A SERVICE is different from merchandise; it takes a different kind and
character of selling. You don't have the goods to show, to feel, to try, to
demonstrate. You are mostly actively selling yourself, personally; your
skill, your abilities, and your reliability. The spotlight is off the goods,
and on to you.
This is a somewhat more difficult way to make money, because it is
so personal, and so limited by what you (or your helpers) can do personally;
but it is also a more solid and lasting business. Services are most
always repeat service; and a customer pleased can give you constant
business. In many ways it is a more satisfying business to you because of
your personal craft relationship to it. It is a craft, not a mere trading
business, and in this way satisfies one's instinct for craftsmanship—also,
often, creative ability.
You should make the decision whether you would be happiest selling
goods or services, after thoughtful consideration; perhaps after testing
yourself on both. (Not everybody is sufficiently acquainted with themselves
to know precisely what they would find most interesting to themselves).
As a general rule, just looking for fat profit is not the surest
way to get to where you want to go. Selling goods, merchandise, gives
certain types of people satisfaction merely in the process of making a sale.
They like the excitement of argument, for the chance of a big quantity
sale; they like the "smoke of battle" with a prospect. And they are sometimes
ambitious to sell a great deal of goods, and employ subsalesmen under
them. If you sell goods, it is true, there is no top limit to your activities,
but if you sell services, there is a limit to what you personally can do. All
this is perfectly sound—choice is up to you.
Some of us have a strong craft instinct. We like best to deal in
services because we get a chance to use the creative instinct. Women
specially incline to prefer service rather than merchandise selling.
There is plenty of money to be made in selling services, even if the
chances of large quantity orders are not the same.
Look over these uniquely interesting types of services, for both men
and women, and you may find precisely what you want, or at least suggestions
to activate your mind toward a better decision. Here are 119 kinds
There are hundreds of stores, offices, institutions,
churches, public buildings, etc., even homes, which need their walls washed
once every year or two, or even oftener; a task which is not usually possible
with ordinary facilities. There is now a machine which washes walls
at least six times faster than can be done by hand. It makes a business
for someone. Contact Von Schroder Mfg. Co., 5113 W. Place, Racine,
2. Rug Washing.
It comes as a most agreeable surprise to many householders
to know that they can hire you to come to their homes with your
own rug-cleansing machine, and wash their rugs right there while they are
lying on the floor! This, too, makes a business, comparable to floor-sanding,
etc. Contact Von Schroder Mfg. Co., 5113 W. Place, Racine, Wis. (For
upholstery cleaning this same company has a device).
3. Make Candy for sale.
The home-made candy of yesteryear still has
its appeal, and it is still a business to make candy on a small scale, in
your own home kitchen, or a "candy kitchen" set up in some modest
little retail store location. You can get the necessary instruction from
Ragsdale Candies, East Orange, N. J.
4. Paint Signs, Counter Cards, etc.
This is quite a neat little
were more signs needed by almost anybody offering goods for sale.
You don't now need to be a "lettering artist" as used to be the case.
You can buy "letter patterns" which make it remarkably easy and fast.
Retailers pay good money for nice signs of all kinds. Contact John Rahn,
B1330 Central, Chicago 51, Ill.
5. Answer Telephones.
Nowadays a lot of people in homes, offices, etc.
flit around a good deal, and observe short office hours, etc. They feel
the need of someone to answer all telephone calls—office or home—during
the hours (or days or weeks or months) they are out or away. It is a
business now. In large cities you operate only on certain selected exchanges.
Elsewhere the whole field, Contact Post Service, P. O. Box 103, Somerville
6. Sharpen Lawn Mowers.
A surprising business! It seems that the average
lawn mower needs sharpening once or twice or oftener per season,
or else it is extra hard work to push. There are now machines to do this,
and you can set yourself up in business—and get it, too, in localities
where many lawns are kept. Contact any of the following: Quad City
Products, Box 42, Rock Island, Ill.; Foley Mfg. Co., 307 Foley Bldg.,
Minneapolis, Minn.; Rogers Mfg. Co., Lindsey, Ohio; Modern Mfg. Co.,
Pasadena, Calif.; Fate-Robert Health Co., Plymouth, O.
