- Produce Christmas cards which are printed on the front with, for example, “Happy Christmas from the
Smith Family”. Or, instead of the name ‘Smith’, pick one of the dozens of other popular surnames. Sell
packs of these cards by direct mail to people listed in telephone directories.
- Make money from renting out expensive children’s toys. The toys you rent out will include remote
controlled models and computerised games. Use a little van to deliver the toys to customers. Paint in toy
town colour scheme. Call the van a toy mobile or similar suitable name.
- Introduce to your region a service which mounts maps for businesses. Keep a stock of local, national and
international maps. Mount these maps in a professional manner to suit the wall space available at offices.
Send out leaflets about your services to office managers.
- Bring out a regular publication for ambitious amateur musicians. This publication might include ads
from : 1) Employers seeking musicians. 2) Retailers selling equipment accessories and supplies. 3) People
selling used equipment. 4) Musicians seeking to make contact with other musicians. Also publish
interesting editorials and letters.
- Design and manufacture kits for making models with cocktail sticks, for example: model churches,
castles, windmills, houses, etc. Buy the cocktail sticks in their unpacked state from the manufacturer. Sell
your kits by mail order from ads in craft magazines or distribute to model shops.
- Establish a directory of products no longer made. This directory might include sections on toys, novelties
and household goods. Design the directory for business people and inventors who want to know both what
has been made before and what ideas might be revived and/or modified.
- Make cotton gloves especially designed for coin collectors. The gloves prevent the grease and moisture
from fingers getting onto coins. Package the gloves and sell them from ads in coin collecting magazines or
distribute to shops which sell collectible coins.
- Bring out a correspondence course about how to write cookery books. The course might include
information about: How to devise recipes, how to present them in written form and what makes a
successful cookery book. Produce a prospectus and advertise in women’s magazines.
- Begin a business which rents out large and expensive astronomical telescopes to householders who want
to develop their interest in astronomy. Publicise your service at the local astronomy society and use local
advertising to attract clients.
- Set up a company which produces a compendium of strip games, for example: Strip poker, strip snakes
and ladders, strip lotto, strip snap, and strip ludo. Sell by mail order from adverts in X-rated magazines.
- Paint attractive art on rocks to make souvenir paperweights and doorstops. The art might take the form
of abstract pattern, traditional pictures or tourist scenery. Call your rocks “designer rocks”. Add a rubber
base to paperweights and a rubber edge to doorstops.
- Create a mail order business which specialises in selling products which help people sleep. Products
might include: Sleep inducing cassettes, special bedtime clothing, herbal pillows, books and guides on how
to sleep better.
- Paint on wood stylistic house numbers and names. These painted numbers and names will be an
attractive alternative to the traditional names burned into sliced logs. Get your work stocked at shops which
sell garden products or household goods.
- Start a venture which promotes the art and hobby of window painting. On coloured acetate paper have
outlines printed for painting pictures by numbers. These acetate sheets are stuck to one side of a window
and anyone can paint a picture on the other side of the glass.
- Select one sea-shell which would be suitable for an ashtray, another for a pip tray and another for a
paper clip tray. Put these shells into a single packet and sell as a set of useful sea-shell-trays. Sell from
souvenir and novelty gift shops.
- Devise and produce a board game which simulates the experience of starting a mail order business. The
usual problem of bringing out a board game is the difficulty of getting it stocked in shops. However, a
game about mail order can be sold by mail order to business opportunity seekers.
- Make an income by selling lucky charms at car boot sales or door-to-door. Sell, for example: Rabbits
feet, horseshoes and four-leaf clovers. Start by tracking down trade sources of lucky charms.
- Buy and sell oil paintings. Buy new paintings from artists and old paintings from collectors and
householders. Sell the paintings from: home, a roadside site, a stall at crafts fairs or hire stalls for exhibiting
all the paintings you have for sale.
- Start a manufacturing business which is devoted to making doorstops. These doorstops might range
from the humble wooden wedge to the more exotic and unusual. Package them in polythene bags, staple on
a printed card and get them stocked at gift shops.
- Decorate everyday objects with pressed flowers. Add an inlaid design of pressed flowers to trays,
coasters, jewellery boxes, paperweights, picture frames, wall-hangings, desk sets and table tops.
- Set up a home-improvement business which modifies the exterior of houses to give them a Tudor
appearance. Your service will include the fitting of ornamental oak beams, giving exterior walls a white
covering and adding metal grids to windows.
- Make wooden noughts and crosses games. Drill nine holes in a small square block and paint on a grid.
Next make ten pegs and pint on each peg an ‘O’ or an ‘X’. Place the grid and pegs into a clear bag and staple
on a product card.
- Bring together a range of brassware ornaments so you can have a stall at crafts fairs, antique markets
and car boot sales.
- Publish a newsletter which has the title “Ambitious Persons Way to Wealth” or “Clever People Don’t
Work Hard”. The contents of your newsletter might be in a vein similar to Joe Karbo’s “The Lazy Man’s
Way to Riches”.
- Set up and run a school of window dressing. Organise one-day or two-day seminars for established
shopkeepers who want to learn more about this aspect of their business. Also provide courses fro those who
would like to take up a career as a window dresser.
- Write and publish a manual about how to make money from property. In the manual include chapters
on: Buying and selling land, buying properties for conversions and renovations, investing in property, etc.
Use direct mail and press advertising to sell by mail order to business opportunity seekers.
- Found and run a school of investment. Give tuition to solo students and to groups about different types
of investments such as shares, gilt-edged securities, unit trusts, USM, antiques, stamps, arts, etc. For each
area covered, prepare lesson plans and follow these closely.
- Make a selection of children’s prayer plaques: Wooden wall plates which feature popular prayers. The
prayers might be painted onto or burned into the wood.
- Start a crafts business which uses interesting foreign coins to make jewellery. Incorporate coins into
pendant bracelet, brooches, necklaces and earrings. Alternatively, make jewellery which features
reproduction coins from the ancient world.
- Use small sea-shells strung together to make necklaces. Find a trade source of small sea-shells and
either set up your own production line or employ homeworkers.
- Produce ‘Add-One’ drama video cassettes. Professional actors and actresses perform a play on video.
However, there is one character missing from the video. This character is played by a viewer of the video.
The viewer learns his or her part and becomes part of the play at home.
- Create a folder of sample sales letters for all occasions. The letters might sell: advice, maintenance,
products, a service which gives free quotes, etc. Sell these folders by direct mail to small businesses.
- Earn money by selling gold chain by the inch at public events such as fairs, markets and exhibitions.
- Put together your own catalogue of jewellery making supplies. Locate the sources of products by doing
the routine work of the mail order trader: write to potential suppliers. Throughout the country there are
thousands of craftworkers who would welcome a new catalogue.
- Earn a living by buying gold and silver jewellery from people who need instant cash. Because their
need for cash is greater than their desire to get a high price, your mark-up can be good. Only buy jewellery
which you know you can re-sell quickly for a profit.
- Use fabrics to make soft cases for pencils, spectacles, scissors, bibles, money and other small items
which are either potentially dangerous or need protection. At first, make a diversity of products until you
discover which are the most popular and profitable, then specialise.
- Buy old bibles and hymn books from churches and education authorities. Have the pages shredded and
use as stuffing material for ‘bible’ or ‘hymn’ pillows, teddy bear and other soft products. Also do ‘bible’
confetti and stuff bottles to make bottled bibles.
- Cut out prints and illustrations from old books. Frame them and sell to a wide range of shops and from
a stall at a market fairs and car boot sales.
- Make leather and wooden souvenir luggage tags. These tags might feature the name of a holiday town
and a popular scene. Get your tags stocked at shops visited by tourists.
- Prepare a mixture of dried herbs for adding to bathwater. Invent a brand name for your product like
“(your surname) Original Bath Herbs”. Package each mixture of herbs and get them stocked at various
- Start a service which arranges for people to have their original pop lyrics set to music. This service is to
satisfy the vanity of lyricists. Offer clients a complete, low cost package. Attract custom by placing ads in
the music press.
- Devise quizzes which test a persons vocabulary. Sell these to a magazine or newspaper on a regular
basis. Alternatively you might do quizzes which test a persons knowledge of a regional dialect. Sell these to
regional papers or magazines.
- Call door-to-door and offer to buy unwanted furniture. Or use local media to advertise your interest in
buying second-hand furniture. Sell what you buy from free ads in local papers, or start your own second-
hand furniture shop.
- Set up a mail order business which sells motorcycle memorabilia. Put together a catalogue which
includes: videos, films, posters, photographs, books, instruction booklets, old magazines and newspapers,
etc. Advertise your catalogue in motorcycle magazines.
- Start an enterprise which reproduces classic poems on postcards and posters. Also do framed prints of
classic poems. Sell these from a stall in an antiques or crafts market or get them stocked at souvenir or gift
- Produce a cataloguing system for record collectors. This system might consist of a card index box with
pre-printed index cards. Each card has a printed section for the name of the artist, record and record label.
Sell this cataloguing system through record shops or by mail-order.
- Publish a monthly audio cassette fro one trade, such as newsagents, grocers, hair salons, booksellers,
etc. Each cassette should give: Trade news, management tips, suggestions for improving sales, etc.
Organise a direct mail campaign to recruit subscribers.
- Start a newspaper and magazine roadside stand. Ask established newspaper vendors how they got
- Bring out a correspondence course about how to write short stories for profit. Sell from newspaper and
magazine ads and charge anything up to the average weekly wage (paid in instalments) depending on the
contents of the course.
- Produce a correspondence course about how to write good poetry. If most poets received a small
amount of tuition about how to compose poems, their work would improve dramatically. Sell the course by
advertising in literary and women’s magazines.
- Begin a business which deals in old and new American and British comics. This business might: 1) Sell
comics by post from a catalogue. 2) Operate a comics of the month club for specialised collectors and 3)
Run a comics stall at fairs and markets.
- Write to overseas publishers of English language newsletters and offer to act as the distributor for their
newsletter in this country. In your letter to the publishers outline the benefits they will gain if they let you
distribute their newsletter.
- Start a service which cleans wire baskets and supermarket trolleys. Baskets and trolleys often spend
most of the day on a dusty floor or outside, open to the elements.
- Use wooden jigsaw pieces to make earrings and necklaces. Add a hand painted design to the side of the
jigsaw piece not covered by a part of the picture. Call your goods jigsaw puzzle jewellery. Sell from a stall
at fairs, car boot sales or get it stocked at trendy shops.
- Take metal rods and tubes of different diameters and cut into slices. Arrange the slices to make pictures
and patterns. Mount these pictures and sell as craftwork. Or produce kits for making pictures with slices of
rods and tubes. Use mail order to sell these kits to craftworkers.
- Write and sell articles or books about starting a business and making money. Sell the manuscripts to
publishers of business opportunity books, newsletters, magazines and newspapers. For a start, Jon Murray
Information Services, 114 Duke Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8HR will welcome any manuscripts for approval
and possible purchase.
- Set up a business which produces a quality audio cassette library of nursery rhymes. Alternatively,
produce a series of cassettes which feature X-rated nursery rhymes for adults. Sell these by either getting
them stocked in bookshops or by starting a monthly club.
- Compile and publish a monthly bulletin which informs subscribers of poetry competitions they are
eligible to enter at home and abroad. Target your recruitment campaign for subscribers at practising poets.
- Bring out a series of plans for woodworkers, soft toy makers, leather workers and other craftworkers.
Either sell printed copies of these plans at wholesale prices or sell the reproduction rights. Then any
craftworker or hobbyist can start a mail order business selling the plans.
- Publish a “Which?” newsletter about newsletters. As the number of newsletters and subscribers is ever
increasing, there is a gap in the market for a newsletter which comments on and judges the value of the
- Begin an enterprise which makes model paper products for dolls and dolls’ houses. These might
include: Newspapers, money, stationery, napkins, paper hats, Christmas cards, etc. Sell these products by
mail order to doll makers and collectors.
- Write a non-fiction book which may, for example, be about a hobby. Enlist a book printer to produce
copies of the book. Sell these to the market that would be interested in the contents. You might, for
example, place ads in hobby magazines.
- Give personal tuition in your own home on how to write good English. Advertise your service by
placing cards in windows of local newsagents. Point out the advantages of taking the course, such as
getting a better job and helping the children with their homework.
- Start a singles contact magazine or newsletter, each issue might include both small ads from people
looking for partners and editorials of interest to single people. Use press and magazine advertising to build
up a list of subscribers.
- Set up a holiday companion introduction service. Your service matches and introduces single people
who do not have anyone to go on holiday with. Place classified ads in numerous publications to attract
clients. Or produce a publication which lists people who are looking for holiday companions.
- Write and publish a newsletter for those who want to start a successful business. The newsletter might,
for example, discuss effective ways of: Selling, managing, generating ideas, locating suppliers and finding
customers. Use your local library service to research these topics.
- Begin a crafts enterprise which turns out wirecraft ornaments. These ornaments are free-standing, 3-D
objects which consist entirely of wire: the wire makes the outlines. The ornaments might be in the shape of:
aeroplanes, helicopters, people, animals, boats or bicycles.
- Start a mail order business which promotes the craft of making ornaments and models from shaping
wire. Design and make up a complete kit for beginners. Include this kit in your catalogue, as well as tools,
design ideas and raw materials for wire craftworkers.
- Make football rosettes and get them stocked at newsagents and sports shops. Each one might be placed
in a cellophane packet or polythene bag.
- Produce a series of storytelling videos. An actor or actress reads classic novels directly to the camera.
Hire out these videos by post. You can use whole or part of classic stories for which the copyright has
expired. This is the case for any work where the writer has been dead for 50 or more years.
- Start a venture which organises river or coastal boat trips for: Business parties, wedding receptions,
anniversaries, birthday parties, etc. Your service would do things like: organise transport to the boat,
booking catering services, hiring entertainers and hosts or hostesses.
- If you can play a musical instrument, earn money by providing background music at: Restaurants, pubs,
wine bars, tea-rooms, hotel breakfasts, amusement arcades, or ice skating rinks. Also play during the
interval at theatres and/or cinemas.
- Sell copies of theatrical plays by post. Put together a wide range of new and second-hand publications
and produce a catalogue. Advertise your catalogue in both the theatre press and theatre programmes.
- Buy and sell second-hand compact disks. Buy collections of disks by post and use local ads to find
sellers in your area. The disks you acquire can be sold: by post, from a market stall, or get them stocked at
- Have a stall which sells fashionable clothes. Your stall might be a full-time business, working at street
markets or it may be part-time and appear at craft and antique fairs.
- Set up a sheet music of the month club. Each month send members a selection of sheets to include the
latest popular songs. Club members will include: Musicians, who play at clubs and pubs, record companies
and keen amateur musicians.
- Sell Beatles or Elvis memorabilia by mail order. Conduct your own research to discover what
memorabilia you can produce yourself, for example, reprint photographs and duplicate press cuttings. Also
buy goods from collectors and trade sources at home and abroad.
- Put together a mail order catalogue of children’s educational audio cassettes. These might cover subjects
such as spelling, reading and grammar rules, geography, history, etc. Produce some of the cassettes
yourself and buy others from audio publishers.
- Do your own research to discover the secrets of conjuring. Write a manuscript about your findings and
publish it yourself. The novel and sensational nature of this book will ensure that it sells well from ads in
newspapers and magazines.
- Write and record personalised songs. Produce songs for all occasions, such as engagements, weddings,
birthdays, anniversaries, births, homecomings and congratulations. Use classified ads in the personal
columns to attract orders.
- Start a crafts business which produces gift tags decorated with pressed flowers. Also do similar
products like pressed flowers bookmarks. To make a bookmarker tape take two strips of clear 35mm film,
place pressed flowers between the strips and tie the sprocket holes together with cotton.
- Bring out an educational newsletter about ‘How to Improve Your Written English’. Each monthly
newsletter might be like a lesson. There are only a limited number of lessons, so you can send the same
series to different subscribers for many years.
- Open a school of rock music. Provide classes about different aspects of rock, such as singing, playing
electric guitars, writing music and songs, designing stage presentations, etc. Add credibility to the school
by paying established rock musicians to give many of the lessons.
- Devise and produce an audio cassette course about how to play the drums. Use ads in the music press to
sell this course. And/or get the course stocked at music shops.
