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A Lesson In Innovation: Businesses That You Would Never Have Expected To Exist But Are Taking The World By Storm

There is a saying which tells us that the simplest ideas are the most effective. However, in this case it seems that sometimes the most outlandish ideas can be effective too. Here is a quick run-down of 4 unusual yet successful businesses which prove that it definitely pays to think outside of the box.

The Hot Tub Cinema

pop up cinema business

A pop-up cinema offers a new way to enjoy movies – photo credit:

It seems that Londoners are bored of the bog standard multi-plex and are instead favouring something a bit bubblier! The Hot Tub Cinema has only been around since July 2012 but has become one of the top things to do in the English capital. Forget pop-corn and a family film, the hot tub cinema is more about bikinis and champers; a winning combination for founder Asha Charman.

This pop-up cinema holds screenings on the rooftop terraces of London bars and it is the setting which provides much of the magic to these well attended events. Why not ditch your PJ’s and hot chocolate and try watching your favourite festive movies (Home Alone, Elf and Love Actually are all on the timetable) somewhere new this year?


chicken rental business

Rent a chicken, anyone?

Yes you did read that right. Ever wanted to have your own hens but are put off by the cost of supplies (coops, food and the birds themselves)? It seems that the residents of Butler, Indiana felt this way too and so up sprang Rent-A-Chicken.

Hens can be rented out between the months of May and November – the best months for laying. Renters who fall in love with their chickens have the option to buy them outright at the end of the rental period. This means that people who are unsure about chicken ownership (something that is booming worldwide) can essentially trial it risk free for a couple of months before making a commitment they may later regret. An unusual business idea but a cracking success!

The World’s Smallest Post Office

At one time or other, most of us have sat at our writing bureau’s and lamented the lack of miniature letter posting services.   It now seems that our prayers have been answered by a company called Leaf Cutter Designs.

Take your letter to one of their pop-up post offices or write it out online and the clever scribes at Leaf Cutter Designs will create a miniature of your writing in the world’s smallest print. They will then seal it, with a wax seal none the less, and post it to your desired recipient. Just make sure that recipient has a magnifying glass!

Virtual Dating Assistants

virtual dating assistant business

Overwhelmed by choices? Let your Virtual Dating Assistant screens candidates for you!

On-line dating getting you down? Do you find that there are too many profiles to browse through or that you are getting a low response rate to your messages? Sounds like you need a Virtual Dating Assistant or so Scott Valdez, founder of, thinks. From creating you an online persona that ‘women will love’ and attracting women who meet your criteria to organising your dates, your VDA can do it all.  This really is a business for the busy, technological 21st Century!

What two things can you mash together (hot tubs and film, dating and virtual assistants etc.) to create your own unique business? Hopefully this post has helped you to get your thinking cap on. 

About the Author: Alex is a writer for . She regularly writes on the subjects of business, health and entertainment. As well as writing, her other passion is film history! 

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SMB Authors 1039 posts

This article is one of the excellent contributions from small business owners, decision makers and professionals.

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