7. Sharpen Circular Saws, Scissors, Knives, Wrenches, Planes, etc.
who uses tools today—and who doesn't?—wants sharp tools. That's
just good craft horse sense. But tools of various kinds need modern equipment
for sharpening. It's a business! The old scissors grinder and knife
sharpener peddling the streets, is replaced by a real business, with new
equipment. Contact. Quick-Way Saw Co., 11 Riverside, Coming, N. Y.
(for circular saw sharpening); A. D. Burney, 314 East 4th St., Los
Angeles 13, Calif.; Belshaw Machinery Co., Fulton Bldg., Kansas City,
Mo. (for knife, plane, power grinding equipment); J. C. Moore Industries,
Fredonia, Pa. (for sharpening pipe wrenches); Serr-Edge Machine
Co., 9731 Laramie Ave., Cleveland, Ohio (for scissors).
8. Build Outdoor Fireplaces.
Hundreds of thousands of people in recent
years have been discovering the fun of cooking and eating outdoors. After
using various make-shift devices, they develop a desire for a really
permanent fireplace, solidly built. You can make a quite profitable business
of this. With four dollars' worth of sand and cement, and twelve
dollars worth of iron, one person now in this business built a fireplace
and collected $129.00 for it! Anybody with any backyard, lawn or outdoor
space at all can be interested in such a service. Contact General
Engineering Co., 307 Hunter St., Gloucester, N. J.
9. Do Steam Cleaning.
This is a spruce-up age—we are rubbing off the
dilapidated look from many things. Steam cleaning equipment can do a
wide variety of jobs—from cleaning the exterior of buildings, to concrete
floors, even automobiles! The equipment for this is simple to operate—it
can generate 75 lbs. of steam in 10 minutes, and costs around $400.00. It
can polish off a whole building and make it look like new in double-quick
time at a pretty nice sum! Contact Hi-Pure Laboratories, Evansville, Ind.
10. Manufacture Jewelry.
Literally tons of costume and other low-price
jewelry are consumed today. Individual artistry is at a premium—why not
try your hand at it? It needs little space, little machinery, and sells at a
high mark-up over costs. Make your own designs, or copy designs—the
field is wide open. You can readily and cheaply buy all supplies. Contact
these firms: Gem Craft, 18135 E. 13th St., Cleveland, O.; R & B Art
Craft Co., 11019A S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles 44, Calif.; Jewelcraft
Co., 204 Howard St., Framingham, Mass.; B & I Mfg. Co., Burlington,
Wis.; Jara Gem Corp., 489 5th Ave., New York, N. Y.; International
Gem Corp., 18 John Street, New York, N. Y.; House of Blaire, 2075 E.
14th St., Cleveland 15, O.; Giftcrafts, Box 455, P. M., Coral Gables,
11. Do Sand Blasting.
This is a uniquely versatile business—you can do
everything from cleaning automobile interiors to marproofing lamps, refinishing
surfaces of all kinds, even etching glass windows. Isn't difficult to
learn—there's a free course of study. Contact Blasts Spray Gun Mfg. Co.,
7007 Haas Ave., Los Angeles 47, Calif.
12. Manufacture Concrete Blocks.
There's a never-ending demand for
concrete blocks, as nothing has yet surpassed them in building construction,
for cheapness, solidity, durability. They are a staple anywhere in
the U. S., city or country. By using very modern equipment and good
techniques, your product can out-compete others. Contact these firms:
General Engines Co., 307 Hunter St., Gloucester, N. J.; Economy Mfg.
Co., Stone Mountain, Ga.; Brikerete Association, 4679 Division St., Grand
13. Install Quick Hot Water Heating Units.
A lot of people are unaware
that, with new unit devices, their present hot water boiler tank can
quickly be converted into an electric hot water heater, for less than $25.00.
