Help yourself to your own business starting with these ideas:
1 Miniature Models of Local and Historical Interest
Models of local buildings, especially those with some significant historical interest, or miniature statues of people with local or national appeal, will always have a large and eager market. Make moulds from latex, then produce and colour plaster models and sell through local shops, craft shops and at collectors' fairs and flea markets.
2 Craftsman-made Jewellery
There is always a great demand for designer Jewellery, the more unusual the better. If made from local stones, such as Whitby jet, even from beach pebbles or local shells, so much the better, especially if sold to the local tourist trade. Sell through gift and souvenir shops, or car boot fairs, collectors' fairs and flea markets.
3 Selling Paper Ephemera
'Ephemera' is the grand name given to paper collectibles: tickets, adverts, magazines, books, stamps, advertising inserts, old billheads, letterheads, etc. The older the item the more collectible it is likely to be. These items are in great demand by collectors at collectors' fairs and flea markets, antiques fairs, and through the post to clientele attracted via advertisements in book collectors', ephemera and stamp collectors' magazines.
4 Specialising in Toys, Dolls, Trains, etc.
At antiques fairs, flea markets and collectors' fairs, many traders make a good living from specialising in those collectors' items sometimes referred to as 'juvenilia'. Because they specialise, they are the traders to whom the collectors turn when they want to dispose of collections, thereby ensuring an adequate flow of stock. They are also the ones collectors consider first when seeking to increase or improve upon their own collections. Fellow dealers also consider them first when offloading stock that doesn't exactly fall within their own trading spheres.
5 Selling Books
Either sell cheaply all books to come your way, or specialise in books on such as local history, biographies, or specialist subjects, e.g. dogs, railways and so on. Sell at local car boot fairs, collectors' fairs and flea markets, or through the post by means of lists or advertisements placed in book collectors' magazines. Alternatively, allow customers to view your stock in your home, by appointment.
6 Selling Curios
Curios, falling within the scope of 'collectibles', are as the name suggests, items that are just a little bit different to what might usually be available in bulk. At flea markets, antiques fairs, even car boot sales we find fans, policemen's whistles, sugar tongs and many other items, the use for which is not always immediately apparent.
7 Selling Junk and Bric-a-Brac
An inexhaustible stock potential awaits you here. Almost anything other than reproduction items, antiques, and consumer durables, can be sold within this category. Perhaps the best marketing outlet is the car boot fair, or for slightly better items the flea markets and collectors' fairs held regularly in all parts of the country.
8 Specialising in the Sale of Better Stamps
Philately at its finest concerns the collecting of better stamps, some rare, some counterfeited, some with errors. Here you will not be likely to find the juvenile collector, and purchases can amount to many hundreds, even thousands of pounds in but a few transactions. Best left to someone with an interest and some experience in stamp collecting, the dealers' stocks are correctly identified by catalogue number, condition, and priced accordingly. Sell on approval or at specialist stamp fairs.
9 Selling Stamps in Packets
Here, no specialist knowledge of stamps is required. All you need do is packet together several stamps with some common theme or denominator. They may perhaps originate from one country, or be of a similar topic such as space exploration or animals. They might instead all be colourful oddly shaped specimens such as triangles or even stars. Price the packets and mount them on large display boards for sale in local shops. Alternatively make bulky selections of world stamps and cover them with cellophane to protect them and make them more attractive. Sell again through local shops or at flea markets and collectors' fairs.
10 Selling Stamps on Approval
Stamps may be sold through advertisements placed in stamp collecting magazines or through such as the 'Exchange and Mart'. Mount them by country, theme, shape or simply world mix, in special booklets or on mounting cards available from wholesale stationers advertising in stamp collectors' magazines. Some simply offer stamps loose in boxes from which the collector might pick stamps all bearing some low common price.
11 Specialise in a Much-Wanted Item
For example, buttons, ties, items relating to railways, etc.
Once you decide to specialise, you must deal in almost every conceivable item or design within your chosen area. One woman sells buttons on a large London street market, but she sells thousands of different shapes, made from all manner of materials. The Sock Shop, Body Shop and Tie Shop fall within this category.
12 Writing Letters to the Press
Here lies a potentially very lucrative opportunity indeed. Most magazines and newspapers offer cash rewards, sometimes as much as £150, for readers' letters, jokes, anecdotes, recipes, and so on. Study your target publication with care for some prefer short, snappy letters; some choose family-orientated subjects; some magazines cater more for the woman independent of family strings, and so on. Make an exact assessment of the publications' preferences and GO FOR IT!
13 Greetings Card Verses
Greetings card producers in Britain and overseas are always on the lookout for new writers of verses for their cards. Some require writers of humour, even of the risqué variety; others require what can only be described as sentimental 'slush'. Study several cards from producers within your preferred area of writing and send at least half a dozen examples of your work to each.
14 Competitions Entry Form Supplier
Look in any copy of Competitors Journal, the hobby's fortnightly magazine, and you'll find several adverts from people offering to supply competition entry forms to readers who often have little time or inclination to search these items out for themselves. This sometimes involves some travel as you search out potential sources, but must be worthwhile in terms of the dividends recouped by those suppliers with a large clientele.
