999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Design and produce a range of amusing self-adhesive stickers for children. The stickers might feature jokes, funny faces and streetwise statements. Distribute to wholesalers, newsagents and toyshops.
  2. Sell parcels of unsorted books by post to book collectors. Or offer second-hand books for sale by the foot. Obtain your stock by buying books which cannot be sold from second-hand book dealers and publishers.
  3. Write and publish a manual about how to start your own book or newsletter publishing business. Sell by direct mail or from classified ads to business opportunity seekers and those interested in publishing.
  4. Start a mail order business which sells new and second-hand Jazz records. Many rare and classic Jazz records are released in overseas countries. Import these to sell to collectors in this country. Also locate overseas sources of second-hand records.
  5. Begin a club which sends philatelists a set of stamps every month. The sets might be either, thematic or newly issued by a country chosen by the collector.
  6. Launch a rose of the month club. Build up a list of clients who want a rose sent each month to their loved one.
  7. Employ homeworkers to make knitwear products. Go the round of retailers to find stockists.
  8. Start a general sports tuition agency. Either provide clients with a tutor to give individual tuition or organize courses for different sports and sell places on each course. Produce a leaflet about your service and get copies displayed at sports shops.
  9. Embroider exotic designs on disco and party clothes. Arrange for your work to be stocked at up- market boutiques.
  10. Begin a mail order business which sells books and study equipment to those interested in natural history.
  11. Start a company which organizes business anniversary celebrations. Devise celebration packages and sell to businesses who have been trading for 1, 5, 10, 20, 21, 25, 50, 60, 75, or 100 years. Locate potential clients by searching records located at Companies House to discover when firms were formed.
  12. Take an ordinary magnifying glass, package it and call it ‘The Gardener’s Magnifying Glass’. Distribute to hardware shops or sell by mail from ads in gardening magazines.
  13. Start a modern art rental business. Rent out everything from metal sculptures to mobile art. Your potential clients will include all image conscious businesses with reception areas, courtyards or forecourts.
  14. Begin a business which organizes specialist adventure holidays for women. The holidays should be designed to help women develop their skills and abilities related to: management, persuasiveness, problem solving, leadership, creative thinking, etc.
  15. Start a central membership agency for joining fan clubs. Persuade established fan clubs to become part of your scheme. Recruit people by advertising in numerous pop and rock publications. You take a commission on all membership fees.
  16. Become an importer and distributor of car accessories. Conduct thorough research in countries throughout the world to find car accessories not readily available here.
  17. Call on regular clients once every eight weeks to sell cosmetics. The cosmetics should have a special feature, for example, they do not involve cruelty to animals, or are based on herbs.
  18. Design and manufacture kits for making unusual furniture. For example: tables that hang from the ceiling, chairs with odd shapes, stylistic plant stands, etc. Produce a catalogue about your product and start a mail order business.
  19. Start a newsletter on how to get a better job. Provide subscribers with advice on where to look, completing application forms, interview techniques, C.V. preparation, etc. The competitive nature of the job market means that the extra advice provided by your newsletter could make all the difference to a job applicants success.
  20. Set up a mail order company which sells local history books. Put together a selection of local history books for most cities and towns in the country. Produce a catalogue and sell through media advertising.
  21. Begin a mail order business which sells exposes. Produce booklets, audio cassettes and information sheets about, for example: wealthy left-wing politicians, worthless aristocrats, stonewall secret service bungling, bureaucratic incompetence, violent police, etc.
  22. Buy a selection of local history books, pamphlets, posters and postcards from the publishes at trade prices. Earn from selling these door-to-door in your area.
  23. design and make a selection of patchwork hats, caps, jackets, dresses, etc. Find retailers who will stock your products. Or design and produce kits so that anyone can make their own patchwork products. Place classified ads in needlework magazines and sell by mail.
  24. Write and produce a series of audio cassettes about the many aspects of sex education. Have a catalogue printed and start a mail order business.
