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