15 Preparing Curriculum Vitae
A curriculum vitae consists simply of the biographical details, both personal and career-related of persons wishing to change jobs or seek advancement, training, and so on. Application forms present problems which are compensated for by the curriculum vitae. If you have access to a typewriter or preferably word processor, you may be the one to provide this much needed service often for extremely high rewards, particularly if an inexpensive updating services can also be incorporated.
Monopoly, the Rubik Cube and Trivial Pursuits, are amongst the most popular games and pastimes of today, and surely none can have disappointed their creators in terms of the handsome dividends they provided. But careful consideration of these games will convince you of the reason for their massive success - each and every one is unique - not a variation of Ludo in sight! Create something different - that's the key.
17 Cherished Number Plates
Many drivers seek number plates a little different from those of fellow drivers, whether for investment purposes or else for reasons of pure snob value. Recent auctions of numbers by the Government have yielded massive profits, sometimes one sale making the vendor many thousands of pounds richer. Extremely straightforward regulations for transfer are laid down by Government.
18 Treasure Hunting
Treasure hunting can uncover some of the rarest of specimens used by our ancestors, and in turn can provide handsome rewards for the discoverer when sold, usually by auction. But to yield profits the items discovered need not be of the rare or priceless variety. I know for instance of one man who stocks his stall at flea markets with Victorian bottles, many sporting very high price tags. Even broken ones are put to use - cut down and decorated they form beautiful vases, paperweights, ashtrays and such. Another man I know stocks his stall with old potlids and dolls' heads, while at the craft fairs another hunter stocks his stall with elaborate flower arrangements from driftwood found on local beaches.
19 Accommodation Address Service
This business can be operated from home or from small office premises. Look at advertisements in 'Exchange and Mart' from people offering a similar service if you need any convincing that some people will pay you to collect and forward their mail at regular intervals.
Many families seek not to constantly change their furniture, but to have much-loved family pieces repaired and reupholstered. Whether due to financial constraints or for sentimental reasons, the answer to their problems could easily come via the services of someone skilled in the art of renovation and reupholstery. Courses are available at most technical colleges.
21 Furniture Stripping
As an adjunct to upholstery we find individuals and firms specialising in the stripping of furniture, removing the years of polish and grime from antique or more recent items, and restoring them to their former glory. The French polisher also provides a much-appreciated service, often making minor improvements to a piece perhaps a little battle-scarred, but too valuable to be relegated to the dustbin.
22 Typing Service
If you already can, or could learn to type to a professional standard, offer your services to local factories and shops, hairdressers, hotels, writers, students, and to the general public. Providing your fees are competitive with those for full-time or agency staff you should find no trouble in maintaining repeat custom, particularly if you can offer to complete work within tight deadlines.
23 Custom Curtain Making
It is very rare that a customer finds curtains of the exact material and design that he or she is seeking. Someone who can offer a professional sewing service, producing curtains made up from the customer's material and chosen design, will find him or herself in great demand, especially if costs are reasonable.
24 Soft Toys
At craft fairs and in craft magazines we discover all manner of cuddly toys, as well as a sizeable proportion not intended for youngsters' sticky fingers, but destined instead to occupy pride of place on some teenager's dressing table. But it is essential, if rewards are to be high, to provide something a little different to that which can easily be obtained from the larger manufacturers - what about emulating those teddies with their individual greetings and names of the recipient embroidered on their clothing?
We find here all types of items, particularly those required for only a short duration, e.g. designer dresses, wedding attire, baby hardware, computers, garden equipment and so on. Hire the items out for the hiring fee and a deposit which is refundable when the item is later returned intact. One firm of which I have personal knowledge will hire out virtually everything from typewriters to lawnmowers, to prams and televisions, even offering to lend me their own computer over a weekend when their staff were off duty and my computer was out of action.
26 Trading at Car Boot Fairs
Car boot sales offer a good income to those prepared to investigate suitable venues and to offer reasonable stock at realistic prices. Stock is unbelievably easy to acquire whether from your own garage or from the attics of friends and relatives, jumble sales, other car boot traders, private sales, and charity shops.
27 Making Video Films
The cost of a video camera prohibits many families from capturing those rare moments in their children's lives: parties, first steps, sports days, first day at school, and so on. So here we have a great business opportunity, providing a service much in demand for several 'never to be forgotten' occasions: weddings, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, prizegivings, and many other occasions.
28 Leaflet Distribution
Many firms and businesses advertise their services and goods by means of leaflets and brochures delivered to selected addresses, but post office charges often present them with extremely high processing costs. Employing people to deliver the same documents can be equally prohibitive. But a leaflet distributor dealing with several client workloads at the same time, can offer a much lower cost to the customer. Your services can be advertised locally or nationally, and can attract much repeat custom if costs are kept competitive and an efficient standard is maintained.
29 Home Publishing
This must surely rank as one of the few businesses in which massive profits can be earned, while demanding of the newcomer very little in the way of capital or experience. The publisher usually offers his stock direct to the public, primarily by direct mail or by placing advertisements in appropriate publications. He or she may either write the manuals and books which form the basic business stock, or else may buy them straight from the writer or from other publishers offering reproduction rights in the manuscripts concerned. All the home publisher requires to hand is one high quality manuscript for photocopying, and advertising circulars for each title. The publisher might choose to deal in such as self-improvement titles, 'How to' titles of all kinds, or opt instead to specialise in one of the most profitable of home publishing lines, namely that of business and moneymaking titles.