  25. Publish an audio cassette of saucy seaside jokes. Sell through shops at seaside resorts. The hope is that holiday-makers might send a saucy cassette home instead of a saucy postcard. With each cassette include a small card for writing a message.
  26. Organize the production of business greeting cards. Design the cards for a particular selection of businesses, for example, mini-cab services. The cards should have pictures relevant to the chosen business. The company can then send a card to account holders. Sell by direct mail.
  27. Begin a market stall which sells boiled sweets and hand-made chocolates. Buy your stock from small producers of confectionery.
  28. Earn an income from being a freelance salesperson. Place ads in business or trade publications which reads ‘Freelance Salesperson Available’. Don’t accept the first offer, but consider each one and accept the one you find the most suitable.
  29. Start a children’s badge of the month club. Attract new members by advertising in children’s comics and offering a selection of free badges.
  30. Begin a mail order business which sells a selection of products of particular interest to motorbike enthusiasts. In your catalogue include; badges, clothing, cult ornaments, etc. Advertise in motorbike magazines.
  31. Sell smoke detectors door-to-door. Expand by using sales personnel to sell for you.
  32. Open your own school of drama. Prepare a simple prospectus which offers a comprehensive introduction to drama. Hold classes in a hired hall. Also visit businesses and clubs to give classes during lunch hours.
  33. Bring out a series of audio cassettes or booklets which give advice about how to deal with the problems experienced by teenagers. For example: the search for identity and career choices. Aim style and contents at either the teenagers themselves or at parents.
  34. Set up a health food catering service. Do the catering at a wide range of occasions such as private parties, business functions, weddings, etc. Advertise in health food shop noticeboards and send copies of your menu to businesses.
  35. Place small ads in various overseas business and trade magazines which read ‘I want to buy adult X- rated products suitable for selling by mail order’.
  36. Start a school of psychic phenomena and the unknown. Offer potential students easy-to-do postal courses on subjects such as UFO’s, sea monsters, ghosts, etc. Advertise in a wide range of publications.
  37. If you live near a port or marina. Start and operate a boat and yacht valeting service. Seek expert advice from someone knowledgeable about boating or yachting and what is involved in marine valeting.
  38. Frame and label samples of many different metals. At a glance the physical appearance of different metals can be compared. Sell by direct mail to engineering companies, scientists, schools and metalwork hobbyists.
  39. Hire out brassware for decorating the reception areas of businesses such as pubs, hotels, restaurants, hair salons, offices, etc. Also, some custom might come from householders who are keen on brassware.
  40. Do bottle art. Paint local scenery and other artistic images on the exterior of tiny bottles. Sell as souvenirs or ornaments.
  41. In districts with numerous offices, factories or shops, organize an after work dating service. Send leaflets about your service and membership application forms to all the work places in a district.
  42. Begin a mail order business which serves those interested in gold prospecting. Sell equipment, supplies and books. Also publish your own guide to digging for gold in: Wales, USA, Australia, Canada and South America.
  43. Produce a series of booklets about how to buy and run various types of shops. Each booklet might cover a shop such as a newsagent, greengrocer, village shop, post office, etc. Place classified ads in newspapers and magazines which advertise shops for sale and sell your booklets by mail.
  44. Commission the drawing of political cartoons which have an anti-establishment theme. Have these printed on postcards or posters and sell through shops popular with young adults.
  45. Design and produce craft kits for making ornaments or relief pictures with ball bearings. Get these stocked in shops or advertise in crafts magazines.
  46. Be a home-visiting pre-school teacher. Your task is to prepare children for a successful start at school.
  47. Buy a candy floss making machine. Sell your candy floss from a site where there is a continuous flow of people who are enjoying their leisure.
  48. Design a range of blank achievement certificates for use by sports clubs and schools. Have them printed and sell by direct mail.
  49. Hand paint nostalgic scenes and old advertisements on mirrors. Sell through gift shops or from a market stall.
  50. Produce T-shirts which are printed with the names of local schools. Have them stocked at newsagents or other suitable shops close to each school.

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