BUSINESS CLASS
GRAŻYNA STEFAŃSKA
BUSINESS CLASSWhat determines whether a business has a chance at success? An entrepreneur must first answer two questions: Is there a demand for the product or service that he has in mind, and will a consumer want to pay for it? It’s also essential to know whether someone has previously had the same idea. Unfortunately, most initiatives appearing on the market are not unique or innovative. But there are exceptions. Some people discern a niche market where others wouldn’t dare to look for it and, surprisingly, they do very well there. Here are 10 of the most original firms in the world which are very successful and have managed to make a large profit for their owners.10 of the Most Original Business Ideas
Cathay Pacific Will Hire 100 People in Krakow
PAP has announced that Hong Kong’s leading airline, Cathay Pacific Airways, will hire 100 people in its new contact centre which will open in Krakow at the beginning of April. The airline is already recruiting employees for customer service. The firm’s branch in Małopolska will have a global range, with particular focus on Europe and Africa. The investor was supported in its decision regarding location choice by Business in Małopolska – a specialized institution that does economic promotion for the region. It comprises Małopolska Regional Development Agency, Małopolska Voivodeship, Krakow Technology Park and Małopolska Industrial Park. 300,000 zł for Technology Meetings in MałopolskaThe organisers of technology meetings in Małopolska will receive 300,000 zł in financial support from the voivodeship’s budget. The regional government has decided that this money will be divided in 2016 between 26 meetings. 30,000 zł will be allocated to four events which will take place for the first time and 270,000 zł to 22 ventures which will take place for a subsequent time. The funds will be allocated within the framework of the fourth edition of the program “Małopolska – Where Technology Becomes Business.” Its creation resulted from the huge potential of local start-up communities, the constantly growing number of technological meetings and the possibilities offered by the region in the field of modern technology. IHG Will Open the First Hotel Indigo in PolandInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced that a franchise contract has been signed with Hotel Filipa 18 Sp. z o.o. and SAO Investments for Hotel Indigo® Kraków—Florian Gate. It will be the brand’s first facility in Poland. It is scheduled to open this year. Hotel Indigo Kraków—Florian Gate will be in a 100-year-old former residential building
situated in the city centre, near Krakow’s main train station, which will retain its original architectural features after being renovated. There will be 56 guest rooms, a conference room, fitness room, restaurant and bar. Hotel Indigo will combine the individuality of a boutique hotel with the reputation of one of the world’s largest hotel firms. There are currently 19 Indigo hotels in Europe, and IHG plans to open 11 more.
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① Adverts made of… Moss and Bacteria The creators of Curb decided to base their business on the growing interest in ecology. They founded an agency which creates adverts made of moss and bacteria. Impossible? Not at all! On walls and other surfaces where moss doesn’t appear naturally, logos and advertising slogans appear that are made of patches of this material, affixed with the help of natural adhesive substances. Without any intervention, the entire installation stays in good condition for 4-5 weeks, and if it’s taken care of regularly it can last much longer. The firm also offers various graphic images with bacteria specially cultivated for this purpose, which can be installed on every kind of surface. It’s a natural equivalent to neon signs, since the bacteria glow in the dark, making the advert also visible after dusk or when lights are turned off. ② Would You Like Some Legal Advice With Your Coffee, Sir? Yes, yes! There’s a place where one can make such an order. A young lawyer from the USA named Jeff Hughes had the idea of opening a café serving legal advice in 1995. The idea of creating Legal Grid was to destroy the myth that legal services are always extremely expensive, difficult to obtain, and stressful. In Hughes’s café, one can obtain advice in practically every legal area – well-esteemed experts are present from many different fields. One can also make use of codexes and other specialist books. The idea has been well-received not only by clients, but alsouniversities which eagerly agree to students gaining professional experience by working in the “café.” ③ Should a Car Become Scrap Metal? Or Perhaps Furniture? Recycling and applied art? This combination has brought success to Weld House – a small family business which produces one-of-a-kind furniture from steel of various origins. Bodies of cars which had their best years 20-30 years ago are the most frequently used material. Furniture is also made here from elements of scaffolding, refrigerators and other metal objects. Thanks to Weld House’s products, their clients can give their home interiors a unique character ④ Would You Like a Surprise? You Just Need 10 Dollars An old Polish saying advises against buying a cat in a sack, and yet there are many consumers who are interested in this type of purchase. Somethingstore.com, an internet shop selling surprise packages for 10 dollars each, earns money in this way. People pay through Paypal and soon afterwards receive a package, the contents of which they discover only after opening it. The shop’s customers have received such things as a back massager, laptop bag, remote control Ford Mustang and Kindle Fire e-reader. ⑤ What to Do With an Unwanted Ring? Breaking off an engagement is not usually a pleasant experience, but if it hadn’t happened to