You could readily make a business out of this, as there are millions who
still depend on old equipment, which is too slow. You can install this
upon old equipment very satisfactorily. You can make the installation of
the electric unit in less than an hour—do it right during your sales call,
if need be. Contact Colloid Equipment Co., 50 Church St., New York,
14. Clean Venetian Blinds.
Surprising how many housewives and housemaids
by-pass this chore as difficult. You can develop a lot of jobs doing
this work with new equipment, and you will find just about every other
home open to the suggestion. Contact L. C. Robinson Mfg. Co., 522 N.
Rural St., Indianapolis, Ind.; also F. Y. Co., 442 N. Seneca St., Wichita,
15. Grow Midget Trees.
These outstanding little fruit trees were a tightly
held Japanese secret until not long ago. Imagine! They grow hardly more
than a foot high—indoors or out—and actually bear fruit. They are
dwarfed by secret process. They "sell on sight". You might add other odd
growing items to this unique business. Contact National Nursery Gardens,
8463 S. Van Ness St., Tanglewood 4, Calif.; Don Pedro Farms,
Route 2, Box 1007, Stockton, Calif.
16. Printing Without Press—Silk Screen Printing.
Very lovely effects
can be obtained by the silk screen process, and it is making many friends.
You can make a business of it, doing a wide variety of jobs with it. Contact:
Silk Screen Typecrafters, 510 E. W. Susquehanna St., Phila. 22, Pa.;
Screen Printing Co., 1010 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles 15, Calif.; Roto
Print, 211 N. 7th St., St. Louis, Mo.; J. Jones, Box 321, Meridan, Miss.
17. Repair Electric Appliances.
What sellers of the hundreds of electric
household appliances don't tell you is that all too often they are in need
of repair! Where to go? How to safeguard against "gyp" repair charges?
Make a business of this and earn many householders' thanks. There are
schools which teach such repairs work: Pacific Training School, 7219
Broadway, Los Angeles 3, Calif.; Electric Appliance Repair Institute, 5944
Newark Ave., Chicago 31, Ill.; Christey Trades School, 4432 N. Kedzie
Ave., Chicago 25, Ill.
18. Sand Floors.
There's really only one thing to do with wooden floors
when they reach a certain point in wear: sand them. But who will do it?
You will, making a business of it; using one of the modern, fast floor-sanding
machines, and earning a very fine price per hour, or square foot,
for the service. Serve homes, institutions, schools, retail shops, etc. Contact
American Floor Surfacing Machine Co., 533 St. Claire St., Toledo 3,
19. Do Auto Fender Repair.
You don't have to do anything else to a car—this
specialty alone develops plenty of business as a by-product of the
great over-crowding of streets and highways, and its resulting minor
bumpings, collisions, and accidents. It is quiet easy, not heavy work. All
you need to do is have the right tools and bid for the business. Contact
Utilities Engineering Institute, 2523 Sheffield Ave., Chicago 14, Ill.
20. Make Keys, Expert Locks.
There's a large volume of business in
duplicate key making. You can set up in business in an incredibly small
space,—and on almost no capital—in an alley-way or a niche, or blind
space facing the street; or rented few square feet outside or inside a store,
or wherever. A key duplicate can be cut on a modern machine in less
than 2 minutes. Go into the field deeper, and learn locksmith technique.
Contact: Institute of Locksmithing, 15 Park Ave., Rutherford, N. J.
21. Raise Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Rabbits, etc.
these little animals are bought for laboratory work—and also for pets.
Hamsters are sometimes called "toy bears." The technique of raising them
is now very well simplified. If you have proper outdoor space in a good
climate you can sell an incredible number of them. Contact: Gulf Hamstery,
15 Jay St., Gulf Shores, Ala. (hamsters); Rock Hill Ranch, Sellersville,
Pa. (Chinchilla, Rabbits); Chinchilla Breeders, 303 Lexington Ave.,
New York, N. Y. (chinchillas).
22. Clean Upholstery.
Women don't seem to know what to do with
upholstery when it reaches a certain state of soiledness. You can step in
and make a business of both cleaning and "match-proofing" upholstery;
using modern methods. Surprising how many householders will want such
service. It saves new covers or new furniture. Contact: Duraclean Co.,
3-163 Duraclean Bldg., Deerfield, Ill.; also Von Schroeder Mfg. Co., 2042
"D" Place, Racine, Wis.
