Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Idea of the week: Key storage and delivery service

You know you see a great idea when want to kick yourself for not having thought of it yourself. I doubt of there is anyone amongst us who have not endured the frustration of locking your keys in your car or losing keys at an most inopportune time.

I found this great service advertised in an in-flight magazine recently. A US Based firm that takes the headache out of losing or forgetting your keys.

For a modest annual fee, NewYourKey keeps copies of keys in a secure storage facility and can deliver them right away if customers find themselves locked out. Keys lost in a nightclub at four in the morning? No problem! NewYourKey will deliver spare keys within an hour any time of day or night, wherever a customer happens to be.

Setting up an account is easy. NewYourKey comes to the customer with its mobile key lab, so copies of keys can be made on the spot if spare sets aren't unavailable. Customers must present positive photo identification. For added security, profiles include just name, password and photo, so no address is linked to any set of keys in the facility.

Three levels of service are available, with prices beginning at just R350 per year for key storage and R200.00 for each delivery. Additional charges apply for customers who wish to store more than two sets of keys or who’d like to authorize a third party to receive copies when necessary. Commercial accounts also are available.

NewYourKey, which was launched just a few months ago, is a great example of a business idea built around the type of favor you might ask a close friend, neighbor or doorman. It’s a life hack that should appeal to both busy professionals and notorious scatterbrains, who will be more than happy to pay for the convenience and peace of mind.

Upside: Apart from not ever having to worry about losing your own keys again this service is unique, will have a fairly low start-up cost and is very easily franchiseable. Plus the age old business model of collecting a monthly subscription fee remains a winner.

Downside: Security will be a key issue in South Africa and customers will want to be assured that their keys are safe and not reachable by unsavory characters. This should not be to much of a problem given the right system.

Verdict: As a I said before - I can't believe I didn't think of it. A business idea ripe for the taking.

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