999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Start a service which specializes in removing and applying wallpaper. Produce a leaflet which both describes your first class service and lists your prices. Deliver leaflets to households in your area or advertise in the local paper.
  2. Take imaginative photographs of landscapes, cityscapes and people. Enlarge the best of these and frame them. Display at arts and crafts fairs and sell as photographic art.
  3. Design and organize the printing of ‘for sale’ signs for car owners who want to sell their car. These will have a brightly colored backing and are placed in the car windows by the owner. Arrange for signs to be stocked at car accessory shops.
  4. Sell simple exercise and keep fit devises door-to-door.
  5. Design and produce a selection of satirical, political postcards. Sell sets to collectors, retailers and political activists from ads in political publications.
  6. Start a business which designs and manufactures simple basketry kits for beginners. Have them stocked at crafts shops or sell by mail order in crafts magazines.
  7. Reprint classic photographs and set up a mail order business to sell these reprints to amateur and professional photographers.
  8. Carve or burn into wood ‘I love you’ or ‘Happy Birthday’ messages. Sell through shops as an alternative to greetings cards. Or sell them from a stall at crafts fairs and markets.
  9. Set yourself up as a freelance photographer by finding an unusual way into the business. One idea is to go to one of the many gold rushes around the world and do photo studies. Another idea is to visit a war in a third-world country. One good photo will sell to publications world-wide.
  10. Start a business which imports folk music instruments. Many overseas folk music instruments are made by individuals or small firms who have not considered selling their products in this country. Distribute the imported folk instruments to music shops or sell by mail order.
  11. Produce and sell novelty hate or confession bags. These are like sick bags except people talk or shout into them. They get something out of their system and consequently feel better.
  12. Make a selection of saucy ‘warmers’ such as nipple warmers, belly-button warmers, bum warmers, willy warmers, etc. Put each warmer into a plastic bag, staple a card naming the product to each bag. Find shops to stock them.
  13. Provide people dressed in unusual costumes for promotions. The costume might be specially designed to suit the corporate image of the company. Let advertising agencies and public relations departments know about your service.
  14. Start a theatrical enterprise which produces Christmas pantomimes. Do everything yourself, including writing the script, recruiting actors, finding a venue, organizing rehearsals, publicity and selling tickets.
  15. Put together a correspondence course which teaches people how to play bridge. Call your business a school of bridge. Advertise in up-market publications.
  16. Set up a service which organizes theme parties and banquets. The theme of each party might be, for example: medieval, Wild West or horror. You organize everything for the evening, such as the music, entertainers, costumes, props, waiting staff, food, cutlery, etc.
  17. Establish a mail order company which sells jokes and tricks. Bring out your own mail order catalogue and build up a list of regular customers. Your catalogue might specialize in one sector of the market such as women’s or X-rated jokes or tricks.
  18. Start a business which produces and sells video pets. A person buys a video about a cat or a dog and this acts as a mild substitute for the real thing. The advantages include: no feeding, no smell or hairs around the home, and no looking after or taking out for a walk.
  19. Manufacture mosaic garden ornaments. These ornaments feature a mosaic picture in the design. They might include mosaic stepping stones, mosaic bird baths and mosaic sundials. A mosaic ornament adds to a garden a touch of the ancient world.
  20. Start a publishing business which produces a guide to unusual products, services or shops. Sell by mail order or through bookshops. Also sell advertising space to some of the firms listed in your guide.
  21. Start a special effects rental service. Hire out machines which make bubbles, wind, fog, falling snow or flashing lights. Your custom will come from private parties, night-clubs, theatres, pop groups and film companies. Also, if required, provide a person to operate the machines.
  22. Open a school for hostessing. If a woman does hostessing at home she might as well learn to do it properly at your school. Advertise in up-market publications and provide students with a thorough, first class training in being a hostess.
  23. Set up an agency which specializes in providing attractive men and women for sales and reception work at business promotions, conferences and exhibitions.
  24. Be a success consultant. Earn an income from giving advice on how people can achieve success. Start by reaching a clear definition of what a client means by success. Do an assessment of clients strengths and weaknesses and suggest, for example, a program of changes in approach and career.
  25. Rent out stuffed and mounted birds, fish and other animals. Your clients might include: restaurants, breweries, clubs, travel agents and other businesses with reception areas.
