999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Begin an enterprise which sells garden gates door-to-door. On your sales trip take with you a smart folder which has a large photograph of each gate you are selling. Provide potential customers with a price which includes installation.
  2. Start a home-based computer bureau. There are hundreds of business computer programs available such as wages, record files and accounts. Buy and use these programs to provide a computer service to local businesses.
  3. Set up a business which promotes the making of lampshades. Lampshade making can be sold as either an interesting hobby or a business opportunity. Produce a mail order catalogue of lampshade making equipment and supplies. Advertise your catalogue in crafts magazines.
  4. begin a computerized dating service. Operate this service like a traditional dating service but, hold all your records on computer and use the computer to aid your search for compatible partners. Have leaflets printed and place them in shops and advertise your service in the personal messages section of your local newspapers.
  5. Be a sleep consultant. Large numbers of people have difficulty in sleeping at night. This is not usually a medical problem but can be corrected by using a suitable method or attitude of mind. Provide people in your area with confidential advice about how to sleep soundly.
  6. Start a venture which designs and manufactures portable theatre footlights. Potential buyers include: amateur theatre and dance groups, rock groups, children’s entertainers, variety entertainers, nightclubs and mobile disk jockeys.
  7. Rent computers to private business users. The computers you rent might be new and/or second hand. Also rent out peripherals such as printers, stands and sheet feeders. Use local media to inform potential customers about your service.
  8. Buy original computer games programs from home computer enthusiasts. Find these programs by advertising in computing magazines. Produce a compilation of the programs on a master floppy disk. Have copies of this disk made and sell from ads in home computing magazines.
  9. Produce a series of low cost audio cassettes which help school pupils revise for public examinations. You might give these cassettes a brand name like ‘Personal School Revision Cassettes”. Get them stocked at newsagents and bookshops.
  10. Set up a firm which publishes a monthly computer diskette program for home computer enthusiasts who want to improve their program writing skills. Each cassette might give ideas, examples and tips about how to become a better computer programmer.
  11. Organize educational holidays and weekend breaks for computer enthusiasts who want to further their programming skills. The courses might be held at a bed and breakfast house out of season. Advertise in computing magazines.
  12. Design and publish diaries for each star sign. The special feature of these diaries is that a star reading is given for each day of the coming year. Have these diaries mounted in a special display rack? Get a wide range of shops to accept your racks.
  13. Use luminous paint of the kind used on watches and alarm clocks to highlight figures on natural ornaments such as starfish, coral, colorful rocks, pinecones, etc. Place these in a sheltered display case to illustrate their luminosity. Have display cases on show at gift shops.
  14. Start an enterprise which makes a high quality, home-made paper. Sell the paper at a premium for use as : Personal stationery, certificate presentation scrolls, printing paper for manually operated printing presses, etc.
  15. Bring out a selection of lucky charms which are for hanging from windscreens of cars, vans and lorries. They might be mini horseshoes, rabbits feet, wooden or plastic number sevens, four-leaf clovers, etc. Package your lucky charms to distribute to a wide range of retailers.
  16. Manufacture kits for making mosaics. Each kit will have a pre-designed mosaic and people will have to complete it like a jigsaw puzzle. Use ads in craft magazines to sell kits by mail order.
  17. Sell greenhouses door-to-door. Buy the greenhouses from manufacturers at trade prices. Produce sales literature and recruit sales people to sell the greenhouses for you.
  18. Start a postal business which rents out war gaming model soldiers and other accessories. War gaming enthusiasts can use this service to play war games of any size from any period of history.
  19. If you have a spare room, take in a lodger or start a small-scale bed and breakfast business. If you choose the latter, either place a sign outside your house which reads ‘Bed and Breakfast’ or advertise in the windows of newsagents and in the classified ad columns of newspapers.
  20. Earn money from anatomical charts. Use the charts to : 1) Make stylish framed prints. 2) Make unusual designs for T-shirts. 3) Decorate household products such as wastepaper bins and lampshades. 4) Make decorative or educational posters. or 5) Make a collection of educational slides.
  21. Make decorations for wine bottles. Each decoration is slipped over the neck of a bottle. These decorations are either wood carved or metal engraved with the name of a restaurant or family. Or, make floral decorations, the scent of the flowers complimenting the bouquet of the wine.
  22. Start a crafts business which makes unusual table lamps. Each lamp might feature a stand made of a conch shell, for example, or a Victorian bottle. If you hit upon a design which is popular, and there are no problems for obtaining raw materials, this can become a full-time business.
  23. Take up the craft of jewellery making and as soon as you acquire a basic skill, start selling what you make. Begin by sending for a catalogue issued by a mail order jewellery making supplier.
  24. Start a mail order firm which sells equipment and supplies to weavers and spinners. An important market will be those taking up weaving and spinning for the first time. Place ads in crafts magazines which are directed at this group.
