Ideas for enterprise

How to transform a bus into a business


BedroamBedroam: A company has turned this bus into a mobile hotel


Business owners are always coming up with quirky ways to start a company. But, who would’ve thought that they could transform a bus into something creative?

Here are some of the best examples from around the UK and the world:

A new type of hotelier

With the rise of websites such as AirBnB, tourists are looking to stay in more quirky accommodation. Some plucky entrepreneurs have transformed buses into hotels, such as East Yorkshire businessman, Oliver Kemp, who has created BEDROAM – a functional mobile hotel for use at events such as festivals. The bus features 18 luxury sleeping pods, two bathrooms and an outdoor space.

This special bus has been shown on TV shows such as Amazing Space. Oliver Kemp spent around £60,000 on the project. Proof that with a bit of ingenuity, you can turn space-saving ideas into mobile business success!

Something similar has been seen in Australia too — helping out the homeless issue. Here, homeless people are invited to spend the night on the bus. These ‘sleepbuses’ are designed to shelter rough sleepers overnight.

Bus shopping

Create a unique shopping experience for customers with the help of a bus. This is something that Lesley Tindle has done. For extra space, you could opt for a bus that expands too. This idea shows the versatility of buses, allowing an owner to easily transport stock and sell it directly from their bus.

Combating costly office space

It’s difficult for start-up businesses that need office space as it can be expensive. But, that can change with the help of this innovative idea.

It was Rishi Chowdhury who brought this idea to life, the Incubus is a double decker bus/ office space. The bus itself cost around £12,000 and the conversion cost up to £30,000 – but the vehicle acted as the IncuBus office space, hosting up to five startups at any one time. It’s proof that an innovative idea can work well, if you’ve got the business sense to try it.

A bus bar

Create a unique bar where friends can socialise. One bus, christened Leyla, is the result of a 1966 Leyland Titan being renovated by owners David Humphreys and Alex Robinson. They spent around £60,000 converting it into a fully equipped bar, complete with a lounge area upstairs. Run as a private hire event attraction, this is just one example of a bar renovation.

This idea has been seen in Russia too. It’s a VIP bus bar that drives around the city allowing people to drink and dance the night away. Where some party busses in the UK are designed to get revellers from one location to another, Alexander Berest’s party bus is meant to be the destination.

If you are considering a venture like this one, remember that you need to acquire a licence to serve alcohol in the UK. You’ll also need to pay concession costs for events you attend, which can be pricey.

A restaurant like no other

Forget food vans, a restaurant on a bus is where you want to be. There have been a number of bus restaurant conversions in the UK – though one of the most popular is the Crust Conductor, which serves pizzas in its 34-seater restaurant. As a mobile business, it can visit festivals and food events but is primarily housed in London.

As we can see, there are a range of creative ways to transform a bus. As the future pushes innovation and conventions are challenged, it will come as no surprise to see more entrepreneurs stretching the limits of what can be achieved with a bus-borne business. However, with most people’s renovations costing upwards of £30,000, you’ll need plenty of investment behind you. Crowdfunding, anyone?

Research for this article was carried out by Stagecoach, competitive providers of bus prices

This article appears under the terms of the DB Direct service


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