why it happens because we’re not a big household, but we always seem to fill our bin long before the fortnightly pick up time comes round. And that’s if the council bother to come at all. A combination of two inches of snow and some general incompetence meant we got no pick ups at all over the Christmas period. I was therefore interested to hear of a private wheelie bin service on radio this morning that’s been set up somewhere in Lancashire. For around £8 a week, the company will take your rubbish away, and you can bet that like all private services that don’t get paid if they don’t do the work, a bit of bad weather or the holiday period won’t be given as an excuse to leave your property a target for rats.

Not everyone will be willing to pay for a service they get fortnightly for ‘free’, but I can see a market for this in any upmarket area of the UK – and every town in the UK has at least one of those. People pay for private health and private education when they can have it for free, so why not waste collection?

If you decide to set one up in South Yorkshire, send me your card!

Create Your Own App

People have made bucket loads of cash from apps over the past few years, and although it’s getting harder, the opportunities are still there. Here are some step by step instructions on how to do it, courtesy of a 17 year old who made $100,000 by creating a series of apps:

Step 1. Download Gamesalad (iphone/ipad/android/amazon publishing tool)

Step 2. Go here –

Step 3. Do the tutorials.

Step 4. Now that you have a basic understanding of gamesalad, you can probably modify a template. Go here – and These will allow you to purchase templates to modify.

Step 5. Choose a template where all you have to do is change the graphics.

Step 6. Replace the graphics.

Step 7. Create icons and all the submission information.

Step 8. Charge $1 for your app. You can make it free if you want, but it won’t pay off.

Step 9. Publish to either Amazon or iOS platforms.

Step 10. Start all over.

The guy who wrote these instructions says he’s created apps in under 2 hours that have raked in $20,000. Sounds like an interesting no-risk opportunity to me, and now you know how to do it.


Snowbird Services

If  you live in an area with a high concentration of second home owners – or indeed in an area where residents spend part of the year in second homes elsewhere – then you could take inspiration from Esther Healey who runs Snowbird Services in Norwell, south of Boston Massachusetts.

Many local residents move to Florida for the winter. For $50 a visit, Healy performs 25 tasks including checking all exterior doors, windows, and the roof for signs of weather damage as well as flushing toilets and running taps to check for frozen pipes or any leaks.

It seems that there is a gap in the market in some areas for a service that falls between doing nothing and a full blown property management operation. This is something that could be done by anyone without any skills, equipment of know-how.

How The Other Half Lives

What did you think when you read the words “how the other half lives”? What did you expect?  Did you expect to read about the wealthy or the poor? Your answer will probably says a lot about where you see your own position in the hierarchy. Wherever your thoughts led you though,  you’re likely to be surprised by the reality. Continue reading

The Portrait Artists Virtual Hub

Many people like the idea of having a portrait painted. Many talented artists are making very little money. That’s the situation that underpins fabulous Noble, a UK website which enables anyone to upload a photo of themselves and have it turned into an affordable, personalised portrait by an expert artist.

The process is fairly simple. Customers can first browse the artists on the site to find one they like the style of. Visitors can choose from a range including traditional and digital styles, from expressionist and realist to ‘pop electro’ and ‘digital vogue’. After commissioning the piece, the artists will send customers a draft, which they can review and give feedback. The artist keeps the customer updated throughout the entire process to ensure the piece is perfect. Prices start from around £300.

All this site is doing is bringing together supply and demand in one place to the mutual benefit of everyone. There are opportunities like this in many markets. Is there one in yours?