- Produce kits for schoolgirls to make bead necklaces. Package each kit in a small polythene bag and
staple on a printed card. Mount these kits on a rack and get them displayed at newsagents.
- Design your own brand of baby sling. Buy one of each of the baby slings currently on sale. Study them
and develop one which is a composite of the best features. Manufacture and package them. Find
appropriate retailers and wholesalers to stock them.
- Make charming and attractive quilts for babies and children. Make the kind of quilts you would like a
baby or child to have. Give your imagination free reign to see what ideas and designs you come up with.
When you have finalised a design, go into business for yourself.
- Turn out knitwear garments for children. Sell the garments from your own stall or through retailers.
- Embroider attractive designs on ladies gloves and scarves. Call on up-market retailers to persuade them
to stock your products.
- Bring out your own range of shawls. Increase the value of your shawls by giving each design a catchy
name. Sell the shawls by mail order or get them stocked at retailers.
- Make charming soft toy ladybirds and other insects/animals which can be attached to curtains for
- Bring out a selection of souvenir ties. The ties might feature the name or emblem of a holiday resort.
Mount the ties on racks and get them displayed in shops which sell souvenirs.
93.Start a mail order business which sells books, booklets and audio cassettes about how to deal with nasty
experiences. Topics covered might include: Violence in the home, break up of a marriage, death of a
partner, being sacked or failing exams.
- Use ribbon to make souvenir pictures, for example: yellow ribbon can be used as the beach, blue as the
sea, brown and green for palm trees, etc. Or design and produce kits for hobbyists. Sell by mail order or
through craft shops.
- Make a selection of balaclava helmets in the colours of popular football teams or the national flag. Sell
from roadside stall on route to football ground, or through supporters clubs.
- Produce a series of videos which have titles such as: ‘How to give up smoking’, ‘How to relax’, ‘How to
lose weight’ and ‘How to sleep soundly’. Sell these by direct mail to business people. Or try to get a leading
chain store to distribute them on a national basis.
- Have your own fabrics market stall and sell ordinary fabrics, rolls of discontinued lines and remnants.
- Do alterations and repairs for dry cleaning services, menswear shops, factories and offices. Visit these
places and inform them of your services. Offer, for example, to collect the goods once or twice a week.
- Produce cardboard, sightseeing periscopes and sell them at public events. Make them yourself. Arrange
for the card to be printed and shaped. Assemble the periscopes and add two small mirrors. Recruit sales
people to sell these periscopes along the route of the event.
- Start a knitting patterns of the month club. Each month, members of your club automatically receive a
selection of the latest knitting patterns. Members select the patterns they want and return the rest. Or
compile a top 30 of patterns and send new entries to club members.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- begin a computerised 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Set up a firm which publishes a monthly computer diskette program for home computer enthusiasts
who want to improve their programme writing skills. Each cassette might give ideas, examples and tips
about how to become a better computer programmer.
- Organise 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
- 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.
- Use luminous paint of the kind used on watches and alarm clocks to highlight figures on natural
ornaments such as starfish, coral, colourful rocks, pine cones, etc. Place these in a sheltered display case to
illustrate their luminosity. Have display cases on show at gift shops.
- 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
- Bring out a selection of lucky charms which are for hanging from windscreens of cars, vans and
lorries. They might be mini horse shoes, rabbits feet, wooden or plastic number sevens, four-leaf clovers,
etc. Package your lucky charms to distribute to a wide range of retailers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 their are no
problems for obtaining raw materials, this can become a full-time business.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Organise 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.
- Begin a crafts business which makes either souvenir or normal tea cosies. Find suitable retail outlets to
stock your cosies. You might, for example, make souvenir tea cosies for tearooms and cafes to sell to their
- Sell cheap toys door-to-door. Visit neighbourhoods which have an above average population of
130.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.
- Become a calligrapher of poems. Earn money from calligraphing poems to commission for poets and
sweethearts. a) Classic poems like ‘Desederata’, ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’, etc, and selling them as gift
products. b) Poems of local origin and selling them as souvenirs.
- 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.
- 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.
- Become a portrait artist and work in a thoroughfare of a shopping or tourist area.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Found an agency for all artists, such as painters, illustrators, pottery workers and sculptors. Provide
work for the artists and specialise in contacting businesses which might not have considered using artists.
For example, arrange for morals to be painted in staff canteens and sports clubs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Supply a fortune teller or numerologist for parties and weddings. A visiting fortune teller makes a
party or wedding reception more entertaining for guests.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Start a mail order firm which sells plans, books and supplies to origami hobbyists. Advertise your
catalogue in crafts magazines.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Put together a correspondence course about how to become an amateur magician. The aim would be
teach people who to do numerous basic tricks. It would be a foundation course for amateur magicians. Also
sell the products that magicians tricks require.
- 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.
- Set up a business which produces a selection of novelty packets of seeds for garden weeds. These
seeds might have the same as stinkbombs. Sell through gift or joke shops.
- 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.
- Earn money by selling cactuses door-to-door. Carry them in a cinema usherette-type tray.
- 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.
- 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 centres as possible.
- 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.
- Buy ordinary plastic model kits of aircraft and boats. Construct the kits and hand paint them in their
original colours. Sell the finished models from a stall at fairs and markets.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Devise and organise 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 colour to match the eyes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Favourite Kitchen’. Add a
magnet to the back of each square so that they can be stuck to fridges and other metallic surfaces.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 specialised booklets for different markets.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 odour which humans find pleasing. Sell from a market stall or
by mail order.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Start a mail order business which specialises 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use direct mail to sell a range of novelties, games, toys, quizzes and ornaments for the office. Produce
a catalogue and send to offices.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Bring together a range of products specially designed for left-handed people. Have a catalogue printed
and start a mail order business.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Familiarise 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.
- 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.
- Sell mounted etchings by calling on private households and shopkeepers. Buy from the original artist
or from a wholesaler.
- 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
- 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.
- Start an interior decoration business which specialises 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.
- 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.
- 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 specialised areas of each hobby. Sell the
cassettes from ads in hobby magazines or get them stocked at hobby shops.
224.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.
- 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.
- Rent out photocopying machines on a temporary basis. These machine might be rented by the day,
week or month.
- 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.
- Organise 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Design and make fashionable jump suits. Make the rounds of boutiques to find suitable stockists.
- 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.
- Start a vegetarian food catering service. Devise a menu with imaginative meals. Advertise in political
and environmental publications.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- Make novel paperweights by modifying: snooker balls, golf balls, cricket balls, pool balls, etc. Get
them stocked at stationers, sports clubs and gift shops.
- 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.
- Package individual apples, oranges and bananas. Sell through newsagents and other suitable shops.
- 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.
- Design a log book for the house. This is to record every physical change to a house so a householder
can: Analyse costs, plan future changes and have the feeling of being well organised. Arrange for the log
book to be printed and sell by direct mail to householders.
- Invent and manufacture cosmetics for plants. These should be designed to bring out or emphasise the
natural colour of plants. Sell you plant cosmetic from ads in gardening magazines or get them displayed by
retailers who sell garden products.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make soft toy lucky charms. One idea is a giant number seven. Other ideas include: four leaf clovers,
horseshoes, rabbits feet and destiny dice.
- Start a mobile installation and repair service for all kinds of car lights. Produce a leaflet which lists
prices for different jobs. Deliver the leaflets to houses or stick behind windscreen wipers of cars in your
- Make a selection of soft toy insects. For example: caterpillars, ladybirds, bumblebees and wasps.
Package the soft toys and claim that everyone should have a pet insect.
- Use clothes pegs to make souvenir ornaments. These might take the form of animals, castles or boats,
windmills and many others. Also design and produce kits so that craftworkers can make their own
ornaments from clothes pegs. Sell by mail order.
- Arrange holiday exchanges between various English speaking nationalities such as English, Scottish,
Americans, Australians and Canadians. You might either provide a personal service which matches people
or publish a newsletter listing people seeking exchanges.
- Set up a service which gives independent valuations and assessments for those considering the
purchase of a particular expensive antique.
- Bring out an information package about ‘How to Start Your Own Carded Products Business’ (ordinary
products are mounted on card for displaying on racks or walls in shops). An information package might
consist of cassettes on sales dialogue, booklets and diagrams about ideas and methods.
- Design and produce your own badges. These might have designs which feature sports, witty
statements, pop stars or flowers, etc. Mount on specially printed display cards and sell cards to shops.
- Start a market stall which sells low valued antiques. Obtain stock from either trade sources or buy
saleable goods from the public.
- Earn money from selling badges at pop concerts, festivals, tourist sites and other places where there
- Put together a mail order service which sells rocks and mineral specimens to collectors. Produce a
catalogue which lists a wide range of minerals and rock specimens. Also include in the catalogue collectors
supplies and accessories.
- Collect a wide range of aerial photographs. These might be high altitude shots of villages, towns or
cities. Start a mail order business which frames and sells these photographs.
- Slice timber logs and burn letters into the wood to make house name signs. Also varnish them and sell
from a stall at special markets or get examples stocked at retailers who would take orders for you.
- Produce writing paper which has borders printed with pretty rural scenery or flowers. Get this stocked
at stationers and tourist shops.
- Bring out a booklet which has a title like “1001 Unusual Facts About Your Town”. Discover these
facts by reading local history books and visiting the archives of local newspapers. You could do similar
booklets about a variety of towns and specialise in those which are popular with tourists.
- Organise the production of concrete or plastic garden gnomes and statues. Have them stocked at
garden centres and retailers who sell garden products.
- Prepare a correspondence course about how to increase chances at winning at poker, the pools or
horse-racing. The course allows people to develop their skills over a period of time and allows you to
charge a reasonable amount of money. Use press advertising to sell.
- Add a stand to small cubes of marble and sell as ornaments.
- Design, produce and distribute T-shirts and sweatshirts which have an astronomical theme. The idea is
that people will buy a T-shirt or sweat shirt that celebrates their star sign. Package them and have them
displayed at a wide range of retailers.
- Prepare astrological readings and charts about family ancestors. Use astrology readings and charts to
shed light on personal characteristics of ancestors. Advertise in genealogy publications.
- Open a school of creativity. Teach business people about the various techniques of creative thinking
such as brainstorming, lateral thinking, quick think, value analysis, etc. Hold classes or give personal
tuition during work hours or lunch breaks.
- Produce a series of famous biographical audio cassettes about famous artists, writers, politicians,
inventors, film stars, etc. Sell these through bookshops or start a monthly club.
- Start a novel sedan chair service in the centre of a tourist town. Carry a tourist on a short tour of the
- Set up a horsedrawn minibus service in a tourist town or resort. Provide a short trip around places of
- Organise outdoor holidays in America. For example, walking or cycling holidays in the Rockies. Sell
places on these holidays to people in Britain and the rest of Europe.
- Write and publish a booklet about ‘101 Ideas for Off The Beaten Track Holidays’. Get this publication
stocked at bookshops or sell from classified ads. You might also sell advertising space to firms who
organise unusual holidays.
- Hang low cost, imported leather belts on racks. Get various shops to take a rack of belts.
- Set up a business which organises weddings. Compile a list of tasks which need to be done to make a
wedding successful. Put together a selection of packages at different prices and sell these to potential
- Open a stall in an antiques market which sells collectable plates. Buy your stock of plates from
manufacturers, wholesalers and collectors.
- Devise and produce biblical role playing games. For example, people might take the roles of
characters in parables. Arrange for the games to be manufactured. Sell by post or get them stocked at shops,
particularly shops specialising in religion.
- Start a pen pal club for children and adults who have an interest in literature. Members of the club can
write to each other about books they read. Advertise in literary publications.
- Produce a library of audio cassettes about the history of world war II. The advantage of these cassettes
is that they can feature the sounds of historic events. Have them stocked at shops which sell books or
records or bring out a catalogue and set up a mail order business.
- Use low value foreign coins to make unusual pictures. For example, might be either a coin mosaic or a
selection of coins mounted next to each other to make silhouettes of landscapes. Frame the pictures and get
them stocked at shops which sell gifts, coins or souvenirs.
- Put together an audio cassette course about teach yourself the Welsh language. Sell the course by mail
order and get it stocked at bookshops and souvenir shops throughout Wales.
- Produce wall-charts which helps individuals and couples manage their financial affairs. A thorough
record of expenditure is made on the wall-chart. The wall-chart helps to make it easy to control finances
because it is so visible to all in the household.
- Create a mail order business which sells drinking accessories and memorabilia, for example, yard-long
drinking glasses, personalised tankards, traditional pub games, collectable beer mats, books about drinking
- Start a service which produces high quality, demonstration audio cassettes for new pop groups. The
groups pay for the production of the cassettes. Your service also distributes copies to people in the music
business. Advertise in the music press.
- Write, produce and sell a correspondence course about inventing for profit. The course would help a
person to develop creative abilities and identifies areas where small inventors get the most patents. A key
selling point of your course is that inventing is both fun and lucrative.
- Produce a selection of postcards which feature traditional oil paintings of tourist sites. The paintings
featured might be contemporary or historical.
- Organise the building of reproduction stone monuments. The reasons why anyone might want a
reproduction monument might include: personal gratification, an interest in the occult, to create a tourist
site, to attract customers to a business, etc.
- Manufacture wooden snooker score-boards for professional and amateur players. Try to bring out an
inexpensive score-board which can be sold to players who have a snooker table in their own home.
- Begin a lesson of the month club for those who want to start a business. Each lesson would be like a
monthly newsletter and would be part of a comprehensive course. The lessons might be about starting a
business either in general, or about a specific type of business such as mail order or retailing.
- Create a company which designs and manufactures children’s kits for : making kaleidoscopes,
constructing pinhole cameras, growing crystals, and other things which demonstrate simple scientific
principles. You might include all the projects in a compendium of basic scientific experiments.
- Put together a hamper of children’s jokes and novelties. In each hamper include many of the products
popular with children such as trick matches, itching powder, plastic spiders, etc. Get small hampers stocked
at toy shops and newsagents. Sell larger hampers by mail order.
- Begin a woodwork business which makes toys for children which are variations of the traditional
rocking horse. For example, rocking mythical creatures, rocking rafts with a single sail, aeroplanes, UFOs,
etc. Sell finished toys or kits through toy shops or by mail order.
- Make small and attractive mosaics for hanging on walls like paintings. For example, a mosaic might
be circular and feature the face of a goddess from the ancient world.
- Sell products related to the game of bridge by mail order. Conduct a world-wide search for products
related to bridge. Produce a catalogue and advertise in up-market national publications.
- Design and make a selection of gloves for football goalkeepers. Try to add some special feature such
as ‘extra lightweight’, ‘extra tough’, or ‘extra warm’. Have them stocked at sports shops.
- Use leather fabrics to make pen wallets and pencil cases. Sell the wallets and cases empty or buy pens
and pencils at trade prices and fill the wallets and cases to make the finished product.
- Set up a mail order business which sells second-hand books. Use your own books for the initial stock.
Find further stock by advertising for both trade source and complete collections from private individuals.
Produce lists and place ads in various magazines.
- Give tuition to those who want to enlarge their vocabulary. Your advertising material might include a
word test similar to Reader’s Digest’s ‘Test Your Wordpower’ and an offer to improve the score.
- Put together a range of noticeboards for displaying things like: Staff notices, fire instructions, health
and safety rules, productivity figures, etc. Call on businesses to sell the noticeboards and include a free
installation service in your offer.
- If you are an expert on crafts, earn money from teaching it in quite corners or back rooms of shops
which sell wools, crafts, artists materials or picture framing services.
- Take mechanical things like locks or gears. Cut them in half or remove the outer casing. Mount what
you have left to make unusual ornaments. You might, for example, buy used and obsolete locks and gears
from engineering companies.
- Sell by direct mail to business executives a kit for practising golf putting at the office. One idea for a
selling point is that ordinary workers have a dartboard or snooker table for use during breaks, the executive
needs a golf putting kit to mirror his style.
- Use lace to make unusual jewellery, such as lace bracelets, lace earrings, brooches and necklaces. Let
your imagination run wild to create the design of each item of jewellery. For example, embed lace in clear
- Produce a correspondence course which is designed to improve a persons standard of general
knowledge. In your advertising emphasise that a better life might result from taking the course.
- Learn and then teach origami. Also, if you have a flair for making artefacts in an interesting way, earn
money from doing origami as entertainment.
- Select a range of lingerie and sell it by party plan. Once you develop a winning formula, build up your
business by recruiting and training agents to sell your range of products.