  25. Produce souvenir children’s height charts which feature postcard-type views of local scenery. Or do souvenir suntan charts. These suntan charts have a complete range of skin shades. A holiday-maker buys a suntan chart to make a before and after comparison.
  26. Compile a postal course which teaches people how to cut silhouettes. The course might include instruction on how to cut all kinds of silhouettes such as landscapes, animals and people. These silhouettes can be framed or mounted to make attractive wall-hangings.
  27. Organize courses about how to build your own house extension or loft conversion. Hold the courses during the weekends at the construction site of an extension or conversion. Or a bed and breakfast house could be hired out of season for a week-long course.
  28. Begin a crafts business which makes either souvenir or normal tea cozies. Find suitable retail outlets to stock your cozies. You might, for example, make souvenir tea cozies for tearooms and cafes to sell to their customers.
  29. Sell cheap toys door-to-door. Visit neighborhoods which have an above average population of children.
  30. Learn how to make soft toys with the long term objective of being able to earn money from teaching others. Eventually, teach solo students, classes or use diagrams to teach people by post. Also begin a postal course which teaches people how to design their own soft toys.
  31. Become a calligrapher of poems. Earn money from calligraphing poems to commission for poets and sweethearts. a) Classic poems like ‘Desiderata’, ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’, etc., and selling them as gift products. b) Poems of local origin and selling them as souvenirs.
  32. If you have the artistic ability to sketch or do ink drawings of private houses there is certainly money to be made here. get work by calling on households in the nicer looking parts of town and showing potential customers samples of your work. Also offer a framing service.
  33. Commission an artist to do a series of designs for saucy postcards. Arrange for the postcards to be printed. Mount the cards on small racks and distribute these to retailers at tourist resorts.
  34. Become a portrait artist and work in a thoroughfare of a shopping or tourist area.
  35. Publish a ‘Who’s Who of Business Opportunities’. Sell advertising space in this publication to business opportunity firms. Use direct mail and ads in the business opportunity press to sell advertising space and the finished publication.
  36. Open a small private school of art. Employ artists to teach courses about different kinds of art from oil painting to pottery. Offer holiday courses, individual tuition and evening and weekend classes.
  37. Earn from illustrating personal names in the style of Dickens’ illustrator George Cruikshank. Do work at: tourist sites, shopping thoroughfares, fairs, exhibitions, etc. Also do illustrations by post and offer a service which reproduces your work on personal stationery.
  38. Found an agency for all artists, such as painters, illustrators, pottery workers and sculptors. Provide work for the artists and specialize in contacting businesses which might not have considered using artists. For example, arrange for morals to be painted in staff canteens and sports clubs.
  39. Begin a mail order firm which promotes the collecting of wine bottle labels. Assemble a wide selection of labels and compile a catalogue. In your catalogue also include, starter packs, albums, framed labels, etc. Collect the labels from used wine bottles from wine bars and hotels.
  40. Start a business which sells custom designed drinks bars from home. Operate this business in a similar style to firms which sell fitted wardrobes or kitchens.
  41. Establish a direct mail business which sells products to pubs, wine bars and hotel bars. The products in your catalogue might include: books and booklets about making cocktail drinks, quizzes for contests, promotion ideas, pub games, etc.
  42. Set up a mail order business which sells equipment and supplies for making herbal drinks at home. This could be an interesting and healthy hobby for anyone to take up. Produce a small catalogue and advertise in a wide range of publications.
  43. Operate a children’s lucky dip at markets and crafts fairs. This would consist of a box of wood shavings mixed with small toys in wrapping paper. A child or their parent pays a standard charge, for example, one pound and the child takes out a wrapped toy.
  44. If you are familiar with electronics, start a mail order business which sells electronic kits, components and accessories. If possible bring out your own electronic kits. To obtain other products get some letterheads printed and write to trade suppliers at home and abroad.
  45. Make a wide range of electrical extension leads. Make extra-long leads for people with large gardens, for business make industrial extension leads which are up to 1000 feet in length. Get shops and trade suppliers to accept orders for you.
  46. Open a school for disk jockeys. Offer potential students different courses for radio, night-clubs, mobile discos, hospital radio and pirate radio. Give students tuition: in classes, on a one-to-one basis, or correspondence courses and through audio cassettes.
  47. Supply a fortune teller or numerologist for parties and weddings. A visiting fortune teller makes a party or wedding reception more entertaining for guests.
  48. Become a photographers agent. Sell the work of amateur photographers for a commission. As an agent, your knowledge of the best place to sell photographs at home and abroad could lead to some amateurs becoming published photographers.
  49. Begin a mail order business which sells folk crafts. Pick a national group such as the Scots, Welsh or Irish. Put together hampers and folk craft products which capture the essence of your chosen group. Have a catalogue printed and advertise it around the world.
  50. Set up a postal enterprise which sells signed photographs of celebrities. Or, if a particular celebrity is in demand, offer to donate money to charity if X number of signed photographs are sent to you.

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