30 Party Plan
Almost everything can be sold via the medium of the house party where clients gather to enjoy tea and cakes, then later watch a demonstration of the products on offer. Items are ordered usually at the party, with payment being made when the goods are delivered some time later. The hostess will require some worthwhile gift or percentage of the takings as her reward for assembling potential customers and providing the venue and fare for the party. The massive profits made by such as Tupperware and other firmly established party plan firms, must surely have prompted today's endless round of parties for goods such as lingerie, kids' wear, basketware, perfumes, and so on.
31 House and Pet Sitting
Here the entrepreneur offers a service whereby the client's home, possessions and pets are safeguarded and cared for during his or her absence. The service may be one of total surveillance, whereby the person actually lives on the premises, or may be a partial service involving such as daily visits whereby all signs of absence are removed. Plants may be watered and small domestic pets cared for. Alternatively, a dog-walking or caring service may be much in demand where a customer is obliged to be away from home for more than a few hours at a time.
32 Colour Analysis
Now that quality make-up and designer fashions are within the scope of most women's budgets, something further must be provided by which to set them apart from their peers. That 'something' might well be colour analysis, the method of designating clients as 'winter, summer, spring or autumn' personalities, according to skin, hair and eye tones, then subsequently providing them with a colour scheme from which they will choose all future wardrobe and make-up shades.
This is the grand name for the even grander art of beautiful handwriting and printing. We see swirling flows of lettering created by hand with the aid of special pens and inks, adorning menus in the better eating establishments, on examination certificates, formal invitations, signs, notices, doorplates, to name but a few creations which demand a thoroughly professional and attractive end product.
You don't have to outshine Lords Snowdon or Lichfield to take great pictures of junior's birthday party, for parents who profess not to know one end of a camera from another. You do though need a little better than the 'point and press' type camera, though not necessarily one that requires much setting-up of buttons and selectors before you even set eyes, or eye, upon the viewfinder. Courses are available in most local colleges. A good photographer can be in regular demand for weddings, parties, christenings, and as a freelance for local newspapers and businesses.
35 Sandwich Service
Not all offices and workplaces have suitable canteen or food vending services for their employees, and not all are within easy distance of suitable shopping facilities. Some employees have little time or inclination to provide themselves in such circumstances with a sufficiently tempting packed lunch. Here lies the opportunity for the enterprising business man or woman to operate a sandwich delivery service, preferably one offering unusual fillings, perhaps also providing the lunchbox which is then retrieved the following day and another, complete with sandwiches, substituted in its place.
36 Party Catering
Almost all of us enjoy house parties, dinner parties, even children's parties. Not all though, relish the thought of long hours preparing for the event, only to find we're too tired to enjoy the fruits of our labours. Someone who can undertake the preliminaries on our behalf, leaving us to enjoy the party free from hassle, must surely be worth paying highly for.
37 Children's Entertainer
If like me you hate the thought of leading children in an endless round of 'Farmer's in his den' and 'Ring a ring o' roses', then have you considered doing what I now do - hiring a children's entertainer? Clowns, magicians, puppeteers and jugglers, are just a few of the many types of entertainer, ready, willing and more than able to take the hassle out of the party. Fees may seem high, often amounting to ú30 to ú50 for each one hour session, but to many parents that's a small price to pay for the happy smiles this different form of entertainment generates.
38 Growing Herbs
An easy one this, and not requiring much in the way of time and attention, it's a moneymaking proposition that could easily survive alongside other ventures. Fresh herbs are much in demand as an alternative to the dried-out tasteless variety we find in bottles and jars of supermarket shelves. Grown in little pots they can be sold to supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, even direct to the public either on a door-to-door basis, at car boot fairs, or from roadside stalls.
As all ladies and many men know, there's 'knitting' and there's 'knitting'. For some of us the old plain and purl will suffice, for others only the finest fair-isle or most intricate of aran designs can truly lay claim to the title of 'knitting'. It's no different for those wearing the finished garments, or perhaps giving and receiving the same as gifts. Almost everyone can produce professional garments of the simpler variety; very few can produce those falling within the designer label category. If you can create these better items, perhaps from patterns you have created yourself, you might be surprised at just how much customers are willing to pay for your services.
40 Sewing and Alterations
Those who can sew garments from intricate patterns, especially if those patterns are self-created originals, can find their services in great demand by customers who seek something just that little bit different - and are prepared to pay for it! For knitting, sewing, crochet and craft specialists of all types, it's a more than worthwhile investment to at least try their hands at fashion designing.
41 Growing and Selling Houseplants
Here we have a product in constant demand by old and young alike, whether for their own use or else as gifts for the vast majority of us who take pleasure in adorning our homes with a natural form of ornamentation. Usually all you will need is a selection of 'mother' plants, from which your cuttings are taken before being replanted in the small pots and containers from which they will be sold. We find plants sold at car boot sales, indoor and outdoor markets, from roadside stalls, even by means of signs placed on the roadside to direct customers to the seller's home - be careful though on the later point, since such signs are sometimes banned by local authorities - always check first!
42 Old Photographic Views
Sometimes called 'photo antiques', here we are offering photographic reproductions, usually enlargements, of old street and village scenes or pictures of social interest. Original postcards and photographs of such views are becoming increasingly beyond the means of those who want the items for their intrinsic value; at something like ú20 a time for postcards and prints, items within this category are now quite rightly termed 'collectibles', with many followers willing to pay inordinately high prices for rare and prized specimens. The cost of an original to the reproducer is however quite low in terms of the endless reproductions that can be created from it, to be sold at a few pounds each if unframed, higher if mounted or framed.
