Get Into The Movie Business For A Pound!

Our old friend Geoff Thompson’s next film looks set to be a stunner – and you can get a slice of the action for less than a pound.

‘Volatile’ is based on the true story of an ordinary burglary with extraordinary consequences. What happens when a man decides to take matters into his own hands and get his possessions back? It was a decision that almost cost him everything.

The film is being financed through Kickstarter and there are benefits to be had at every level of investment – starting at just £1. For just a little bit more cash you can really get involved though, with days on set, background character roles, on screen credits and a whole host of other benefits up for grabs. You can get full details, including a video presentation by the writer, director and  star actors by clicking here.

The people behind this are totally genuine and the script looks a winner. This could be your opportunity to get in at the start of something big for little more than beer money.

Grooming Is Booming

Speaking as someone whose personal grooming routine consists of a shower and a shave, this isn’t something I can empathise with, but the market for men’s grooming tools and products is booming. A recent report found double digit growth in some segments of the market.

Of all the advantages you can have when starting a new business, one of the most critical is a ‘following wind’. Yes, you can succeed in a mature market or even one that’s declining, but you’ll make it so much easier for yourself if you start out with the advantage of rapid growth of the market as a whole.

If you’re looking to go into a business with ‘real products’ you could do far worse than do some research into the market for men’s cosmetics. Research suggests that the market is set to continue to grow for some time yet. It might even get to me one day!

Become An Online Expert

If you’re an expert in something…and most of us are an expert in something or other…you can offer your advice online and turn it into profit. Small business owners are particularly well placed to cash in on this opportunity because they tend to know their field very well. Michele Gorham, owner of Cookie Central Bakery, is one small business owner who has turned her expertise into online profits

She has created hundreds of blog entries about how to build a business, run a bakery, and other helpful topics, and she answers customers’ direct questions through various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Yelp.    Because of Gorham’s content contributions, her listings on various sites are highly trafficked and are regularly found by search engines — generating more sales for her business.

Is this a strategy you could emulate in your own field?  Give it some thought. You may have a great deal more to offer than you at first realise.

The Instant Drunk

You might argue with some justification, that the last thing the British need is help getting inebriated quicker, but a new invention from French and American scientists may have novelty appeal. It’s a  mouth spray that can instantaneously intoxicate a person for a few seconds without the harmful effects of alcohol. One spray from the “WAHH Quantum Sensations” device is enough for “a few seconds of intoxication,” according to its makers, French designer Philippe Starck and American scientist David Edwards. One spray amounts to 0.075ml of alcohol – the minimum quantity of micro-particles needed to trick the brain into feeling drunk.

I think this could be a big seller here in the UK. Perhaps something for an ambitious entrepreneur to investigate further.

Free Documents And Templates

When you start out in business, you’re often doing lots of things for the first time…creating forms, writing standard letters, producing contracts… that kind of thing. It can take a lot of time and effort. A trip to a site I discovered last week could cut out a lot of the work. is a site featuring thousands of free printable documents and templates.

The site is American based, so not everything will be applicable to the UK, but there’s certainly plenty that are.  Examples of what you’ll find on the site include:

* Business Cards
* Fax Cover Sheets
* Stationery
* Cash Receipts
* Time Sheets
* Invoice Templates
* Business Form Templates
* Fax Cover Sheets
* CV Templates
* Sample Resignation Letters
* Sample Cover Letters
* Thank You Letters
* Letters of Recommendation
* Contract Templates

Definitely worth a look for anyone in business.

The Perfect Restaurant

A new restaurant in Brixham, Devon called Oscars has had diners flocking to its unique location in the hull of a disused fishing vessel in the harbour. They have been drawn there  by the rapturous reviews on Trip Advisor telling of the Michelin standard food, impeccable service and in house divers on hand to take raw ingredients fresh out of the sea.  Diners have struggled to find .the place though…the address has led them to some bins in an alley way and the fact that the restaurant is housed in a ‘phantom class vessel’ gives a clue to the reason why.

Oscars doesn’t exist. It is the creation of a local businessman who wanted to draw attention to how easily trip advisor can be manipulated. His motivation was the negative reviews received for a friends hotel which he suspects were placed by rivals. Oscars moved up into the top half of all reviews in Brixham in just a few weeks and all nine reviews were placed by the same businessman.

There are three lessons I think:

1. Be cautious how you treat information on online review sites
2. Be mindful of what competitors may be doing to your online reputation.
3. If you’re unscrupulous it’s very easy to create a positive image in the anonymous online world.

I’ve  written about this before and you can read the article here.

The Ability List

Ability List is a New York based service which offers people one place to list their disability related products and resources. According to founder Andrew Horn, Ability List will help the disabled who “live isolated lives unnecessarily, simply because they don’t know about the programs, resources, organisations and individuals that are available to help them.” The service is only available in New York at the moment, but there are plans to expand into other US cities.

I don’t know much about access to services for the disabled her in the UK, but I do know this is a field where people are no longer prepared to accept second best. Perhaps there’s a need for something similar here in the UK, and an ambitious entrepreneur might eventually be able to turn it into a profit making enterprise through the sale and promotion of disability related products and services.

Robotic Sex

Two New Zealand academics are predicting that brothels of the future will feature robot prostitutes. In a research paper on the sex industry, Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars argue that by 2050, clients will pay for an evening that features everything from lap dances to intercourse with “a range of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicity, body shapes, ages, languages, and sexual features.”

Aside from being an entertaining diversion, the report  throws up a serious  point – if the ‘oldest profession’ in the world is set to succumb to the unstoppable march of technology, what jobs will be left for humans to do in the not too distant future? Surely there can be very few, and this will have huge implications for how people earn their living and spend their time.

Shovel Sellers Strike Again!

In the American gold rush, the people making the most money weren’t the ones panning for gold – they were the hardware retailers, selling picks, shovels and other tools that prospectors would need in what was usually a fruitless search. I’m not sure whether eBay could be classed as a modern day gold rush, but it does provide evidence that not much changes.

In 11 years of selling bubble wrap on eBay, Bubblefast has supplied over 3,000 square miles of the stuff and generated over £1 Million in revenues. The company also sells boxes and packing chips/peanuts and  is run by a husband and wife team without staff. Can you see the parallel with the goldrush shovel sellers here? They are selling the ‘tools’ which people need to go about the business of making some money.

Give some thought to this? What ‘shovels’ or ‘bubblewrap’ could you sell? The exciting thing with this is that your profits aren’t dependent on striking lucky. But those hoping to do so, need your product to go about their business.

The Strip Walker

Want to keep fit and make money at the same time? Here’s an opportunity for you, and contrary to the title, you won’t have to take your clothes off to do it.

StripWalker is the name of a business started by Dan Strong in Las Vegas. For three hours each day, Strong walks up and down the Las Vegas strip, wearing T shirts promoting the products and services of his advertisers, while tweeting and texting about his experiences.  Over 17,000 people per hour,  are out walking on the strip on average, with over 40,000 at peak times, so that’s a big audience. When fully booked, the business generates over $5,000 a month in advertising fees.

This is obviously an updated version of the sandwich board or A board with tweeting and texting bringing a modern twist. Google StripWalker and you’ll see that the idea has generated plenty of publicity. Could you copy the idea in London and other major cities with busy thoroughfares? Well it wouldn’t cost much to give it a try and find out!