Monthly Archives: September 2017

Making Inhalers Cool

Let’s be honest, if you’re a teenager, and you need to use an inhaler, it’s not going to enhance your street cred. They’re medical devices and that’s exactly what they look like. But it needn’t be that way thanks to the Hue Inhaler. According to its creator, Tim Zarki, the Hue Inhaler is “meant to make a bold statement instead of being of a source of self-consciousness” about asthma.  Each inhaler comes with a wide array of vibrant colours, from orange to neon green, and in much sleeker design than the regular devices. At the moment, the Hue Inhaler is in the development phase, but it seems to have huge potential.

Glasses and hearing aids used to be drab and utilitarian, but that’s now changed with bold and stylish designs being available. This idea could do the same for the asthma inhaler.

So the obvious question is – what next? What other dull and depressing medical aid or device is set for a stylish makeover?

Bikes On Subscription

Most of us would simply buy a new bike if we needed one, but what if you could lease one on a monthly subscription and quickly have it repaired or replaced if it broke down?  That’s the premise behind  Swapfiets , a private bicycle leasing scheme taking the Netherlands by storm.

The Delft-based company offers bicycles at rates from €12 to €15 per month, including repair and maintenance. All bike repairs or replacements take place within 12 hours. The lease formula is very flexible, and can be cancelled at any time.

In its first year the company has provided bicycles for 5,000 customers, and has deployed across nine Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. The bikes, easily recognisable by their blue front tyre, are particularly popular among students. Swapfiets says about 35% of first-year university students in Delft use the formula.

Might this work here in the UK, particularly in student towns where bicycles are popular? I’m pretty sure it would.

Recycling and Upcyling Opportunities

Every year over 810,000 office chairs are thrown away in the UK alone. While it’s easier to recycle some of the small parts of the chairs, a lot of the bulkier elements end up in landfill sites. Birmingham City University student Thomas Howell Jones examined the larger parts to see how they could be recycled and decided that the backrests were ideal as hard-shell backpacks and bicycle panniers. The backrests act as a protective shell, and are waterproof and impact-proof, making them the ideal carrying device for cyclists. The idea has won an award at the RSA Student Designs Awards.

Recycling and upcycling is a hot trend at the moment. So what else that we all throw away on a daily basis might be turned into something useful?

It’s NOT Just About Money

The benefits of having a business or venture of your own, aren’t just financial and sometimes it’s easy to overlook that.

Yesterday, we took a call from a long-standing customers about one of our current products. In the course of the conversation he told us how something he’d bought from us back in the late 1990’s had proved to be literally ‘life-changing’ – his words not ours.

At the time, he’d been forced to give up his job to look after his terminally ill wife. He was in a difficult financial spot and bought a manual from us which was all about cleaning suspended ceilings. Spurred on by necessity, he went out and secured a number of commercial clients. Because of the nature of the work, he was able to work through the night when his wife was asleep, and then be around to look after her during the day.

The business enabled him to spend valuable time with his wife during the final year of her life – something for which he remains very grateful. As an aside, he made over £30,000 in that year which was a pretty decent sum back in the 1990’s.

Time moves on and the need for suspended ceiling cleaning isn’t what it was, but I think the story shows that taking control of your own financial destiny can be about much more than money. It can be life enhancing in far more important ways.

As always, we will continue to bring you ideas and opportunities that will enable you to take control of your own life and your own time. Taking them up sooner rather than later can give you the freedom and flexibility you may need and cherish one day.

Trading On Bad News On Social Media

When news broke of United Airlines staff physically removing a passenger from one of their flights in April, the share price plummeted by around 5% in a day. This is a fairly regular occurrence – some bad news surfaces on social media , and the company share price takes a hammering. But here’s the thing – in almost all cases, the effect is only temporary and there’s little or no long term damage done.

Just a few weeks later, United Airlines shares have quickly recovered, and it’s the same story with recent social media campaigns against Lego and Uber – a knee jerk fall followed by a quick return to the status quo. Even Volkswagen shares have been steadily climbing in value after  a social media and international news media drubbing that was about as bad as it gets following the emissions scandal.

So how can you make money out of this? Look for share price falls precipitated by online social media campaigns or publicity – and buy! The effect is unlikely to be long lived and you will, in all likelihood, make a quick profit.