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Sick of your work environment? These entrepreneurs opened businesses on buses

Taking public transport to work is a chore for many – but how would you feel relocating your work environment to a bus? Commuting would certainly be easier.
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Work environment London bus

To some, buses are just a way to get from A to B. For others, however, buses are opportunities. We’ve all heard of street food van vendors changing the work environment – but there are plenty of plucky entrepreneurs giving the humble bus a new identity and operating successful BUSinesses! 

Fancy a go yourself? All it takes is the right combination of knowledge, funding and daring.

Here are some of the best wheeled work environment examples from around the UK and the world. Together with Stagecoach, we show you how these entrepreneurs sold more than just bus fares on their buses! 

(1) The hotel bus

Work environment

This transformation project cost £60,000

Fancy a snooze? 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.

Kemp spent a reported £60,000 on the transformation project, and his work has since been featured on the television show Amazing Spaces. Proof that with a bit of ingenuity, you can turn space-saving ideas into mobile business success!

Over on the other side of the world, an Australian entrepreneur converted a bus into a homeless sleeping shelter. These “sleepbuses” are designed to shelter rough sleepers overnight.

(2) Boutique bus

Work environment Boutique in a bus

Bringing a new meaning to not on the high street

Looking for a new work environment because you’re fed up of high street retailing? Move where the people are by building your own shop on a bus. That’s what Lesley Tindle did, transforming an old Fiat Ducato community bus into a mini boutique.

By incorporating electronic pods where seating used to be, Boutique in a Bus can expand to display stock when it arrives at events and festivals across the UK. This idea shows the versatility of buses, allowing an owner to easily transport stock and sell it directly from their bus. 

(3) The co-working bus

Work environment

Just the price of bus fare for entry

There are no limits when it comes to bus conversions – it’s all about the application. What does the bus need to do? In some areas of the country, just having a work environment to focus in can be costly, as offices, hot desks and co-working spaces increase in price.

To address this, Rishi Chowdhury converted a double decker bus into “IncuBus”, a business incubator that costs the price of a bus fare to use.

The bus itself cost around £12,000 and the conversion cost up to £30,000 – but the vehicle acts 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.

Image: Shutterstock

On the next page, we get the party started by looking at the work environment that offers drinking and driving.

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As the champion of UK enterprise for 20 years, Real Business is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs. Through daily news, unique insight and invaluable guides we are an essential resource for thriving businesses.

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