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BUSINESS CLASSJoshua Opperman, he would never have come up with the idea that triggered his success. Trying to return his engagement ring, he found that it was possible to get back only 30 percent of its price. He came to the conclusion that there could be many other people in the same situation. He decided to make use of this niche market and founded the company I Do, Now I Don’t – an internet auction service for used engagement rings, where he takes 15 percent of every transaction. It has been a great success, proven by the firm’s financial results – the firm earned 3 million dollars in 2013 alone. ⑥ Do You Need an Excuse? Buy Yourself an Alibi Is your wife quizzing you about why you didn’t come home all night? Or did your boss catch you at the fitness club while on sick leave? If you don’t have any ideas for an excuse, you can use the services of Alibinetwork.com. For a small fee it will confirm everything. It will tell your partner that until 6 a.m. you were at the office, working on an important project, or your boss that physical exercise helps someone recuperate from an illness. It uses an entire arsenal of excuses which allow you to hide the embarrassing truth successfully. The only thing not an offer are false statements for the court or police. ⑦ Chocolate for a Special Occasion Marilyn Monroe claimed that diamonds are a woman’s best friend. If you’re unable to afford such a gift for your loved one, and you’d like to make her happy, chocolate is also an excellent choice… not the usual kind, but a treat created especially for her. The service czekoladysmakowe.pl, which is run by Extravagance, a Krakow-based manufacturer of chocolates and pralines, makes it possible to create such a gift. On the website, a customer can compose a chocolate treat with ingredients they’ve selected and a message written with food colouring. It can be sent to a particular person with special greetings. Even among the firm’s regular products on offer, it’s hard to find two
that are the same, since each is formed, decorated and packed by hand. Thanks to this, each chocolate treat from this manufacturer is utterly unique. ⑧ Dishes Made of Leaves People say money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s something else on them which can allow a person to make some decent cash. We’re not talking about fruit, flowers or nuts, but about leaves. VerTerra is a firm which uses leaves to produce ecological single-use food dishes which are an excellent alternative to plastic or paper ones. Surprisingly, the process used to make them is very simple. After leaves are collected, they’re processed with steam, high temperatures and pressure. The plates and bowls made in this way can be used not only to serve meals at parties, but also to heat up food in a microwave or oven and preserve it in a refrigerator. An unquestionable advantage of these eco-dishes is the fact that they take only two months to decompose. They now have tons of fans all over the world – people with environmental protection close to their hearts.
⑨ Do You Have to Wear a Cast? Make It Beautiful It’s hard to look good with a broken arm or leg, but thanks to Casttoo, it’s possible at least to look unique. The firm offers tattoos on casts which add a bit of colour to your life while you’re recovering from an injury. Its founder, Jessica Smith, came up with the idea for this business when she had to wear a cast for several weeks after an accident. She decided to make it more beautiful to suit her image. It turned out that her idea was a popular one. Today Casttoo supplies its products to the world’s leading orthopedic clinics and hospitals. ⑩ My Friend… a Rock Apart from their obvious positive traits, house pets can also have a lot of disadvantages: they’re  noisy and dirty, they destroy things, and their upkeep can be expensive. Thinking about people who might not be ready for such a commitment, Gary Dahl began to sell domesticated rocks with great individuality, and which were cheap and easy to take care of. The creator of Pet Rock carried out his idea thoroughly. First he wrote The Care and Training of Your Pet Rock, a handbook consisting of 32 pages of advice such as: “How to teach your rock to play dead.” Then he began to search for suitable “animals.” He chose rocks from Rositario beach in Mexico due to their suitable shape and low price – about one cent each. After packing them in a box with holes, lined with hay, the rocks were sent to a souvenir shop in San Francisco and became the hit of the season. Thanks to these rocks, Gary Dahl earned 15 million dollars in the 1970s.