23. Breed Large Frogs.
Frog legs are still a gourmet's item of food, and
they seem none too plentiful in supply ($5.00 a dozen, we're told). If
you have (or will make) a small pond on your grounds you can raise
plenty of them. Contact: Marlboro House, 1635 Marlborough St., Detroit
15, Mich.; Broel, Box 1035 Marlborough St., Detroit 15, Mich.
24. Raise Orchids.
Sounds fantastic—you have always thought orchids
were grown either in the tropics or in luxurious hot-houses. You'd be
surprised what you can do without a hot house and expensive equipment.
It can be made into a most lucrative business. Contact: Tropical Flowers,
601 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles 5, Calif.
25. Metalize Baby Shoes, Bootees, China, Baskets, etc.
of parents still wish to preserve their little tot's first shoes, etc. by bronzing,
metalizing them, to last forever. Rare is the family that isn't sentimental
about Baby. They are surprised and delighted that you can manage
this metalizing job for them. Contact: Kiktan Co., 7217 S. Broadway, Los
Angeles 3, Calif.; Senti-Metal Co., 274 E. Capital St., Columbus, O.;
Dresden Craft Supplies, 5630 France Ave., Minneapolis, Minn.; Warner
Electric. Co., 1215 Jervis Ave., Chicago 26, Ill.
26. Install Floor Tiles.
This is another new and flourishing business for an
enterprising person of no particular preparation or experience. The new
rubber tile flooring consisting of 9 x 9 inch squares are extremely popular
and efficient, and almost anyone can lay them fairly fast. Homes, stores,
public buildings, etc. are finding the economy and beauty of this type
of flooring. Contact: Kentile, Inc., 58 Second Ave., Brooklyn 15, N. Y. for
its Handy Ken-kit (all tools and materials needed for installation of Kentile
flooring). Also Hochmaster, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Goodyear Tire and
Rubber Co., Akron, O. (for the Vinyl-tile service).
27. Cast Rubber and Plastic Goods.
Rubber and plastic are now materials
more versatile than any former art and utility material for casting. Figurines,
ash-trays, and a thousand other items may be cast from this
ready material, creating saleable items at will. You think up more ideas!
Contact: Plastic Arts Studio, 303 S. Madison St., Muncie, Ind.; Plasticost
Co., Box 6737; Chicago 40, Ill.; Plasti-Glas Co., 1701 W. Magnolia
St., Burbank, Calif.; Werner Electric Co., 1512 Jarvis Ave., Chicago 26,
Ill. (for outfits of resins, glass cloths, tools, etc. for operating plastic
28. Do Photo-Engraving.
Once this called for an extensive investment;
now you can set up in business with very little money. New methods and
materials are the reason. There is considerable demand in any fair-sized
town and you can quickly turn out good work. Contact: Tasope Dept.,
29. Grow Earthworms for Fishermen.
"What an idea!" you'll say. But
don't laugh. Fishermen are usually hard put to it to get worms for bait,
and for this reason it is now a business to supply the worms! Requires
little skill or capital. Contact Miller's Mammoth Worm Farm, Route 1,
Murray, Ky.; or Huffman Worm Ranch, River Junction, Mich.
30. Do Re-Weaving, Mending.
Ever gasp at the charge they ask for
mending a cigarette burn in your best woolen suit? That's why it's a good
business. It is meticulous and touchy, but it certainly is a worthwhile job,
saving a $50.00 suit from ruin. No wonder people are willing to pay, and
there are plenty of suits, skirts to be mended. Contact: Fabricon, 8342 S.
Prairie Ave., Chicago 19, Ill.; Jackson Enterprises, 2624 Sheridan Road,
Chicago, Ill.; Kaycrest Products, 126 W. 3rd St., Cleveland 3, O.; Skil
Weave, 1717 Westwood, Los Angeles 24, Calif.
