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A pastry chef with bigger dream

aurelbeg

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Hello all,

First off all, let me introduce myself. My name is Aurelien, French born and bred, pastry chef for the last 18 years, working mainly in London UK and recently moved to Florence Italy where I am enjoying the very well known "sweet life".
As you know, working as a chef involves long painful shifts closed between 4 walls, sometimes aggressive environment and very often on-the-edge stressful. A life style that makes it hard to look after one's self . Yes of course making cakes and dessert is a beautiful trade but if we are being honest, this will never make me rich enough to slow down as I get older and more specifically I will still be working my a$$ off until I am 70, at the very least.

I recently finished reading The millionaire Fastlane ( @MJ DeMarco thank you so much btw for taking time to write such an eye opener, amazing book) and that really was like a revelation. Well I am not there yet in terms of turning my life and career around but I now understand that we can all get there if we put enough passion into something.

Now here below is a project idea I would like to develop. I don't know how to get there but I am trying to resolve that. So many steps to take, so many things to figure out. I am also wondering why no one ever did develop this idea before (I researched it and can't find the exact same thing). Here is how I came to think of this striking gap and a brief vision of what it would be like

My musician friend in south London has been renting out pianos from his home for a number of years and he recently said to me that the demand has been pleasingly growing lately. It seemed to him that there are people out there who are traveling across the country for gigs or other reasons and are in need of an an instrument for a night. Also, he does rent pianos to people for long terms. Somehow people seem to think they are better off with this than spending 3k at once, though after several years renting they are eventually spending 3k.
Now he only rents pianos but he knows a wide number of musicians (most often too poor ) specialized in classical music and he can see these people needing to rent out an instrument somewhere specific where they have been booked to cross the country for a one night gig and can't be arsed traveling on a packed train with for a instance a 2,5 meter high cello. He also mentioned that , people often have treasurable like instruments sitting in their attic or living room and don't do much with it. Instead, I am thinking, it could be rented out to people in need and owner of instruments could cash out with this rental.

That's when I thought about this concept. What it could do is simple and yet be very useful to a wide range of people. This is how I imagine it and how helpful it could be:

A platform where users sign up and have the possibility of doing 2 simple things:

1) Rent out their music instrument(s) OR 2) search for a music instrument to rent in their area.

Users who put an inventory of their music instruments they are willing to rent out with all details provided (location, conditions, price, pictures etc)
And on the other side, other users log in and browse instruments available in an area where they need them.

I felt extremely excited at first for finding such a great business opportunity but then thinking it through the following days, all sort of difficult problems surfaced. Liability, logistic, content writing etc.....

It would be really nice to know from some of you, experienced entrepreneurs, where I go from here. How could I test the market with a minimum cost. Is there a way to create with my basic skill a website platform where I could connect people together and start this instrument rental business which could be turned into a mobile application. I am willing to work a lot on this, as well as keeping making cakes in the meantime so I can keep living but I am also inexperienced with basically any tasks involved to build this project. I have to self taught my self on everything but I am also afraid by the time I catch up, I may well be over taken by new technologies

I would love to hear loads of feedbacks,

Thank you very much in advance,
Aurelien
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Welcome my friend, appreciate the intro.

A platform where users sign up and have the possibility of doing 2 simple things:

1) Rent out their music instrument(s) OR 2) search for a music instrument to rent in their area.

Users who put an inventory of their music instruments they are willing to rent out with all details provided (location, conditions, price, pictures etc)
And on the other side, other users log in and browse instruments available in an area where they need them.
Very interesting, I'm not in the musical space but it sounds promising. Don't musicians treat their instruments like children? And wouldn't want strangers around them, much less touching them? @SamRussell would you rent your guitar?
 

Abrodos

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I agree with @MJ DeMarco , the main problem would be that they are delicate. But probably the guys who will offer them are not the instrument players themselves, but they have it sitting at home as a decoration piece.
One of the problems could be someone "renting" the instrument and disappearing with it, or returning it broken.
Maybe embedding some kind of insurance/automatic contract in the app, or a security deposit?
Anyway there could be a star rating, as in wallapop (a spanish secondhand selling app), so you know who to lend your instrument and who not to.
I see it as a very powerful idea. Stuff like that, also specific sports gear (paragliders, scuba diving equipment, etc) is often bought and used once or twice. So there are a lot of them sitting around for someone to rent.
By the way I have a cousin who works developing AI for Badi, a similar app but for finding flatmates. If there's interest I could speak with him to get some insight on how they work legally.
 

SamRussell

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Welcome my friend, appreciate the intro.



Very interesting, I'm not in the musical space but it sounds promising. Don't musicians treat their instruments like children? And wouldn't want strangers around them, much less touching them? @SamRussell would you rent your guitar?
thanks for the tag @MJ DeMarco, and welcome to the forum @aurelbeg

I’d never rent my guitar... I know a lot of people that own guitars and don’t / can’t play them, who would never rent them...

I could see this model specifically working with pianos - they are quite big and harder to damage, and damage would be cosmetic. It sounded like your friend has already proven the model with pianos.

However, applying it to other instruments, I can’t see this working... at least, not for professionals / adults.

Renting instruments for children taking lessons could be an idea. Parents are often on a budget, and don’t want to splash £200 on an instrument. You could potentially build a network of private teachers / schools to rent instruments through. In the UK, there is a government funded institution called “the music service” that already does this, so if you try in the UK, you may find that your market is undercut.

You would also be competing against stores that offer payment plans for instruments, which nearly every store does these days.
 
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aurelbeg

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 19, 2019
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Thank you for your feedbacks @MJ DeMarco @Abrodos @SamRussell. Very helpful and I already feel like this forum is a great way to gather information.

@MJ DeMarco It's defenitely clear that some people tend to treat their instruments like their little babies. When it comes to Guitars like @SamRussel said, or other similar instruments being seen as very personal, it might be more difficult to achieve. I wouldn't see it working for every type of instruments.
However I feel like some instrument owners might be open to do something with their instruments that some others wouldn't.

I also asked my musician friend if he thought an instrument like a clarinet could be shared. I mean we are talking about an object that one put in his mouth. Well, his answer was that to him, as he had seen it in gigs before, anything can be shared. Not everyone would do it but it can be done.

I am thinking also a lot about electronic things like dj gears, speakers, console etc... last minute breakdown and your solution would be the app...

I haven't really looked at how business rent instruments in general and how they price it ( I will look into it today actually) but I have a felling that businesses would tend to be more greedy and therefore their price could be easily beaten, seeing that my platform would see individuals renting out their instrument on a personal level as a mean to bring extras to meet their ends rather than their main earning. A bit like how airbnb or Uber started..

The fact that people open their home to strangers with airbnb shows that we are willing to share personal belonging. Not sure if we can compare the 2 but I don't think anyone predicted a concept such as airbnb to work that well 20 years ago. As in, I don't think people were that eager to open their personal areas to strangers, my parents are a great example. And now it seems pretty normal to do so.

@Abrodos the whole liability problem is a big one. It would need to have a thorough description of the state it's in, and the person receiving the instruments would have let's say 1 hour to claim the contrary. Same thing when returning. And then if a problem occurs, the app admin steps in.
The sport gears idea sound also very interesting , wow, I could see those 2 ideas being designed with exactly the same principles. I would love to hear anything your cousin is able to share with their legal process, thank you for that.
 

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