999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Learn how to build garden fences then start your own business. Advertise your garden fence building business in local newspapers and offer to provide a free written estimate.
  2. At a public place or fair have a site where people can pay to do their own action painting. Each person is given overalls and a canvass or large sheet of paper. They can then help themselves to as much paint as they like and all kinds of brushes and implements.
  3. Design, make and distribute souvenir pottery doorstops. These might be imprinted with the name of a resort or a view of tourist scenery.
  4. Visit offices during lunch breaks, or before work begins, to give keep-fit classes.
  5. Produce a selection of political and moral T-shirts. These will be designs to publicly express a person’s opinion. Sell at demonstrations and through ads in the political press. Also bring out a mail order catalogue.
  6. Begin a business which organizes short courses and seminars for salespeople. A guest successful sales personality might be selected to give each lesson. The subjects you cover might include: ‘How to Double Your Sales’ and ‘How to Beat Your Competitors’.
  7. Start a business which records interviews with celebrities. Market these on audio cassettes just as if you were selling books or records. Sell these by mail order from your own catalogue and have them stocked in book and record shops.
  8. Arrange for greeting messages to be carved into stone. Sell at shops as an everlasting version of greeting cards. Or start a postal service which turns out personalized greetings in stone.
  9. Bump start your career as a freelance journalist. Newspapers and magazines are always interested in success stories. Find and write about people from humble backgrounds who have been successful in business. The best way to find such people is to advertise for them.
  10. Cut divining rods for selling by mail order to gardeners and curiosity seekers. A divining rod would also make an interesting and unusual gift.
  11. Be a family relations consultant. Give advice about how to improve relationships with family members. If you can provide a satisfactory standard of advice your local area should provide you with enough business.
  12. Start an enterprise which makes airport type wind-socks in miniature for ordinary gardens. Distribute these to hardware shops and garden centers or sell by mail order from ads in gardening publications.
  13. Produce a selection of small posters of dogs and cats. Have these stocked at pet shops and gifts shops. For example, at pet shops have a sample of each poster covered by a transparent plastic. Hang these from a rack and have the saleable posters in rolls in a basket underneath.
  14. Make candid videos of weddings. Candid videos provide a fascinating, more accurate record of a wedding. Copies can be duplicated and sold to family members. Also do candid videos of parties, promotions, day trips and other special occasions.
  15. Produce a selection of key-rings which have unusual fobs. For example, the fobs might be made from: large flat sea-shells, large foreign coins, circles cut from old LPs, fossils, slate, etc. Sell from a stall at crafts fairs and flea markets.
  16. Organize theme parties for children and teenagers. You supply the party-goers with simple costumes, food and entertainment. Each party might be related to a popular theme such as science fiction, pirates, witches and wizards, Wild West, etc.
  17. Invent ideas for practical jokes. Sell these by either producing a regular newsletter or, a directory of jokes for different occasions. You might also set up a national practical jokes club.
  18. Deal in butterflies and sell to collectors by post. Obtain stock by advertising your interest in buying butterfly collections in collectors magazines.
  19. Begin a business which produces horror novelty wall-hangings. For example, a framed picture which has the picture itself covered by a sliding or hinged door. The door can be opened to reveal a scary scene. Another example would be a wall mirror with the faint face of a ghost peering out.
  20. Compile a guide to educational and leisure holiday courses. Have this published in book form and sell by mail order and through bookshops. This has the potential for a successful annual publication.
  21. Start a mail order firm which sells live insects, insectaria and other products related to keeping and breeding insects. Advice might also be given on what insects to keep. Your service might be called ‘Select an Insect’. Also publish a newsletter with a title like ‘Insect Keeper’.
  22. Design and produce a stock market investors log book. The purpose of this log book is to record and chart: the prices of individual shares, purchases, sales, dealing costs, profits and losses. Sell by mail order and direct mail to investors.
  23. Produce a series of audio cassettes which contain quotes from the bible. The quotes on each cassette might be selected according to a theme. For example: How to meet bereavement and sorrow, how to meet the challenges of everyday life, and how to live in harmony with others.
  24. Design and produce animation kits for amateur film makers, each kit consists of numerous paper characters with moveable joints and a selection of background scenery. An amateur film maker can use a kit to make hobby and animation films. A kit might have, for example, a Wild West theme.
