999 Great Business Ideas

  1. Start a dining agency for single people. Match single people and arrange for them to have dinner dates. Or organize dinner parties for mixed groups. Use ads in local newspapers and singles magazines.
  2. Bring out a selection of men’s rings which feature the name or emblem of popular football teams.
  3. Produce a publication which consists entirely of advertisements from sellers of craftwork and craft equipment and supplies. This publication might be like a catalogue, but instead of displaying the goods of one seller, it contains ads from hundreds of different sellers.
  4. Start an international advertising publication for philatelists. Provide dealers and collectors with an international dimension to their sales efforts and search for stamps.
  5. Set up a firm which provides tours of the underside of a big city. Your tour might visit: streets where prostitutes and drug dealers wait for clients, skid row, a main rubbish tip, crime-ridden neighborhoods, etc. Give your tour a name like ‘Shocking side of the city’.
  6. Produce souvenir pillowcases. Each pillowcase might be printed with pictures of tourist scenery. Souvenir pillowcases have the novel feature that they help a person to relax and sleep because the pictures prompt a person to think of pleasant holiday locations.
  7. Begin a mail order business which sells football videos, photographs, postcards, posters and slides. Advertise in football magazines and programs.
  8. Assemble sets of fossils. These might be based on a type of animal, for example, insects or fish. Or organize them according to particular geological periods. Sell to collectors and schools.
  9. Start a children’s telephone pal club. Pen pal clubs help children develop their writing ability, this club helps them to become accustomed to using the telephone. Each member receives introductory notes about the interests of the child he or she will shortly speak to.
  10. Locate a source of firewood for stoves and open fires. Start a business which either packages the wood for distribution to retailers or deliver the wood direct to customers.
  11. Start a semi-professional theatre group which earns money from performing at private parties, business promotions, tourist sites and public events.
  12. Begin a crafts business which incorporates a barometer, digital clock, calendar and thermometer into a single framed picture. For example, these might be a picture of an aircraft cockpit or cityscape and set among the dials or skyscraper is the barometer, clock, etc.
  13. Bring out leather and plastic belts and holsters for holding personal stereos. Arrange for these belts and holsters to be stocked at shops which sell records and audio equipment.
  14. Sell pillowcases printed with amusing designs and statements relating to popular themes, such as football, romance and sex. For example, one amusing design might be related to the Kama Sutra and a witty statement might be ‘The center forward of Liverpool and a score every time’.
  15. Produce photographs about one inch square of the human eye. Frame each photograph. Sell each framed eye as a novelty for sticking on a wall or door. This novelty can be unnerving because it creates the impression that someone is watching through a hole in the wall or door.
  16. Manufacture wooden TV caddies for holding an ashtray, drink, sandwiches, TV programs schedule, Kleenex, etc. A TV caddie might consist of an upright plank of wood with several shelves.
  17. Begin a business which invents, produces and distributes role-playing board games. This field is not as competitive as other board games and if a game can gain a reputation role-playing game enthusiasts will be willing buyers.
  18. Devise role-playing games which can be played by post. For example, someone has to plan an expedition or business venture and he or she receives feedback by post. Set up a postal role-playing games club and charge members a fee for each game they participate in.
  19. Design a standard notepad for ordering extra goods from the milkman. The notepad should have spaces for house number, date and the customer’s name. The rest of the notepad might consist of a list of goods which can be ticked. Get your notepads stocked at stationers or sell them to dairies who may be willing to give them free to their customers.
  20. Put together a company which publishes the bible on video cassettes. Each cassette might be devoted to a different book of the bible. The bible might be presented by readers juxtaposed with illustrations.
  21. Start an interior decoration business which specializes in Tudor. Your service might include fitting ornamental oak beams and providing iron and brass wall ornaments. Put together a sales presentation and advertise in up-market magazines.
  22. Create a mail order business which sell sensory exploration kits for young children. Make many of the kits yourself. For example, one kit might consist of a wide range of colors on different cards, another might have a wide range of rough and smooth materials.
  23. Earn money from selling house numbers and name signs door-to-door. Houses often have rusty, old or difficult to see numbers. This presents an excellent opportunity for a direct sales business.
  24. Set up your own furniture removals business. Start by hiring a van to do the removals and if business proves promising, buy your own van.
  25. Found a trade publication for publishers of audio cassettes. This publication should give the latest news about this industry. Also accept ads from businesses who want to sell products to audio cassette publishers.