- Start a fishing companion finding service. Take details of when an angler is available, their interests
and level of skill. Offer members of your service various suitable partners. Place ads in angling
publications to attract custom.
- Put together a one-man theatrical show which is pleasant to watch. For example, recite highlights from
Shakespeare or the work of a well-known poet. Perform your show at pubs, offices during the lunch hour,
parties and private households.
- Write and publish a newsletter which deals with most aspects of self-improvement. The newsletter
might consist of ideas for getting ahead and mini courses about self-improvement. Sell subscriptions
- Start a thimble of the month club for new and established thimble collectors. Members of the club
receive the club’s choice of thimble of the month.
- Become a professional organiser of private and business parties. You provide clients with a
comprehensive service which does everything from supplying caterers to organising a coat checking
service. Advertise your service in a wide variety of publications.
- Produce a series of audio cassettes or booklets about the folklore of your region. Have them stocked at
- Start a business which organises snooker holidays and weekend breaks. During each holiday or break
provide guests with tuition from a professional snooker player.
- Organise board game playing holidays and weekend breaks. Guests might play: the latest fashionable
board games, etc.
- Open a market stall which specialises in selling tights and stockings.
- Start a mail order business which specialises in selling information and plans about cave systems in
this country and abroad. Produce a catalogue about what you have for sale and advertise in potholing and
outdoor adventure publications.
- Buy and sell second hand household goods from local newspaper adverts.
- Produce an audio cassette or booklet which is about past major crimes in your area. Do research at
local libraries and newspaper archives. Have your products stocked at local shops. You might give your
cassette or booklet a title like ‘Your Town’s Top 30 Crimes’.
- Use sliced logs to make letter racks. Slice a log and cut into two semi-circles. Take a semi-circle and
stand it on it’s straight side so you have the silhouette of a mound. Cut slots in the rim of the semi-circle,
these slots hold the letters.
- Write and publish a letter about moonlighting. Give subscribers ideas about moonlighting ventures.
Also include articles about subjects such as how to cope with a full-time job, how to manage your income
and how to turn a part-time venture into a full-time business.
324.Organise holidays and weekend breaks for those who want to play at being soldiers in world war II.
The games guests play might involve… pursuit, reaching physical objectives, defending positions, obtaining
- Begin a mail order business which sells boxing memorabilia. Start this business by finding a trade
source of boxing films and videos. Or obtain the rights to reproduce boxing films and videos.
326.Bring out on audio cassettes a library of rude and saucy songs for different team sports. The sports you
cove might include: rugby, cricket, football, basketball and athletics. Arrange for them to be stocked at
- Make wooden badges in the shape of teddy bears, pigs, elephants, etc. Use a fret saw to cut the shapes
and add a few strokes of paint to bring the shapes to life. Mount these badges on a board covered with a
fabric. Ask shopkeepers to display one of the badge covered boards.
- Start a mail order business which sells comedy audio cassettes. Obtain your stock from comedy audio
cassette publishers in this country and from English speaking countries overseas.
- Begin a business which organises woodcraft holidays and weekend breaks for those who want to
improve and develop woodworking skills. Advertise in woodworking and crafts magazines.
- Make Punch and Judy soft toys or dolls. Sell these toys and dolls through seaside shops. Or get Punch
and Judy performers to sell them to patrons.
- Start a mail order company which sells a wide range of lace. Produce a catalogue which features an
illustration of each design. Advertise in women’s and crafts magazines.
- Arrange for business and personal cards to be printed which show that the holder is a dedicated
supporter of a particular football team. Sell to football fans outside matches or get them stocked at suitable
- Use a horse and carriage to take tourists on sightseeing tours.
- Make glass display cases designed to a clients requirements. The display cases might be used for
models, stuffed animals or antiques. Advertise in modelling magazines and build up a list of regular clients.
- Earn from selling flowers door-to-door. Buy stock from a flower wholesaler or market. Build up a
regular base of clients who you can expect to buy a bunch every week from you.
- Start a weekly car cleaning and polishing service. Build up a list of clients by calling on households in
your area to promote the service. Employ teenagers, students and fit retired people to do the cleaning and
- Set up an enterprise which organises the publishing of vanity poetry books. Poets pay you to have
their work published in a professional manner. Each book might contain the work of one or more poets.
- Devise ‘crack the code’ quizzes and sell to newspapers and magazines. One example of this type of
quiz is a statement where the letters of each word are replaced by different letters of the alphabet.
- Advertise for job lots in local and national publications. See what offers turn up and buy anything you
think you can resell for a profit.
- Start a service which buries personalised time capsules which contain items of a persons choice.
Advertise your service in up-market publications. Or start a mail order service which sells time capsules to
people who want to bury things on their property.
- Organise career selection weekends for teenagers. During these weekends teenagers take aptitude
tests, receive counselling and listen to talks about various careers.
- Begin a business which produces a series of teach yourself karate videos. Or bring out videos for other
martial arts subjects. Sell or hire out these videos by post.
- Become an astrologer who specialises in producing charts and readings for babies, children and
teenagers. You might, for example, use astrology to provide career advise for teenagers. Do charts and
readings by post and also do personal consultations with parents.
- Make cardboard cut-outs of animals for children. Each cut-out would be six to nine inches high and
consist of a photograph or drawing of , for example: an elephant, monkey, tiger or dinosaur. These cut-outs
might line a shelf. Package them and sell through shops.
- Deal in the antiques and memorabilia of an ethnic group. Put together a catalogue which features:
history books, videos, antiques, prints and ephemera. Examples of suitable ethnic groups include: Polish,
Italian, West Indian, Scottish, Irish, Native North American, Indian, etc, etc, etc.
- Set up a service which reproduces family business and college crests on plaques. These might be
carved, painted or printed on each plaque. Also offer a design service. Advertise in up-market publications.
- Have a market stall which sells inexpensive toys. Demonstrate toys to attract attention.
- Create a range of desktop sea-shell products. For example: 1) Place weights inside suitable sea-shells
to make paperweights. 2) use odd shaped sea-shells as ‘fidget shells’ to occupy restless fingers 3) sell sea-
shells which have the sound of the sea as ‘stress relief shells’.
- Sell pegs, dishcloths and dusters door-to-door. All you need to do is to buy these goods from a
wholesaler, place them in a shopping basket and you are in business.
- Design and make fashion clothes which are tailor-made to an individual’s tastes. Advertise your
service in trendy publications and place posters in night-clubs.
- Start a service which specialises 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.
- 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.
- Design and organise the printing of ‘for sale’ signs for car owners who want to sell their car. These will
have a brightly coloured backing and are placed in the car windows by the owner. Arrange for signs to be
stocked at car accessory shops.
- Sell simple exercise and keep fit devises door-to-door.
- Design and produce a selection of satirical, political postcards. Sell sets to collectors, retailers and
political activists from ads in political publications.
- 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.
- Reprint classic photographs and set up a mail order business to sell these reprints to amateur and
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Start a theatrical enterprise which produces Christmas pantomimes. Do everything yourself, including
writing the script, recruiting actors, finding a venue, organising rehearsals, publicity and selling tickets.
- Put together a correspondence course which teaches people how to play bridge. Call your business a
school of bridge. Advertise in up-market publications.
- Set up a service which organises theme parties and banquets. The theme of each party might be, for
example: medieval, Wild West or horror. You organise everything for the evening, such as the music,
entertainers, costumes, props, waiting staff, food, cutlery, etc.
- 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 specialise in one sector of the market such as
women’s or X-rated jokes or tricks.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Set up an agency which specialises in providing attractive men and women for sales and reception
work at business promotions, conferences and exhibitions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Use logs to make a range of rustic bird tables, nesting compartments and feeders. Have your products
stocked at hardware shops and garden centres.
- 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.
- Start a rent-a-horse or pony business. Horse riders, instead of keeping their own horse or pony, rent
one from you.
- Begin a service which provides and releases doves for wedding celebrations and other special
- 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
- Begin an enterprise which organises day trips to race-courses. You might, for example, set up a
service which leaves a city centre at a regular time each day and travels to one of the race-courses open on
- 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
- Write and publish a manual about how to start a profitable antiques market stall. Sell by mail order to
- Produce and distribute a video encyclopaedia. A video encyclopaedia 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.
- 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.
- 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 centres and hardware shops.
- Organise 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
401.Start a dining agency for single people. Match single people and arrange for them to have dinner dates.
Or organise dinner parties for mixed groups. Use ads in local newspapers and singles magazines.
- Bring out a selection of men’s rings which feature the name or emblem of popular football teams.
- 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.
- Start an international advertising publication for philatelists. Provide dealers and collectors with an
international dimension to their sales efforts and search for stamps.
- 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 neighbourhoods,
etc. Give your tour a name like ‘Shocking side of the city’.
- 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.
- Begin a mail order business which sells football videos, photographs, postcards, posters and slides.
Advertise in football magazines and programmes.
- Assemble sets of fossils. These might be based on a type of animal, for example, insects or fish. Or
organise them according to particular geological periods. Sell to collectors and schools.
- 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.
- 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.
- Start a semi-professional theatre group which earns money from performing at private parties,
business promotions, tourist sites and public events.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 centre forward of Liverpool and a score every time’.
- 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.
- Manufacture wooden TV caddies for holding an ashtray, drink, sandwiches, TV programmes
schedule, Kleenex, etc. A TV caddie might consist of an upright plank of wood with several shelves.
- 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
- 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.
- Design a standard notepad for ordering extra goods from the milkman. The notepad should have
spaces for house number, date and the customers 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.
- 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.
- Start an interior decoration business which specialises 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.
- 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 colours on different cards, another
might have a wide range of rough and smooth materials.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- Set up a mail order business which sells gold chain by the inch. Use creative advertising to put across
your sales message.
- Bring out your own mail order catalogue which is devoted to enamelling craft equipment and supplies.
You can commission manufacturers to make many of the supplies.
- Place racks of bead necklaces at a wide range of shops. Buy the bead necklaces from importers and
mount them on the racks yourself.
- 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.
- Sell figure improving aids and techniques by mail order. For example, you might sell exercise
programmes, or products which help to remove tummy bulges or excess fat on legs.
- 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.
- 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
eggcrafts. Sell through classified ads or have stocked in craft shops.
- Start a business which specialises 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.
- 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.
- Invent and develop a programme which is designed to turn a failure into a successful person. The
programme might take the form of a series of booklets, loose-leaf binders of information, or a
correspondence course. Sell your programme from ads in newspapers and magazines.
- 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.
- 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.
- Design a range of first name self-adhesive stickers for children to put on their books or toys. Sell
through toy shops and newsagents.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Produce a correspondence course about how to write biography. Biography publishing is one of the
largest sectors of the book industry.
- Bring out a selection of computer programs which can be sold as a business opportunity. For example,
one program might be for starting a computerised dating agency, another for writing a newsletter or
classified ad sheet, a third for starting a computerised marketplace.
- Set up a business which sends British comics to both expatriates and overseas collectors of British
comics. You might send comics on a weekly basis as they are published, save them up and post every
quarter or advertise world-wide offering a sample of British comics.
- Start a newsletter for role-playing game enthusiasts. In each issue give subscribers: tips about how to
win games, review new games, act as a forum for discussion about games. Sell space to display and
- Produce a series of Whodunit audio cassettes. Get your cassettes stocked at bookshops and build up a
reputation for producing the best whodunit cassettes. Alternatively, produce a series of X-rated whodunit
cassettes. They can be sold by mail order.
- Publish a booklet which provides a lengthy list of mottos for use by: societies, clubs, institutions,
families and individuals. Have the booklet stocked at shops. Also start a postal service which devises
mottos. Use a page in the booklet to advertise your postal service.
- Provide yourself with a regular income by selling odd and unusual facts to all kinds of publications.
For example, sell financial facts to financial magazines, football facts to football programme publishers,
photography facts to photography magazines, etc.
- Bring out a series of booklets or cassettes about how to get rid of, or escape the attentions of various
types of people such as: unsatisfactory employers, salesmen, bores, fools, unwanted admirers, officials, etc.
Sell the booklets or cassettes as a complete set by mail order or through bookshops.
- Produce and distribute an audio cassette library of fairy tales. Put together a comprehensive collection
of fairy tales. Sell by post as a complete library or start a monthly club. Advertise in women’s magazines.
- Make kitchen wall-pouches from either leather or fabrics. Each pouch is for holding money-off
coupons, shopping lists and other bits of paper which are worth keeping. Find retailers to stock your wall-
- Start a universal correspondence club. This club should be able to boast that it can find someone to
correspond about any subject. Produce a leaflet about your club and list many subjects. Recruit club
members by placing classified ads in a diversity of publications at home and abroad.
- Start a service for newsletter publishers. This might include: handling back issues, enveloping and
mailing issues to subscribers, and selling advertising space.
- Begin a postal service which hires out or sells Welsh or Gaelic spoken word audio cassettes and
videos. If you have a knowledge of either language, produce many of the cassettes yourself.
- Publish a newsletter about the changing English language. The contents would provide information
about new words and meanings. Sell subscriptions to writers, academics, advertising agencies and others
who might be interested in new words.
- Give tuition in your own home to those who want to improve their spoken English. There is a vast
pool of clients as most people would like to become more articulate. Use local advertising to attract
- Publish a newsletter for separated and divorced people. Discuss issues relevant to being separate or
divorced. Also include classified listings of people who are looking for new partners.
- Commission an artist to do a contemporary map of your town or region in the style of maps from
antiquity. Produce and frame prints of this map. Distribute to shops throughout the region.
- Invest in a course of singing lessons. If others find your voice pleasing to listen to earn money from
singing at pubs and clubs.
- Begin a mail order business which sells stencil craft. Make stencils which can be used by
woodworkers, for example, to add attractive designs to their work. A stencil might depict flowers and a
woodworker would use paint or ink to imprint the design onto their work.
- Become a street or market craftworker. Sit at a stall making, for example, ornaments from wire or
shells. Display the goods you make on your stall. The act of making the ornaments attracts the curiosity of
passers-by. This should result in a respectable level of sales.
- Buy and rent out steam wallpaper removing machines. Start with one fairly cheap model bought from
your local DIY superstore and build up a collection.
- Start a general problem solving service for personal affairs. This service acts like a private agony aunt.
An expert is provided to deal with the problem your client is trying to solve. The expert might give advice
by telephone, by post or in person.
- Learn the art of making stained glass windows. Use your newly acquired skills to earn money from: 1)
Teaching people in your own home, 2) Holding courses at bed and breakfast houses out of season, 3)
holding classes in a quiet corner or back room of an arts and crafts shop.
- Start an agency which supplies entertainers to pubs, restaurants and wine bars. The entertainers might
include disc jockeys, musicians, singers and strip-tease artists. Visit a lawyer to find what legal
requirements you must satisfy. Advertise for entertainers to put on your books, then advertise for business.
- Make low budget promotional videos for pop groups and solo artists who are just starting out.
Advertise your service at music shops and in the music press. When you receive an enquiry, give the
potential client a persuasive sales presentation.
- Design Christmas sleigh bells for cars. These bells are attached to the exterior of a car. The motion of
the car causes the bells to ring, just like sleigh bells. During the Christmas period these bells should add a
pleasant seasonal flavour to cars.
- Bring out a correspondence course which teaches people how to be a consultant. This course should
deal with every aspect of setting up a successful consultancy.
- Put together a mail order catalogue of spoken word audio cassettes. Canvass audio cassette publishers
to see how they can be of help to you. Place as many audio cassette titles in this catalogue as possible to
give potential customers the widest possible choice.
- Begin a business which hires out second-hand pin-ball machines and computer arcade games to
householders. These machines might also be hired out by the night to private parties.
- Start a children’s record or audio cassette of the month club. The records and cassettes sold by the club
might be educational, stories or music.
- Begin a service which produces newsletters for pop group fan clubs. Devise a method for producing a
reasonable newsletter at low cost. Sell your service to fan clubs. An important part of this business is that it
gives a lot of scope for the selling of advertising space.
- Produce vanity poetry audio cassettes or videos. Pay a celebrity to read a poet’s work to a video
camera, or make a recording on audio tape. Your service might also include producing copies of the
recording on audio or video cassettes for distribution.
- Write booklets or produce audio cassettes about different aspects of making a career in the music
business. For example: ‘How to be an independent record producer’, ‘How to get a recording contract’, ‘How
to form your own group’, etc. Use small ads in the music press to attract buyers.
