999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Start a newsletter for diarists. Diarists nearly all work in isolation and many would welcome a newsletter to inform them about the existence and activities of their fellow diarists. The newsletter may act as a forum for discussion about diary writing and also give advice about how to improve upon the technique of diary writing.
  2. Sell by post to record collectors unsorted parcels of new and second-hand records. Less than 5% of singles released get into the top 20 of the charts. So, there are a lot of new unsold singles in the hands of record companies.
  3. Produce and sell a home study course on how to write self-improvement books. Writing this type of book is one of the easiest ways to become a published author. In this field there are always themes which sell well, such as how to make money, attract love and how to be a success.
  4. Start a mail order business which specializes in selling classic singles from the sixties. Classic singles are constantly being re-issued in various countries around the world. Import these and sell by post.
  5. Serve coin collectors by starting a coin or coin of the month club. Activities might include sending collectors new foreign coins as they are issued.
  6. Devise unique cocktail drinks and punches to commission. Name each drink after the person nominated by the sponsor. These recipes make unusual gifts, for example, a specially designed punch would add fun to a wedding reception or birthday. Sell from classified ads.
  7. Use direct mail to sell a range of novelties, games, toys, quizzes and ornaments for the office. Produce a catalogue and send to offices.
  8. Launch a carved ornament of the month club. A collection of beautifully carved ornaments will add character to a house and make a good investment.
  9. Start a mail order business which sells books, equipment and supplies to those interested in amateur rocketry. Put together an amateur rocketry kit for beginners and advertise this to attract new hobbyists to the business.
  10. Compose poems to order for any occasion, such as engagements, births, weddings, birthdays, valentines, etc. These poems make a unique and memorable gift. Use classified ads to sell your service. Or set up a stall at a fair or tourist site and compose poems on the spot.
  11. Compile a correspondence course about writing drama or comedy for radio. Radio is a proven route to becoming a successful drama or comedy writer. Your course would help people to develop their writing ability and aid a route into the business.
  12. Bring together a range of products specially designed for left-handed people. Have a catalogue printed and start a mail order business.
  13. Set up a garden improvement business which designs and builds ornamental Japanese or Chinese gardens. Produce a brochure about your work and advertise in up-market publications.
  14. Use ball bearings to make attractive ornaments, either 1) decorate large ball bearings or 2) stick smaller ball bearings together. The ornaments might be shaped to look like people or animals. Sell through gift shops or from a stall.
  15. Act as a sales agent for fan clubs. Sell memberships for a commission at concerts, festivals, and to people in your area. Write to fan clubs to offer this service.
  16. Familiarize yourself with products on sale at shops which sell arts and crafts materials. Visit similar shops abroad to find a good product or products that are not on sale in this country. Start a business importing and distributing your chosen product.
  17. Build up a sales round where you call on customers once every eight weeks, for example, to sell cheap or unusual household items. First call door-to-door to sell your products then keep a record of buyers and call back eight weeks later to sell other products of a similar nature.
  18. Sell mounted etchings by calling on private households and shopkeepers. Buy from the original artist or from a wholesaler.
  19. Produce an audio cassette course about how to use the telephone for business. Cover subjects such as telephone selling, dealing with enquiries and complaints, interviewing, etc. Sell by direct mail and classified ads.
  20. Run an international pop music pen pal club. Produce a quarterly publication which lists people looking for pen pals. Also boost your income by selling advertising space in your publication. Use small ads world-wide to recruit subscribers.
  21. Start an interior decoration business which specializes in period decor. For example, decor with a theme related to the Victorian or Georgian age, the 1910s, 1920s or Art Nouveau. Produce a glossy brochure about your service and use ads in up-market publications to attract enquiries.
  22. Set up a direct mail postal library. For a fee any business can borrow examples of previous direct mail campaigns. A client business might borrow the work of either competitors or potential clients.
  23. Bring out a library of audio cassettes about hobby subjects such as model making, angling, stamp collecting, treasure hunting, etc. These cassettes might be about specialized areas of each hobby. Sell the cassettes from ads in hobby magazines or get them stocked at hobby shops.
  24. Produce a separate audio cassette for each star sign. Each cassette should feature astrological predictions and advice. Mount the cassette in a display box. Arrange for all kinds of shops to stock them.
  25. Market a short or toy tug-of-war rope. Package the rope and get it stocked at sports or toy shops respectively. A short rope for adults and a toy rope for children could be used to play small scale games of tug of war. Or the rope could be attached to a wall to make an exercise device.