43 Aerial Photographs
We can stand outside forever taking snaps of our homes, village, places of work and so on, but rarely will we be rewarded with anything sufficiently different to warrant the time or money spent in obtaining it. A shot from a different angle though is another matter entirely, especially is that angle is one not readily accessible to us all - namely the sky! One highly successful firm hires the plane; once in summer, again in winter. With the firm's own photographer on board, the plane circles a wide area taking hundreds of photographs of houses, shops, farms, schools, as well as many general interest views. The photographs are then taken to the owner or occupier of the premises photographed, and offered for sale in several unique forms, including small and larger framed prints, plates, jigsaws, table mats and so on. The costs are high but for something so different, who cares?
There are times when we all would like information not readily accessible to us. Whether we need it sufficiently to pay someone to gather the information on our behalf is another matter; yet often this is the case, and customers will pay well for information they can't or don't want to collect for themselves. For many private individuals it's an easy matter to visit the library to find the information required; for others it's all too time-consuming and often downright boring, particularly when other demands take priority. In this category we find writers, market analysts, larger firms, and advertising agencies to name but a few. Here is an opportunity for someone who likes digging and delving, to actually spend all day amongst the reference books of the local library, making notes that will later be transferred to type for the customer. This service can also be in demand amongst those studying their family or firm's history.
45 Slush Money
Subtitled 'When Words are Simply Not Enough', here we have a business opportunity that caters for an almost insatiable need for anything by which to preserve our cherished memories. So we find baby's first shoes enshrined forever in a coating of bronze, silver or gold, embroidered cushions on which wedding rings are placed for blessing, and picture frames adorning sealed containers wherein are displayed precious or rare items. I recently discovered one businessman who made framed containers each of which contained a ragged piece of rock - but not any ragged piece of rock - these were pieces of the Berlin Wall.
46 Craftwork Clothing
Another potentially insatiable market, here we find the entrepreneur catering for the demands of the fashion-conscious and those wanting something different, or just something that needs no loudspeaker to scream 'money'. Handcrafted clothes of the better variety, are hugely popular amongst the more affluent sectors of society, often for purely snobbish reasons. Whether for the adult or child, it's no big deal to spend several hundreds of pounds on that hand-made, hand-painted, hand-embroidered garment, which absolutely guarantees that no-one, but no-one, will have anything remotely similar.
47 Telephone Answering Service
This facility is much in demand amongst small business men and women who work outside of the home, yet need telephone contact with potential customers - remember not all can stretch to purchasing a mobile phone. There are also companies who require agents in other parts of the country to take telephone calls and messages, for passing on to their agents. Whether you choose to advertise your service to business people or look for advertisements placed by firms is entirely for you to determine - why not do both?
48 Discretion Buyer
Basically, a discretion buyer is one who undertakes the purchase on behalf of one who, for reasons of his or her own, prefers to remain anonymous. The most obvious example of such a service is the auction house where often massive sums are bid by agents for the true buyer. Sometimes the reason for such anonymity will be that of maintaining privacy; at other times it is for reasons of security.
49 Bulk Buying and Splitting
Wholesalers of all types cater for those who require items in bulk, be they shopkeepers, offices, large businesses or whatever. How nice therefore for all of us to take advantage of the often massive price reductions such bulk buying allows. Anyone willing to purchase in bulk and split, offering the item at a price still lower than shop prices will find a ready market amongst small businesses, car boot traders, nurseries, and so on. Items can range from stationery, to small toys, party tableware, kitchen items, ad infinitum.
50 Typed Pictures and Portraits
How marvellous it must be to have something so personal and so original as a typed portrait of yourself! The keys of the typewriter are chosen for their suitability in providing shaded areas, stark lines, darkness, and such, until a picture emerges of the chosen subject. It's a relatively easy task to undertake, especially with a word processor in which case the 'picture' can be created and amended on the screen before it appears in print. There are books available by which you can learn this beautiful and highly profitable art.
51 Video Picture Print Outs
Recently at a village show, I saw droves of people congregating in one tiny corner of the marquee, and curiosity being what it is, I decided to find out why. The reason consisted of a video camera with which the stallholder took portraits of his customers. The image was then transferred to a machine that churned out a likeness very similar to that of a photocopying machine - and at only 50p a time! Another idea of a truly personal and one-off service.
52 Second Hand Items
Sadly, we can't all buy the things we want brand new. Indeed not many of us want to spend hard-earned cash on things we might not require for any great length of time. So we find shops and mail order suppliers selling second-hand baby hardware, office machinery and filing systems, even household goods.
53 Fads and Gimmicks
Massive profits have been made in recent years by cashing in on the current craze for anything remotely connected with those 'Teenage Mutant Hero' TURTLES. Greenbacks are provided in more ways than one by the makers and sellers of turtle puppets, games, jigsaws, clothes, etc., etc., etc. Watch out for their successors and get in there with a vengeance.
54 One-Off Gift Service
Here we aim to make a customer of every single person who ever needs to buy a gift, by offering something unique and highly appropriate. Think for example of businesses currently operating without competition in this fantastic market: delivering bottles of champagne to the recipient; delivering teddy bears with a message and the recipient's name embroidered on the front; providing hampers of 'not on my wage' goodies to delighted recipients; providing story books with the child's name and those of his or her friends and pets incorporated into the text, and so on.
