I love entrepreneurs, and I meet them in the most unlikely places. In this case, on a beach.
Earlier this year my wife and I vacationed in Bermuda. I had not been there since a child, and I was excited to return to the beautiful island and give my wife the grand tour.
I did not realize I would also meet the smartest entrepreneur in Bermuda.
For our day at the beach, I decided to take my wife to Horseshoe Bay, a spectacular public beach area featuring the famous Bermudian pink sand, all sorts of rocky coves, and great snorkeling. The weather that day was perfect for the beach: hot and sunny.
We took the local bus to Horseshoe Bay, and were dropped off at the main entrance, which is at the top of a steep hill that winds its way down for hundreds of yards. As we walked down the hill towards the changing room area, we started to pass people who were leaving the beach and making their way back up the hill on foot. It's a long walk uphill in the heat, and these folks looked pretty bedraggled, with sweat pouring off them. We realized that we'd probably have the same hot and sticky walk back up the hill when it came time for us to leave, and we were not looking forward to that.
But that would not be our fate, thanks to a brilliant entrepreneur named Dean Ming. For the last 11 years, Dean has been the owner and operator of the ultimate niche business, which he calls "To the Top." (Smart name, too.) His business does one thing, and one thing only, and it does it very well: gives tourists a quick ride to the top of the hill in a small passenger van.
Dean realized that after spending a day at the beach, then showering and changing into their street clothes, a lot of tourists didn't want to then spend 15 minutes walking up that long and steep hill in the heat. So for $2, he gives them a ride "To the Top," and during the two-minute drive shares a few tidbits of historical information about Bermuda. I estimate that on a good day Dean is pulling in about $200 an hour operating his service. Not bad for one man and his van.
Dean's sign says it's the best two dollars you will spend that day, and I think most of his customers would agree. This is a great example of an entrepreneur identifying a very specific need and then fulfilling that need. Smart. Simple. Successful. We can all learn from entrepreneurs like Dean.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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