  26. Rent out photocopying machines on a temporary basis. These machine might be rented by the day, week or month.
  27. Open a market stall which sells celebrity products. Sell books, badges, posters and other products on the latest celebrities. These celebrities will include new pop stars, film stars, models and national heroes. Also sell products about classic celebrities like the Beatles and Elvis.
  28. Organize pop or rock music talent contests. The income from each contest would come from either, charging the performers an entrance fee or selling tickets to the public. You may even be able to find a sponsor to back the entire contest.
  29. Design and produce a range of children’s badges. These might feature pictures of animals, spacecraft, robots or funny faces. Mount them on a felt covered board or place them in small cellophane packets. Have them displayed at newsagents and toyshops.
  30. Sell home-made bubble mixture to children at markets, roadside sites, fairgrounds and fetes. Give each child a ring made from soft wire to make the bubbles with.
  31. Make military play uniforms for children. For example: 7th Cavalry, navy uniforms, toy soldier uniforms, etc. Package and sell through toy shops. Alternatively have a catalogue produced and sell by mail order.
  32. Design and make fashionable jump suits. Make the rounds of boutiques to find suitable stockists.
  33. Produce a library of audio cassettes which give advice about health and psychological problems experienced by men and women. Draw up lists which are unique to men and to women. Sell by mail order.
  34. Start a vegetarian food catering service. Devise a menu with imaginative meals. Advertise in political and environmental publications.
  35. Have a market stall which sells cosmetics. Cosmetics usually have good profit margins and a market stall has low overheads. These two factors combined make it an attractive business opportunity.
  36. Start a postal school of the cinema. Compile a variety of courses about different genres of the cinema such as westerns, science fiction and musicals. Produce a prospectus and advertise in cinema and film magazines.
  37. Establish a one-man, dial-a-handyman service. Produce a leaflet which lists examples of the jobs you do and your prices. Deliver leaflets to households and businesses in your area. Use a telephone answering machine to take calls while you are out.
  38. Start a van sales and delivery business which works for importers and small manufacturers. Build up a complimentary range of products from different importers and manufacturers and call on potential customers. Examples of product ranges are health foods, hobby supplies, sportswear and electrical goods.
  39. Set up a postal business which hires out replicas of rifles and pistols. Your main custom would come from gun collectors and amateur theatrical producers.
  40. Begin a business which bottles sea or lake water. Sell the bottles as either souvenirs, i.e. ‘pocket or desktop Atlantic Ocean’ or a natural beauty treatment, i.e. ‘bathe your face in natural lake water’.
  41. One of the characteristics of sexual attraction is that people are often fascinated by one part of the body such as legs, build or faces. Start a mail order business which sells slides, photographs and posters about legs, for example, or faces.
  42. Make novel paperweights by modifying: snooker balls, golf balls, cricket balls, pool balls, etc. Get them stocked at stationers, sports clubs and gift shops.
  43. Research, write and publish a series of booklets about how to start and run specific home businesses. Examples of titles might include: ‘Money from Typing at Home’, ‘Your Own Telephone Sales Business’, ‘Your Own Knitting Business’, etc. Sell by mail order.
  44. Package individual apples, oranges and bananas. Sell through newsagents and other suitable shops.
  45. Produce a series of audio cassettes about the crimes of the century. The crimes covered might include: mass murders, bank robberies, arson and fraud. Sell these cassettes by direct mail, mail order or get them stocked at bookshops and newsagents.
  46. Design a log book for the house. This is to record every physical change to a house so a householder can: Analyze costs, plan future changes and have the feeling of being well organized. Arrange for the log book to be printed and sell by direct mail to householders.
  47. Invent and manufacture cosmetics for plants. These should be designed to bring out or emphasize the natural color of plants. Sell you plant cosmetic from ads in gardening magazines or get them displayed by retailers who sell garden products.
  48. Design a sport log book so that sport enthusiasts can keep a record of their performance. Get copies printed and sell to shops or sell from ads in sports magazines.
  49. Make a selection of soft toy or fabric luggage tags. For example, a normal luggage tag is accompanied by two small dice made from soft toy materials. Alternatively make a range of soft toy luggage tags which are designed to act as travel mascots.
  50. Make rosettes. Add to each rosette either a calligraphed or printed label which reads ‘Cook of the Year’, ‘Prize Winning Mother’, or ‘Dad of the Year’. Have them displayed in local shops.

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