Just a mile down the road from where I’m sitting now is one of those defunct petrol stations where migrants from all over the world congregate to clean cars. For just £10 they will carry out a mini- valet on your car, and they don’t do a bad job. So why would you pay any more?
Guncharn Sahota runs Elite Detailing which has branches in London, Dubai and Hong Kong. His company specialises in detailing supercars and charges up to £8,500 per job. They typically spend between 20 and 25 hours on a car, but can spend up to 100 hours on cars owned by particularly discerning clients.
What a stark contrast for essentially the same job – £10 or £8,500. It’s further proof that in all markets there is scope for an ultra high-end product or service. Sometimes it’s because certain customers are especially discerning, and other times it’s because they have more money than they know what to do with. Either way, there are profits to be made.
So is there room for an ultra high end operator in your business or area of interest?
You know how good your product or service is, but your potential customers don’t. Yes, you can tell them, but it’s so much more compelling if you can show them. But how do you do it? A story from Brazil may give you some inspiration.
Brazilian coffee company Café Pelé has teamed up with the local daily newspaper to show just how fresh their coffee is.
The coffee producers wrap their products in pages from that morning’s Estado de São Paulo newspaper before putting them on display in supermarkets. Around 5,000 bags of coffee beans are sealed in the early hours of the morning in the front pages of the Brazilian daily, then sold alongside copies of the newspaper.
If you have a ‘fresh’ product, perhaps you could use, or adapt, this idea. But even if you don’t, there’s probably a way to demonstrate its attributes in an interesting way, other than just talking about it.
Whichever city in the world you’re visiting, there are probably districts which mirror the characteristics of districts in places you know well. That’s the premise behind ‘Where is Williamsburg?’ a free app that mocks self-centred New Yorkers, while providing a useful travel tool.
Urban travellers have a tendency to compare the city they are visiting with their own, in order to help them understand it, and the app helps them to do that.
While ‘Where is Williamsburg?’ is tongue-in-cheek, the concept could prove useful and popular with tourists. Thinking more widely, people have a tendency to seek out the familiar, wherever they travel, so how might you capitalise on this knowledge?
Like buses, ideas seem to come in twos. I read last week that Airbnb are looking to expand the services they offer to guests to make trips through them a more curated experience, hosted by local people. And then a reader of the newsletter sent me details of “With Locals”, a service whereby you can enlist the services of a local in a city or area you’re going to be visiting, to enhance the experience. Services provided typically include preparing meals, demonstrating local crafts and skills, or acting as a guide to the area.
I mention it for two reasons:
1. The idea of employing someone through with locals or Airbnb might appeal.
2. You might want to earn extra money by becoming a paid associate.
Hardly a week goes by without the publication of a new report identifying the fact that we’re all getting fatter and more unhealthy, and the projections suggest that it’s all set to get a whole lot worse. This comes at a time when the health a and fitness industry is booming, and despite the apparent lack of success, the boom looks certain to continue.
If you’re interested in fitness, you have the opportunity to turn that interest into a lucrative business when you become a personal trainer. It’s a flexible opportunity, in that you can choose where, when and with whom you work. You also get to choose the type of training to specialise in, and there are many types.
While the bulk of your income might come from providing training to your clients, there are a number of other options for making money as well, including books, blogs, training videos, nutritional supplement sales and public speaking.
This isn’t for everyone, but is probably more accessible to people of all ages, than you might think. With an ageing population, I can see opportunities for trainers to specialise in fitness in later years. And if you’re 70, do you really want a 20 year old trainer telling you what to do?