The Maternity and Baby Clothes Rental Service

Mother and Son PlayingThe global market for children’s clothes is a reported $150 billion industry. But the problem with kids, and specifically babies, is they grow out of their clothes in a matter of months.

I believe there’s room for disruption in their business by a baby clothing rental service. It’s painful to buy something you know won’t have any long-term use or purpose, so a smart company could create a value proposition by offering to lend the clothes instead.


A lot of money is spent on baby clothes that will be outgrown in a few months but won’t be “worn out” by any stretch of the imagination.

Cut a family’s clothing budget in half by renting them quality baby clothes. The family saves money, the company can rent out each outfit several times (cleaning in between each swap), and ultimately fewer clothes end up being manufactured and landfilled.


Even with the best in-between washings and guaranteed cleanliness, I can imagine some new moms being reluctant to start their child’s life in borrowed clothes. There’s a certain stigma that comes with renting that would have to be overcome.

Starting Up

This is a company that would require some start-up capital, especially to scale quickly. You would have to buy the inventory, invest in some web presence, develop a system for shipping and returns, and have a facility for cleaning.

Actually, one way to save money would be to ask the parents to wash the clothes before dressing the kid the first time, because honestly they will probably do that anyway.

What do you think?

Probably not the most glamorous business idea in the world, but one that a lot of people could definitely benefit from. A strong value proposition and a green element, too.

The Airport Gym

While traveling to South America and back last month, I spent a LOT of time in airports. I had 26 hours of travel time one way: 2 hours in the Buenos Aires airport, 3 hours on a flight to Santiago, 8 hours in the Santiago airport, 10 hours on a flight to Dallas, 2 hours in Dallas and a 4 hour flight back to Los Angeles.

airport gymAlmost all of that time was spent in a sitting position. My body stiffened up and I definitely felt very unhealthy from the lack of exercise and having to eat airline food.

It occurred to me that I would be willing to pay $15 for one time access to an airport gym where I could get in a good workout. I would pay $20 if that gym also had a basketball court.

There are tons of other businesses that operate beyond TSA security in airports (restaurants, gift shops, etc), why not a gym? I mean some airports even have those weird smoker aquariums so it only makes sense that someone should build a small gym to let people burn off some energy before their flight.

It could be monetized on a pay-per-use basis or with monthly or annual memberships for frequent travelers. The airport gym could be a franchise opportunity for an existing brand like 24-hour Fitness to widen it’s reach.

Getting some exercise would have been extremely good to help get my body moving again and pumping out all the toxins just sitting in my extremities. Traveling is inherently unhealthy in that you’re sitting idle for hours at a time, breathing in recycled air and probably not eating the healthiest food.

I think a lot of other people are like me out there and would happily pay a fairly large fee to get access to a gym with free weights, machines, and possibly a basketball court. Add in carry-on sized lockers and showers and you’re all set.

It would take some investment to lease a space in a busy terminal, but wouldn’t take long to prove if the concept would work or not. A major hub like LAX would be a good place to start because many travelers are coming in from (or about to embark on) long-haul flights and may have a lengthy layover — and would probably love to get some exercise.

Rent a Puppy

A Rent-a-Puppy service is a business we always joked about starting in college.  A sunny day at Green Lake in Seattle, and you could have a booming business.  The basic premise was guys could rent a cute puppy as an icebreaker to meet girls.

Your Rent-a-Puppy service could set up shop near parks and popular walking trails and gathering spots.  You’d charge by the hour and by the size of the dog.

Customers would agree not to leave a certain radius with the pup.

There are obviously some major flaws in this plan and I’m sure PETA would throw a fit.  For example how do you keep the animals safe from creeps, where do they live when they’re not working, and how much play time is too much?

But no business is without challenges, so maybe some enterprising animal lover could make it happen.

To get “inventory”, maybe you could partner with local breeders and share the fees with them.  Or work with the Humane Society to promote exposure and encourage adoptions.  Expand to more locations through strategic franchising.

From a customer standpoint, it would be a unique opportunity to play with a lovable pup without the 10-14 year commitment of dog ownership.

What do you think? Would people be willing to pay for an afternoon of puppy love?

Have You Considered a Franchise?

This is a guest post by Carly Messmer of

Finding the Right Franchise Fit

While making the decision to open a franchise can be an easy decision for some, it can be a scary decision to others. One of the biggest benefits of opening a franchise is that there is already a successful business and marketing plan in place. Because of this, it may not be as scary to open a franchise as some may think.

When selecting a franchise, it should be a business that you will not only be excited to own and operate, but also make financial sense. Your franchise should make you money while you enjoy running it. Though you may be your own boss, you do not want to dread going to work everyday.

Research Your Options

Finding the right franchise for you requires some research. Stop by different franchises to see how the operation works, traffic volume and cleanliness. Speak to a franchise owner to get some tips, ideas and as much input as you can. Gather as much information as you can about the franchises you are interested in and carefully read through each one’s Franchise Disclosure Document.

Select a Type of Franchise

Ask yourself if you will be able to meet your goals and dreams running a franchise. You may want to select a franchise that fits your likes and lifestyle. For example, if you enjoy cooking or entertaining, you may want to consider opening a restaurant. Or if you enjoy camping, a sporting goods store may be the best option.

Determine Financial Investment

Find out how much it will cost to sign up as a franchisee. Ask if your initial investment will include initial inventory and store build-outs. Does the investment include any training, marketing assistance and other business related resources.

Determine how much money you can invest upfront and how much you will need to finance. Ask if the company offers financing or do you have to get your own loan. Consider future finances and ask to see if you can make the payments for the financed part of your investment.

Finding the Right Location

Check different areas to see if there are any stores already open, because you do not want to open one close to another. Next, consider which areas in your town offer easy access for drivers and walkers. If your location is easy to get to, customers will be more likely to come back on a regular basis.

Opening up a franchise take time and should be completely researched before you sign the contract. offers entrepreneurs resources to find the perfect franchise. We offer an easy to use comprehensive directory that lists hundreds of the best franchises and business opportunities for sale. We’ve got all the information you need to identify which business is right for you.