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Friday, 24 October 2014 17:01
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This is the location of the Bakken Shale, an oil-rich rock formation that stretches across parts of North Dakota, Montana and Canada. The light from the illuminated derricks, “man camps” and gas flares of the oil fields is more diffuse than a city like Minneapolis or Denver, but just as bright.

Friday, 24 October 2014 09:21
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Now that viewers are moving away from TV toward streaming and prerecorded shows, that model doesn’t work so well. During the past four years, the Weather Channel’s fair-weather audience size has dropped about 20 percent, according to Nielsen (NLSN), averaging just 214,000 viewers a day, or less than half the size of other specialized cable channels such as the Food Network (SNI) or HGTV. And the past two hurricane and tornado seasons in the U.S. have been unusually calm, making the network’s shove-Jim-Cantore-out-into-the-storm business model practically moot. “It’s as if we were ESPN (DIS), and football and baseball season were canceled this year,” Clark says.

The mild storm seasons have been “fantastic for Americans but terrible for the weather news business,” Katz says. “The team we’ve assembled is trying to figure out what to do on the sunny days of the year. It’s not a new problem; it’s just one we’ve finally invested in tackling.”

When the Weather Channel first went on the air in 1982, it looked like a flop. Newsweek called it “a 24-hour-a-day exercise in meteorological overkill” and a prime example of the stupidity of cable TV. In its first year, the channel lost $7 million, causing its original owner, Landmark Communications, now Landmark Media Enterprises, to oust a co-founder, former Good Morning America weather forecaster John Coleman. But there was something about the soothing music and brightly colored maps that people started to like, and within a few years the Weather Channel was drawing a daily audience of millions. “People sit and watch for hours on end,” a baffled New York Times reported in 1985. “Even the Weather Channel doesn’t know why.”

Friday, 24 October 2014 07:05
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Dog Grooming An old standby in the pet industry, clients range from those wanting Fluffy to have the perfect coifed hairdo to the mutts that wrestled with a skunk. Traditionally, dog groomers are found in brick and mortar strip mall locations, but more recently have taken on a mobile dog grooming business model.

Dog Training Pet owners today only want the best for their dogs. Build up a great reputation and you could be the next Cesar Millan of your neighborhood. Soon you’ll have a waiting list of fur-babies still in the womb.

Dog Walking Dog walking is a flexible choice with very low overhead. Perhaps once limited as an afternoon job for school children, the demand in a local economy for dog walking can easily bring in a part time income. Turn this idea into a full time job, by offering it as an additional service of a pet sitting business, for example.

Professional Pet Sitting At times, pet owners might want to go on vacation and leave the “kids” at home. This is where you can step in. You can offer professional in home care and attention, or establish a brick and mortar location. Keep it simple, or go all out and pamper those pets, with swimming time and playgroups.

Pet Masseuse Relieve pain and anxiety in pets and livestock through the power of the healing touch. Massage training schools offer training and accreditation to get you off to the right start.

Pooper Scooping When nature calls, you’ll be there for your clients. This business requires little more than a shovel and garbage bag. Add in a pair of rubber boots if you are feeling extra fancy. Remember, dirty jobs are an easy way to scoop up the big bucks.

Pet Photography Capture memories to last forever. Professional portraits and candid shots will be cherished by pet owners. Oftentimes, pets are more photogenic and less cranky than their toddler counterparts.

Pet Supplies Home Delivery Offer pet owners time savings and convenience by delivering pet foods and products. Large 50 pound sacks of pet food can be a burden to get home for many customers, due to physical limitations or transportation issues. Deliveries can be done as a one-time service or as a subscription-based service. Go one step further, and set up your own mobile pet supply store.

Pet Day Care Don’t let pets get lonely during the day. Release these four-legged friends from their crates, keep them out of trouble, and provide them with a fun-filled day.

Doggie Fashion Design Keep these pooches at the top of the fashion trends. Open a fashion boutique and hold doggie fashion shows.

Cat Litter Inventor Become a big idea thinker and come up with the ultimate solution to the biggest problem for cat owners.

Pet Relocation Expert Getting pets relocated from one side of the country to another is a complicated matter for most people. Become an expert in the field and offer your services to people moving from one location to another or transporting new pet family members to their new home.

Pet-Parenting Tutoring Not everyone is a natural pet parent. Counsel new parents in finding the perfect new family member, pet care and nutrition, safety, housing, training, and troubleshooting problems.

Pet Furniture Making Perhaps you are a skilled woodworker. Design one of a kind dog houses, cat trees, and aquarium stands.

Dog Biscuit and Treat Making Are you a skilled baker who is finding all of the sampling a bit hard on the waistline? Now might be the time to branch out into gourmet and let your furry pals do all of the taste-testing.

Friday, 24 October 2014 03:12
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Scientists and marketers say that allergy-free peanuts are almost ready for the shelves (and the school cafeteria, and the ballpark, and every where else peanuts are banned.)


Even the lowly winter coat is ripe for innovation.

Would you wear a “Suitsy” — a pair of pants, a white shirt and a jacket, all sewn together?


This financial startup is to solve a financial problem most people don’t even realize they have: 401k mismanagement.


There’s a silver lining to the rising wages in China: manufacturing jobs are moving back to the United States.

Service Businesses

If I started an errand service our motto would be: “We drive around and do your stuff so don’t have to.” Alas, one new Chicago errand service chose a similar slogan.

Will Uber single-handedly bring back medical house calls? They’re trying.

Business Ideas in the News is a daily summary of the most interesting business ideas in the news.

Thursday, 23 October 2014 17:09
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Why work from home in Raleigh, North Carolina ($5,139 per month) when you can work from home in Chiang Mai, Thailand ($641 per month) with the same internet speed?

NomadList has combined data on internet speed, the cost of rental housing and food, local weather conditions including air quality and other factors to come up with a useful list of the best cities in which to live and work remotely.

The only city in the United States in the top 10? San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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