999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Start a postal business which sells novel birth and death certificates to those who like to claim that they had previous lives. Design the certificates yourself and pay for them to be printed. Also offer a service which uses occult methods to identify previous lives.
  2. Publish an ‘ideas’ newsletter for photographers. Focus the attention of the newsletter on ideas for saleable photographs. Use ads in photography magazines to sell subscriptions and emphasize that the newsletter aims to help people to earn money from photography.
  3. Make a selection of home-made chocolates. Rent a corner of an established shop on a Saturday to sell them.
  4. Bring together a selection of books and cassettes about self-hypnosis and start a mail order business. Produce a catalogue about your products and send it to those interested in astrology, the occult and self- improvement.
  5. Start a mail order business which sells X-rated books. Canvass publishers at home and abroad to see if they can supply you with any books which fall into this category.
  6. Set up a business which produces cinema programs. These programs might consist of 2-8 printed pages. Sell advertising space in these programs to local businesses and include details of future films. Cinema programs take these programs from a display unit free of charge.
  7. Begin a business which sells original paintings on hire purchase or revolving credit. Almost everyone would like to own original oil paintings but are put off because of the high initial cost.
  8. At a crafts fair or market, operate a jewellery lucky dip. Bring together a selection of enameled, sea- shell, bead and carved jewellery in a box. Wrap the box and place in a large tub of sawdust. Passersby are invited to pick a box for a small charge.
  9. Put together a spoon bending act that is inspired by Uri Geller. Get yourself an agent and earn money from performing at a wide range of venues such as clubs, pubs, theatres, private parties, etc.
  10. Start a collectable plate of the month club. Commission the making of attractive plates and slowly build up a list of club members.
  11. Find a town which has a particularly high birth rate. Bottle the water drunk in that town. Sell this bottled water. The unstated implication is that the water will increase fertility.
  12. Collect seaweed. Use this in a seaweed weather forecasting kit of your own design. Use mail order to sell the kits. Also discover how seaweed can be developed into a health food and start a business exploiting this opportunity.
  13. Set up a school of motor racing. Offer potential students a weekend or week-long course about the practical and theoretical aspects of motor racing.
  14. Start a school of hydroponic gardening. The aims of your school might include: publishing booklets, producing audio cassettes, organizing holiday courses, giving personal tuition and selling supplies.
  15. Bottle sand from the beach where William the Conqueror landed in 1066 and sell to those who want to buy a piece of history.
  16. Begin a mail order business which promotes the craft of making Jack-in-the-boxes. In your catalogue include a wide selection of: springs, boxes, design plans, materials for making the character in the box, etc. Advertise in crafts magazines.
  17. Design and manufacture desks for putting on laps in cars. These should be lightweight and easy to store in a car. They might be used by sales people to make notes about calls, business people to prepare for meetings and passengers to work from whilst travelling.
  18. Bring out a selection of hanging cotton greeting cards. These are like flags or banners which are printed with a greetings message and can be hung from a ceiling or a rail. Arrange for these to be stocked at shops which sell greeting cards.
  19. Put together a range of lucky charms. Mount these on printed cards or counter-top racks and distribute to newsagents and gift shops.
  20. Begin a business which sells exotic plants to image conscious local businesses. Call office-to-office and offer to bring a selection of plants on a trial basis, for example 10 days, free approval without obligation.
  21. Start a service which does postal auditions of voices and music. A person records his or her voice on a cassette and sends it to you. Or a group records their music. You make an assessment of the performance for a fee. Advertise your service in music publications.
  22. Place advertisements in the windows of local newsagents which read ‘Lawn cutting done’ and state an hourly rate. When you visit customers, offer to cut their lawn on a regular basis.
  23. Form a mail order business which sells unusual plants. For example: insect eating plants. Conduct your own search for a suitable plant. Every now and again someone discovers a new, unusual plant for selling by post and makes a fair amount of money. Will you be next?
  24. Set up a service which supplies sliced and seeded lemons to pubs, restaurants, night-clubs and hotels. In the course of an evening some bars use a large quantity of sliced lemons. These establishments could benefit from the convenience of having the lemons ready-sliced.
