23 Business ideas that are a little bit different
Buy and sell cherished number plates.
Private number plates are hugely popular in the UK. Start by buying plates at auction and resell while advertising for more plates to buy. Check the transfer regulations and become familiar with the documentation required. You`ll need to become familiar with plate values, what sells well and what doesn`t. Some plates can be worth a small fortune. Build up your selection for sale and advertise in motor magazines, Exchange & Mart and Autotrader.
Buy and sell toy train sets and accessories for enthusiasts and collectors.
Although electronic toys have become the main attraction for young children, there is still a market for toy trains, not only for children, but a generation of adult enthusiasts who still enjoy it as a hobby. Advertise in the wanted column of your local paper. Sell through train magazines by mail order and collectors fairs.
Design and make a puppet theatre and put on shows.
Hire out your services as a childrens` entertainer for birthday and xmas parties etc. Put on a show that children love to watch. Advertise your services in the Yellow Papers, but recommendations are the best way to gain more business.
Buy and sell old telephones.
People still have fond memories of the old style phones. They also make a nice change from the modern bland phones in use today. But if a sense of nostalgia isn`t your cup of tea, you could always deal in novelty phones. i.e. Mickey Mouse etc.
Invent a cartoon character which appeals to people of all ages.
Produce a regular short comic strip in a format designed to suit newspapers and general publications. Successful cartoons can sometimes make a lot of money for the inventor. Suggested reading: How to Draw and Sell Cartoons
Produce and sell a range of wooden floor sculptures.
These for example, could be based on wild animals such as bears, wolves or african animals i.e. giraffes, tigers, lions etc. They can be made to stand on a wooden or stone base, or as a freestanding ornament. Sell through upmarket furniture stores.
Make up a number of attractive hanging baskets, each containing a colourful floral arrangement.
Sell them by calling on residents who live in upmarket residential areas. Carry them around in a brightly painted handcart or a suitable small van. There are lots of good books about the subject. Suggested reading: ‘Beautiful Hanging Baskets’ available from Amazon.
Sell a selection of plants at regular car boot sales.
Alternatively, sell them from a roadside stall. Place signs 100 metres from the stall in either direction to inform approaching motorists,
Organise secondhand book sale events.
Hire a small hall, set up some stalls and invite people to sell their old book collections. Charge a small entrance fee and a basic charge to stallholders. Where possible, organise a place for visitors to sit down and provide suitable refreshments.
Offer a service to transfer cine film or video taped footage on to Dvd or Blu-ray.
This isn`t as difficult as it sounds. Good results can be achieved with a good quality camcorder and a suitable 8mm projector. The trick to getting it right is all in the setting up and the type of projector used. A dual gauge projector is best, suitable for standard 8mm and super 8mm films. It will also need to have a variable speed control to get the best results. Once you have the right equipment there are very few overheads in running this type of business, and profits can be good. See also the Photography section.
Design and produce crossword puzzles for magazines.
There`s a lot of newspapers and magazines which print crosswords for their readers. Some puzzle magazines are filled with them. If you like the idea of creating your own crosswords, and you`re clever enough to do it, you can sell your creations to make it worthwhile. There`s even computer software available which can help you along the way, Check the internet for sources.
Buy mountain bikes from auctions which deal in unclaimed goods recovered by the police.
These bikes usually sell at very low prices. You can refurbish them, if necessary, and resell them. Alternatively, hire them out in busy tourist areas. Ensure all bikes are well maintained and proper insurance is arranged.
Breed earthworms for profit.
Here is a business that involves very little in the way of expense or any special skills. The main thing required is some unused space in a garden shed or garage. Using propagation boxes, available from gardening centres, plus the right combination of manure, peat and topsoil, earthworms can be bred in copious quantities. There are certain types which are regular fast breeders, and thousands of them can be bred in a relatively short space of time. So who needs earthworms? Well, gardeners and fishermen actually. And they`re quite prepared to pay for them too. For more detailed advice check the internet or your local library for information.
Start a childrens` fancy dress party service.
This would involve you supplying a range of party games and costumes for childrens` birthday and christmas parties. The costumes could range from cavemen outfits to spacemen, and designed to fit a variety of different ages between 3 and 12 years. Have the costumes made up by someone reliable and professional. Advertise your service through the local newspapers and Yellow Pages.
Start a business teaching other people how to set up and run a party plan business.
If you have any experience in this field of selling, this could be a good opportunity to help others, who have little or no experience in this area, succeed in their new venture. Offer a one day course for people to develop their skills in the various stages of party planning, from arranging the party, through to presentation, entertaining guests, getting the orders and obtaining more bookings.
Record and sell your own songs over the internet.
Many new bands are taking this route to establish themselves with a wide audience. Some of them are sending their demo CD`s to major music sites where they are being converted to MP3 and played on demand. A lucky few are likely to gain major recognition as professional recording artists.
Open up a collectors museum.
The museum would be dedicated to a collection of old items that are fondly remembered and popular with visitors. Themes such as toy trains, vintage toy cars, dolls houses, photographic equipment, film memorabilia etc., could be easily displayed in a large house or rented premises. Choose a suitable location within easy reach of a popular tourist spot or large populated area. Charge a small admission fee or apply for government funding.
Arrange day trips to racecourses and other special events.
These could include events such as music festivals, major exhibitions or theatrical productions. A regular service could be set up for regular customers, depending on the popularity and nature of the service offered. Racing enthusiasts and football fans might use your services repeatedly. Travel arrangements might include travelling by coach or train, possibly overnight accomodation, and obviously, entry tickets would be included in the overall price. Whatever discounts you can obtain, will of course, become part of your profits. Good organisational skills are a must. Advertise your service in the local press and the appropriate magazines.
Frame and sell collections for display.
These might include specialised items that appeal to particular groups of people. For example, sets of coins for coin collectors, stamps for stamp collectors, autographed photographs of celebrities, medals, maps, replica guns, stuffed fish, butterflies, insects and numerous other things. Advertise in suitable magazines.
Invest in a horse and carriage and offer sightseeing tours in a popular tourist location.
You could also hire out your services for weddings. The drawback is that you will need somewhere to keep your horse and carriage. Check to see where you can hire a stable and storage for the carriage locally. As close to the tour route as possible.
Become a supplier of training aids for driving schools.
These could include dual controls, roof signs, magnetic car door signs, audio/visual training aids, mock theory papers, books and videos. Advertise in the driving school trade magazines and by direct mail to driving schools, most of which are listed in the Yellow Pages.
Make money with your answering machine.
There`s a number of mail order businesses who make money simply by placing small, inexpensive, classified ads with an enticing messages to phone for more details about their products. It can also work for firms offering business opportunities and certain types of services too. If you have something to sell that can be sold successfully by mail, consider using your answering machine, and a compelling description of your product as a way to get more orders.
Start a business designing and selling personalised wine labels on bottles of wine.
This type of service can provide a gift that is different and out of the ordinary. Customers would send you details of the persons name and date of birth, along with any other relevant details, to be included on the lablel. You would then, using a home computer, design the label to make it look authentic, print it out and stick it to a bottle of wine, white or red whichever preferred, that`s been supplied without a label. The bottle, or crate of wine is then sent to the customer by special delivery. Arrangements could also be made to deliver the goods to a third party as a surprise gift, if required. Advertise your service by mail order through various magazines.