31. Test Soil Samples.
Your grandfather would sniff at this as a business,
but the laugh would be on him. Farmers, home and lot owners, institutions,
golf clubs, etc. pay real money to have their soil analyzed, as much depends
on such analysis. You can quickly learn the business. Contact Bill Krause,
3074 Woodland Lake, Lake Bluff, Ill.
32. Breed Canaries, Pheasants.
Do you love birds? Here is a chance to
enjoy yourself earning a good living. We used to get nearly all our
canaries from the Hartz mountains, Austria, but we've been learning the
trick of breeding good canary songsters in America. There's a demand.
And pheasants? Gourmets pay high prices for a dish of pheasant. Not
enough wild ones available. Contact: McKenzie, 1310-10 8th Ave., Albany,
Georgia (for canaries); Great Central Game Management System, Columbia,
22S, Kansas (for pheasant).
33. Grow Mushrooms.
We Americans every year almost double our
mushroom consumption. They are no longer a mere luxury item. They
grow with remarkably little attention if you give them the exact degree of
darkness, temperature, humidity they need. Contact Washington Mushrooms,
2954 Admiral Way, Seattle, Wash.
34. Grow Herbs.
As in the case of mushrooms, we Americans have
rapidly become herb conscious. We use far more in our foods than
ever was known before. Dozens of persons have been making very good
livings growing-up and selling herbs, on quite small plots. There are 3 or
4 good books on herb growing to read, too. Contact Averse, 113-S Elizabeth
St., Wichita 12, Kansas.
35. Raise Mink.
Nobody need tell you that mink is valuable—it's almost
worth its weight in gold! True, it's not an easy business; you'd have to
give plenty of thought and care to it, and in the right location. But, "thar's
gold in them thar skins". Contact Lawrence Molgard, Brigham City 13,
36. Do Roofing.
Strange, a lot of people seriously neglect their roofs, and
fail to realize that this is very poor economy. A poor roof also destroys
a house's beauty, while a roof which gives attention to roof artistry greatly
enhances its value. You'll have much attention paid you today talking
modern roofing, and it's an excellent business. Contact Luster-Kate, 19417
Derby St., Detroit, Mich.
37. Do Bookkeeping, Tax Returns for Small Business.
A bookkeeper I
know, getting along in years, lost her job and was alarmed—until she
discovered how to make two or three times her former income doing
bookkeeping and tax returns for a dozen or more small firms. She's now her
own boss, working on her own time, mostly at her home, and says it's a
swell idea for many other competent persons. Contact Tasketts, North
High St., Salem 4, Ind.; also Modern Business, Box 406, Youngstown, O.
38. Make Artistic Lamps.
There seems to be a revolution going on in
lamps. The old eyesore lamps of rococo design are being pitched out and
replaced with modern artistic lamps! Not all localities are offered the
new artistic, modernistic lamps—therefore to supply the demand is an
interesting business—specially for women. Artistic lamps are not hard
to put together by someone with taste, ingenuity and smart fingers. They
bring very good prices. Contact: Plastex Industries, 4400 3rd Ave., New
York 56, N. Y.; Gearon Co., 27 S. Des Plaines St., Chicago 6, 111.; Crafttime
Creations, Newark, Del.; Sam Patchett, 247 N. W., 24th Court,
39. Manufacture Drain Tile.
Odd business, you say? Just one of those
good opportunities for a small business without much capital. Drain tile
is used extensively on good farms, in home building, reclamation projects,
highway building, etc. At one time only expensive clay tile was used,
but now modern machinery has made possible manufacture with concrete,
cheaper and better. It makes a business operatable anywhere, not
just at clay beds. Contact Concrete Equipment Co., 525 Ottawa Ave.,
40. Sell Tear Gas Service.
What an idea! You're sure to say. But, stay,
its a very good little business, in these modern days of frequent hold-ups,
disturbances, burglaries, etc. Banks, stores, offices and other places find
that tear gas is an astonishing and quickly effective protection. Contact
Hagon Supply Corp., St. Paul 4, Minn.
41. Do Electro-plating.
This job is not so complicated a business as it
sounds, and you could get many small jobs to Plate. Contact: Joseph Kushner
Electrical School, Stroudsburg, Pa.; Tyco Metals, Box 1323119J, Houston,
Texas; National Sales Co., 113-U, West 42nd St., New York, N. Y.