  25. Pay a taxidermist to prepare, stuff and mount fish. Produce a mail order catalogue about your mounted fish. Advertise in angling publications. Also sell through gift shops and fishing tackle shops.
  26. Start a mail order business which sells a wide range of dog products, for example: kennels, muzzles, shampoos, collars, ornaments, etc., all with a canine theme.
  27. Develop your dog grooming skills to a professional standard and open your own dog grooming parlor.
  28. Use leather to make your own brand of top quality dog collars and leads.
  29. Become a pets portrait photographer. You have to prove to potential customers that your portraits are far superior to any amateur photographs. This can be done by displaying your work on a stall in a public place and selling your service to people who take an interest in your work.
  30. Commission artists to do original paintings of horses and horse racing. Set up a business which distributes and sells these paintings. For example, you might display the paintings in a mobile showroom which visits horse events.
  31. Start a service which makes audio tape recordings of wedding ceremonies. Video cameras are either not allowed in church or produce poor pictures. However, discreet microphones can record the ceremony. Copies on cassette can be sent to friends and relatives at home and overseas.
  32. Set up a business which makes wooden dog kennels in kit form. Sell by mail order from ads in dog lovers publications or get them stocked at pets shops.
  33. With the permission of the appropriate authority, if needed, sell nuts in an open space of a city center to passers-by and tourists for feeding the pigeons. Or, at a suitable seaside resort, sell bits of fish to holiday- makers who want to feed the seagulls.
  34. Set up an enterprise which manufactures hutches and coops for small animals, birds and poultry. Sell in kit or finished form by mail order.
  35. Produce a selection of posters which feature photographs of elaborate models. Mount these on display units and get model shops to show them.
  36. Introduce a service to your area which releases lighter than air balloons at weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. Buy a cylinder of gas and turn out the balloons yourself. Offer potential clients a selection of quantities for different prices.
  37. Start a business which delivers bulky pet food direct to the public. Build up a round of regular customers. Call on houses throughout your area to sell your service.
  38. Begin a business which organizes wildlife observation holidays. These might be based in a forest, for example, unspoiled coastal area or mountainous region. Produce a brochure and advertise in wildlife magazines.
  39. Start a second-hand art bookstall and take it to antique markets or fairs. Obtain your stock by placing ads in art or book collectors magazines. State that you wish to buy collections of second-hand art books.
  40. Publish a newsletter for those who want to make money dealing in antiques. In the newsletter highlight trends in the antiques business, give tips and hints about finding bargains, tell subscribers how to sell for the highest prices, etc.
  41. Produce and distribute a video encyclopedia about flowers, plants, trees or birds. This should present films about your chosen subject in alphabetical order. Try to get national and international distribution organized.
  42. Sell by post information and advice about antiques. Provide clients with a confidential service which identifies and values antiques from descriptions and photographs. Also give advice about care, cleaning and storage of individual items. Produce leaflets about your service.
  43. Take a course in basketry. As you develop your skill slowly begin to sell what you make. When your work reaches a high enough standard, go into business full-time.
  44. Start a service which provides businesses with a security conscious paper collecting, shredding and disposal service. Have impressive leaflets printed to promote your service and send them to businesses.
  45. Create a home-based debt collections service. Get a job with a debt collection agency and learn all you can before you strike out on your own. At first specialize in one type of trade and, if successful, expand into collecting debts for other trades.
  46. Produce a series of audio cassettes about Confucianism. Have them stocked at health food shops and bookstores. Or sell by mail order from ads in off-beat publications.
  47. Design and manufacture business maternity clothes for businesswomen. Have them stocked in maternity and other women’s clothes shops and sell by mail order.
  48. Make videos for people who want to sell their business. Each video is designed to show a business in its best light. In the video, interview customers, look at its standing in the community, etc. Your video should help achieve the highest possible sale price for the businesses whose sale you promote.
  49. Put together a correspondence course about how to write jokes for profit. Base this on a method which is your own invention. For example, jokes are like the keys on a piano: there’s a limited number but they can be played in an infinity of combinations.
  50. Publish a newsletter about successful management. Aim the editorial at managers in large corporations. Each newsletter should discuss the issues relevant to the manager who wants to succeed.

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