- Stain sawdust with different colours of ink. Fill clear bottles and jars with the coloured sawdust so that
attractive patterns are made. Also pictures can be built up on the sides of bottles if different colours are
carefully arranged. Sell as souvenirs or ornaments.
- Open a television and video school. Organise practical courses in television and video production. Buy
a second-hand closed circuit television system, rent or lease a hall and use this as the premises of the
- Start a music tuition agency. Offer to tutor potential students in popular musical instruments. Call your
agency a school of music. Start by using advertising to recruit both part-time tutors and pupils.
- Begin a business which organises trips to rock and pop concerts, and football and rugby matches.
Your service obtains the tickets and provides a coach or mini-bus to take fans to the venue.
- Design and make fashionable clothes for children. You might sell them direct or through agents at
- Use soft toy materials to make a puppet-like toy which gives children their medicine. A small soft toy
has a clip attached to one hand. A parent puts the spoonful of medicine into the clip and controls the hand
so that it appears that the puppet is giving the medicine. Sell by mail order through ads in women’s
- Make household hall letterboards. A board is criss-crossed with coloured elastic. Letters are slipped
behind this elastic and thus easily displayed. Have them stocked at stationers and gift shops. Or sell by mail
- Use wood to make desktop stands for holding reference books such as dictionaries, trade directories,
map books and telephone directories. Have these stocked at bookshops and stationers or sell by mail order.
- Learn machine knitting. Once your skill has reached a high standard, earn money from teaching others
to use knitting machines. Teach people in your own home or theirs.
- Make energy saving ‘sausages’. Fill a sausage shaped bag with sand so that it can be placed against a
draughty door or window. Sell door-to-door or have them sold in hardware shops. Also sell kits by mail
- Design and make old fashioned country curtains. Display your curtains on a roadside stall near a busy
shopping centre in a similar fashion to the way double-glazing or shower firms sometimes display their
- Set up a mail order business which serves the gay community. In your catalogue include suitable:
Books, audio cassettes, videos, novelty products, posters, contact adverts section, etc.
- Begin a service which organises the production of wall hanging tapestries to commission. Sell your
service to businesses which might want a tapestry of their logo, for example, hanging in a reception area.
Or do a 1066 style tapestry representing business achievements.
- Manufacture Australian cork hats. These hats might be a cheap novelty version of the real thing. Sell
these cork hats through shops which sell novelties, souvenirs or gifts. Or import real cork hats from
Australia and use ads in magazines to sell these by mail order.
- Bring out a range of T-shirts to distribute to bookshops, record-shops, computing shops, gift shops or
newsagents. The design on the T-shirts might be aimed at the customers of the shops they appear in, for
example, a literary theme for bookshops.
- Have an undergarments market stall and sell: men’s underwear, socks, tights, stockings, fancy lingerie,
long johns, etc.
- Produce magnetic perpetual calendars. A strip of metal is printed with day numbers and the names of
months. Two magnetic markers are used to indicate the date.
- Design and manufacture kits for making clothes. The kits might be aimed at those who have basic
sewing skills, but would need a kit if they want to make something a bit more complex. Produce a
catalogue about your kits and advertise in women’s magazines.
- Start a scarf club. Each month or quarter club members automatically receive one of the latest
fashionable scarves selected by the club. Your club might have a single annual membership charge.
Membership would make an ideal gift.
- Produce booklets or audio cassettes which contain gay short stories. sell by mail order or have them
stocked in shops which are used by the gay community.
- Set up a home-based computer service which maintains the mailing lists of local businesses. Also
supply local businesses with mailing lists bought or rented from other firms in this country and abroad.
- Open a computerised marketplace for cars and motorbikes. On computer list the sellers and what they
have to sell. Charge the sellers a fee for this service. Place ads which invite people who want to buy a car or
bike to telephone you to see if you have what they want.
- Begin a business which makes money from souvenir cosmetics. Bring out lipstick, for example, or
hand cream which has a local theme or name. Buy from established cosmetics manufacturers and package
under your own label.
- If you have the necessary knowledge and skill earn money from teaching home computing in your
own home or the home of clients. Prepare lessons on a variety of popular software applications and general
computer operation. Give classes and teach to solo students.
- Begin a business which produces correspondence courses about home computing. Base each course on
a popular software application and have a general course on general computer operation. The lessons in
your course might be modelled on what already exists in textbooks. Sell from ads in computer magazines.
- Organise tours of well-known sights or areas of outstanding natural beauty. Buy or rent an open
topped bus for the tours. Also use this bus for weddings, work excursions and school trips.
- Design and produce mugs or posters which predict a persons future. These might be called fortune
mugs (or posters). For example a mug or poster might be printed with either a reference guide to what
patterns of tea leaves mean or an astrological prediction for each star sign.
- Start a newsletter for people who want to make money from their home computer. In each issue
provide subscribers with ideas for adventure games, educational or quiz programs, and business programs.
Also print news, tips and case studies about starting a computing business.
- Begin a computing lesson of the month club. Each month send a home computing enthusiast a cassette
which gives instructions about how to use a popular application or how to improve their programming
skills. Advertise in home computing magazines.
- Start a mail order business which sells mosaic making supplies. Also sell a guide about getting started
in this hobby. Produce a simple catalogue about your products and advertise in crafts magazines.
- Learn the art of tap dancing and put together your own song and dance act. Find an agent and perform
at clubs, pubs and private functions.
- Design and manufacture kits for making paper at home. Sell the kits to craft workers from ads in crafts
magazines and get them stocked in hobby and crafts shops.
- Design and make a range of fishing lures at home. Sell these by getting them stocked at fishing tackle
shops, starting a monthly club which sends anglers one of the latest fishing lures and giving the lures an
appealing name like ‘lucky charm lures’.
- Produce a rhyming dictionary on audio cassettes. A spoken word dictionary can illustrate the rhyming
qualities of words far better than any printed dictionary. Get these stocked at bookshops or sell from
adverts in literary magazines.
- Start a mail order company which sells business equipment and accessories for left-handed people.
Bring out a catalogue and send it to large and medium-sized businesses.
- Publish a craftworkers’ equivalent to the ‘Yellow Pages’. In the directory include the addresses of
sources for a wide range of products. List the addresses under a heading for each craft. Also sell advertising
space to suppliers, crafts schools, craftworkers, etc.
- Set up a service which rents out model trains, boats and planes to businesses with reception areas.
These models are supposed to create goodwill because most people will look at and appreciate a good
model. Your clients will include restaurants and office-based businesses and particularly travel agents.
- Canvass shops for older, soiled or other unwanted stock and offer to buy it at a nominal sum. No one
else is likely to buy the stock so this is probably the only opportunity the owner has to sell it. Hire a hall
and sell the stock at low prices to the public. Or sell at a car boot sale or from a market stall.
- Reprint old geographical maps. Use the reprints to decorate unfinished stock bought from
manufacturers. For example: desk sets, book ends, memo pads, letter racks, lamp holders, book ends,
coasters, dinner mats, etc. Alternatively frame the maps in a stylish frame and sell as wall decorations.
- Package low value foreign coins in cellophane envelopes. Distribute these coins to newsagents for
selling to children in the way small packets of stamps are sold.
- Start a firm which manufacturers kits for making etchings. Design the kits so that a complete
beginners can make attractive etchings. Sell by mail order or through shops which sell artists’ materials.
- Produce and distribute souvenir boxes of matches. Each matchbox is painted with a picture postcard
scene of a tourist area. Also produce a souvenir pack which contains a selection of different boxes. This
pack can be bought by people as a gift or taken home for personal use.
- Set up a bead craftwork business. Use beads to make a selection of jewellery such as necklaces,
pendants, bracelets and earrings. Sell from a market stall or mount on display racks and get shops to stock
- Start a business which makes a range of souvenir or commemorative wall plaques. They might have a
feature such as: town crests, tourist maps, commemorative statements or logos, etc. Sell your wall plaques
through gift shops and hotels.
- Rent out scaffolding for exterior home decorating and maintenance. Advertise in local newspapers and
newsagents windows. Provide a free delivery service.
- Bring out an audio cassette course about advanced driving. Sell by mail order or get it stocked in
bookshops. Or produce videos about improving driving skills and hire or sell by post. Each video might
feature filmed examples of good or bad driving.
- Set up a business which produces X-rated jigsaw puzzles. These might be sold either by mail order or,
to wholesalers of X-rated products.
- Design and manufacture kits for making string puppets. produce a selection of kits which are
complementary to each other and can be used in the same puppet show.
- Learn how to make china dolls and once your work reaches a high standard make an income from
teaching others. Hold classes in your own area or devise a postal course.
- Make peg calendars. A peg calendar consists of a block of wood with a line of 31 holes for days, 12
holes for months, and 10 holes for years. Three tiny pegs indicate the date and are moved each day
accordingly. The calendar can hang from a wall like a thermometer or sit on a desk.
- If you can draw amusing characatures call door-to-door to show people samples of your work and
offer to draw one on the spot.
- Arrange for a set of pictures to be printed to look like old cigarette cards. Turn out hundreds of framed
sets and sell to wholesalers and gift shops.
- If you have the skill, work as a charcoal artist in a thoroughfare of a shopping or tourist area.
- Found a year-book for people who do creative things with their hands, such as painters, drawers,
sculptors, cartoonists, illustrators, cartoonists, engravers, etc. Also list buyers of art, art schools, art fairs,
etc. Have the year-book stocked at bookshops, artists supplies shops, craftshops and sell by mail.
- Start a training school which specialises in teaching the art of sketching. Use sketch artists to do the
teaching. Your job is to find students and organise the premises and management. Also put together a
postal course which teaches sketching to beginners.
- Draw amusing cartoons of personal names at any location where there are crowds, for example: fairs,
trade shows, shopping areas and tourist sites.
- Design and manufacture finger painting kits for children and adults. Get these stocked at shops which
sell toys (for children’s kits) and artists materials (for adult’s kits).
- Invent a cartoon character which captures the spirit of your town or region. Pick a name which
matches the name of the town or region. E.g. Billy Brighton, Mickey Middlesex, etc. Use this character on:
T-shirts, posters, postcards, stationery, etc.
- Make money from wines by taking an empty van to a wine growing region and bringing it back full.
Sell the wine directly to restaurants, off-licences, and free houses. Build up a list of business who will buy
wine from you on a regular basis.
- Publish a newsletter about cocktail drinks. In each issue include: information about new and classic
cocktail drinker tips, the best way to make drinks, new cocktails which you devise yourself, etc. Your
market includes all businesses licensed to sell drinks.
- Specialise in organising trips to vineyards and beer festivals. Issue an annual or quarterly brochure
which gives full details of all the holidays you are planning. Advertise in beer and wine publications.
- Sell by post plans for hobby electronic construction projects. Buy plans from established electronics
hobbyists and compile a catalogue of plans for sale. Find and sell plans through adverts in electronic hobby
- Begin a party plan business which sells self-instruction and ‘how to’ books, cassettes and courses. Add
a competitive edge to the business by producing many of the products yourself.
- Write and publish a series of booklets on how to turn various hobbies into businesses, for example,
‘How to start an electronics business’. Other hobbies might include: stamp or book collecting, photography,
angling, and video making. Sell through ads in hobby and business opportunity magazines.
- Produce a questionnaire which is designed to find out if one person really loves another. Place
classified ads in magazines for teenagers or women which read : ‘Does he really love you?’. Send
respondents a questionnaire and process it for a charge. Or design a questionnaire which can be assessed by
- Learn the art of I Ching. Then, earn a sideline income by persuading party hosts to pay you to give
readings to guests.
- Produce and sell from national publications a home study course about how to play the piano. Pay an
expert pianist to devise and write the course.
- Make a series of cookery instruction videos. These should teach people how to make all kinds of
dishes and foods. Start a postal business to rent or sell these videos.
- At a seaside resort set up a seasonal business which organises boat trips and day-long coach
excursions for holiday-makers. The boat and coaches will be hired from local operatives and you can sell
tickets from camping site shops, newsagents and tourist information centres.
- Devise and produce an audio cassette course about successful exam techniques. An important selling
point is that anyone with average intelligence can pass most exams if they know about exam techniques.
- Print stationery with a thematic design for hobbyists. For example, photographers can have writing
paper and envelopes printed with pictures of cameras, films and lights. Get this stationery stocked at hobby
shops and sell by mail order through the appropriate hobby magazines.
- Compile and publish a guide to employers throughout the country who have a high turnover of staff.
These employers are always looking for new staff. Sell copies of this guide to jobhunters through
bookshops or from classified ads.
- Design and manufacture portable mini-golf courses. Each hole on the course might consist of a large,
colourful wooden sheet which has pop-up features like a pop-up book. Nine sheets will fit in a van. Sell or
hire for fund raising and money-making.
- Use various fabrics to make money belts of your own design. Attach each money belt to a printed card
and sell these fully stocked to shoe repair shops and newsagents.
- Design and make wooden wheels of fortune. Produce in a variety of sizes and designs. Sell or hire as
fund-raising aids to clubs, associations, schools and colleges.
- Produce an audio cassette training course about salesmanship. The object of the course might be to
bring out and develop the salesperson in anyone. For this reason almost everyone is a potential buyer.
- Sell recipes for making home-made chocolates and sweets via classified ads. The products made
should be of a quality that can be sold either from a stall or to colleagues and friends.
- Conduct your own research into the subject of how to make money from gaming machines. Write and
publish a report about your findings. Sell from classified ads or by direct mail and emphasise that people
could make a lot of money from buying your report.
- Start a mail order business which sells books about how to win at gambling. The games covered might
include: roulette, baccarat, poker and horse-racing. Buy the publications direct from publishers at home and
abroad. Or publish the books yourself.
- Produce a series of audio cassettes which give instruction about how to mimic different accents. For
example: ‘Teach yourself to speak like a Texan’. Other accents might include: Yorkshire, cockney, French,
English, Scottish, New York, etc.
- Have amusing messages printed in speech bubbles on the sides of potted plant holders. For example:
‘Hello, my name is…’, ‘Shake my water, don’t stir it’, ‘I feel like a chat’, etc. Have these stocked at outlets
which sell garden products.
- Put together a kit for growing trees from seeds. In each kit include instructions about how to get the
best results. Sell from ads in gardening publications or through suitable shops.
- Begin a mail order business which sells hydroponics growers supplies(hydroponics is a method of
growing plants without soil). Produce a catalogue and advertise in gardening publications.
- Obtain quantities of sand from the beaches of the D-day invasion. Place the sand in tiny bottles and
sell world-wide as souvenir sand from the beaches of the 1944 D-day invasion. Add a name label to each
bottle to show which beach the sand came from.
- Start a business which makes garden hammocks. Devise your own hammock which has at least one
superior feature over other hammocks available. Sell through hardware shops and garden centres and by
mail order from ads in gardening publications.
- Use logs and wood to make small ornamental garden wishing wells. Sell through garden centres and
- Bring out a selection of hair jewellery. This could be made from real or artificial human hair and is
knotted like dreadlocks. The jewellery also includes coloured beads in the design. The result is dreadlocks
necklaces, brooches and earrings.
- Begin a business which makes and distributes souvenir lucky charms. One example is a number seven
made from metal and stamped with a place name.
- Sell flowers at a market or roadside stall.
- Sell single roses from a roadside stall. Put up a big sign which both tempts people to buy a single rose
and state the price.
- Paint, or organise the painting of, designs on T-shirts. Sell the finished T-shirts through up-market
shops where the price charged will provide a reasonable income.
- Begin a business which produces framed reprints of interesting old patents. Sell by post to
professional people or have them stocked at gift shops.
- Start a comprehensive garden maintenance service. discuss with clients what work needs to be done to
their gardens on a regular basis. People who use your service can have a beautiful garden and not do a
minute of work in it themselves.
- Produce a series of music and sound effects audio cassettes which are specially designed to aid the
growth of household plants. For example, sounds might include the wind blowing and birds singing.
Advertise in gardening and householders magazines.
- Pick a well known old and long road. Research and write the history of that road. Have a few hundred
booklets printed and sell to the residents and businesses along the road.
- Bring out a confidential newsletter which has a title like ‘How to Overcome the Dissatisfactions You
have with Your Life’. Provide subscribers with ideas and inspiration. Write about case studies and answer
- Be a roadside fortune-teller.
