999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Set up a business which sends British comics to both expatriates and overseas collectors of British comics. You might send comics on a weekly basis as they are published, save them up and post every quarter or advertise world-wide offering a sample of British comics.
  2. Start a newsletter for role-playing game enthusiasts. In each issue give subscribers: tips about how to win games, review new games, act as a forum for discussion about games. Sell space to display and classified advertisers.
  3. Produce a series of Whodunit audio cassettes. Get your cassettes stocked at bookshops and build up a reputation for producing the best whodunit cassettes. Alternatively, produce a series of X-rated whodunit cassettes. They can be sold by mail order.
  4. Publish a booklet which provides a lengthy list of mottos for use by: societies, clubs, institutions, families and individuals. Have the booklet stocked at shops. Also start a postal service which devises mottos. Use a page in the booklet to advertise your postal service.
  5. Provide yourself with a regular income by selling odd and unusual facts to all kinds of publications. For example, sell financial facts to financial magazines, football facts to football program publishers, photography facts to photography magazines, etc.
  6. Bring out a series of booklets or cassettes about how to get rid of, or escape the attentions of various types of people such as: unsatisfactory employers, salesmen, bores, fools, unwanted admirers, officials, etc. Sell the booklets or cassettes as a complete set by mail order or through bookshops.
  7. Produce and distribute an audio cassette library of fairy tales. Put together a comprehensive collection of fairy tales. Sell by post as a complete library or start a monthly club. Advertise in women’s magazines.
  8. Make kitchen wall-pouches from either leather or fabrics. Each pouch is for holding money-off coupons, shopping lists and other bits of paper which are worth keeping. Find retailers to stock your wall- pouches.
  9. Start a universal correspondence club. This club should be able to boast that it can find someone to correspond about any subject. Produce a leaflet about your club and list many subjects. Recruit club members by placing classified ads in a diversity of publications at home and abroad.
  10. Start a service for newsletter publishers. This might include: handling back issues, enveloping and mailing issues to subscribers, and selling advertising space.
  11. Begin a postal service which hires out or sells Welsh or Gaelic spoken word audio cassettes and videos. If you have a knowledge of either language, produce many of the cassettes yourself.
  12. Publish a newsletter about the changing English language. The contents would provide information about new words and meanings. Sell subscriptions to writers, academics, advertising agencies and others who might be interested in new words.
  13. Give tuition in your own home to those who want to improve their spoken English. There is a vast pool of clients as most people would like to become more articulate. Use local advertising to attract students.
  14. Publish a newsletter for separated and divorced people. Discuss issues relevant to being separate or divorced. Also include classified listings of people who are looking for new partners.
  15. Commission an artist to do a contemporary map of your town or region in the style of maps from antiquity. Produce and frame prints of this map. Distribute to shops throughout the region.
  16. Invest in a course of singing lessons. If others find your voice pleasing to listen to earn money from singing at pubs and clubs.
  17. Begin a mail order business which sells stencil craft. Make stencils which can be used by woodworkers, for example, to add attractive designs to their work. A stencil might depict flowers and a woodworker would use paint or ink to imprint the design onto their work.
  18. Become a street or market craftworker. Sit at a stall making, for example, ornaments from wire or shells. Display the goods you make on your stall. The act of making the ornaments attracts the curiosity of passers-by. This should result in a respectable level of sales.
  19. Buy and rent out steam wallpaper removing machines. Start with one fairly cheap model bought from your local DIY superstore and build up a collection.
  20. Start a general problem solving service for personal affairs. This service acts like a private agony aunt. An expert is provided to deal with the problem your client is trying to solve. The expert might give advice by telephone, by post or in person.
  21. Learn the art of making stained glass windows. Use your newly acquired skills to earn money from: 1) Teaching people in your own home, 2) Holding courses at bed and breakfast houses out of season, 3) holding classes in a quiet corner or back room of an arts and crafts shop.
  22. Start an agency which supplies entertainers to pubs, restaurants and wine bars. The entertainers might include disc jockeys, musicians, singers and strip-tease artists. Visit a lawyer to find what legal requirements you must satisfy. Advertise for entertainers to put on your books, then advertise for business.
  23. Make low budget promotional videos for pop groups and solo artists who are just starting out. Advertise your service at music shops and in the music press. When you receive an enquiry, give the potential client a persuasive sales presentation.
  24. Design Christmas sleigh bells for cars. These bells are attached to the exterior of a car. The motion of the car causes the bells to ring, just like sleigh bells. During the Christmas period these bells should add a pleasant seasonal flavor to cars.
