999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Publish poetry in a way similar to music sheets. On a printed folded sheet feature a main poem and maybe 3 or 4 support poems. Get these ‘poem sheets’ stocked at bookshops and newsagents. The price might be the same as a daily newspaper. Also organize a chart of top selling poem sheets.
  2. Use classified ads to sell a selection of English language newspapers from around the world. Buyers will include those who are curious about what overseas English language newspapers are like.
  3. Start a service which writes persuasive monologues for individuals. For example, a C.V. designer helps a person get an interview, your service provides monologues for people to use at interviews. Or help people to get a date or to propose marriage.
  4. Begin a gift service which provides a nostalgic selection of magazines from the month of a person’s birth. Advertise your service in the columns or classified ads which feature other gift ideas.
  5. Set up a mail order business which sells casting equipment, supplies and books. Potential customers include a wide range of craftworkers and hobbyists. Begin by learning everything you can about small scale casting then track down trade suppliers of products related to casting.
  6. Devise and invent puzzles and word games. Sell these through specialist magazines and newspapers and to book publishers.
  7. Start a business which brings out a library of children’s stories on audio cassettes. Have these stocked at toyshops and bookshops or start a monthly club.
  8. Compile and publish a bulletin which informs subscribers of photography competitions they are eligible to enter in this country and around the world. Advertise in photograph magazines.
  9. Set up a mail order business which is devoted to selling products designed to increase a person’s attractiveness to the opposite sex. Products might include books, cassettes, courses, systems and aids. Produce some of the products yourself.
  10. At a tourist site earn money from painting a person’s name on a print. The name thus becomes part of the picture. For example, there might be a hoarding of posters in your picture and a person’s name becomes one of the posters. Design and produce the prints yourself.
  11. Produce an aerial video of your area. Duplicate this and have it stocked at video hire shops and other local shops.
  12. Publish a newsletter about human interest stories, unusual facts, interesting paragraphs, etc. Subscribers would include people who produce their own, regular, amateur publication. They would use your newsletter as a source to provide fillers for their own publication.
  13. Start a school of English and give lessons to an ethnic group who want to improve their written and spoken English. You might give tuition either in your own home or at hired premises.
  14. Start a dating agency or marriage bureau specially for the separated or divorced. Use local advertising to attract clients.
  15. Begin a business which specializes in organizing romantic breaks and holidays. Arrange for courting couples, newly-weds and mature couples to have breaks at hunting lodges, cottages and castles.
  16. Earn from teaching people how to find a lover or life partner. You could hold classes in a hired hall, produce an audio cassette course, give lessons in your home or write a manual.
  17. Produce painting by numbers outlines specially designed for hobbyists. For example, do outlines of locomotives, or background scenery for railway modelers. Sell these from ads in hobby magazines or get them stocked at modelling shops.
  18. Begin a service which organizes a telephone chess playing club. A member might have four chess boards and pieces next to the phone. When a member has worked out his move on each board, he telephones his opponent.
  19. Put together a mail order catalogue which has a wide range of business posters. The posters might be about: inspiring, sales efficiency, hard work and saving energy. Send the catalogue to most businesses.
  20. Make a selection of leather wallets for playing cards. For example, a pocket wallet or a wallet for attaching to a belt. Include a pack of playing cards in each wallet. Have them stocked at a wide range of shops.
  21. Begin a venture which arranges for business and sales meetings to take place at exotic and unusual venues. For example, a businessman can negotiate a contract with a client at a castle, or on a yacht or in a sightseeing plane.
  22. Put together a range of spoken word audio cassettes. Have them stocked in video rental shops and rented out as an alternative to a video.
  23. Make hand-painted badges. These might feature: a tiny traditional painting, an abstract painting, witty statements, popular symbols and funny faces.
  24. Set up a business which organizes record, stamp or book fairs. Find a venue, sell places to stall holders by placing ads in hobby magazines and publicize to attract customers.