- Bring out a selection of pretty, non-picture postcards which are specially designed for friends to send
brief notes to each other. Have them stocked at stationers, newsagents and shops which sell greeting cards.
- Find a source of common or high-quality soil, package and sell through hardware shops and garden
- Create a correspondence course about how to be more enterprising. Sell by placing ads in national
newspapers. Have ad headlines like: ‘Are you an enterprising person?’, and ‘Improve your life by being
- Have T-shirts printed with sci-fi messages on the front such as ‘Alpha Centauri University’, Visit
Ancient Egypt with TWA’s Time Travel Tours’, ‘Test fly a Centauri flying saucer, visit your local dealer’,
etc. Sell at sci-fi conventions and through sci-fi shops.
- Bring out a range of jewellery for ears. However, this jewellery does not hang from earlobes like
earrings, but gently clips to the top of the ears. This jewellery looks as if it if it is perched on top of the ears.
A piece of eartop jewellery might follow the curvature of each ear.
- Start a business which makes a range of quality old-fashioned long johns. Produce a catalogue and
start a mail order business.
- Consider taking up the career of chiropody. Send for a prospectus from a school of chiropody. Take a
course and, after graduation, open your own practice.
- Start a computerised horse-racing results prediction service. There are many systems available for
selecting a winning horse. Base your computer program on any or a mixture of these systems. Send
forecasts on a regular basis to subscribers.
- Be a travelling manicurist. Build up a regular round of clients at offices and private residences. Send a
leaflet about your service to businesses and private residences and advertise in the local media.
- Supply life extension products by post. Model your business on similar businesses which have been
successful in the USA. Obtain a catalogue from one of these businesses and base your business on their
- Start a mail order business which sells stop smoking aids. For example: dummy cigarettes, advice
booklets, herbal aids, inspirational cassettes, charts and posters. You can produce many of these products
yourself and buy the others from wholesalers.
- Begin a postal service which sells the reproduction rights to formulae for making products such as
stain removers, special glues and toilet water. Your custom will come from business opportunity seekers
who want to reproduce these formulae for reselling. You can also sell the formulae as ‘household secrets’
through classified ads in women’s magazines.
- Publish a monthly newsletter which gives inspiration to those trying to lose weight. Successful dieting
often depends on what’s going on in a person’s mind. A newsletter such as this can help to prepare a person,
with various stories of success from those who have succeeded in losing weight and a selection of
techniques to make the process easier.
- Bring out an audio cassette course about how to lose weight. This might employ techniques of self-
hypnosis or subliminal suggestion. Sell from ads in slimming and women’s magazines.
- At a suitable market open a stall which is devoted to selling products devoted to a particular popular
- Write and publish a manual about how to bring out a correspondence course. For many people this
could be a route to a business which both provides enough money to live on and doesn’t require much
money to set up. Sell the manual to business opportunity seekers.
- Open a school of massage. Teach, or organise the teaching of, massage to those interested in becoming
- Start a slide set of the month club for collectors of slides. Slides might be about, for example, classic
photographs, art, technology, aeroplanes, trains and stamps. Advertise in photography magazines.
- Found a stop smoking club. Hold club meetings at hired halls in various areas on different nights of
the week. Employ a variety of techniques to help people to give up smoking. A great many people will be
driven by the collective inspiration of the group.
- Produce biographical photographs of celebrities. For example, read all about the Beatles or the Rolling
Stones to discover : Their places of birth, schools, first places of work, houses they once lived in, etc. Take
photographs of these places, and put dates of birth below portrait photographs and sell to fans.
- Reproduce old black and white or sepia photographs of a town as postcards, posters and framed prints.
Have them stocked in a wide variety of shops.
- Organise weekend breaks where people can experience ‘living’ history. Guests can spend a weekend
living in a re-created era of history such as the Stone Age, the Wild West or Viking times.
- Design and produce a range of amusing self-adhesive stickers for children. The stickers might feature
jokes, funny faces and streetwise statements. Distribute to wholesalers, newsagents and toyshops.
- Sell parcels of unsorted books by post to book collectors. Or offer second-hand books for sale by the
foot. Obtain your stock by buying books which cannot be sold from second-hand book dealers and
- Write and publish a manual about how to start your own book or newsletter publishing business. Sell
by direct mail or from classified ads to business opportunity seekers and those interested in publishing.
- Start a mail order business which sells new and second-hand Jazz records. Many rare and classic Jazz
records are released in overseas countries. Import these to sell to collectors in this country. Also locate
overseas sources of second-hand records.
- Begin a club which sends philatelists a set of stamps every month. The sets might be either, thematic
or newly issued by a country chosen by the collector.
- Launch a rose of the month club. Build up a list of clients who want a rose sent each month to their
- Employ homeworkers to make knitwear products. Go the round of retailers to find stockists.
- Start a general sports tuition agency. Either provide clients with a tutor to give individual tuition or
organise courses for different sports and sell places on each course. Produce a leaflet about your service
and get copies displayed at sports shops.
- Embroider exotic designs on disco and party clothes. Arrange for your work to be stocked at up-
- Begin a mail order business which sells books and study equipment to those interested in natural
- Start a company which organises business anniversary celebrations. Devise celebration packages and
sell to businesses who have been trading for 1, 5, 10, 20, 21, 25, 50, 60, 75, or 100 years. Locate potential
clients by searching records located at Companies House to discover when firms were formed.
- Take an ordinary magnifying glass, package it and call it ‘The Gardener’s Magnifying Glass’.
Distribute to hardware shops or sell by mail from ads in gardening magazines.
- Start a modern art rental business. Rent out everything from metal sculptures to mobile art. Your
potential clients will include all image conscious businesses with reception areas, courtyards or forecourts.
- Begin a business which organises specialist adventure holidays for women. The holidays should be
designed to help women develop their skills and abilities related to: management, persuasiveness, problem
solving, leadership, creative thinking, etc.
- Start a central membership agency for joining fan clubs. Persuade established fan clubs to become part
of your scheme. Recruit people by advertising in numerous pop and rock publications. You take a
commission on all membership fees.
- Become an importer and distributor of car accessories. Conduct thorough research in countries
throughout the world to find car accessories not readily available here.
- Call on regular clients once every eight weeks to sell cosmetics. The cosmetics should have a special
feature, for example, they do not involve cruelty to animals, or are based on herbs.
- Design and manufacture kits for making unusual furniture. For example: tables that hang from the
ceiling, chairs with odd shapes, stylistic plant stands, etc. Produce a catalogue about your product and start
a mail order business.
- Start a newsletter on how to get a better job. Provide subscribers with advice on where to look,
completing application forms, interview techniques, C.V. preparation, etc. The competitive nature of the
job market means that the extra advice provided by your newsletter could make all the difference to a job
- Set up a mail order company which sells local history books. Put together a selection of local history
books for most cities and towns in the country. Produce a catalogue and sell through media advertising.
- Begin a mail order business which sells exposes. Produce booklets, audio cassettes and information
sheets about, for example: wealthy left-wing politicians, worthless aristocrats, stonewall secret service
bungling, bureaucratic incompetence, violent police, etc.
- Buy a selection of local history books, pamphlets, posters and postcards from the publishes at trade
prices. Earn from selling these door-to-door in your area.
- design and make a selection of patchwork hats, caps, jackets, dresses, etc. Find retailers who will stock
your products. Or design and produce kits so that anyone can make their own patchwork products. Place
classified ads in needlework magazines and sell by mail.
- Write and produce a series of audio cassettes about the many aspects of sex education. Have a
catalogue printed and start a mail order business.
- Publish an audio cassette of saucy seaside jokes. Sell through shops at seaside resorts. The hope is that
holiday-makers might send a saucy cassette home instead of a saucy postcard. With each cassette include a
small card for writing a message.
- Organise the production of business greeting cards. Design the cards for a particular selection of
businesses, for example, mini-cab services. The cards should have pictures relevant to the chosen business.
The company can then send a card to account holders. Sell by direct mail.
- Begin a market stall which sells boiled sweets and hand-made chocolates. Buy your stock from small
producers of confectionery.
- Earn an income from being a freelance salesperson. Place ads in business or trade publications which
reads ‘Freelance Salesperson Available. Anything Considered. Contact…..’. Don’t accept the first offer, but
consider each one and accept the one you find the most suitable.
- Start a children’s badge of the month club. Attract new members by advertising in children’s comics
and offering a selection of free badges.
- Begin a mail order business which sells a selection of products of particular interest to motorbike
enthusiasts. In your catalogue include; badges, clothing, cult ornaments, etc. Advertise in motorbike
- Sell smoke detectors door-to-door. Expand by using sales personnel to sell for you.
- Open your own school of drama. Prepare a simple prospectus which offers a comprehensive
introduction to drama. Hold classes in a hired hall. Also visit businesses and clubs to give classes during
- Bring out a series of audio cassettes or booklets which give advice about how to deal with the
problems experienced by teenagers. For example: the search for identity and career choices. Aim style and
contents at either the teenagers themselves or at parents.
- Set up a health food catering service. Do the catering at a wide range of occasions such as private
parties, business functions, weddings, etc. Advertise in health food shop noticeboards and send copies of
your menu to businesses.
- Place small ads in various overseas business and trade magazines which read ‘I want to buy adult X-
rated products suitable for selling by mail order’.
- Start a school of psychic phenomena and the unknown. Offer potential students easy-to-do postal
courses on subjects such as UFO’s, sea monsters, ghosts, etc. Advertise in a wide range of publications.
- If you live near a port or marina. Start and operate a boat and yacht valeting service. Seek expert
advice from someone knowledgeable about boating or yachting and what is involved in marine valeting.
- Frame and label samples of many different metals. At a glance the physical appearance of different
metals can be compared. Sell by direct mail to engineering companies, scientists, schools and metalwork
- Hire out brassware for decorating the reception areas of businesses such as pubs, hotels, restaurants,
hair salons, offices, etc. Also, some custom might come from householders who are keen on brassware.
- Do bottle art. Paint local scenery and other artistic images on the exterior of tiny bottles. Sell as
souvenirs or ornaments.
- In districts with numerous offices, factories or shops, organise an after work dating service. Send
leaflets about your service and membership application forms to all the work places in a district.
- Begin a mail order business which serves those interested in gold prospecting. Sell equipment,
supplies and books. Also publish your own guide to digging for gold in: Wales, USA, Australia, Canada
and South America.
- Produce a series of booklets about how to buy and run various types of shops. Each booklet might
cover a shop such as a newsagent, greengrocer, village shop, post office, etc. Place classified ads in
newspapers and magazines which advertise shops for sale and sell your booklets by mail.
- Commission the drawing of political cartoons which have an anti-establishment theme. Have these
printed on postcards or posters and sell through shops popular with young adults.
- Design and produce craft kits for making ornaments or relief pictures with ball bearings. Get these
stocked in shops or advertise in crafts magazines.
- Be a home-visiting pre-school teacher. Your task is to prepare children for a successful start at school.
- Buy a candyfloss making machine. Sell your candyfloss from a site where there is a continuous flow
of people who are enjoying their leisure.
- Design a range of blank achievement certificates for use by sports clubs and schools. Have them
printed and sell by direct mail.
- Hand paint nostalgic scenes and old advertisements on mirrors. Sell through gift shops or from a
- Produce T-shirts which are printed with the names of local schools. Have them stocked at newsagents
or other suitable shops close to each school.
- Design and make soft toys which are suitable for shelf ornaments. For example: Alice in Wonderland
characters mounted on stands which have a label giving the name of each character. The high quality of
workmanship should allow you to charge prices to give you a good profit.
- Carve wooden ornaments which look like gargoyles. Attach to one side of the ornament a sticky baked
material or magnet. They can then be added to car dashboards or to fridges.
- Put together a correspondence course about how to become a stock-market chartist. Sell through ads in
financial newspapers and magazines.
- Begin a postal service which produces personalised bookplates. These might be printed with a persons
surname, coat of arms, thematic design relating to a hobby or occupation, drawing of a home, or a portrait.
Sell to people with large collections of books.
- Set up a service which organises holiday exchanges between people who live in English speaking
countries and those in Japan and Continental Europe.
- Start an international correspondence club for stamp collectors. The benefits of membership would
include being able to swap stamps, magazines, books and information. Match stamp collectors according to
their interests and produce a periodic publication for all members.
- Make loveable pocket-sized soft toys and hang on a rack for display in shops. Give the toys a catchy
name like ‘Pocket Pets’.
- Design a selection of bookplates. They might have a theme related to, for example: Greek gods,
astrology, rural scenery, trains, etc. Have them printed and packaged in cellophane packets. Sell through
bookshops and stationers.
- Bring out a correspondence course or audio cassette course, about how to write good dialogue for
fiction. Sell through ads in publications for writers.
- Set up a business which organises weight loss holidays. These holidays are not on health farms but
consist of long distance walking, diet instruction, and discussion amongst participants. A person who wants
to lose weight goes on a two or four week holiday which would consist of walking for most of the day,
following a strict diet and evenings of discussion groups.
- Design and make a selection of lucky charm key-rings. For example, make a key-ring fob which is a
wooden or metal number seven or four-leaf clover. Mount them on a rack and have them stocked at suitable
- Organise the production and distribution of souvenir potted plant holders. These plant holders should
appeal to the same people who buy souvenir trays.
- Sell a wide range of postcards and souvenirs from a roadside stall.
- Produce novelty car stickers which feature a big ‘X’ stamped across pictures of traffic wardens,
policemen, or cars. They are designed to be stuck to cars in the fashion of fighter planes to show enemy
aeroplanes destroyed. They are for amusement only and should appeal to a wide range of drivers.
- Build elaborate sand-castles or sand sculptures at the seaside and accept donations from those who
want to show appreciation of your work.
- Begin a service which helps car owners to sell their cars. You would have around twenty sites at
newsagents, barbers, supermarkets, etc, where details of the cars are displayed. A car owner pays you, for
example, £20, half goes to you and half to the site owners.
- Start a fortune telling gift service for new born babies. When a baby is born a fortune-teller provides a
written statement about their future. Such a statement would make an ideal birth gift. Advertise in the
classified columnist of a variety of publications.
- Bring out a selection of baseball caps which are printed with the names of popular sports teams.
Distribute to sports shops, gift shops and sell by mail order.
- Design, produce and distribute tie clips which have a theme related to astrology, football, a holiday
- Set up a business which teaches languages by post. The courses might consist of both audio cassettes
for learning to speak and written material for learning to write the language.
- Bring out a correspondence course about creative thinking and attract students by advertising in
national newspapers and magazines. The ads might have a headline like ‘Do people say you lack
imagination?’, or ‘The amount of money you make is limited only by your imagination’.
- Put together an audio cassette course about how to be a successful disc jockey. Sell from ads in music
publications and have it stocked in record shops.
- Produce a series of biographical audio cassettes about well-known businesspeople. Bring out a
catalogue and send it to business and professional people. Or start a monthly club where a subscriber
receives a different cassette every month.
- Give private tuition about how to make money. The tuition might be about making money from
business and investments. You might, for example, use some of the ideas listed in this selection as
worthwhile money-makers. Prepare lesson plans on the subjects you wish to cover and teach a set course.
- Start a mail order business which sells paper and card products to photographers. For example, sell
stationery with a photographic theme, cardboard frames in bulk at a discount price, printed paper with
frames for planning photograph collections, paper supplies for processing, etc.
- Research, write and produce a manual or correspondence course about ‘How to start your own holiday
organising business’. This might cover everything from organising walking holidays to conventional
sightseeing holidays. Sell to opportunity seekers.
- Organise holidays for people at American farms and ranches. First advertise in the States for farmers
and ranch owners who want to have paying guests. Then advertise in a variety of publications in this
country for clients.
- Begin a mail order business which sells things related to cult figures such as Nikola Tesla, L. Ron
Hubbard, Leonardo Da Vinci, John Lennon, James Dean, etc. Sell things such as press cuttings,
photographs, audio cassettes, books, etc.
- Design and make novelty soft toys and caps. For example, a soft toy sledgehammer is attached to a
cap so that it looks like it is embedded. Also make hats with antennae and horns.
- Produce an audio cassette course about positive thinking. Sell by direct mail and through press
- Seek out English overseas language publications for teachers and educationalists. Place adverts in
these publications which read: ‘Educational products wanted for distribution in the UK. Write to…’.