55 Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning
A good opportunity awaits anyone prepared to undertake a service much in demand by householders who cringe at the thought of hiring for themselves the heavy industrial cleaning equipment needed to carry out a good cleaning job on furniture and carpets.
Contracts can be obtained from larger repeat customers, for example hotels, pubs, restaurants and so on. Advertise your services in the local press and in shop windows, or else promote it via leaflets delivered door to door.
56 Growing Mushrooms
Not a full-time occupation in terms of the attention growing of mushrooms requires, but certainly a way to provide an attractive second income. Many specialist kits are available to set you up in such a business, but much the same basic information as they contain is also available in books from the library. Apart from a very small outlay for initial products, a small dark area of space is all that you require to produce something always in great demand by the general public and commercial enterprises alike.
57 Teaching Computers
If you decide to offer this much-needed service, make me customer number one, for I am useless with anything possessing a brain superior to mine. Many of us are keen to learn how to use a computer but sadly, like myself, find the reading and digesting of manual information a long and arduous task. Someone to teach the very basics and perhaps provide a back-up service for the future, must have the makings of a very profitable business in his or her hands.
58 Computer Diagnosis
Similar to the teaching of computer basics, there is a great demand for help when things go wrong. I once succeeded in wiping clean three disks it had taken me months to produce. I threw them away! Ages afterwards I discovered that the information was not lost; it could have been retrieved had I the information to hand - and for returning three months work to me I would have paid well, but sadly no-one I knew could help me then. Now in a writers' magazine I see a service that helps with all computer problems, or else there is no charge.
59 Correspondence Courses
The whole world is keen to learn something new; we don't all have the time though or the opportunity, to attend local college courses, assuming that a course such as we require actually exists. Correspondence courses come to the aid of such students, allowing them to learn in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. And, perhaps surprisingly, it doesn't take a college professor to produce good and much in demand correspondence courses; anyone who knows his or her subject well enough can enter this extremely lucrative field of business.
Much in demand at local flea markets and antiques fairs are those advertisements from early magazines, along with engraved prints of local views, and other prints often taken from long obsolete publications. In themselves they are worth but a few pounds each; coloured and framed they sell for upwards of ú20, AND there is a huge demand for such items.
Not just at Christmas but at all times of the year, there is an advertisement placed in many publications, whereby the brilliant originator of this idea offers a service he discovered almost by accident. Typing out stories on his word processor he decided to enter his child's name instead of that of the heroine; the compliments came along with requests for similar items for other children, and so another great business idea was conceived. With your own stories you too could benefit in this way.
62 Co-ordinator for Hobbyists and Special Interest Groups
The groups concerned here exist not primarily to correspond with one another, but to have their interests co-ordinated in a manner that will keep them well-informed and up-to-date with events, trends, and techniques relating to their special interest or hobby. So we find a monthly magazine 'Picture Postcard Monthly' which contains articles, private and dealer advertisements, events diaries, auction and sales notices, for all of us interested in - wait for it - 'deltiology' - the hobby of collecting or merely taking an interest in those early picture postcards our ancestors sent to one another in great profusion. Similar magazines exist for those interested in autographs, cigarette cards and many other collecting areas. We also find specialist magazines and group newsletters for those interested in consumer competitions, creative writing, and almost anything else you can imagine.
63 Cuttings Service
Writers, historians, firms and newspapers, are amongst the many people and organisations requiring information the simply don't have the time or facilities to research for themselves. A cuttings service is one which obtains as many newspapers and periodicals as possible and removes all items of interest to be filed under subject headings. A writer wanting to research and collate as much information as possible about some past incident, perhaps a particular Olympic Games, or person of notoriety, simply contacts the cuttings service which then retrieves the information required, photocopies it, and hey presto - another delighted customer!
64 Specialise in Writing or Selling Books on Special Interests
Look in any hobby or special interest magazine, such as those for writers, competitions enthusiasts, craftworkers, stamp collectors, and so on, and you'll come by a host of publications catering for the special needs of readers. Often they are written by individuals with interests similar to those of other readers; sometimes they are from an individual who merely researches the information imparted and presents it is readable form. Try just one hobby or interest at first, write a few titles, then move on to something different, always of course continuing your advertisements in the earlier publications.
65 Print Agency
Charges for small-run photocopying are high, but are greatly reduced for bulk and larger orders. Here the entrepreneur takes orders for photocopying on a small-run basis, collates the orders which are then taken to a photocopying specialist who has agreed a low cost for bulk printing. Alternatively, you could lease a photocopier yourself and advertise the service which you then personally provide.
66 Pen Pal/Correspondence Club
'Lonely in a crowd' they say, and never was a truer statement uttered if the number of advertisements we find placed in the press by people wanting to contact others for friendship or to share a common interest is anything to go by. Some mechanism is necessary to facilitate the coming together of thousands of currently isolated individuals who share this common need or interest. This is where the astute business person comes into play, acting as middleman who often does little more than co-ordinate, collate, and distribute details relating to the activities and interests of members.
67 Craftwork Supplier
There are a great many publications on the market to cater for the needs of craftworkers, from those interested in embroidery, to sewing, knitting, building and renovating dolls' houses, model-making, and so on. Look at the classified advertisements contained in these publications and you'll discover many suppliers of items much in demand by these hobbyists.