  25. Attend pop concerts, festivals, fairs and other large public events and sell funny hats and baseball caps.
  26. Start a theatrical play of the month club. Operate this like a book club but sell only theatrical plays. The club will not offer discounts on publications, but you can send copies of the latest plays opening at theatres.
  27. Sell Jazz memorabilia by post. Start a world-wide search for products to put in your catalogue. The products might include: photographs, slides, posters, old magazines, duplicate press cuttings, books, video and audio cassettes.
  28. Begin a board game of the month or quarterly club.
  29. Sell unusual musical instruments from your own catalogue, by post. For example: folk music instruments from Third World countries, and early musical instruments.
  30. During the Christmas season, form a group of carol singers. Hire this group out to parties, restaurants, wine bars, and night-clubs.
  31. Bring out folders specially designed to hold sheet music or knitting patterns. Sell these from either, suitable shops or ads in publications read by people who collect sheet music or knitting patterns.
  32. Make fashionable patchwork sweaters and have them stocked at shops. Alternatively, sell the sweaters from a stall at a market fair.
  33. Start a school for pop or rock group management. Your students will include those who aspire to become a manager or leader of a pop or rock group. The course might be taught by post or held as a class.
  34. Put together a postal service which sells personalized: golf-balls, cricket balls, snooker balls, tennis balls, etc. The exact method of placing names or initials on the balls can be worked out by you. If you can solve this problem, a lucrative market is waiting to be exploited.
  35. Set yourself up in business as a music concert promoter. Approach a local pop or rock group and offer to organize a gig for them. If your first gig is successful slowly work your way up in the concert promoting business.
  36. Write and publish a newsletter which is about how to sell simple information by post. In each newsletter suggest new ideas for the kind of information which can be sold. Also review the latest offerings by other information sellers.
  37. Bring out a book or audio cassette which has a title like: ‘How to get a World Record’. Include information about how to get a record accepted and give ideas about feats which might be attempted. Sell through bookshops or by post.
  38. Design and make doll’s clothes for collectors or manufacturers of dolls. Either make the clothes to order or produce a mail order catalogue which gives full detail of your range.
  39. Use cheese-cloth to make your own range of fashion clothes such as blouses, skirts and shirts.
  40. Design and make, or import, kimonos. Sell by post or get them stocked at suitable retailers.
  41. Start a mail order business which sells started kits for being an amateur musician. Put the kits together from products which are already on the market.
  42. Begin a business which makes cushions of unusual shapes. For example: star shaped, heart shaped, horseshoe shaped, or round with a hole in the middle.
  43. Use the craft of embroidery to make attractive A-Z index cards. Instead of printed cards marked with letters of the alphabet, you make the letters with embroidery. A card index system can now look luxurious. Package the cards and get them stocked at bookshops and stationers.
  44. Make either, commemorative wall-hanging tapestries or reproduce parts of the Bayeux tapestry. Use press advertising to sell these as highly collectible artefacts.
  45. Hire a hall at a city center location – Saturday would be the best day – and sell women’s clothes at low prices.
  46. In a tourist area open a market stall where you can print personalized T-shirts on the spot. Or start a mail order service which prints personalized T-shirts. If screen printing is used all the equipment can be made at home. Obtain and read books about screen-printing to get the know-how.
  47. Start a postal service which hires out children’s educational videos. A selection of videos should be offered for each age group. Produce a catalogue about your videos and advertise your rental service in a wide range of publications.
  48. Bring out a product which consists of lots of small colored wooden cubes. These can be used over and over again to make mosaics. Have this product stocked at shops or sell by mail order.
  49. Design and make kits for making soft toy dolls. Place ads in craft magazines and sell by mail order.
  50. Start a business which produces periscopes for viewing things underwater. For example, at the seaside, or at a lake, a person on the surface can put the periscope into the water and look around underwater.

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