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Main Street Morning’s favorite small business stories of 2015

During 2015, this column has shared hundreds of stories about business owners and entrepreneurs. These are just a few of my favorites.

  • After a huge snowstorm buries New England, a man rents out an igloo on Airbnb for $10 a night. Another tongue-in-cheek start-up tries to sell snow out-of-state for $12.99.
    The snow is packed into 16-ounce water bottles and sent to those who might otherwise never see it in their own neighborhood. No word on how many customers he had but I’m betting he kept his day job.
  • This guy makes $1,000 a week just waiting in line to buy rich people their iPhones.
    Would you sit in line, in a chair, for 48 hours to make $1000? Heck, yeah!
  • A business owner uses his city’s restaurant week to focus on helping the homeless.
    The Baltimore restaurant goes against the norm and opens its doors to those with little or no income – the city’s homeless.
  • A young entrepreneur teaches fellow kids the business of lemonade stands. And a marijuana business school seeks to prepare small business owners for legalization.
    I mean, I like lemonade and all.  But…
  • Netflix’s CEO explains why he takes six weeks’ vacation a year.
    “You often do your best thinking when you’re off hiking in some mountain or something,” says Reed Hastings. “You get a different perspective on things.” (In a related story, Forbes reports that Reed Hastings is worth $1.5 billion.)
  • You can now buy Bernie Sanders underwear for $15.
    Two Vermont entrepreneurs are selling “Bernie’s Briefs”, which may also be how the world remembers him after the first round of primaries this winter.
  • A 10-year-old got a business loan from Whole Foods after conquering Shark Tank.
    After receiving a $60,000 investment from Daymond John because of her unique idea and savvy business mind her lemonade is now sold in 32 Whole Foods stores with plans to expand into new regions.
  • An 11-year-old entrepreneur in the UK earns £1,000 a week selling sweets.
    He revealed that his annual turnover now exceeds £65,000 and his products are stocked by more than 70 different companies. Meanwhile, my son has just about every episode of SpongeBob memorized.
  • Cards Against Humanity raises $71,145 by selling nothing on Black Friday.
    Unashamed.  And awesome.
  • The owner of a Montana trucking company details her crushing experience of trying to run a small business over the past few years.
    “If small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy I have bad news for y’all,” she writes. “Metaphorically speaking, without degenerative spine treatment very soon, this small trucking business won’t no longer be able to carry the weight.”
  • This guy created an easy way to block all Kardashian content from his customers’ iPhones.
    Is there a Nobel Prize for business? This is why there should be.
  • The American turkey farmer takes on Mother Nature…and wins.
    Despite a devastating outbreak of avian flu last summer that threatened to destroy the turkey industry, enterprising farmers like Brad Moline and the resilience of American agriculture came out on top.
  • The owner of a plumbing business is suing a car dealership for financial losses and damages to his company’s reputation after a pickup truck he once owned ended up with Islamic militants fighting in Syria’s civil war.
    Being on TV is good PR. But this is not the kind of PR anyone wants.

Oh, and for a bonus, here’s my favorite:

  • A Croatian man’s pants falls down as he accepts an award from the country’s president.
    This really has nothing to do with small business. But that doesn’t matter.

Happy holidays!

Gene Marks owns the Marks Group,  a Bala Cynwyd  PA  consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. Follow Gene Marks and On Small Business on Twitter.

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