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Successful Business Opportunities

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 18:05
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Fast Company:

This summer, you’ll want to consider adding your smartphone to the plastic bib, nutcracker, and melted butter for your lobster dinner. If an initiative from EcoTrust Canada called ThisFish takes off, you’ll be able to scan tags on the coveted crustaceans (and a growing menu of other seafood as well) to learn more about your meal’s route from boat to table.

By tagging individual fish, shellfish, and crustaceans, ThisFish aims to connect retailers and consumers with fishermen who sustainably harvest the seas’ dwindling bounty. See a fish in the case or a lobster in the tank, look up its tag online, and get the story of a fishing family from the maritime provinces or the wild inshore fisheries of British Columbia. Or skip it and dine in ignorance—but risk purchasing seafood strip-mined from the oceans in the industrial fishing practices that are driving the last few commercially viable species to extinction.

I have a feeling that someday this technology will take off for more of food. Imagine if you sat down for a steak dinner, and while browsing the menu were able to read about the quality of life the different steers experienced. Would you pay more for a steak for the one that was lived on a green mountain slope, with access to a cold mountain stream, with hundreds of others versus the one who’d spent all of his time indoors? Some people definitely would.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 18:05
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Ever seen a floor of pennies? The Standard Grill in the Standard Hotel New York has a floor that is tiled with literally thousands of pennies. Could you offer this service in your community? Sixteen pennies are one inch by 12 inches, so each square foot contains 192 pennies.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 18:05
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Here’s a weird dog food story out of the UK:

A new ice cream truck will be the local dogs’ best friend. Called the the K99, the ice cream truck delivers gammon (a kind of bacon) and chicken ice cream, complete with a crunchy canine biscuit bone.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 18:05
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Trent Hamm at The Simple Dollar has compiled a great little list of 50 side business ideas that he’s collected. He thinks that “each of these ideas is very simple to start, and most can be done as a sole proprietorship at first.”

Here’s a sampling:

Antique refurbishment This is a perfect side business for people who love antiquing. Take worn-out antiques home with you, invest the time and care needed to transform those old items into something amazing, then resell them at a profit.

Auto detailing Have a meticulous eye for detail and love to get things gleaming clean? Auto detailing is probably a perfect side business for you. In essence, your job is to make cars sparkle inside and out – and many people are quite happy to pay well for this service.

Babysitting Got lots of evenings free? Like kids? Babysitting may be a great side business for you. Keep an eye on multiple children on Friday and Saturday nights and you can earn some solid income.

Bed and breakfast Have some extra space in your home? Turn that extra bedroom into a “bed and breakfast” room. This works particularly well if you have a somewhat older home or live near an area that attracts regular travelers and tourists.

Blogging If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a blog on the topic. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write.

Cake decorating Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. One of my mother’s old friends does this and makes quite a bit of money on the side.

Candle making Candle making is a great little craft to learn. You can often easily sell the candles at local shops and also through websites like

Candy making Homemade candies are easier to make than you think and quite popular. Package them in nice little boxes and sell them through a local gift shop.

Monday, 14 April 2014 17:47
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Hot Dogs on a Bun
photo credit: TheBusyBrain

Hot dogs are enjoying a renaissance of sorts, especially in Columbus, Ohio where six new eateries that specialize in the tasty bun-filled meals have opened up recently.

Food snobs needn’t scoff: With toppings ranging from dried cranberries to cream cheese served on high-quality wieners, the timeless hand-held meal has turned into the face of sloppy chic.

“These aren’t your gas-station hot dogs,” said Rebecca Krutko, an ex- banker who opened Wunderdaug during November in the Clintonville neighborhood. “People who eat hot dogs are die-hard connoisseurs.

First, you should read the Hot Dog Cash System. It lays everything out as a step by step process and offers some great secrets like how to find free locations, some great dog recipes and a list of supplies that you’ll need to get started — including where to get them at wholesale prices!

Then you should figure out what kind of hot dogs you’d like to sell. As mentioned early, and in the linked article, mustard isn’t the only condiment that people expect to be available for their hot dog anymore. Unique flavors and toppings are the norm. Read a book like the Great American Hot Dog Book, The: Recipes and Side Dishes from Across America to explore the many taste options and decide which ones you’ll offer.

Next you should purchase a hot dog cart. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to find one on the local Craigslist, but if not you’ll need to approach a specialized hot dog cart companies. From these companies, carts range in price from about $1000 for a small used cart, to over $10,000 depending on what options, accessories and size you choose. Here are some good vendors to check out:

You’ll also need to get some kind of state or local license, especially if you want to operate on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, this process will probably be the most daunting of them all. It will require that you jump through many hurdles, and wait in plenty of lines, but eventually you’ll receive “permission” to sell your dogs and will be able to get to work.

If you’re really interested in starting a hot dog business, the following educational resources might also be helpful:

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