42. Run a Fix-It Shop.
Most people are constantly bothered by the
many things that "need fixing", but they haven't time to hunt out and
contact the proper service to do the fixing. For this reason a Fixit Shop is
a good business idea. You don't of course, do all the fixing in your shop—you
"farm out" some of it—to your "staff" of specialists who work
with you at "trade" prices. You know just how to get fast action, too,
when necessary. You protect your patrons from the frequent scandalous
overcharges which repair concerns impose for a mere brief service or small
adjustment. Housewives have often hoped for such a service.
43. Operate a Shopping Service.
Many mothers or career women—and
men, too—are too tied down to go shopping. They welcome an alert
shopping service which will take over. An ideal little business for a smart
woman who can save more than her commission of 10% for shopping.
She can shop for large as well as small items, and watch the ads for
special bargains; even return goods or search for a particular item within
a particular price range.
44. Offer A Children's Party Service.
Many mothers would adore a
woman operating a service to help her with children, take them to a
party, give a party; take them in a group to museums, or a picnic, or to
a children's performance. A "natural" for a motherly woman or bright
girl. She could handle all the details for a childrens' party at the home
of her patron, or arrange to drive children to school and back. Also
furnish baby sitters, etc. as a branch of service; also perhaps set up a
Day Care Center, for small children while their mothers are working.
Contact Day Care Council, 114 E. 32nd St., New York, N. Y.
45. Moving or House Opening or Closing Service.
This is of course a
service for wealthier folk, but there are hundreds of harassed well-to-do
folk who have to open and close homes in the country, in Florida or
New England, or wherever. In each case the task is usually beyond the
strength and resources of the family, or even of its servants (who are
nowadays usually very picky.) So, the opportunity for the competent,
executive type of woman who knows how to get things done on time,
to attend to everything even to a fire in the fireplace and supper on the
table when the client arrives. It is worth—and commands—a substantial
46. Operate a "Toy Hospital" and "Exchange".
The great trouble with
most toys is that they usually can't stand for but a short time the assault
of junior! He bangs and tramps on them, and they very readily become
"cripples". They need a hospital! It is a very real economy for parents
to have toys repaired, as Junior then is likely to take fresh interest in
them-perhaps even more than originally. You can often make these
toys stronger than they were originally. Toys discarded by one child last
year, may (if fixed) greatly interest the child's smaller brother or
A "toy exchange" is also "a natural". Children quickly tire of same
toys, and are often given unsuitable ones. The Toy Exchange is a solution,
for parents can get equivalent value there in a wanted toy for an
unwanted one. All you need is a general set of tools, paint, work bench,
raw materials; and distribution of a card into 100 to 500 home mail
boxes all around you, and you'll be in business. Include in your Exchange
Baby Buggies, Baby appurtenances of various kinds.
47. Run a Health Club.
In practice this is a kind of small "gymnasium"
for exercises, calisthenics, baths, massage, etc. Many persons, particularly
women, want to take off pounds, and retrieve "good lines," which can
only be done by keeping the body musculature moderately exercised, massaged,
etc. You can get good fees for this if you have a commanding
presence and physique, and some training, plus the right ventilated
space and facilities, which will include exercise machinery, dumb bells,
bars, couches, baths, etc. If you wish to do some massaging, contact the
College of Swedish Massage, 42 E. Pearson St., Chicago 1, Ill.
48. Operate a Social Center.
Most smaller communities or neighborhoods
have no suitable place for out-of-the-home social occasions. An enterprising
woman or man who will rent and maintain large, pleasant rooms
(in some old residence, perhaps) in which parties, etc. can be held is sure
to get patronage. She will need a good floor, a piano, radio, phonograph or
juke box, suitable table and chair and kitchen equipment for light refreshments
(with perhaps a concession for meals leased to another woman, a
good cook), and adequate toilet and clothes closet facilities. Childrens'
parties could be one of her specialties, also birthday and other occasions,
organization meetings, lectures, educational classes, possibly even some
religious services for small local groups. Young people might find a Saturday
night special social dance a highly appreciated facility.