  25. Bring out a correspondence course which teaches people how to be a consultant. This course should deal with every aspect of setting up a successful consultancy.
  26. Put together a mail order catalogue of spoken word audio cassettes. Canvass audio cassette publishers to see how they can be of help to you. Place as many audio cassette titles in this catalogue as possible to give potential customers the widest possible choice.
  27. Begin a business which hires out second-hand pin-ball machines and computer arcade games to householders. These machines might also be hired out by the night to private parties.
  28. Start a children’s record or audio cassette of the month club. The records and cassettes sold by the club might be educational, stories or music.
  29. Begin a service which produces newsletters for pop group fan clubs. Devise a method for producing a reasonable newsletter at low cost. Sell your service to fan clubs. An important part of this business is that it gives a lot of scope for the selling of advertising space.
  30. Produce vanity poetry audio cassettes or videos. Pay a celebrity to read a poet’s work to a video camera, or make a recording on audio tape. Your service might also include producing copies of the recording on audio or video cassettes for distribution.
  31. Write booklets or produce audio cassettes about different aspects of making a career in the music business. For example: ‘How to be an independent record producer’, ‘How to get a recording contract’, ‘How to form your own group’, etc. Use small ads in the music press to attract buyers.
  32. Stain sawdust with different colors of ink. Fill clear bottles and jars with the colored sawdust so that attractive patterns are made. Also, pictures can be built up on the sides of bottles if different colors are carefully arranged. Sell as souvenirs or ornaments.
  33. Open a television and video school. Organize practical courses in television and video production. Buy a second-hand closed circuit television system, rent or lease a hall and use this as the premises of the school.
  34. Start a music tuition agency. Offer to tutor potential students in popular musical instruments. Call your agency a school of music. Start by using advertising to recruit both part-time tutors and pupils.
  35. Begin a business which organizes trips to rock and pop concerts, and football and rugby matches. Your service obtains the tickets and provides a coach or mini-bus to take fans to the venue.
  36. Design and make fashionable clothes for children. You might sell them direct or through agents at party plan.
  37. Use soft toy materials to make a puppet-like toy which gives children their medicine. A small soft toy has a clip attached to one hand. A parent puts the spoonful of medicine into the clip and controls the hand so that it appears that the puppet is giving the medicine. Sell by mail order through ads in women’s magazines.
  38. Make household hall letterboards. A board is crisscrossed with colored elastic. Letters are slipped behind this elastic and thus easily displayed. Have them stocked at stationers and gift shops. Or sell by mail order.
  39. Use wood to make desktop stands for holding reference books such as dictionaries, trade directories, map books and telephone directories. Have these stocked at bookshops and stationers or sell by mail order.
  40. Learn machine knitting. Once your skill has reached a high standard, earn money from teaching others to use knitting machines. Teach people in your own home or theirs.
  41. Make energy saving ‘sausages’. Fill a sausage shaped bag with sand so that it can be placed against a draughty door or window. Sell door-to-door or have them sold in hardware shops. Also sell kits by mail order.
  42. Design and make old fashioned country curtains. Display your curtains on a roadside stall near a busy shopping center in a similar fashion to the way double-glazing or shower firms sometimes display their products.
  43. Set up a mail order business which serves the gay community. In your catalogue include suitable: Books, audio cassettes, videos, novelty products, posters, contact adverts section, etc.
  44. Begin a service which organizes the production of wall hanging tapestries to commission. Sell your service to businesses which might want a tapestry of their logo, for example, hanging in a reception area. Or do a 1066 style tapestry representing business achievements.
  45. Manufacture Australian cork hats. These hats might be a cheap novelty version of the real thing. Sell these cork hats through shops which sell novelties, souvenirs or gifts. Or import real cork hats from Australia and use ads in magazines to sell these by mail order.
  46. Bring out a range of T-shirts to distribute to bookshops, record-shops, computing shops, gift shops or newsagents. The design on the T-shirts might be aimed at the customers of the shops they appear in, for example, a literary theme for bookshops.
  47. Have an undergarments market stall and sell: men’s underwear, socks, tights, stockings, fancy lingerie, long johns, etc.
  48. Produce magnetic perpetual calendars. A strip of metal is printed with day numbers and the names of months. Two magnetic markers are used to indicate the date.
  49. Design and manufacture kits for making clothes. The kits might be aimed at those who have basic sewing skills, but would need a kit if they want to make something a bit more complex. Produce a catalogue about your kits and advertise in women’s magazines.
  50. Start a scarf club. Each month or quarter club members automatically receive one of the latest fashionable scarves selected by the club. Your club might have a single annual membership charge. Membership would make an ideal gift.

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