  25. Start a dial-a-gardener service. A single telephone call to you will send a gardener to a customer’s home. Employ teenagers, students and retired people to do the gardening.
  26. Earn a small regular income from renting out part of your garden to someone who wants to grow food. Thus, a part of your garden will become a private allotment.
  27. Bring together a selection of the best business audio cassettes from the previous year. Start a direct mail campaign which offers these cassettes to businesspeople at a reduced rate if they buy the set.
  28. Start a flowers of the week, month or quarter club. Clients can place a standing order with you for the delivery of flowers at regular intervals.
  29. Begin a business which makes up bottle gardens. To make your gardens distinctive, find bottles of an interesting and unusual design. Get them stocked at shops which do not usually stock such products. For example: health food shops and grocers.
  30. Package freshly or specially hardened cankers and sell through newsagents and toy shops. Each pack might contain 4-6 cankers.
  31. Set up and organize a home-visiting massage service. Your business would find work for experienced masseurs and masseuses. Get custom by placing ads in local newspapers and notices in the windows of local newsagents.
  32. Open a press cutting research service for stock market investors. Read the daily papers and make a note every time a public company is mentioned. When an investor requests information about a company, you photocopy all the cuttings which mention the name of that company.
  33. Make up pretty bags filled with aromatic herbs which are designed for hanging around the house or in cars. Add an elastic string to each bag so that one pull will release some of the aroma into the air.
  34. Set up a business which makes nightshirts and nightcaps. Have these stocked at up-market clothes retailers.
  35. Be a diet consultant. Earn money from guiding people through published diets like the F-plan. Also, you might buy the recommended food at trade prices and sell it to your clients. Advertise your service locally and visit the homes of clients to give private consultations.
  36. Become a make-up consultant. Advise women on what make-up suits their individual mix of: skin shade, hair and eye colors, nose and facial shape, etc. Once you have established your consultancy, make more money by teaching others to be make up consultants.
  37. Bring out a newsletter which gives amateur magicians ideas for new tricks. Also sell advertising space to firms which have products to sell to amateur magicians.
  38. Start a mail order business which sells vitamin pills. Produce a catalogue which contains a far wider range of vitamin pills than is available at shops.
  39. Locate a source of fresh, pure mud and package it in specially sealed containers. Sell this by post for beauty treatment.
  40. Be a home visiting wig salesperson. By visiting the homes of potential buyers, you provide a private and confidential service which is free of embarrassment. Buy a selection from wig manufacturers at trade prices. Advertise your service in newspapers and magazines.
  41. Write and publish a monthly newsletter which helps those who want to give up smoking. The ability to give up smoking depends what’s happening in a person’s mind. A good newsletter could make the difference between success and failure.
  42. Begin a confidential newsletter about how to get the best things from life. The best things in this case include: money, expensive property, respect a quality cars. Your newsletter should suggest some of the legal short cuts which can be taken.
  43. At a crafts fair or antiques market have a stall which sells products related to Shakespeare. These might include: prints, books, audio cassettes, videos and posters.
  44. In a city where there are many theatres, open a small shop which is devoted to selling things related to Shakespeare.
  45. Publish a newsletter for expectant mothers. Provide subscribers with information and reassurance. Send each subscriber an issue which ties in with the stage of her pregnancy.
  46. Use a computer or word processor to provide a letter and manuscript typing service. Customers would be students, academics, small business people and tradesmen.
  47. Arrange for ink drawings to be made of historical characters from all parts of the nation. There might be hundreds of drawings. Have these printed and framed and sell by mail order. The idea is that wherever a person is, they can buy a framed drawing of someone famous from their own area.
  48. Start a life history photography service. Produce an album of photographs which is a photographic history of a client’s life. For example, take photographs of a client’s hospital of birth, former schools, places of work, place of marriage, houses they once lived in, etc.
  49. Take an attractive photograph of a large office block. Frame enlarged copies and sell these to people who work there. This will make a good sideline business if you work in an office block and you meet many other office workers in the course of the day.

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