2. Put together a range of notice boards for displaying things like: staff notices, fire instructions, health and safety rules, productivity figures, etc. Call on businesses to sell the notice boards and include a free installation service in your offer.
3. If you are expert in a craft, earn money from teaching it to classes in quiet corners of shops which sell, for example, wool, crafts, artists' materials, or picture framing services.
4. 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.
5. 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 dart board or snooker table for use during breaks; the executive needs a golf putting kit to mirror his style.
6. 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 transparent plastic.
7. Produce a correspondence course which is designed to improve a person's standard of general knowledge. In your advertisements emphasise that a better life might result from taking the course.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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. There are published versions of 'Five Minute' Shakespeare which are well worth getting. Yes, it really is possible to do Hamlet (etc.) in 5 minutes!
12. 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 to people throughout the Western World.
13. Start a 'thimble of the month' club for new and established thimble collectors. Members of the club receive the club's choice of thimble each month.
14. Earn an income from being 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 up market or business publications.
15. Produce a series of CDs or booklets about the folklore of your region. Get these CDs or booklets stocked at suitable shops throughout your region.
16. Start a business which organises snooker holidays and weekend breaks. During each holiday or break, provide guests with tuition from a professional snooker player.
17. Begin an enterprise which organises board game playing holidays and weekend breaks. At these holidays and breaks, guests might play: the latest fashionable board games, classic board games, or a selection of board games. Alternatively, you might organise board game conventions.
18. Open a market stall which specialises in selling tights and stockings.
19. Create a mail order business which sells information and plans about cave systems in this country and abroad. Produce a catalogue about what you have for sale and advertise in pot holing publications.
20. Produce a CD or booklet which is about past major crimes in your area. Do your research at local libraries and newspaper archives. Get your CDs or booklets stocked at local shops. You might give your booklet or CD a title, like '(Your Town's) Top 30 Crimes'.
21. Use sliced logs to make attractive wedge shaped doorstops. Get your doorstops stocked at hardware shops or sell door to door.
22. Write and publish a newsletter about moonlighting. Give subscribers ideas for profitable 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.
23. Use sliced logs to make letter racks. Slice a log. Cut that log into two semicircles. Take a semicircle and stand it on its straight side so you have the silhouette of a mound. Cut slots into the rim of the semicircle; varnish to finish. These slots hold the letters.
24. Start a business which organises holidays and weekend breaks for those who want to play at being soldiers in World War II. The games the guests play might involve: pursuit, reaching physical objectives, defending positions, obtaining information, etc.
25. 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 right to duplicate boxing films and videos.
26. Bring out on CDs, a library of rude and saucy songs for different team sports. The sports you cover might include: rugby, cricket, football, baseball, basketball, and athletics. Arrange for these CDs to be stocked at sports shops.
27. Make wooden badges in the shapes of teddy bears, pigs, elephants, etc. Use a fret saw to cut the shapes and add a few strokes of paint to bring each shape to life. Mount these badges on a board covered with a fabric. Ask shopkeepers to display one of your badge covered boards.
28. Start a mail order business which sells comedy CDs. Obtain your stock from publishers in this country and overseas English speaking countries. You might also start a comedy CD of the month club.
29. Begin a business which organises woodcraft holidays and weekend breaks for those who want to improve and develop woodwork skills. Advertise the holidays and breaks in woodwork and craft magazines.
30. Make Punch and Judy soft toys or dolls. Sell these toys or dolls through seaside shops. Or get Punch and Judy men to sell your products to patrons. Film companies make money from the sale of products related to their films; it is time Punch and Judy men did the same for their trade.
31. Start a mail order company which sells a wide range of lace. Produce a catalogue which features an illustration of each design. Advertise your catalogue in women's and craft magazines.
32. Arrange for business cards to be printed which show the holder is a dedicated supporter of a particular football team. Sell these business cards in packets of thirty to football fans outside matches, or get them stocked at suitable shops.
33. Use a horse and carriage to take tourists on sightseeing tours.
34. Make glass display cases designed to a client's requirements. The display cases might be used for models, stuffed animals, or antiques. Advertise your service in modeling magazines and build up a list of regular clients.
35. Earn money from selling flowers door to door. Buy your stock from a flower wholesale market.
36. Start a service for businesses and shops who want their front step, door and windows cleaning. They might want this done every Saturday and Sunday morning after town centre boozy nights and ready for fresh weekend trade.
37. 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 poetry book might contain the work of either one poet, or a number of poets.
38. Devise 'Crack the Code' quizzes and sell to newspapers and magazines. One example of a 'Crack the Code' quiz is a statement where the letters of each word are replaced by different letters of the alphabet.
39. Advertise for job lots in local and national publications. See what offers turn up and buy anything you think you can resell at a profit.
40. Start a service which buries personalised time capsules which contain items of a person's choice. Advertise your service in up market publications. Or start a mail order business which sells time capsules to people who want to bury things on their property.
41. Set up a firm which organises career selection weekends for teenagers. During these weekends, teenagers take aptitude tests, receive counselling, and listen to talks about various careers.
42. Begin a business which produces a series of teach yourself karate DVDs. Or bring out teach yourself DVDs for other martial art subjects. Sell or hire out these DVDs by post.
43. Be an astrologer who specialises in producing charts and readings for babies, children, and teenagers. You might, for example, use astrology to give careers advice to teenagers. Supply charts and readings by post, and also provide personal consultations with parents.
44. Bring out cardboard cut outs of animals for children. Each animal cut out will 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 the cut outs and sell through toy shops.
45. 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, and Indian.
46. Set up a service which reproduces family, business, or college crests on plaques. The crests might be carved, painted or printed on to each plaque. Also offer a design service. Use ads in up market publications to inform people about your services.
47. Have your own market stall which sells inexpensive toys. Demonstrate some of the toys to attract the attention of passers by.
48. Bring out a range of desktop seashell products. For example: 1) place weights inside suitable seashells to make paperweights, 2) use odd shaped seashells as 'fidget shells' to occupy restless fingers: and 3) sell seashells which have the sound of the sea as 'stress relief shells'.
49. Earn money from selling pegs, dishcloths and dusters, door to door. All you need to do is buy these goods from a wholesaler, place them in a large shopping basket, and you're in business.
50. 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. (Remember, a night-club will benefit if its patrons wear unique fashion clothes.)
We hope that these small business ideas have inspired you to consider starting a small business of your own.