999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Make a toffee of your own design and add a stick to make a toffee lollipop. Get them stocked at newsagents and confectioners or sell from a stall at markets, fairs and exhibitions.
  2. Set up a school of ‘Self-selling’. Teach students at your school how to sell themselves and impress, for example: The opposite sex, work colleagues, job interviewers, etc. Hold classes, give individual tuition, or teach people through audio cassettes or correspondence courses.
  3. Start a mail order firm which sells plans, books and supplies to origami hobbyists. Advertise your catalogue in crafts magazines.
  4. Be a professional family affairs adviser. Just as a careers adviser gives advice on career improvement and development, your service gives advice on improving the future of an entire family. The advice might be about finance, careers, education, relationships, etc.
  5. Design and make leather stamp wallets for philatelists. These would be for keeping duplicates and stamps for sale. The wallets might vary in size from the pocket to the desktop. Sell through stamp shops and adverts in stamp magazines.
  6. Start a mail order business which sells fund-raising accessories. For example: booklets about fund- raising ideas, bingo calling machines, scratch cards and many, many others. Produce a catalogue about your goods and send it to clubs, societies, associations and schools.
  7. Put together a debt collection training course for small businesses. Every small business is a potential client. A key selling point is that the cost of the course should be quickly recovered from the more efficient collection of debts.
  8. Write and publish a book about betting on horses. In this book, include details of betting systems and suggestions about how to assess the likely performance of horses. Sell copies of your book to horse racing punters from newspaper ads or by direct mail.
  9. Produce a series of audio cassettes about how to stop or reduce vices and bad habits. The cassettes might have titles like : ‘How to Stop Snoring’, ‘How to Cut Down on Drinking’, ‘How to Pack Up Gambling’, ‘How to Stop Smoking’, etc. Sell the cassettes by mail order and through a wide range of shops.
  10. Put together a correspondence course about how to become an amateur magician. The aim would be teaching people who to do numerous basic tricks. It would be a foundation course for amateur magicians. Also sell the products that magicians tricks require.
  11. Package selections of empty matchboxes. Distribute these to newsagents to sell to children who collect empty matchboxes. Or get them stocked at specialists collectors outlets such as stamp and modelling shops.
  12. Set up a business which produces a selection of novelty packets of seeds for garden weeds. These seeds might have the same as stink bombs. Sell through gift or joke shops.
  13. Start an enterprise which delivers table flowers on a regular basis to : restaurants, hair salons, dental surgeries, offices, etc. Call on these places to sell your services.
  14. Earn money by selling cactuses door-to-door. Carry them in a cinema usherette-type tray.
  15. Start a craft business which makes a selection of cactus products. These products, such as paperweights, book ends, desk sets, etc. have live cactuses growing out of them.
  16. Make concrete mini-models of cows. Each model is painted to look like a real cow. These cows are for gardeners to put on lawns to evoke the atmosphere of the countryside. Get them stocked at as many garden centers as possible.
  17. Sell garden fountains to up-market householders. Produce quality sales literature and advertise in select magazines. Pay professional builders to do the building and installation work.
  18. Buy ordinary plastic model kits of aircraft and boats. Construct the kits and hand paint them in their original colors. Sell the finished models from a stall at fairs and markets.
  19. Bring out kits for making relief pictures with wood. For example, a kit for making a rural scene might include wooden pieces cut in the shape of: trees, animals, clouds, buildings, etc. Sell either by mail order to craftworkers or through shops which sell craft products.
  20. Start a seasonal business which sells bulbs door-to-door. This business is best operated by two people: one calls on houses and the other moves a handcart full of bulbs.
  21. Sell novelty trays of British soil to expatriates. This can be applied to any other nationals. Stick a tiny national flag in the soil of each tray.
  22. Set up a company director exchange service. Your service arranges for one or two directors in different companies to swap places at board meetings. Use telephone or direct mail to sell your service to businesses.
  23. Import specialist magazines from overseas English-speaking countries. For example: magazines relating to unusual hobbies or sport. Your task is to build up lists of subscribers in this country. Begin by writing to overseas publishers to ask if they will supply magazines in bulk at good discount.
  24. Begin and build a weed removal and control round. Operate this like a window cleaning service. You might do this work yourself or employ students or retired people.
  25. Put together a humorous mail order package which sells products that describe the afterlife. For example, produce a series of audio cassettes which describe exactly what it’s like in heaven and hell.
  26. Write and publish a series of booklets or cassettes about how to make money from flowers and plants. The titles might include: ‘Starting a Florists’, ‘Setting up a Nursery’, and ‘How to Open a Garden Centre’. Advertise in gardening magazines.