  26. Write and publish an annual directory about ‘penny shares’. The purpose is to examine the performance of penny shares companies over the past year. Sell by direct mail to investors, have stocked in bookshops and advertise in investment magazines.
  27. Start a school of stock market investment. With the number of shareholders growing there is a growing demand for tuition about investing in the stock market. Hold classes at home and in hired offices and halls. Also do a correspondence course or a lesson of the month newsletter.
  28. Produce ‘add-one’ plays on audio cassettes for amateur actors and actresses. A play is produced and a gap is left in the dialogue for a listener to read the line of a character. A printed copy of the play is provided with each cassette.
  29. Sell ideas and recipes for making unusual cakes. For example, cakes shaped like: cars, UFOs, trains, ships, famous landmarks, etc. For each design produce a folded page, like a knitting pattern. Sell these printed patterns through outlets which sell cake decorations.
  30. Make pendants from sea-shells. Use gold paint to highlight the features of each shell. Or use ordinary paints for pictures or patterns on each shell. Sell through gift or souvenir shops or from a market stall.
  31. Seek out the most powerful magnifying glass in the world. Buy numerous of these at trade prices and start a mail order business with your product as the ‘World’s Most Powerful Pocket Magnifying Glass’.
  32. Write and publish a newsletter for those who want to make money with their photographic or video camera. In each issue give a detailed description of a selected enterprise. Also provide subscribers with other money making ideas and news and tips about photography and video making.
  33. Set up a mail order business which sells gold chain by the inch. Use creative advertising to put across your sales message.
  34. Bring out your own mail order catalogue which is devoted to enameling craft equipment and supplies. You can commission manufacturers to make many of the supplies.
  35. Place racks of bead necklaces at a wide range of shops. Buy the bead necklaces from importers and mount them on the racks yourself.
  36. Write and publish a manual about how to make money from buying bankrupt stock. Sell this to business opportunity seekers by direct mail or classified ads.
  37. Sell figure improving aids and techniques by mail order. For example, you might sell exercise programs, or products which help to remove tummy bulges or excess fat on legs.
  38. Design and manufacture kits for making moccasins. These kits could be the basis of a mail order business. Advertise in publications read by young adults and craft magazines.
  39. Write and publish a series of manuals about starting and running a variety of crafts businesses. Examples of crafts covered might include: leatherwork, soft toy making, pottery, woodcarving, and egg crafts. Sell through classified ads or have stocked in craft shops.
  40. Start a business which specializes in writing sales letters. Call on small businesses to sell your service and show samples of your work. Your service should be good enough to improve the sales pull of almost any sales letter a firm already has.
  41. Start a bookplates of the month club for both established collectors and for people who would like to take up a new collecting hobby. The bread and butter work of this club would involve sending newly issued bookplates to club members.
  42. Invent and develop a program which is designed to turn a failure into a successful person. The program might take the form of a series of booklets, loose-leaf binders of information, or a correspondence course. Sell your program from ads in newspapers and magazines.
  43. Bring out a range of cake decorations which have a football theme. Use these as the basis of a mail order business, or get them stocked by wholesalers of cake decorations.
  44. Take top quality photographs of historic and well-known buildings in your town or region. Select the best photographs and have these printed on writing paper and envelopes. The idea is that tourists will use this stationery to write home. Also do the same for other towns or regions.
  45. Design a range of first name self-adhesive stickers for children to put on their books or toys. Sell through toy shops and newsagents.
  46. Bring out a cataloguing system for book buyers to use at home. For example, have a card index with pre-printed cards. The cards have printed on them: spaces for the name of the author, the book title, etc. Also include self-adhesive numbers. Sell your card index system through bookshops.
  47. Start a school of crossword puzzles. Provide tuition for people who want to either, improve their crossword skills or earn money from devising crosswords. Give tuition during the evenings and weekends. Also bring out correspondence courses on how to do and how to devise crossword puzzles.
  48. Begin a word and phrase origin finding service. This service would be invaluable to academics, lecturers, authors and all others curious about the origin of words and phrases.
  49. Produce a correspondence course about how to write biography. Biography publishing is one of the largest sectors of the book industry.
  50. Bring out a selection of computer programs which can be sold as a business opportunity. For example, one program might be for starting a computerized dating agency, another for writing a newsletter or classified ad sheet, a third for starting a computerized marketplace.

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