These items include: beads, dolls' heads and much, much more. Hobbyists are unlikely to want bulk items such as a wholesaler might offer, so here we have a variation of the old favourite bulk buyer/splitter enterprise.
68 Making Dolls' Clothes
If you doubt the viability of this proposition, take a look in any toyshop and discover for yourself the massive prices being asked for often inferior clothes for today's favourite dolls. Well-made designs for clothes, and such as bedcoverings, cot and pram covers will always find a ready demand.
69 Pub and Hotel Decor
Gone are the days when the publican could bank on a regular clientele merely by keeping his premises clean. With the advent of wine bars, hotels, nightclubs and private clubs, the landlord or owner must now make his establishment that much more inviting if he is to stay the course. We therefore find a variety of firms dealing in pub decor, but not the wallpaper/paint variety. These firms offer something different, in most cases unique. They offer blown-up sepia photos of the pub and its environment in earlier days, sepia photos of famous 'regulars' perhaps with a printed write-up of their achievements, framed early advertisements for alcoholic beverages, framed collections of old beer labels and beermats, and so on.
70 Man with a Van
I recently came by an advertisement in my local paper for an entirely new and much-needed service. For something like ú3 for a local trip, the 'man with a van' collects and delivers to you those items that simply won't fit into the family car, and for which the firm selling them offers no delivery service.
When I first saw the advertisement for 'Rent-a-nappy', I doubted the mentality of the couple who offered to deliver boxes of nappies to the customer's door. Seeing their advertisement grow larger over the following months, I realised there must be something profitable here of potential interest to other. The couple it seems, deliver nappies in bulk to the door, saving the mother the cost and inconvenience of travelling with a new baby. Their prices were competitive since they purchased their stock in bulk, and actual cost to the customer was very little higher than the cost of the same product bought in the shops. The 'Rent-a-Nappy' principle applies also to personal services, for example: 'Rent-a-Nanny', 'Rent-a-Mrs. Mop', and 'Rent-a-Gardener', being but a few of the many examples I have recently come by.
72 Giant Kids' Things
Fantasy will always be big business particularly perhaps in respect of children, who love to bounce on huge cushions and foam-filled play equipment. Life-size stuffed dolls and toys add another dimension to their world of make-believe, as do those beds in the shape of motor racing cars and castles. A vastly under-exploited market this one for the imaginative business man and woman.
73 Horse Blankets, Covers, etc.
Visit any cross-country event or gymkhana, and you'll see the most beautiful garments carefully laid across the owners' equine pride and joy. Horse blankets come in many shapes and sizes and many of them are extremely expensive to buy via the usual sources, and often very plain too. Several small firms however specialise in making blankets to order and to design, often embroidered with the horse's name, sometimes incorporating club colours or motifs and so on.
74 Dog Training Classes
We are a nation of dog lovers, or so they say, and many of us loving our pets as we do, want them to be well-behaved if only for their own safety in the world outside of the home. So we take them to classes, where they are taught to 'sit', 'stay' and 'heel', and we are willing to pay considerable sums for the privilege of having someone teach us and our pets how to behave in an acceptable fashion. Normally classes consist of anything up to 50 owners and their pets, each paying a small sum at the opening of each session.
75 Running a Nursery
Unlike many other countries, Britain falls far short of providing those childminding facilities which would enable parents to re-enter the workforce. Individual childminding facilities take a huge slice from the wage, and often a private nursery catering for several children at the same time can cut the cost to the parent. There are of course standards set in respect of all facilities for childcare; standards with which you must familiarise yourself before attempting to enter this lucrative field of business - ask your local Social Services department for information.
76 Stabling, Livery, Feeding, Paddocks
Buying the horse is not the expensive part of horse-ownership. That once-off cost becomes almost insignificant compared to the cost of maintaining the animal, if that is you can find good accommodation in your area. Standards and types of accommodation vary from simple paddock facilities, whereby the owner pays rent to the owner of the land for nothing more than a field in which the horse might graze, hopefully with at least basic facilities for sheltering, to full livery, and plush stable complexes with daily grooming and feeding provided by trained staff. If you have land attached to your home, here is your chance to make it pay.
77 Knitting/Embroidery/Needlepoint etc. Pattern Designer
Look at TV stars such as Noel Edmunds, Russell Grant and Giles Brandreth, and you'll notice one thing they all have in common - knitted garments for all manner of occasions, each emblazoned with the most appropriate of patterns and motifs. 'Horsie' folk have their garments decorated with cartoon 'Thelwell' horses; 'Turtlemania' caused a great demand for appropriately designed children's wear; some prefer to have the slogan of a favoured organisation splattered across their chests, whilst others require just children's names to decorate their clothing. The actual designing of such patterns ready for incorporation in to the basic knitting or other craft pattern is an extremely easy task to undertake. Most designs require nothing but a ruler, pen and a piece of graph paper (or unused football pools coupon). Take the original design you wish to transfer to the garment and section it off into 1/8 inch squares. Then transfer the design to the graph paper of similar proportions merely by colouring each appropriate square using that colour it takes on the master design. Each square now represents a stitch to be knitted in the colour you indicate on the pattern.