  27. Hire out: Window boxes, bottle gardens, exotic plants, tubs of plants and hanging baskets. Your clients will include: offices, banks, pubs, hair salons, restaurants, exhibitions, etc. Also provide your clients with a maintenance service.
  28. Learn about flower arranging at evening classes then, earn money from teaching others in your own home. Give afternoon classes to pensioners and housewives. A major attraction of the classes is that they act as a social occasion.
  29. Set up a production line which turns out mini-gardens in bowls and pots. Sell from your own market stall or through a range of retail outlets.
  30. Design and make herb gardens for the house or garden. Produce the herb gardens in a range of different containers such as bottles, tubs, trays, large pots or hanging pots. Sell through suitable retailers or by mail order.
  31. Devise a selection of scents specially designed for love letters and greeting cards. For example, the scent of roses for love letters and pine trees for Christmas cards. Set up a business which manufactures, packages and distributes the scents.
  32. Bring out a range of herbal or hop filled pillows. Make pillows for different functions, for example: pillows which are an aid for people who have difficulty sleeping, siesta pillows for the garden nap, pillows for the living room and pillows which are especially designed for daydreaming.
  33. Devise and organize the manufacture of cosmetics for bald heads. The vacant space on a man’s bald head is not something which should be covered up but is a canvas for an artist. For example, a bald head might feature wavy lines, a rainbow, sunburst, or a color to match the eyes.
  34. Begin an enterprise which manufactures old-fashioned, reliable flypaper. The novelty value of this old method of flying insect control suggests that it is time it enjoyed a revival.
  35. Make wooden puzzles for children. For example, brightly painted wooden shapes have to be fitted into the corresponding hole in a block of wood. Or make a flat wooden animal like a dinosaur or rabbit. Cut this animal into lots of wooden shapes so that it is a challenge to assemble.
  36. Hand-paint pictures or witty statements on small squares of wood. For example, the pictures might feature animals and the statements might be about cooking like ‘Oliver Twist’s Favorite Kitchen’. Add a magnet to the back of each square so that they can be stuck to fridges and other metallic surfaces.
  37. Set up a mail order business which promotes the hobby of collecting seashells. Bring out a catalogue which has a large collection of seashells, collectors accessories and books about seashells.
  38. Write and publish a newsletter about how to start a newsletter publishing business. Each issue of the newsletter might be a lesson about one of the various topics involved in beginning and running a successful newsletter.
  39. Introduce to your area a daily home-visiting, morning make-up service. Build up a timetable of appointments with different clients. Or work for a local hotel providing a make-up service for the guests.
  40. Start a mail order business which sells health improvement books, booklets and audio cassettes. Discover what titles are available from publishers and produce your own catalogue. Also publish some of your own booklets and cassettes.
  41. Earn money by selling all sorts of formulae by post. For example: formulae to DIY enthusiasts, housewives, hobbyists, craftworkers and many others. Produce either a general directory which has universal appeal or bring out specialized booklets for different markets.
  42. Write and produce an audio cassette course for those who want to stop smoking. Sell this course through adverts in newspapers and magazines or by direct mail to business people.
  43. Bring out a series of booklets or cassettes which have titles like : ‘How to Cure Boredom’, ‘How to Beat Depression’, ‘How to Get Out of a Rut’, ‘How to Beat Back Pain’, etc. Sell by mail order, through bookshops or other retail outlets.
  44. Start a business which rents out drum kits and electric guitars. Advertise your business both in the local press and in the windows of newsagents. Provide a delivery service.
  45. Make money from bringing out your own happiness plants. A happiness plant is any plant for which it can be claimed gives off an unseen aura or odor which humans find pleasing. Sell from a market stall or by mail order.
  46. Found your own institute of beauty. This institute would be the beauty world’s equivalent to : 1) a finishing school (for women who want to become expert in doing their own make up) and 2) a secretarial school. (for women who want a career in the beauty industry.)
  47. Start a walking menu board service (A sandwich board with a giant menu on it). Sell to restaurants and cafes throughout the region. Employ students and young people to carry the boards.
  48. Hire premises at a busy tourist site and take portrait photographs of tourists. Add a novelty to the photographs by, for example, dressing the tourists up in national costume. Or dress clients in Victoriana or Wild-West garb and add a sepia, aged appearance.
  49. Reprint old photographs of a town and mount in attractive frames. Sell through local shops. Advertise in local press for residents who have old photographs you could pay a fee to have reproduced.
  50. Produce a correspondence course which teaches about how to trace your own ancestry. Call your business a ‘School of Ancestral Research’. Advertise in a wide range of publications.

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