Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Pound Cafe

We’ve all heard of pound stores like Poundland and Poundworld, but until last week, I hadn’t seen the concept adapted by the catering industry. I just read about a café in central London where everything on the menu costs £1. Owner Jo Kaye says inspiration came from similar café’s in Israel and New Zealand.

It’s an interesting adaptation of the ‘everything at one price’ business model. Might there be room in your market for a business offering something similar? Perhaps £1 isn’t appropriate, but there might be a price that is.

Doorstep Delivery

I just read about a US based business called Doorstep Delivery. They help small restaurant businesses sell to more customers by offering a delivery service in the local area. This can be a big selling point for a restaurant which wouldn’t otherwise be able to deliver.

Apart from pizza, Chinese food, Indian food and the occasional sandwich shop, most restaurants do not normally provide delivery, and if they do, it takes too long. Doorstep Delivery helps both the restaurants and the customers, by providing a quick and reliable solution that makes things more efficient for both parties.

Is this a business you could start locally? I can see no reason why not. The restaurants have very little to lose (and plenty to gain) by extending their service out to include local delivery.

You Could Find A New Antibiotic

It’s becoming increasingly evident that the effectiveness of existing antibiotics is under threat, and that there’s an urgent need to find new ones. If, like me, you thought this would be down to highly skilled and educated scientists, think again. Because thanks to the internet and a simple home pop up lab, anyone and everyone can do their bit.

UK-based Post/Biotics is encouraging anyone, including school children, to help find solutions to the growing antibiotics resistance crisis. Participants can test samples of anything they find in natural areas, and if their sample has antibacterial properties, the tool will change colour. They can then send results, along with a photo and GPS location to an online database. When the database notices a submission that may be interesting, it alerts researchers, who can then ask for samples.

Post/Biotics are using the power of an unlimited number of citizen scientists to increase the chances of making an antibiotic discovery. Are there other ways to harness the power of  the crowd like this, and could they be used to make money? I’m sure there are and they could.

Fastest Growing Franchise Sectors

If you’re looking for inspiration on the best field  to start your own business in, you could do a lot worse than look at  what’s hot in the booming US franchise sector. Here are the 4 biggest growth areas:

1. Quick Service Restaurants
This sector shows no sign of slowing but there’s been a shift. Speed and cheapness are no longer enough. Quality of food and the dining experience are becoming increasingly important.

2. Maintenance
Residential properties need regular maintenance, including cleaning. Home owners are increasingly time-poor and looking to sub-contract the work involved in cleaning and maintaining their home. The great thing about this type of business (particularly cleaning) is that start-up costs are minimal.

3. Children’s Businesses
Parents are becoming increasingly competitive, and worried about their children’s future. So anything that can give them an edge is finding a hungry market. Tutoring businesses are doing well as are ones that can teach children extra-curricular skills.

4. Personal Care
Health and fitness is still growing. Many successful franchises are based around interesting and unusual workout programmes, often avoiding the fancy gym route. That’s great news for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of cash to invest

Bubble Soccer

Individuals are always on the lookout for the next ‘fun’ activity and companies are always keen to find new ‘team building’ activities to boost morale. With that in mind, I give you Bubble Soccer!

Bubble soccer is a growing trend in the United States. Much like traditional soccer, the sport involves kicking a ball into a goal, except in bubble soccer, the players are wearing large plastic bubbles that surround their heads, arms and torso. The objective of bubble soccer is to score goals and knock each other down while trying. The U.S. Bubble Soccer Association had five members last summer but has more than 100 today.
There are already several companies offering Bubble Football in the UK, but it’s still in its infancy compared to the US. Is it the start of a massive trend or a short term fad? Do a little research and decide for yourself.