78 Compiling Crosswords
Crosswords are surprisingly easy to produce with a little practice, and many books on the subject of writing will guide you through the basic techniques. As an adjunct to producing crosswords for the many markets requiring the services of the compiler, there is the opportunity to provide 'personalised' crosswords for clubs, as presents, or for individual use, and so on. I have seen advertisements from people offering to create a crossword incorporating words appropriate to the person who will receive the end result as a gift, including such as name, pets, occupation, interests, and hobbies.
79 Birthday Memorabilia
Another highly individual gift service is offered by those who locate original newspapers from the actual date of the recipient's birth. How much more personal can you get? But have you considered the potential of offering magazines from relevant dates, calendars from the year of one's birth, original framed horoscopes from the day, even just a framed advertisement from a leading publication of the time? With the exception of the newspaper service this is a greatly under-exploited area within the field of specialist gift services.
80 Big Bygones
Nostalgia will always be a winner, in the business world at least. Oh, how I wanted one of those red telephone kiosks sold off when the yellow designs came into being, but sadly I was not one of the many hundreds of people able to afford one. Juke boxes are another 'biggie' in both physical and financial terms, as are old cars, vans (particularly those with advertising signs), and huge early enamel advertising signs once used outside shops and now a collecting area in their own right and basking under the title 'street Jewellery'.
81 Needlework Patterns of Houses, Animals, Family, etc.
Refer, if you will, to idea number 77, concerning the creation of patterns for the adventurous knitter and craftworker. Designs created in a similar manner would also be of interest to those craftspeople working in needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery. Many kits are on sale, at high prices, offering little more than a squared pattern such as we have discussed, the appropriate background material, and necessary wools, needles and whatever other materials are required. Dogs, cats, famous homes, all feature in the designs available, but I still have not found anything to compare with the offer to create a pattern from your children's and pet's portraits, photos of your home, and any other coloured photo with sufficiently clear definition to allow an accurate transfer to the colour pattern the designer provides.
82 Photocopying Prints etc
Sometimes the customer desires a copy of some item as opposed to an original document, be it an early magazine, advertisement, diary, calendar or photograph of his or her village or town. Recently I succumbed to purchasing 100 copies of early black and white advertisements. The originals cost something in the region of ú3 to ú10 each; these were photocopies and served my purpose just as well as would the originals. I paid ú39 for them; almost 40p each for a photocopy that would cost under 10p - and I was extremely please with my purchase. Similar items I have seen offered for sale include photocopies of old maps, colour photocopies of early picture postcards, early engravings; and many a dealer is selling hand-tinted prints and maps, at much lower prices than an original copy would cost.
83 Origin of Names
Along with a growing need to learn more about our family ancestors there is an insatiable interest in learning more about the origins of family surnames. A new computerised system has been introduced into one or two city and town centres, a business that as yet is grossly under-exploited. From several huge volumes of surnames the individual locates that which he or she is interested in having traced, whereupon the operator keys such into the computer immediately at hand. The eventual print-out is offered to the customer on parchment-like paper with old-English lettering. The fee is something like ú9 for this unique piece of historical interest. For an additional charge the document is framed behind non-reflective glass.
84 Fortune Telling
Not with a glass ball and dressed as the latest descendant of Gypsy Rose Lee, there is a great revival taking place in the grand old art of predicting the future. I was amazed when walking in my local town centre, to see a man telling fortunes by means of access to a computer on his mobile stall. He was predicting the fortunes of passers by from handprints produced when they placed their palms flat on the computer bed. The fortune was actually told by the computer and interpreted by the businessman in charge. The customer received a computer print-out, full prediction details and verbal interpretation. If the number of satisfied smiles coming away from that stall are anything to go by, I think this is another business well worth consideration by the entrepreneur, looking for something a little bit different.
Still seeking to satisfy an insatiable interest in anything concerning the past, a number of enterprising individuals have discovered a way of serving a large number of customers with just one item, copied many times. These individuals collate the historical details relating to villages, towns, even cities, and write them up to the delight of avid readers with little time to unearth the same facts for themselves - often with little inclination to sit delving into volumes wherein the details are contained. Here lies the opportunity for someone who enjoys unearthing such facts. All that is required is one copy of the end product, to be photocopied or printed, and sold in local shops, door-to-door, or by means of advertisements placed in the local press.
86 Swap Shop
Collectors of such as stamps, postcards, coins, books, and a great many other items, often find themselves with many duplicate items in their collections. The same applies to people requiring such as forms for entry to consumer competitions. The business idea here consists of acting as middleman for the exchange of such items, charging a fee of course for each transaction. There are many things people would like to swap, not all of them falling within the category of collectibles. Household goods, baby hardware, school books, are further examples of items we simply sometimes find no further use for. Someone able to offer a service whereby we can offload such items, and await a suitable swap for them, must surely be in great demand by all of us.
Biorhythms are cycles that rule our minds, bodies and emotions. Life it is said, goes through a series of rhythms, and their pattern of ups and downs have a great influence on the functioning of the body and its emotions. Cycles can be positive or negative, and critical periods can be identified, enabling the persons to whom they apply to take extra care on certain occasions, or else to modify their behaviour accordingly. Sounds complicated doesn't it? But it is actually extremely easy to chart and analyse the biorhythms of any individual at any time in his or her life. Small wonder now that the science has gained a high degree of credibility, that businessmen, sportsmen, students, and politicians, are but a few of the groups to have their biorhythm charts compiled before making any important decisions and plans. Your services can be offered privately or posted, and the whole art can be learned from appropriate text books.