- Produce a library of audio cassettes about the Wild West. Sell by direct mail or have them stocked in
bookshops and record shops.
- At tourist sites take photographs of holiday makers with a man dressed as a gorilla, or other amusing
- Produce an audio cassette course on ‘Teaching Yourself Gaelic’. Sell by mail order throughout the
- Design and produce a series of wall charts for children. One chart might ask a child to record one good
deed a day; another might ask a child to record new words learnt; a third might be for recording the weather
or what happened at school.
- Start a mail order catalogue which specialises in products which aid abstinence. For example, products
for giving up: Smoking, Swearing, Nail Biting, Drinking, etc.
- Set up a school of variety entertainment. Teach beginners about the variety entertainment business.
Also show beginners how to improve any acts of their own which they would like to perform.
- Design and manufacture skin painting kits. In each kit have a spectrum of colours and a selection of
designs which can be easily copied. Get your kits stocked at shops which sell toys, novelties or artists
- Use pastels or charcoals to do original pictures of tourist sites. Sell, framed or unframed, as quality
- Design garden ornaments which create special effects on mid-summer’s day. Start a business which
builds and sells your designs. You might, for example, advertise in occult publications.
- Begin a lesson of the month club for those who want to learn the principles of management. Each
lesson takes the form of a newsletter. The lessons are strung together to make a complete management
- Devise your own brand of Bombay mix snack. Set up a business which makes and packages the snack.
Sell through newsagents and grocers.
- Design and produce a selection of amusing ‘Keep Your Distance’ car bumper stickers. For example:
‘Keep your distance, or we might meet by accident’, or ‘Keep car mechanics poor, keep your distance’. Have
them stocked at car accessory shops and service stations.
- Put together a hamper of Christmas decorations. In each hamper include all the decorations needed to
completely decorate a room of average size. The packaging might include a picture of a room which shows
where each of the decorations might go.
- Bring out an audio cassette course about how to be assertive at home and at work. Use direct mail to
sell the course to businesspeople and opportunity seekers.
- Use unusual materials to make names of football teams for hanging on walls. For example they might
be made from lines of studs on leather. Sell from ads in football magazines and programmes.
- Bring together a selection of products related to chess. For example: books, ornaments, framed prints,
chess playing accessories, etc. Produce a catalogue and sell by mail order.
- Design and make a selection of baby christening outfits. Sell the outfits by mail order or through shops
which sell children’s clothes.
- Use leather to make key-ring fobs. Burn designs or put studs into the fobs and add a key-ring. Sell
from a stall or find suitable retail outlets.
- Make kites which feature Union Jacks, Stars and Stripes or the colours of popular football teams.
Package and have stocked at suitable retailers.
- Open a market stall which sells hats and other headgear. Your stock will include: ladies hats, scarves,
men’s caps and Balaclava helmets.
- Start a firm which designs and manufactures noticeboards for the home and office. These might have a
special feature, for example, cover the boards with a fabric which has an exotic design or make boards
which have an unusual shape.
- Produce a correspondence course about how to design saleable knitting patterns. The main market for
this would be people who want to design knitting patterns for profit rather than for enjoyment.
- Take everyday objects such as clocks, water taps and calculators. Remove the outer casing and mount
them to make educational aids or ornaments. Also you might label the most important parts of each object.
- Recreate classic chess games on video. Start a business which hires and sells these to chess
- Start a miniature brassware ornament of the month club. Or produce a mail order catalogue which has
a very wide range of brass ornaments.
- Bring out a correspondence course about how to compose and write hymns. Advertise in the religious
press. Also arrange for agents in foreign countries to sell the course.
- Produce an encyclopaedia of self-improvement on audio cassettes. This should cover all subjects
related to self-improvement and might be 20-50 cassettes in length. Sell in monthly instalments or as a
- Set up a market stall at a tourist town which sells all kinds of belts from the highly fashionable to the
- Start a service which finds companions for those who want to go on cycling or hiking holidays.
Advertise in publications for cyclists or hikers.
- Take suitable sea-shells and sell them as sleep shells. Those who have difficulty in sleeping at night
listen to a sleep shell. The soothing sound of the sea will aid sleep.
- Turn large sea-shells into money boxes. Cut a slot in the shells for inserting coins and add an opening
for extracting the money and block it with removable cork. These are sold as ornaments and as money
- Create a mail order business which sells matchboxes and labels to collectors. Collectors automatically
receive the latest matchboxes each month. Alternatively you might put together a catalogue of old and rare
- Organise overseas information gathering tours for businesspeople. These might be for those who want
to look at an overseas market or who want to visit similar businesses to their own in other countries. For
example, consultants in this country can visit their foreign counterparts.
- Do your own research to discover ghost stories from your region. Record the best stories on audio
tape. Have the cassettes duplicated and labelled and distribute to shops throughout the region covered.
- Start a business which organises cricket holidays and weekend breaks. During these breaks arrange for
guests to receive tuition from a professional cricketer.
- Organise bridge holidays and weekend breaks.
- Set up a quiz games postal club. Club members compete against each other to win quizzes through the
mail. The quizzes could be published in a regular newsletter which would also give the answers to the
previous newsletters quiz(zes).
- Invent and make wooden 2-D and 3-D executive puzzles. For example: 3-D puzzles which have lots of
interlocking pieces. Have them stocked at gift shops and stationers.
- If you live in a busy road and you are at home all day, place a good looking sign outside you house
stating that you do car washing and polishing. Also advertise that you give a personal service and that car
owners can call at your house any time.
- Design and have printed novelty joke licences. Each licence has a space for a name to be added. The
licence may state that the named person is: a genius, certified insane, international sex maniac, etc.
Distribute to shops which sell souvenirs, jokes and gifts.
- Organise the production of photographic business cards and sell these direct to businesspeople. You
might also produce blank photographic business cards for printers. For example a card features a
photograph which is representative of a trade, a printer would print personal details next to the picture.
- Put together a home study course about the technical aspects of film making. This course might be the
cornerstone of your own postal film school. Sell from ads in film magazines.
- Seek out as many recipes as you can for nougat. Devise, with the help of these, your own brand of
delicious nougat. Have sizeable quantities made and sell from a stall or get it stocked at shops.
- Frame photographs of well known boxers. Get these stocked at sports shops or sell by mail order from
ads in boxing and sports papers and magazines.
- Bring out X-rated cardboard cut-outs of female or male models. Sell by mail order from ads in adult
- Design souvenir badges which read ‘I’ve been to (name of town)’ or ‘I love ………’. Pay to have your
badges professionally made. Arrange for shops in the named town to stock these badges.
- Each month produce and interesting lecture on audio cassette. Sell these through a monthly club. The
subjects should be something which appeals to an established market such as science fiction fans, business
opportunity seekers or sales people.
- Start a private school for florists. Provide courses for those who want to either set up in business or
want to get a job as a florist. Advertise in women’s magazines.
- Bring out a card index box which has reprinted cards for holding different kinds of information. This
is a card index version of personal organisers, instead of carrying around a pocket folder of information,
everything is held on pre-printed cards in a desktop card index box.
- Design and organise the production of stop smoking penalty boxes. Every time a person smokes, he or
she pays a fine. Pay a plastics injecting mouldings firm to manufacture the boxes. Distribute the finished
plastic boxes to wholesalers and a wide range of retailers.
- Make good, old-fashioned wooden tool carriers and have them stocked at hardware shops and tool
shops. Or produce kits for making tool carriers and sell by mail order from ads in DIY magazines.
- Produce and distribute a selection of ashtrays which feature the face of a hated person. Every time a
smoker finishes a cigarette they stub it out in the face of the hated person.
- Make leather folders for salespeople to use when making presentations. Have these stocked a
stationers or produce a catalogue about your range of folders and send it to businesses.
- During the Christmas period, sell holly and mistletoe door-to-door.
- Put together a home study course about theatrical directing. Call this business a postal drama school.
Students will include: amateur drama directors, professional actors and other theatre enthusiasts.
- Write and publish a manual which is about how to start and organise your own football team. Sell
from ads in football magazines and programmes.
- Set up a window cleaning round and employ students and other young people to do the work. Build up
lots of individual rounds and employ a person for each one.
- Place classified ads in newspapers which read: ‘Anything bought, Cash paid’ or ‘Houses cleared’. Make
money from reselling what you pick up.
- Start a romantic time-capsule burying service. A man or woman can immortalise the one they love by
having a time-capsule buried to tell future generations about their loved one.
- Organise weekend breaks where individuals can have their career assessed by professional career
advisers. Advice should also be given on how to develop a career or how to make a change. Advertise in
up-market or business publications.
- Bring out a careers guide to self-employment. Sell this through as many bookshops as possible.
Hopefully this guide will become an annual publication which will appeal to a new crop of people every
- Make life-size string puppets. Each puppet is controlled by someone standing on a roof, balcony or
scaffold. Use for promotion or entertainment.
- Begin a mail order firm which sells personalised everyday objects such as pens, towels, handkerchiefs,
notepads, combs, etc. Produce a catalogue and advertise in up-market publications. Offer customers
hampers of personalised products.
- Run a business which deals in the memorabilia of a region. You can buy your stock from various
sources, for example, history books from publishers, photographs from photo libraries and films and videos
from film making and film distribution companies.
- Write and publish a newsletter which is specifically for budding and practising freelance writers. Give
the newsletter a title like: ‘Freelance Writer’. Give ideas and tips about how to sell work and have a section
for articles, letters and classified ads.
- Become a wholesaler of spoken word audio cassettes. You act as the middleman between publishers
and retailers. This is a growth area and it might not be long before every bookshop has many shelves of
audio cassettes. Will these cassettes be supplied by you?!
- Set up a mail order business which sells plans, equipment and supplies for making mosaics. Produce a
catalogue and advertise in crafts magazines.
- Sell cheap labour saving devices door-to-door, for example: potato peelers, chip cutting machines,
easy-to-use can openers, etc.
- Design and make original fashion clothes. Begin by selling your work from a market stall. This will
give you the valuable experience of meeting fashion buyers face-to-face. If you discover you can make
clothes which are popular, branch out and sell to boutiques.
- Learn how to build garden fences then start your own business. Advertise your garden fence building
business in local newspapers and offer to provide a free written estimate.
- At a public place or fair have a site where people can pay to do their own action painting. Each person
is given overalls and a canvass or large sheet of paper. They can then help themselves to as much paint as
they like and all kinds of brushes and implements.
- Design, make and distribute souvenir pottery doorstops. These might be imprinted with the name of a
resort or a view of tourist scenery.
- Visit offices during lunch breaks, or before work begins, to give keep-fit classes.
- Produce a selection of political and moral T-shirts. These will be designs to publicly express a persons
opinion. Sell at demonstrations and through ads in the political press. Also bring out a mail order catalogue.
- Begin a business which organises short courses and seminars for salespeople. A guest successful sales
personality might be selected to give each lesson. The subjects you cover might include: ‘How to Double
Your Sales’ and ‘How to Beat Your Competitors’.
- Start a business which records interviews with celebrities. Market these on audio cassettes just as if
you were selling books or records. Sell these by mail order from your own catalogue and have them
stocked in book and record shops.
- Arrange for greeting messages to be carved into stone. Sell at shops as an everlasting version of
greeting cards. Or start a postal service which turns out personalised greetings in stone.
- Bump start your career as a freelance journalist. Newspapers and magazines are always interested in
success stories. Find and write about people from humble backgrounds who have been successful in
business. The best way to find such people is to advertise for them.
- Cut divining rods for selling by mail order to gardeners and curiosity seekers. A divining rod would
also make an interesting and unusual gift.
- Be a family relations consultant. Give advice about how to improve relationships with family
members. If you can provide a satisfactory standard of advice your local area should provide you with
- Start an enterprise which makes airport type wind-socks in miniature for ordinary gardens. Distribute
these to hardware shops and garden centres or sell by mail order from ads in gardening publications.
- Produce a selection of small posters of dogs and cats. Have these stocked at pet shops and gifts shops.
For example, at pet shops have a sample of each poster covered by a transparent plastic. Hang these from a
rack and have the saleable posters in rolls in a basket underneath.
- Make candid videos of weddings. Candid videos provide a fascinating, more accurate record of a
wedding. Copies can be duplicated and sold to family members. Also do candid videos of parties,
promotions, day trips and other special occasions.
- Produce a selection of key-rings which have unusual fobs. For example the fobs might be made from:
large flat sea-shells, large foreign coins, circles cut from old LPs, fossils, slate, etc. Sell from a stall at crafts
fairs and fleamarkets.
- Organise theme parties for children and teenagers. You supply the party-goers with simple costumes,
food and entertainment. Each party might be related to a popular theme such as science fiction, pirates,
witches and wizards, Wild West, etc.
- Invent ideas for practical jokes. Sell these by either producing a regular newsletter or, a directory of
jokes for different occasions. You might also set up a national practical jokes club.
- Deal in butterflies and sell to collectors by post. Obtain stock by advertising your interest in buying
butterfly collections in collectors magazines.
- Begin a business which produces horror novelty wall-hangings. For example, a framed picture which
has the picture itself covered by a sliding or hinged door. The door can be opened to reveal a scary scene.
Another example would be a wall mirror with the faint face of a ghost peering out.
- Compile a guide to educational and leisure holiday courses. Have this published in book form and sell
by mail order and through bookshops. This has the potential for a successful annual publication.
- Start a mail order firm which sells live insects, insectaria and other products related to keeping and
breeding insects. Advice might also be given on what insects to keep. Your service might be called ‘Select
an Insect’. Also publish a newsletter with a title like ‘Insect Keeper’.
- Design and produce a stockmarket investors log book. The purpose of this log book is to record and
chart: the prices of individual shares, purchases, sales, dealing costs, profits and losses. Sell by mail order
and direct mail to investors.
- Produce a series of audio cassettes which contain quotes from the bible. The quotes on each cassette
might be selected according to a theme. For example: How to meet bereavement and sorrow, how to meet
the challenges of everyday life, and how to live in harmony with others.
- Design and produce animation kits for amateur film makers, each kit consists of numerous paper
characters with moveable joints and a selection of background scenery. An amateur film maker can use a
kit to make hobby and animation films. A kit might have, for example, a Wild West theme.
- Pay a taxidermist to prepare, stuff and mount fish. Produce a mail order catalogue about your mounted
fish. Advertise in angling publications. Also sell through gift shops and fishing tackle shops.
- Start a mail order business which sells a wide range of dog products, for example: kennels, muzzles,
shampoos, collars, ornaments, etc, all with a canine theme.
- Develop your dog grooming skills to a professional standard and open your own dog grooming
- Use leather to make your own brand of top quality dog collars and leads.
- Become a pets portrait photographer. You have to prove to potential customers that your portraits are
far superior to any amateur photographs. This can be done by displaying your work on a stall in a public
place and selling your service to people who take an interest in your work.
- Commission artists to do original paintings of horses and horse racing. Set up a business which
distributes and sells these paintings. For example your might display the paintings in a mobile showroom
which visits horse events.
- Start a service which makes audio tape recordings of wedding ceremonies. Video cameras are either
not allowed in church or produce poor pictures. However, discreet microphones can record the ceremony.
Copies on cassette can be sent to friends and relatives at home and overseas.
- Set up a business which makes wooden dog kennels in kit form. Sell by mail order from ads in dog
lovers publications or get them stocked at pets shops.
- With the permission of the appropriate authority, if needed, sell nuts in an open space of a city centre
to passers-by and tourists for feeding the pigeons. Or, at a suitable seaside resort, sell bits of fish to holiday-
makers who want to feed the seagulls.
- Set up an enterprise which manufactures hutches and coops for small animals, birds and poultry. Sell
in kit or finished form by mail order.
- Produce a selection of posters which feature photographs of elaborate models. Mount these on display
units and get model shops to show them.
- Introduce a service to your area which releases lighter than air balloons at weddings, birthdays and
other special occasions. Buy a cylinder of gas and turn out the balloons yourself. Offer potential clients a
selection of quantities for different prices.
- Start a business which delivers bulky pet food direct to the public. Build up a round of regular
customers. Call on houses throughout your area to sell your service.
- Begin a business which organises wildlife observation holidays. These might be based in a forest, for
example, unspoiled coastal area or mountainous region. Produce a brochure and advertise in wildlife
- Start a second-hand art bookstall and take it to antique markets or fairs. Obtain your stock by placing
ads in art or book collectors magazines. State that you wish to buy collections of second-hand art books.