49. Run a "Week-End" Farm.
Large numbers of people just have to get
away from it all over the week-end, by going to the country. But where?
Resorts are expensive—and are not real "country." If you have a nice
rural home, in a small town or farm, clean, with suitable rooms, bath and
pleasant country surroundings, you will get a ready response to a bid to
come out to the country, Friday or Saturday to Monday, with country
style plain one-dish meals, fresh eggs, chicken dinners, fresh breads and
pies, real butter, home made preserves, etc. Even if you have room for
only four or six people, it may net you a welcome weekly sum. In hot
weather you might put up tents for those who like that; or fix over an
old barn for simple, airy sleeping.
50. Home Mending. Repairing, Altering Service.
Wives by the million
work today at a job and just haven't time to mend and repair. At the
same time the tailor nearby asks too much for simple work, because of
labor and rent rises. This leaves open a wide field of ordinary mending,
altering, tailoring, sewing, dressmaking which must be accomplished at
less money coot, supplied by a person who operates in her own home to
serve her neighborhood. A fairly substantial income can be worked up
in this way. Just print a card with name and telephone, telling of the
operations you can handle, and see that every household within 10 or
more blocks gets one. Keep charges moderate; use every modern device
and aids; make permanent customers with the quality and promptness of
51. Open your Home for Convalescents.
With hospital costs so high,
and medical opinion being that patients should spend as little time as
possible in hospitals, there is very real opportunity to make a small business
of taking care of convalescents for a week or two after an operation or
illness. The patients prefer it, the doctors like it, the hospital would prefer
it, and the cost is much lower. At $35.00 to $50.00 per week, with food,
three to ten patients accommodated in a nice home (well-heated, with
several bathrooms) a woman with some professional or "practical" nurse
training, or comparable family experience, can make a very nice living.
If she is a retired registered nurse it is a particularly good idea, and there
are many successful instances.
Interest one or more doctors in your idea, get their cooperation and
advice, and operate in their visiting territory. They will appreciate the
facility, and recommend it to patients, for either financial or medical or
52. Open a Baby Service Station.
Modern babies require quite a number
of things which not all parents find time to provide, especially if the
wife works. Why not open a baby service station, supplying nearby
parents with timed, specific formulae of milk, nursemaids and baby
sitters, rental of baby carriages, walkers, toys, etc.? In any large apartment
building or groups of buildings are sure to be quite a few couples
needing such service. (See also item 44).
53. Plan, Sell and Paint "Unpainted Furniture.
An increasing number of
people are discovering the economy and adaptability of unpainted furniture,
now 80 widely available; but they are often stumped by (1) uncertainty
as to what units they should get, and (2) lack of time, know-how, facility
or willingness to do the painting themselves. They don't like to give the
job to a regular painting firm which often overcharges. There is every
reason why they would patronize an individual specializing in it, who
would help plan what to have, in the first place, know where to buy it
most advantageously, and do the painting in the right way—in a fitting
color scheme, harmonizing with other things. This can be a very nice
business, leading perhaps eventually to opening an unpainted furniture
store, with painting service, and salesmen who would go out to sell.
54. Mow People's Lawns, with Power Mower.
It naturally doesn't pay
home owners who have no very large lawn to buy a power mower. So
this is an opportunity for a business. Buy a power lawn mower and
cut people's lawn on a regular time schedule, for a fee. A 17" power
mower can be had for $66.00, and if you mow ten people's lawns seven
times at a dollar you've paid for the mower, and all income is clear from
then forward. Plenty of peoples will gladly pay the fee, and you can mow
25 lawns a day easily. Contact: National Farm Equipment Co., 142
Greene St., New York, N. Y.; The Pond Company, Ravenna, Ohio;
also Rotacut, Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Kroy Mfg. Co., South Lansing,
Mich.; B-M Mower Co., Blue Mound, Kan.
55. Hoe Peoples Gardens with a Power Hoe.
As everybody who has tried
it knows, its fun to plant a vegetable garden of any size at all, but hard
work to keep the weeds down. Plenty of people will pay you a dollar or
two to hoe their garden at intervals with a power hoe. You can buy one
for $134.00 and soon get your money back. Contact: Roto-Hoe & Sprayer
Co., New Drury, O.; Shaw Mfg. Co., Galesburg, Kansas; George Garden
Tool Co., Sullivan, Ill.; Eshelman Co., 119 Light St., Baltimore, Md.