  26. Publish a book which lists recipes for making nutritious dog food and biscuits. Sell to discerning dog owners through dog magazines, pet shops and bookstores.
  27. Produce a selection of audio cassettes which feature X-rated poems. Write them yourself or pay poets to write them for you. Produce a catalogue and start a mail order business.
  28. Learn how to catch and eradicate rodents. When your skill reaches a high standard, go into business for yourself. Get a listing for your services in the Yellow Pages.
  29. Set up a business which invents toys for pets. Most cat owners love to use cotton, wool, string or paper to play games with their pets. This shows a gap in the market exists. A toy which proves popular with cats has huge sales potential. Also, there is always room for a good new toy for dogs.
  30. Produce prints of horses and horse racing. These might be reproduced in a catalogue and sold by direct mail to horse lovers. Also offer trade discounts for quantities of prints.
  31. Put together an educational pack which contains samples of many types of wood. Use direct mail to sell this educational pack to woodworkers, schools and colleges.
  32. Make, mount and frame models of butterflies. The wings are either hand painted or printed. The body of the butterfly might be made of casting metal. The finished model butterflies may be sold through gift or souvenir shops.
  33. Use logs to make a range of rustic bird tables, nesting compartments and feeders. Have your products stocked at hardware shops and garden centers?
  34. Design your own unique brand of cat scratch posts. For example, if you have a cat which scratches an armchair or wall, base your design on this. Make, package and distribute your scratch posts to suitable retailers or sell by post.
  35. Start a rent-a-horse or pony business. Horse riders, instead of keeping their own horse or pony, rent one from you.
  36. Begin a service which provides and releases doves for wedding celebrations and other special occasions.
  37. Set up a dog obedience school. Provide residential courses for owners and their dogs. Also hold courses which teach others to become dog obedience teachers. Advertise in both dog and up-market magazines.
  38. Begin an enterprise which organizes day trips to race-courses. You might, for example, set up a service which leaves a city center at a regular time each day and travels to one of the race-courses open on that day.
  39. Deal in antique and reproduction dolls, and dolls houses. Build up relationships with collectors so that you know where to sell any new items that you acquire. Also produce a mail order catalogue of reproduction dolls.
  40. Write and publish a manual about how to start a profitable antiques market stall. Sell by mail order to opportunity seekers.
  41. Produce and distribute a video encyclopedia. A video encyclopedia consists of a series of film clips with very little description. All the film clips might relate to one subject such as cars, trains, ships, or aeroplanes. The clips might appear in alphabetical or chronological order.
  42. Design a log book for cooks. In this log book a cook records what recipes were tested and comments on the result. Pay to have the log book printed and sell from ads in women’s magazines.
  43. Set up a production line which sells besom brooms. The brush part of the broom is made from twigs. Obtain your supply of twigs from the waste material produced by tree surgeons. Get your brooms stocked at garden centers and hardware shops.
  44. Organize staff suggestion schemes for businesses. Conduct your own research to discover which type of suggestion scheme is the most effective. Then sell your service to businesses.
  45. Start a mail order business which sells books and products related to the great composers. Conduct a world-wide search for products to include in your catalogue. Advertise in classical music magazines.
  46. Start a newspaper clipping bureau. Do work for firms who want a comprehensive collection of press clippings about news and developments in their field. Have leaflets printed about your service and sent them to firms. As an incentive offer firms a free trial period.
  47. Invent and design magnetic toys for children or adults. Ideas for toys include: magnetic building blocks, magnetic picture kits, magnetic puzzles, etc. Pay a manufacturer to make the toys. Get your toys stocked by wholesalers, gift shops and toy shops.
  48. Start a top 20 chart for witty and arty T-shirts. Distribute copies of the chart and the top 20 T-shirts to a wide range of retailers.
  49. Open and run a school of money-management. Give tuition to classes and solo students. Teach students about the techniques, attitudes and systems which can be used for the effective management of money. Students should find the cost of your course more than pays for itself.
  50. Set up a postal business which offers people the chance to do all sorts of tests. Examples of tests might include: IQ, creativity, suitability to be a shop owner or entrepreneur, personality, etc. Pay experts to devise and write the tests for you.

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