A brain dump of business ideas

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance


I don’t know what it is about me, but I can’t stop myself coming up with business ideas. Not just business ideas for the sake of business, but better ways to do things. More effective ways.

This is a great habit, but it can also be dangerous. Instead of thinking specifically about the problems or goals I’m working on, my mind can wander. I may be trying to work through a marketing plan, and I find myself thinking about how cool it would be to have a QR code on my kids pyjamas, with a link to a bedtime story.

So any idea I get, I write it down and try and forget about it. If more ideas about it pop into my head, I’ll add them to it. Eventually I may have a few bullet points about the idea, some first steps, actions etc.

But as we know, ideas are nothing without great execution. I’ve executed some of these ideas, but most of them I never will. So there’s no point in keeping these ideas to myself.

Now I write the idea down, leave it there to percolate for a while. Add more ideas to it. After a while I’ll put it in one of three categories. One is a list of ideas I may use one day. The other is a list of ideas I know will be useful to someone specific. With these ones I’ll immediately send them to that person. The third is a list I know I’ll never do, but may be useful to someone else.

That third list is what you’re about to read. I hope it’s helpful!

Business ideas

Smell the coffee store
There are plenty of places where you can choose tea, sample it, smell it. But none I’ve found in Auckland for coffee. Surely this is a no-brainer with the amount of people drinking coffee. It would also work for lots of other types of food or drink.

Team building journeys
Not just a team building session or day, but an actual journey where the team has to navigate somewhere, figure out where to sleep, eat, solve puzzles on the way. It could even be based on a particular book or movie.

Kids pyjamas with QR codes for bedtime stories
The kids get to choose which QR code to scan, you scan it and read the corresponding story.

Shared recycling space
An area where people can take useful items they would normally throw out, and other people can browse and take home what they want. Kind of like a book exchange, but for everything. You might need to focus on one thing such as building materials to stop it turning into a dumping ground that’s too hard to organise. I like the idea of repurposing things though.

Restaurant-like space where you cook your own
To me, eating a meal should be a social event. I also love eating at restaurants but couldn’t do it all the time. What about a space that allows you to cook your own, but once it’s done you can sit in the dining area with a whole lot of other patrons.

Helping expats resettle in NZ
Shifting to a new country can be daunting, especially with kids. Sure you can organise all your shipping and housing, but what about really getting settled? Picking them up, super-personal service, great guides and advice, contract to companies. Maybe first day orientation with on call number for next few weeks. Info and video pack.
Tree planted in memory of someone
Buying a huge plot of land in a beautiful area, charging a set fee to plant a tree in memory of someone and putting a plaque there. Allowing people access to it.

Car sticker advertising
People get paid to have a huge car sticker, like a driving billboard. Easy to update by sending new stickers out.

New/second-hand pushchair/stroller shop
A one-stop shop for all types of pushchairs. It’s so hard to choose the right one. A store that had dozens of types, an obstacle course to try, and a replica car boot, would be very successful.

Premium sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks
I personally know quite a few non-drinkers who still like to go out for ‘drinks’. At the moment the options are Coke, fruit juice, or whatever mocktail the bar is serving. There’s definitely a market for something more sophisticated and readily distributed.

Child friendly shared office
There are plenty of shared offices around. There are none that are suitable to bring your kids to. What if there was one with a huge playground in the middle (behind semi-sound proof glass), so you could work and keep an eye on your kids?
Creative space caravan
I’ve seen an example of this. You set up a caravan with all sorts of creative tools and activities for kids. You then hire it out for parties. Easy to park, move and tidy

Free moving trailer, paid for by advertising
A large box trailer that you lend out for free. You then sell advertising space on it. Instead of advertisers paying for billboards they get a moving billboard for significantly less.

Giant children’s books with holes to put your face through
Make yourself and your kids part of the story. Sort of a cross between a book and a play.
Collectable cards for music artists (like baseball cards)
Now that CD’s are all but gone, what do fans get their favourite artists to sign?

Train type luxury bus travel
Split a bus into a few luxury compartments, cater for the high end market.

Learn by song website
It’s so easy to learn something if it’s in a song. This would be a collection of things people need to learn by rote (i.e. periodic table, countries) put into a catchy song.

Instant drive/parking area on grass
I’ve personally looked for this and would have bought it if it was available. It would basically be a durable mat that you lay down on dirt/grass and it instantly turns it into a parking area. No more slipping or mud.

Advertising mail-outs with a difference
We get lots of mail-outs, and they’re all buy ineffective. The effective ones send you something you actually use day to day. So what about some useful wooden utensil with branding, or stationery, or something other than a pen or business card.