While most people use buses to get from A to B, others look at them as mobile businesses. They present good opportunities for the creative entrepreneurs who want to try something different to make a BUSiness successful! Here’s a few examples of some great efforts of how to make bus fares work for you.
Not only has Oliver Kemp created a functional mobile hotel on bus wheels, but the catchy name of BEDROAM also appeals to one’s imagination. If you fancy a snooze at a festival, for example, the bus features 18 luxury sleeping pods, two bathrooms and an outdoor space.
Oliver spent a reported £60,000 on the transformation project, and his work has since been featured on the television show Amazing Spaces. This is a great example of ingenuity and improvisation turning into a good idea.
With an ever-increasing problem of homeless people, an Australian entrepreneur converted a bus into a sleeping shelter catering for those unable to find a bed overnight.
Figure 1: http://www.bedroam.co.uk/gallery/
It’s not everybody’s cup of tea to hit the Oxford street shops for some retail therapy. By building her own shop on a bus, Lesley Tindle transformed an old Fiat bus into a mini boutique. This is a way of using the idea of bringing the shops to you rather than you going to the shops.
Figure 2: http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/13627031.Meet_the_entrepreneur_who_s_opened_a_boutique____on_a_bus/#
The idea of mobile shops like this is not new, but using an old bus to do it is certainly a different way to work an old idea.
Some people have great business ideas but by the time they price out the cost of office rental and associated set up costs, many people are put off fairly easily. To address this, Rishi Chowdhury converted a double decker bus into ‘IncuBus’. This is a great play on words albeit the meaning of incubus hardly refers to a business incubator. He has made it so that it can accommodate a maximum of 5 start-ups at a time. For new business owners, this is a great idea.
Figure 3: http://www.incubuslondon.com/about/
This would be one of those rare occasions where drinking and driving can safely go together, especially when a bus is converted into a bar. Owners David Humphreys and Alex Robinson spent around £60,000 converting a 1966 Leyland Titan into a fully equipped bar. It comes with an upstairs lounge area as well and can be used for private hire for events.
Figure 4: http://www.route14.co.uk/gallery/xmas-market
Russian Alexander Berest went a step further and converted a bus into a VIP Party bus. You simply travel around the city partying, drinking, dancing – the usual stuff! In this case you don’t go to a party, the party comes to you. Stricter rules apply to be able to obtain a licence to serve alcohol in the UK.
A restaurant bus is a few steps removed from a food van, and the concept has gained popularity in a few countries other than the UK. A clever moniker attached to one bus, the Crust Conductor, is the name for a restaurant that serves pizzas, so the name makes sense. It can visit festivals and events and seats 34 diners.
Figure 5: http://www.crustconductor.com/
If you want to run your own business, it’s worth considering doing a bus conversion. The cost of £30,000 puts it out of the reach of many but if you want to challenge convention then this is something that will appeal to your entrepreneurial spirit. Crowdfunding, anyone?