Consider the situation of the average small business - such as a plumbing firm. They know about installing central heating and unblocking sinks, but what do they know about creating an effective advertisement? The obvious solution is to employ a marketing consultant or advertising agency. This may be a reasonable solution for a medium sized, well established, company, but too expensive for a one man band, or company just starting out.
An opportunity exists for a service plugging the gap between the company, either cobbling something together from their own limited experience, or going to the expense of employing a consultant or advertising agency to create something original for them.
How about this example - a replacement window company. This firm could benefit from seeing the very best advertisements from competitive companies the length and breadth of the country. If the company could see these ads do you think they'd get some good advertising ideas? Do you think that the ideas that work well in one part of the country for one company, would work elsewhere for another firm?
Imagine compiling a portfolio of the very best advertisements in one field, and then selling that portfolio to all the other companies in that field. Then imagine doing the same thing in an almost infinite number of other fields!
This idea could form the basis of an excellent business, which, as far as I know, has no real competition at present. Given the scope this is an exciting opportunity. The advertising portfolios could be presented as a series of photocopies as there is little need for fancy presentation. This is essentially an information providing service.
As a starting point, you should select a number of target markets and start collecting copies of ads which relate to this field. You would be well advised to concentrate on fields where there is a high degree of advertising activity and where companies tend to work regionally rather than nationally. These fields will yield plenty of material and companies who are interested in advertising will want to know what others are doing and have the ability to pay for the information.
You could market your advertising clippings service to the companies directly, with perhaps an up front fee for all the information currently available, and then a monthly updating fee. Actual fees would depend on the field and the amount of information available. This would be a new service, so there are no rules to follow, no competitors to copy. Here is a very simple opportunity with almost limitless potential. There is little to lose by giving it a try.