The book-keepers' skills are highly valued amongst small traders and business men and women, particularly with accountants charging high rates for a similar service. You will be in great demand, either on a temporary basis as the tax year draws to a close, or on a permanent part-time basis, thereby alleviating the need for businesses to employ their own staff.
Whether they choose to write readers' letters and fillers, articles or short stories, a good living awaits those who are tuned in to meeting the requirements of the various editors and publishers desperate for new talent. The market for articles is much greater than that for short stories, and usually means a more regular acceptance rate. Seeking further to satisfy the lesser known and lower paying markets will also lower potential rejection rates as you break into this highly lucrative area.
90 Tracing Family Trees
In government records, parish registers, graveyards, and in many other places, are segments of information, which when located and pieced together, offer an extremely accurate and interesting profile of one's family history. But a problem presents itself which precludes many a man or woman from researching his or her family history - TIME! Time in many of our lives is an extremely scarce commodity and other demands allow insufficient time to undertake sometimes painstaking research. This is where you come in, as a specialist and highly paid researcher.
91 Entering Competitions
Every day, someone, somewhere, receives the news that he or she is the new owner of something well beyond the scope of his or her own financial resources. It might be a classic car, or a house in an exclusive area. The recipients are devotees of consumer competitions sponsored by manufacturers, hotels, shops and many other businesses as a means of attracting new customers. To qualify for the excellent prizes on offer every day, the competitor is faced with an array of tasks, from the simple prize draw, to spot-the-ball exercises, order-of-merit tasks, and to creating slogans or tie breakers.
Many of us, whether we are, or have been employed in professional careers, in skilled trades, or many other occupations, are unaware of the untapped talent we might be able to offer to other than our '9 - 5' employers. Some firms and private individuals welcome the services of trained and experienced people from all walks of life, but have insufficient need to employ them on a regular, part, or full-time basis. We might for instance, require a nanny or nurse to look after our children, or a recruitment specialist to help us through the hurdles of job interviewing techniques.
93 The Big Freeze
Life being as hectic as it is, especially for the younger ones struggling to meet mortgage repayments, not everyone has the time or inclination to make small economies around the home. Freezing food whilst in season and freezing large portions of main meals for future use, are just two such ways to save on the household shopping budget, but sadly something time prevents many of us from doing. Someone willing to perform such services on our behalf would be more than welcome, even if there must of necessity be an additional cost over and above that of raw materials. Your service can extend beyond fresh fruit, vegetables, and everyday main meals. You might for instance offer gourmet cuisine, and freezer portions of the more exotic fruits and vegetables we find in up-market food stores.
94 Producing Cassette Tapes
There are many types of commercially produced tape, some for the music lover, or for the lover of novels but with little time to sit around indulging him or herself, preferring instead to carry on with normal chores whilst the story or whatever is read aloud, usually by some famous personality. Purchasers might want to have a best-selling novel read to them, or else to hear a story you have written, perhaps to learn some new hobby, or to have multiplication tables set to music, thereby reinforcing the learning process in the minds of school-bored children.
95 Strawberry Fields Forever
If I had a couple of acres of land, even if it wasn't my own, I'd have that horse I've always wanted. On the rest I'd grow strawberries - and gooseberries, tomatoes, blackcurrants, and lettuce..... Then every year I'd throw my garden open to the public to pick their own goodies, before joining another long line of customers one sees at these P.Y.O. establishments. (Pick Your Own)
96 Painting and Decorating
Not everyone relishes the thought of donning rags once a year, retrieving brushes thrown angrily into the garage last year, and setting about the arduous task of decorating the home. So here's your chance all of you who actually enjoy wielding pain brushes and rollers.
Only the other day, in a top women's magazine, I came by something so different I'm sure there can be few people yet cashing in on this ingenious idea. For about twenty pounds, the customer gets a cartoon drawing of his or her chosen subject, created from a photograph submitted with the order. A sample pictured in the magazine showed a man, with some features undoubtedly exaggerated as is necessary with cartoons, and with a head enlarged about three times. Now whilst almost anyone would cringe at the thought of the 'Spitting Image' team portraying them in caricature, there was nothing wrong in this cartoon to offend even the most sensitive of subjects. The colours were muted and the whole thing extremely easy on the eye - and very different!
98 List Selling
Once almost certain to elicit mocking criticism, graphology is the art of analysing a person's character from a piece of writing he or she provides. Certain strokes of the pen, swirls at the end of words, a preference for mingling capital letters into one's handwriting, all have some deep, and until expertly interpreted, hidden meaning. It is the job of the graphologist to interpret the reasons behind certain styles and peculiarities of writing. A few years ago no-one, with the possible exception of our American cousins, would dream of paying someone for such an analysis. Today however, the technique has developed a great deal of credibility, and the services of a good graphologist are much in demand, especially in the workplace, where many employers now view the art as an essential staff recruitment tool.
100 Keep Fit
These days we're all that little bit more health conscious, as we seek to ward off illnesses and the effects of growing older. Few of us though want to put a great deal of effort into the process. Not for us the long hours of playing squash, or jogging in the park. But give us a little exercise class, to music perhaps, and that's a different matter entirely. These classes can become regular little meeting places, and many a bigger dance exercise studio and exercise gym has started from such humble beginnings.
The End - Thank You For Reading