- Film Star Opportunity
Ever dreamed of being in the movies? Here’s your chance. Legendary Director, Sir Ridley Scott is planning the biggest movie the world has seen and you could be in it. He’s asking people to make a personal film about any aspect of their day on July 24th, and then upload it to Youtube.
- Beware Banks Sharp Practice
Keeping cash on deposit during these turbulent times? Make certain that you monitor what’s happening with accounts, rates and bonuses at regular intervals. You need to be pro-active rather than relying on banks to treat you properly.
- Dragons Den Deception
I think you can learn a lot from TV business shows, watching Dragon’s Den last night, I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion that they can be pretty missleading. The Dragon’s appear to base a lot of their investment decisions on ‘business plans’.
- Savings Advice
As someone with a few quid tucked away, (for a rainy day, you understand) I was interested in a BBC show the other evening which promised to tell me how I can make the most of my money in these difficult times. Guess what - it didn’t.
- Toy Story
Toys are a great rental product. Children quickly get bored with the same old stuff, and so it makes sense to rent rather than buy. A Canadian company has taken things just that little bit further though. Although they still serve the traditional market of parents and grandparents, they’ve now moved into the business market – providing a selection of fresh and clean toys on a regular, repeat cycle rental basis to dentists, doctors and retail establishments where happy kids mean cash carrying customers are free to browse and spend.
- Birth Tourism
Any child born on US soil, irrespective of the nationality or country of origin of its parents, automatically becomes a US citizen. There are many advantages to US citizenship – not least the right for the child (and perhaps their family) to move there later.
- Service While You Shop
One of my pet hates is taking a car for service. It just feels like money down the pan for nothing you can see – and a lot of wasted time. Independent Porsche specialists Autofarm haven’t solved the first problem, but they have attempted to solve the second by offering to drive people having work done on their cars to a local shopping mall while they wait.
- The Crack Of Noon
We often hear from people who are desperately trying to find a new or unique business idea. Far better (and easier) to take an existing idea and modify it, or tailor it to a particular group of consumers.
- Win-Win Tourism
Here’s an interesting idea from Italy. The southern town of Rivello have put together an event in which they invited over 150 artists and designers from around the world to come to the town for one week, and create and exhibit their wares on site.
- 1000 New Businesses A Day
Battening down the hatches waiting for the recession and economic gloom to blow over? That's almost certainly a major mistake. Last year, over 395,000 new businesses were registered at companies house. That's the second highest figure in the past 25 years. Add in the number of people becoming self employed as sole traders and partnerships, and you can probably more than double that figure.
- Speed Cameras
Research for the insurer LV shows that one in a hundred motorists who have crashed did so at a Gatso site due to suddenly braking or checking their speed. And 31% of driver had witnessed an accident or near miss at camera sites. The figures suggest that the cameras are a contributory factor in 1% of the 2.7 million collisions recorded in the UK since 2001.
- The same but smaller
When the TSA ban on carrying liquids on planes in bottles of more than 100ml (3 oz) came into force, it opened up an opportunity which New York company 3floz jumped in to fill. They started putting high end skin and hair care products in airline-friendly 3 fluid ounce bottles. These weren’t just marketed to travellers though. They were also promoted to people who wanted to try out a product without going to the risk and expense of buying the full sized version.
- No blood No Dress
You often hear people say they’d give their right arm for this that or the other. They don’t mean it of course – it’s just a figure of speech. But if you want to get hold of one of the limited editions created by Dutch fashion label, The Red Rail, you’ll need to give blood!
- Eco Profits
It doesn’t seem that long ago that a carbon footprint was something you left behind after walking over a pile of coal (We have those in Yorkshire). Nowadays though, it’s right at the forefront of the minds of large swathes of environmentally conscious consumers. Many companies are either adapting to the new order – or cashing in – depending on your viewpoint.
- A Cut Above
An undercover reporter is sent by his feminist, newspaper boss to do a hatchet job on a mucky magazine. The girls, the glam and the sex are all there, but to his surprise it’s his heart he ends up following, not his by-line.
- Product Autobiographies
People donating products to an Oxfam store in Manchester recently, were asked to record a short story into a microphone, relating to the product. Then in a collaboration with a company called Totem ((Tales of things and electronic memory) the audio clips were then uploaded by some technical witchcraft I can’t even begin to explain so that store browsers could access them via their smartphones or a bespoke RFID reader (No I don’t know what one is either!).
- Stamp Profits
We’ve been covering stamps lately in the newsletters as we have some terrific contacts in this sector, at Stanley Gibbons etc. I keep being asked how to choose stamps for a money-making collection. Quite simply, I’d suggest you can buy just about anything from the Stanley Gibbons’ GB30 Rarities index of the top 30 rare British stamps recommended for investments.
- Concept As Your Brand
Instead of a regular brand, the company (which produces bath and body products) work under the message, ‘Stop the water while using me’. So that’s what you see on the label of their organically produced and biodegradable packaged shampoos, soaps and toothpaste. The idea is to have an instantly recognisable and memorable brand, while getting over a core message.
- Rent Out Your Car
In earlier bulletins we talked about stamps and how, if you want to invest, you’d be well advised to take a look at the Stanley Gibbon’s index of the top 30 rare stamps. I’ve since been asked about autographs and suggest that there’s an equally good index which tells you what’s what in the world of autographs.
- Employees Tips For Managers
If you’re a saver, you’ll want to make sure your savings keep you in line with if not ahead of inflation. To do that, your benchmark savings rate is 6 per cent if you’re a basic rate taxpayer. Impossible? Almost! New figures from research company Defaqto suggest that only three out of more than 1,500 savings accounts stand up.
- Bogo not Bogof
We’ve all heard of Bogof offers…Buy One Get One Free. Nothing wrong with that, but the related concept of Bogo – Buy One, Give One – could give your offering a point of difference which boosts sales. As an example, let’s say you take your 5 year old daughter to buy a dress. Instead of a Me-Me-Me! Buy one get one free offer, when she buys the dress, she’s presented with a card which she can write for the recipient of an identical dress somewhere in the third world.