- Publish a newsletter for those who want to make money dealing in antiques. In the newsletter
highlight trends in the antiques business, give tips and hints about finding bargains, tell subscribers how to
sell for the highest prices, etc.
- Produce and distribute a video encyclopaedia about flowers, plants, trees or birds. This should present
films about your chosen subject in alphabetical order. Try to get national and international distribution
- Sell by post information and advice about antiques. Provide clients with a confidential service which
identifies and values antiques from descriptions and photographs. Also give advice about care, cleaning and
storage of individual items. Produce leaflets about your service.
- Take a course in basketry. As you develop your skill slowly begin to sell what you make. When your
work reaches a high enough standard, go into business full-time.
- Start a service which provides businesses with a security conscious paper collecting, shredding and
disposal service. Have impressive leaflets printed to promote your service and send them to businesses.
- Create a home-based debt collections service. Get a job with a debt collection agency and learn all you
can before you strike out on your own. At first specialise in one type of trade and, if successful, expand into
collecting debts for other trades.
- Produce a series of audio cassettes about Confucianism. Have them stocked at healthfood shops and
bookstores. Or sell by mail order from ads in off-beat publications.
- Design and manufacture business maternity clothes for businesswomen. Have them stocked in
maternity and other women’s clothes shops and sell by mail order.
- Make videos for people who want to sell their business. Each video is designed to show a business in
its best light. In the video, interview customers, look at its standing in the community, etc. Your video
should help achieve the highest possible sale price for the businesses whose sale you promote.
- Put together a correspondence course about how to write jokes for profit. Base this on a method which
is your own invention. For example, jokes are like the keys on a piano: there’s a limited number but they
can be played in an infinity of combinations.
- Publish a newsletter about successful management. Aim the editorial at managers in large
corporations. Each newsletter should discuss the issues relevant to the manager who wants to succeed.
- Bring out a correspondence course which gives instruction about becoming a professional researcher.
This course would appeal to those who would like a career in this field and to authors who want to do their
own research. Sell from ads in literary publications.
- Produce bookmarkers which have attractive embroidered designs. Package them in cellophane and
have them stocked at bookshops.
- Put together a regular publication which lists photographic equipment for sale. Your income comes
from selling advertising space.
- Write and publish a booklet about how to cut the cost of a wedding. Alternatively write and produce a
manual about how to have a big wedding on a shoestring. Have it stocked in bookshops or sell from ads in
- Design and manufacture wooden kits for constructing model boats. Sell from ads in hobby magazines
or have them stocked in modelling and crafts shops.
- Use direct mail to sell model steam engines to engineers, doctors, scientists, company directors and
other professional people.
- Set up a mail order business which specialises in selling videos, films, photographs, posters and slides
about the pop music of the 50s and60s. Use your ingenuity to find products, for example canvass picture
libraries and record and film companies.
- Write and publish a newsletter which is devoted to profitable hobbies. The newsletter will be aimed at
those who are looking for both an interesting new hobby and a way of making extra money. Asses the
profit potential of a wide range of hobbies.
- Bring out a selection of musical bookmarkers. To make the bookmarkers musical use electronic
devices similar to the ones used in musical greeting cards.
- Start a service which organises the painting of murals in bedrooms, dining rooms, residential games
rooms, etc. Advertise in up-market publications.
- Call door-to-door and offer to take top quality passport photographs. Take the photographs in the
customers house. Someone returns at a later date to deliver the photographs and collect payment. All family
members might have their photos taken for passports, ID cards, bus and train passes, etc.
- Start a production line which turns out hand-painted wooden egg cups for selling at shops. Or at a
market stall paint personalised egg cups while the buyer waits.
- Set up a caddie service for photographers, film makers and video makers. Hire out yourself, and
others, to carry equipment for people in these groups. Place ads in suitable magazines to offer your service
and send a leaflet to photographers who do location work for businesses.
- Produce coloured acetate paper printed with painting by number designs for shops. The designs could
include elaborate ‘sale’ signs and pictures with a Christmas theme. A shopkeeper sticks the acetate sheets to
one side of a window and paints the design or picture on the other.
- Begin a firm which produces and distributes a range of I’m in love’ products. These will include T-
shirts, car stickers and badges.
- Bring out a board game about buying and running a shop. The shop might be a newsagent or the game
might involve several types of shops. Sell from ads in publications which list shops for sale.
- Rent out model trains by post to railway enthusiasts. This service would allow enthusiasts to examine
and use a wide range of trains. You could include an option for the customer to buy if they are particularly
fond of any model.
- Make simple footstools – up to twelve inches in height, for standing on to reach things from shelves.
Sell through local shops.
- Contact the owners of houses with small letterboxes and offer to supply and install a large letterbox.
- Bring out a video which consists of a long recording of an open fire. By playing the video anyone can
have the charm of an open fire in their home without the mess and the hassle.
- Make peg abacuses. Each abacus is a wooden block which has rows of dots instead of beads. A row
has one peg to indicate the value of that row. Package these and sell as either a children’s educational aid or
a novelty for adults.
- Write and produce a correspondence course about how to start and build a successful craft business.
Subjects covered by the course might include: How to choose and design a winning product, how to sell
craftwork, how to use other craftworkers in your business, etc.
- If you have a porch, hold a porch sale. Raise extra cash by displaying your unwanted items at your
- Set up a direct mail business which sells business books. This type of business offers the greatest
potential for profit if you publish the books you sell. Do this by 1) Writing a book of your own; 2)
Advertising for authors’ manuscripts; and 3) Contacting literary agents.
- Start a trade publication for small mail order businesses. Give the latest news and views relevant to
small mail order businesses. Distribute by post.
- Publish a newsletter for those who want to make money from manufacturing kits. Kit manufacturing
provides a spectrum of opportunities. Deal with all aspects of starting a profitable kit making business.
- Put together a correspondence course about how to become a professional investment adviser. Sell
through ads in the financial press.
- Learn the craft of woodcarving. When you become skilled earn money from carving popular first
names in relief and turn these into brooches. Also turn out other carved jewellery such as pendants,
bracelets and earrings.
- Produce a selection of memory adoption cassettes. People often wish they had more pleasant
childhood memories than they do. These cassettes would consist of recordings of pleasant memories. A
listener can adopt these memories and pretend they are his or her own.
- Use sea-shells to make a range of jewellery, including sea-shell brooches, bracelets, earrings and
necklaces. Place these on racks and have them stocked at suitable shops.
- Cut chess pieces into slices and use them to make earrings, necklaces and key-ring fobs. Sell at
craftwork markets and fairs.
- Begin a direct mail or mail order business which sells crafts books to craftworkers. Buy books from
publishers, buy manuscripts from authors and publish these yourself, or write a craft book which has
universal appeal and sell this.
- There seems to be an insatiable demand for quality, novel or inexpensive clocks. If you want to start
an import business, this would be a suitable area to try.
- Begin a business which produces a syndicated mail order catalogue. Most catalogues consist of the
goods of one firm. A syndicated catalogue could have details of products from hundreds of suppliers.
- Become a street handbag polisher. This service is similar to a street shoeshine, except handbags are
polished. Also offer to polish leather clothes, such as jackets and coats.
- If you are physically attractive, become a freelance escort. Place adverts in local papers which state
you will accompany an unattached person to social or business functions.
- In a large city operate a telephone information service for amateur photographers. Photographers who
subscribe to your service can telephone you to get a list of todays photo opportunities. For example: a film
star arriving at an airport and a record breaking attempt.
- Set up a mail order business which sells kits for making leather products. For example, kits for
wallets, chequebook covers and pension book covers. Design and manufacture the kits yourself and
produce a catalogue.
- Put together a correspondence course about palmistry. Sell from ads in astrology magazines. One
attraction of the course is that the palmist skills learned could be used to make money.
- Compile and publish a directory of sales messages, phrases and selling points. The format of this
directory might be copyright free art clipping books. All businesses are potential buyers. Sell by direct
- Deal in collectible bookplates. Promote the hobby of collecting bookplates by offering potential
collectors a free selection. Thereafter send collectors a regular list of bookplates for sale. Also bring out and
sell albums for storing and displaying bookplates.
- Devise a programme which is designed to make a person more dynamic. A more dynamic, confident
person has a greater chance of achieving success in life. Publish your programme and sell it by direct mail
to business opportunity seekers.
- Buy a portable children’s mini-railway. Children can sit on the carriages and are taken up and down a
short track. Hire out your railway for fund raising at fairs and money-making tourist sites.
- Rent out large snooker tables and cues in a similar fashion to the way television sets are rented out.
Rent them to householders, clubs, businesses, colleges, unions, etc.
- Start a publishing enterprise which specialises in producing quality hand printed poetry books. Get
these stocked at bookshops and sell by post to poetry lovers.
- Devise and produce an easy-to-use system for cataloguing coin collections. Sell this through stamp
and coin shops, or from ads in collectors magazines.
- Be a crossword puzzle designer who specialises in a particular subject, such as football, photography
or stamp collecting. Sell football crosswords, for example, to publishers of football magazines and
- Publish a newsletter for people who want to become children’s authors. In each issue include advice
and information which will help children’s authors to get work accepted for publication.
- Produce and launch a correspondence course which teaches people how to write fiction for
adolescents for profit.
- Bring out a correspondence course about how to write screenplays for feature films. There is
obviously a lot of skill involved in writing a screenplay and there are numerous people who would be
willing to pay to learn.
- Publish poetry in a way similar to music sheets. On a printed folded sheet feature a main poem and
maybe 3 or 4 support poems. Get these ‘poem sheets’ stocked at bookshops and newsagents. The price
might be the same as a daily newspaper. Also organise a chart of top selling poem sheets.
- Use classified ads to sell a selection of English language newspapers from around the world. Buyers
will include those who are curious about what overseas English language newspapers are like.
- Start a service which writes persuasive monologues for individuals. For example, a C.V. designer
helps a person get an interview, your service provides monologues for people to use at interviews. Or help
people to get a date or to propose marriage.
- Begin a gift service which provides a nostalgic selection of magazines from the month of a person’s
birth. Advertise your service in the columns or classified ads which feature other gift ideas.
- Set up a mail order business which sells casting equipment, supplies and books. Potential customers
include a wide range of craftworkers and hobbyists. Begin by learning everything you can about small scale
casting then track down trade suppliers of products related to casting.
- Devise and invent puzzles and word games. Sell these through specialist magazines and newspapers
and to book publishers.
- Start a business which brings out a library of children’s stories on audio cassettes. Have these stocked
at toyshops and bookshops or start a monthly club.
- Compile and publish a bulletin which informs subscribers of photography competitions they are
eligible to enter in this country and around the world. Advertise in photograph magazines.
- Set up a mail order business which is devoted to selling products designed to increase a persons
attractiveness to the opposite sex. Products might include books, cassettes, courses, systems and aids.
Produce some of the products yourself.
- At a tourist site earn money from painting a persons name on a print. The name thus becomes part of
the picture. For example, there might be a hoarding of posters in your picture and a persons name becomes
one of the posters. Design and produce the prints yourself.
- Produce an aerial video of your area. Duplicate this and have it stocked at video hire shops and other
- Publish a newsletter about human interest stories, unusual facts, interesting paragraphs, etc.
Subscribers would include people who produce their own, regular, amateur publication. They would use
your newsletter as a source to provide fillers for their own publication.
- Start a school of English and give lessons to an ethnic group who want to improve their written and
spoken English. You might give tuition either in your own home or at hired premises.
- Start a dating agency or marriage bureau specially for the separated or divorced. Use local advertising
to attract clients.
- Begin a business which specialises in organising romantic breaks and holidays. Arrange for courting
couples, newly-weds and mature couples to have breaks at hunting lodges, cottages and castles.
- Earn from teaching people how to find a lover or life partner. You could hold classes in a hired hall,
produce an audio cassette course, give lessons in your home or write a manual.
- Produce painting by numbers outlines specially designed for hobbyists. For example, do outlines of
locomotives, or background scenery for railway modellers. Sell these from ads in hobby magazines or get
them stocked at modelling shops.
- Begin a service which organises a telephone chess playing club. A member might have four chess
boards and pieces next to the phone. When a member has worked out his move on each board, he
telephones his opponent.
- Put together a mail order catalogue which has a wide range of business posters. The posters might be
about: inspiring, sales efficiency, hard work and saving energy. Send the catalogue to most businesses.
- Make a selection of leather wallets for playing cards. For example, a pocket wallet or a wallet for
attaching to a belt. Include a pack of playing cards in each wallet. Have them stocked at a wide range of
- Begin a venture which arranges for business and sales meetings to take place at exotic and unusual
venues. For example, a businessman can negotiate a contract with a client at a castle, or on a yacht or in a
- Put together a range of spoken word audio cassettes. Have them stocked in video rental shops and
rented out as an alternative to a video.
- Make hand-painted badges. These might feature: a tiny traditional painting, an abstract painting, witty
statements, popular symbols and funny faces.
- Set up a business which organises record, stamp or book fairs. Find a venue, sell places to stall holders
by placing ads in hobby magazines and publicise to attract customers.
- Attend pop concerts, festivals, fairs and other large public events and sell funny hats and baseball
- Start a theatrical play of the month club. Operate this like a book club but sell only theatrical plays.
The club will not offer discounts on publications, but you can send copies of the latest plays opening at
- Sell Jazz memorabilia by post. Start a world-wide search for products to put in your catalogue. The
products might include: photographs, slides, posters, old magazines, duplicate press cuttings, books, video
and audio cassettes.
- Begin a board game of the month or quarterly club.
- Sell unusual musical instruments from your own catalogue, by post. For example: folk music
instruments from Third World countries, and early musical instruments.
- During the Christmas season, form a group of carol singers. Hire this group out to parties, restaurants,
wine bars, and night-clubs.
- Bring out folders specially designed to hold sheet music or knitting patterns. Sell these from either,
suitable shops or ads in publications read by people who collect sheet music or knitting patterns.
- Make fashionable patchwork sweaters and have them stocked at shops. Alternatively, sell the sweaters
from a stall at a market fair.
- Start a school for pop or rock group management. Your students will include those who aspire to
become a manager or leader of a pop or rock group. The course might be taught by post or held as a class.
- Put together a postal service which sells personalised: golf-balls, cricket balls, snooker balls, tennis
balls, etc. The exact method of placing names or initials on the balls can be worked out by you. If you can
solve this problem, a lucrative market is waiting to be exploited.
- Set yourself up in business as a music concert promoter. Approach a local pop or rock group and offer
to organise a gig for them. If your first gig is successful slowly work your way up in the concert promoting
- Write and publish a newsletter which is about how to sell simple information by post. In each
newsletter suggest new ideas for the kind of information which can be sold. Also review the latest offerings
by other information sellers.
- Bring out a book or audio cassette which has a title like: ‘How to get a World Record’. Include
information about how to get a record accepted and give ideas about feats which might be attempted. Sell
through bookshops or by post.
- Design and make doll’s clothes for collectors or manufacturers of dolls. Either make the clothes to
order or produce a mail order catalogue which gives full detail of your range.
- Use cheese-cloth to make your own range of fashion clothes such as blouses, skirts and shirts.
- Design and make, or import, kimonos. Sell by post or get them stocked at suitable retailers.
- Start a mail order business which sells started kits for being an amateur musician. Put the kits together
from products which are already on the market.
- Begin a business which makes cushions of unusual shapes. For example: star shaped, heart shaped,
horseshoe shaped, or round with a hole in the middle.
- Use the craft of embroidery to make attractive A-Z index cards. Instead of printed cards marked with
letters of the alphabet, you make the letters with embroidery. A card index system can now look luxurious.
Package the cards and get them stocked at bookshops and stationers.
- Make either, commemorative wall-hanging tapestries or reproduce parts of the Bayeux tapestry. Use
press advertising to sell these as highly collectible artefacts.
- Hire a hall at a city centre location – Saturday would be the best day – and sell women’s clothes at low
- In a tourist area open a market stall where you can print personalised T-shirts on the spot. Or start a
mail order service which prints personalised T-shirts. If screen printing is used all the equipment can be
made at home. Obtain and read books about screenprinting to get the know-how.
- Start a postal service which hires out children’s educational videos. A selection of videos should be
offered for each age group. Produce a catalogue about your videos and advertise your rental service in a
wide range of publications.
- Bring out a product which consists of lots of small coloured wooden cubes. These can be used over
and over again to make mosaics. Have this product stocked at shops or sell by mail order.
- Design and make kits for making soft toy dolls. Place ads in craft magazines and sell by mail order.
- Start a business which produces periscopes for viewing things underwater. For example, at the seaside,
or at a lake, a person on the surface can put the periscope into the water and look around underwater.
- Add a stand to fragments of original rock from Mount Everest and sell through gift shops or ads in
mountaineering publications. You might also do the same for other major mountains.
- Produce an audio cassette course or correspondence course about entrepreneurship. The potential
market includes the hundreds of thousands of people who start their own business each year.
- Establish a marketplace for computer hardware. On a computer or card index system list details of
what sellers have to sell. Charge the sellers a fee. Place ads in computer magazines which invite telephone
enquiries from people looking for computer hardware.
- Set up a marriage bureau in your area. Provide your clients with a personal, sincere and caring service
which searches for suitable life partners.
- Open a school of computing. Rent an office and teach or employ others to teach courses about
computing. The most financially rewarding courses would be those which help students to get jobs in
- Bring out an audio cassette library of limericks. This might be produced for children or young adults.
Have the cassettes stocked at bookshops, toyshops and newsagents.
- Organise courses about how to increase the profitability of a bed and breakfast business. Hold these
courses at holiday resorts where there are large numbers of bed and breakfast houses.
- If you have advanced knowledge of mathematics or computing, make an income from devising
mathematical or computing puzzles. Sell these to magazines, newspapers and book publishers.
- Set up a firm which hires out sunbeds. Use local advertising to publicise your service and offer clients
a free delivery service.
- Buy fantasy role-playing games from those who make up games as a hobby. Publish the games in a
monthly newsletter and sell subscriptions to fantasy role-playing enthusiasts throughout the country.
- Design and produce a selection of astrological badges for each star sign. Place these badges on cards
or boards and distribute them to suitable retailers.
- Start an enterprise which organises trips to sports events such as boxing contests, motor racing
competitions, athletics events, etc. Your service provides the tickets and the transport. You might, for
example, pay a shopkeeper to open a ticket office in his or her shop on Saturdays.
- Earn from doing artistic hedge cutting. Advertise in the local press and in newsagents windows. Build
up a list of regular customers who need their artistic hedges maintained.
- Begin a mail order business which sells equipment and supplies for making paper at home. Use ads in
craft magazines to promote this profitable hobby.
- Start an enterprise which organises arts and crafts fairs. Find suitable venues, rent spaces to artists and
craftworkers. Publicise throughout the local area.
- Learn about the craft of making ornaments with eggshells. Make money from what you learn by
bringing together a selection of supplies for selling to eggcraft hobbyists.
- Write and publish a newsletter for those who want to start a crafts business. In each issue give
addresses of craftwork buyers. Also include editorial about how to develop both a successful product and a
- Open a school of antique restoration. Offer potential students a choice of courses covering most
aspects of restoration. Potential students will include antique collectors and dealers. Advertise in magazines
- Organise courses for those who would like to start their own crafts business. Offer students specialised
courses about starting a soft-toy, for example, or pottery business. Hold courses at either crafts workshops
or bed and breakfast houses during the off-season time.
- Use prints of lunar or Martian landscapes to make unusual framed prints or posters.
- Design and produce lapel stickers for wearing at parties. Each sticker is printed with a statement which
is designed to make it easier for guests to talk to each other, for example, ‘smile if you like me’. ‘Can I sip
your drink?’, ‘You have great legs’ and ‘I know a secret’.
- Manufacture kits for making lamp stands decorated with shells or mosaics. Bring out a selection of
kits from the very simple to the complex. Produce a catalogue and use ads in crafts magazines to sell the
kits by mail order.
- Start a craft business which makes enamelled products such as key-ring fobs, earrings, brooches,
pendants, jewellery boxes, boxes for knickknacks, etc. Sell your craftwork from a stall at markets or fairs.
Or if your work is of a very high standard sell it through gift shops.
- Package pressed flowers. Each packet might contain an individual set, or unsorted selection, of
pressed flowers. Attach the packets to display cards, or place in a display box and distribute to arts and
- Design, produce and distribute your own brand of anti-smoking ashtray. For example, produce an
ashtray which is either, a model of a cancerous lung or printed with the names of people who died on the
same day from lung cancer.
- Start a business which designs and manufactures DIY kits for building small garden swimming pools.
Offer buyers a selection of sizes and sell through ads in DIY magazines.
- Organise weekend courses for DIY enthusiasts. Provide students with practical tuition about various
popular DIY projects. Advertise in DIY magazines.
- Produce framed prints of pin-ups. These might be X-rated for sale by mail order, classic pin-ups of the
40s, 50s and 60s or contemporary pin-ups.
- Bring together a selection of supplies for making string puppets and start a mail order business. There
is already a thriving market in doll making supplies. Your business will hopefully divert some people from
making dolls to making string puppets.
- Start a service which commissions artists to do drawings of business premises or private residences.
Also arrange for the drawings to be reproduced on: stationery, postcards, calendars, business cards, etc.
Advertise in business publications and also do work for established printers.
- Manufacture marbles draughts sets. Instead of a checkerboard there is a wooden board with 64 round
holes. The holes become the squares of the draughtboard and the marbles sit in them. Each side has marbles
of a different colour and some extra colours to use as ‘kings’.
- Produce a series of booklets or audio cassettes about ideas for saving a variety of things. For example:
‘Ideas for Saving Money’, ‘Ideas for Saving Time’, ‘Ideas for Saving You the Trouble of Dieting’, etc. Sell
by mail order as a complete set.
- Produce a correspondence course about cartooning. Pay a skilled cartoonist to devise the course.
- If you have the artistic ability to become a cartoon caricaturist, earn money from doing amusing
portraits at a thoroughfare of a shopping or tourist area. Or do caricatures outside football grounds on
match day, at festivals, concerts, exhibitions, etc.
- Compile and publish a year-book or ‘Yellow Pages’ type directory for those who want to start a
business. In the directory list, for example: sources of finance, small business advisers, franchise
companies, etc. Also sell advertising space to business opportunities promoters.
- Learn the art of calligraphy. When you become a skilled calligrapher earn money from teaching others
in your own home or at evening class.
- Start a home party hire service. The hosts of children’s and adults’ parties hire from you: chairs, tables,
cutlery, plates, glasses, barbecues, etc. Advertise your service either in local newspapers or newsagents
windows. Provide a free delivery service.
- Provide a sales service for oil-painters. Sell the work of artists by finding outlets and take a
commission on all sales. Outlets might include: antiques shops, gift shops, private art exhibitions, overseas
- Bring out a selection of posters which are packed with biblical quotes. Sell these through religious
bookshops and by post to schools and practising Christians.
- Set up a promotional sheet music publishing business. People who write music and lyrics would find it
easier to sell their compositions if they were published. Published compositions could then be circulated to
people in the music business.
- Bring out novelty voodoo model brains. A voodoo model brain represents the brain of the target
person and is marked with different areas such as stress, love, anxiety, pain, etc. Pins are placed in selected
areas to stimulate the feelings associated with that area.
- Set up a party plan business which sells gardening equipment and supplies. You might, for example,
hold the parties in gardens during the afternoons. Once you have developed a successful presentation and
range of products, increase the size of your business by recruiting agents.
- Start a spring-water bottling and distribution business. Advertise for someone who owns a property
which has a natural spring water supply. Negotiate a contract with the owner which allows you to bottle
and sell the spring water.
- Design and have produced novelty sex maniacs score cards and find trade buyers or sell by mail order.
- Write and publish a manual which has a title like ‘How to Start Your Own Mail Order Business’. Use
classified ads and direct mail to sell this to business opportunity seekers.
- Set up a mail order business which sells books and products related to ventriloquism. Produce
booklets and cassettes which give instructions about ventriloquism and ideas for stage acts. Also sell props
- Bring out an ‘ideas’ newsletter for writers. In each issue suggest ideas for: locations, characters, events,
phrases, use of words, etc. One of the main selling points of your newsletter is that it will help a writer to
become a published author.
- Help people to get jobs by starting a C.V. design service. Conduct your own research into what
information in a C.V. impresses employers. Basically, a good C.V. is professionally printed and presents
the most important facts about a persons career history in a simple, clear way.
- Publish a weekly or monthly large type newspaper for people with poor eyesight which summarises
the news of the previous week or month.
- Begin a mail order business which promotes the hobby of collecting currency notes. Put together a
catalogue which lists a wide selection of currency notes and collecting accessories. Advertise in coin
- Start a postal business which sells novel birth and death certificates to those who like to claim that
they had previous lives. Design the certificates yourself and pay for them to be printed. Also offer a service
which uses occult methods to identify previous lives.
- Publish an ‘ideas’ newsletter for photographers. Focus the attention of the newsletter on ideas for
saleable photographs. Use ads in photography magazines to sell subscriptions and emphasise that the
newsletter aims to help people to earn money from photography.
- Make a selection of home-made chocolates. Rent a corner of an established shop on a Saturday to sell
- Bring together a selection of books and cassettes about self-hypnosis and start a mail order business.
Produce a catalogue about your products and send it to those interested in astrology, the occult and self-
- Start a mail order business which sells X-rated books. Canvass publishers at home and abroad to see if
they can supply you with any books which fall into this category.
- Set up a business which produces cinema programmes. These programmes might consist of 2-8
printed pages. Sell advertising space in these programmes to local businesses and include details of future
films. Cinema programmes take these programmes from a display unit free of charge.
- Begin a business which sells original paintings on hire purchase or revolving credit. Almost everyone
would like to own original oil paintings but are put off because of the high initial cost.
- At a crafts fair or market, operate a jewellery lucky dip. Bring together a selection of enamelled, sea-
shell, bead and carved jewellery in a box. Wrap the box and place in a large tub of sawdust. Passers by are
invited to pick a box for a small charge.
- Put together a spoon bending act that is inspired by Uri Geller. Get yourself an agent and earn money
from performing at a wide range of venues such as clubs, pubs, theatres, private parties, etc.
- Start a collectable plate of the month club. Commission the making of attractive plates and slowly
build up a list of club members.
- Find a town which has a particularly high birth rate. Bottle the water drunk in that town. Sell this
bottled water. The unstated implication is that the water will increase fertility.
- Collect seaweed. Use this in a seaweed weather forecasting kit of your own design. Use mail order to
sell the kits. Also discover how seaweed can be developed into a health food and start a business exploiting
- Set up a school of motor racing. Offer potential students a weekend or week-long course about the
practical and theoretical aspects of motor racing.
- Start a school of hydroponic gardening. The aims of your school might include: publishing booklets,
producing audio cassettes, organising holiday courses, giving personal tuition and selling supplies.
- Bottle sand from the beach where William the Conqueror landed in 1066 and sell to those who want to
buy a piece of history.
- Begin a mail order business which promotes the craft of making Jack-in-the-boxes. In your catalogue
include a wide selection of: springs, boxes, design plans, materials for making the character in the box, etc.
Advertise in crafts magazines.
- Design and manufacture desks for putting on laps in cars. These should be lightweight and easy to
store in a car. They might be used by sales people to make notes about calls, business people to prepare for
meetings and passengers to work from whilst travelling.
- Bring out a selection of hanging cotton greeting cards. These are like flags or banners which are
printed with a greetings message and can be hung from a ceiling or a rail. Arrange for these to be stocked at
shops which sell greeting cards.
- Put together a range of lucky charms. Mount these on printed cards or counter-top racks and distribute
to newsagents and gift shops.
- Begin a business which sells exotic plants to image conscious local businesses. Call office-to-office
and offer to bring a selection of plants on a trial basis, for example 10 days, free approval without
- Start a service which does postal auditions of voices and music. A person records his or her voice on a
cassette and sends it to you. Or a group records their music. You make an assessment of the performance
for a fee. Advertise your service in music publications.
- Place advertisements in the windows of local newsagents which read ‘Lawn cutting done’ and state an
hourly rate. When you visit customers, offer to cut their lawn on a regular basis.
- Form a mail order business which sells unusual plants. For example: insect eating plants. Conduct
your own search for a suitable plant. Every now and again someone discovers a new, unusual plant for
selling by post an makes a fair amount of money. Will you be next?
- Set up a service which supplies sliced and seeded lemons to pubs, restaurants, night-clubs and hotels.
In the course of an evening some bars use a large quantity of sliced lemons. These establishments could
benefit from the convenience of having the lemons ready-sliced.
- Start a dial-a-gardener service. A single telephone call to you will send a gardener to a customers
home. Employ teenagers, students and retired people to do the gardening.
- Earn a small regular income from renting out part of your garden to someone who wants to grow food.
Thus a part of your garden will become a private allotment.
- Bring together a selection of the best business audio cassettes from the previous year. Start a direct
mail campaign which offers these cassettes to businesspeople at a reduced rate if they buy the set.
- Start a flowers of the week, month or quarter club. Clients can place a standing order with you for the
delivery of flowers at regular intervals.
- Begin a business which makes up bottle gardens. To make your gardens distinctive, find bottles of an
interesting and unusual design. Get them stocked at shops which do not usually stock such products. For
example: health food shops and grocers.
- Package freshly or specially hardened conkers and sell through newsagents and toy shops. Each pack
might contain 4-6 conkers.
- Set up and organise a home-visiting massage service. Your business would find work for experienced
masseurs and masseuses. Get custom by placing ads in local newspapers and notices in the windows of
- Open a press cutting research service for stock market investors. Read the daily papers and make a
note every time a public company is mentioned. When an investor requests information about a company,
you photocopy all the cuttings which mention the name of that company.
- Make up pretty bags filled with aromatic herbs which are designed for hanging around the house or in
cars. Add an elastic string to each bag so that one pull will release some of the aroma into the air.
- Set up a business which makes nightshirts and nightcaps. Have these stocked at up-market clothes
- Be a diet consultant. Earn money from guiding people through published diets like the F-plan. Also
you might buy the recommended food at trade prices and sell it to your clients. Advertise your service
locally and visit the homes of clients to give private consultations.
- Become a make-up consultant. Advise women on what make-up suits their individual mix of: skin
shade, hair and eye colours, nose and facial shape, etc. Once you have established your consultancy, make
more money by teaching others to be make up consultants.
- Bring out a newsletter which gives amateur magicians ideas for new tricks. Also sell advertising space
to firms which have products to sell to amateur magicians.
- Start a mail order business which sells vitamin pills. Produce a catalogue which contains a far wider
range of vitamin pills than is available at shops.
- Locate a source of fresh, pure mud and package it in specially sealed containers. Sell this by post for
- Be a home visiting wig salesperson. By visiting the homes of potential buyers you provide a private
and confidential service which is free of embarrassment. Buy a selection from wig manufacturers at trade
prices. Advertise your service in newspapers and magazines.
- Write and publish a monthly newsletter which helps those who want to give up smoking. The ability
to give up smoking depends what’s happening in a persons mind. A good newsletter could make the
difference between success and failure.
- Begin a confidential newsletter about how to get the best things from life. The best things in this case
include: money, expensive property, respect an quality cars. Your newsletter should suggest some of the
legal short cuts which can be taken.
- At a crafts fair or antiques market have a stall which sells products related to Shakespeare. These
might include: prints, books, audio cassettes, videos and posters.
- In a city where there are many theatres, open a small shop which is devoted to selling things related to
- Publish a newsletter for expectant mothers. Provide subscribers with information and reassurance.
Send each subscriber an issue which ties in with the stage of her pregnancy.
- Use a computer or word processor to provide a letter and manuscript typing service. Customers would
be students, academics, small business people and tradesmen.
- Arrange for ink drawings to be made of historical characters from all parts of the nation. There might
be hundreds of drawings. Have these printed and framed and sell by mail order. The idea is that wherever a
person is, they can buy a framed drawing of someone famous from their own area.
- Start a life history photography service. Produce an album of photographs which is a photographic
history of a client’s life. For example take photographs of a client’s hospital of birth, former schools, places
of work, place of marriage, houses they once lived in, etc.
- Take an attractive photograph of a large office block. Frame enlarged copies and sell these to people
who work there. This would make a good sideline business if you work in an office block and you meet
many other office workers in the course of the day.