56. Open a Neck-Tie Exchange.
It's been done successfully by quite a
few folk. The scheme is that patrons bring in their old ties, pay a dime
a piece, and receive in exchange one of the cleaned ties available (of the
same grade). The pull of this plan is that you get a change-off from your
old ties at only a dime a piece. Many a man is tired of a tie which is a
very nice one, still in good shape, and will gladly swap it for another for
a dime or a quarter.
57. Operate Counter Stand Concessions.
Many retailers in crowded localities
have more space than they need or can afford. They will be interested
if you take a year's option on a corner, window or counter space for some
specialty business you will find to rent it to. A watch repair man may
want such a small space; or a hat cleaner, expressman, umbrella seller,
key maker, popcorn or potato chip dispenser, or theatre ticket agency—or
any of a dozen other special sellers. You hunt out the persons who
should be interested. You can operate a string of 25 or more such concessions,
spending your time finding such corners or tenants for them, or
studying locations and possible business, and perhaps even teaching them
how to manage and supply such a business. Even barber shops could
do well to add shoe shine, manicure, hat-cleaning service, shirts-to-order
service, toilet goods or tie counters, etc.
58. Organize a "Thrift Shop."
It's a fancy name for a store for secondhand,
miscellaneous cast-off goods, but it is often most successful. There
are hundreds of things of value which people throw or give away to anybody
who will take over—yet they have sales value. Such items as old
fur coats, and other apparel, old china and ornaments, furniture, pictures,
etc., you will be surprised to know, may be quite profitable items. People
are relieved to be rid of many things today, for space reasons, for nowadays
space is at a premium. You assemble all such goods by asking for
it; sometimes paying small sums for it, and then cleaning and arranging all
these items as attractively as possible and inviting customers to come in
and browse around. Somehow what one person is willing to part with is
quite often worth real money to others. Be smart and keep the turnover
going fairly fast; disposing of slow-selling items at constantly declining
prices until they move. Many people have a passion for patronizing such
thrift shops, always in the hope of picking up a rare bargain—which they
right often do!
59. Operate a Collection Agency.
Experience shows that the best way to
collect smaller debts from average folk is by personal local contact. People
will dispute, delay and defy far-off creditors, but when someone in their
own community contacts them they are likely to pay, as they value their
local reputation. Thus there is room in every community for a small,
one-man collection agency not only for collecting jobs for out of town
firms, but for local work, too. There is a technique to a good collection
service, which is very effective. Contact: U. S. Protective Service, Box
4865, Atlanta 2, Ga.
60. Install Aluminum Hand Railings.
Sounds to be an off-trail business.
Many homes and other buildings never did put in needful hand-railing
which should be there to protect life and limb. It doesn't take long to
convince on this point, for railings on stairs, terraces, porches, etc. Cast
aluminum railings are neat, light and can readily be affixed to wood, stone,
earth, concrete. Contact Kloppenberg Aluminum Foundry, Davenport,
61. Weave at Home, Make Hooked Rugs, etc.
Just like your great
grandmother, you can profit by operating a loom in your home, to make
small woolen rugs, drapes, tweeds, ties, shawls, scarfs, etc. They are very
much in demand when neatly woven, attractively colored. Contact: Newcomb
Loom Co., Davenport, Iowa; Union Looms, 56 Post St., Boonville,
N. Y.: J. L. Hammett, 290 Main St., Cambridge, Mass.; Nilus Leclerc,
Inc., L'Islet Sta. 5, Quebec, Canada; John Dritz & Sons, 1115 Broadway,
New York, N. Y.
For hooked rugs there is a quite lively sale. You can make them
without difficulty. First, buy and read the book Practical Hooked Rugs,
published by Prentice,Hall, 70 5th Ave., New York, N. Y. Then for ideas
subscribe to McCalls Needlework Magazine, 230 Park Ave., New York,
N. Y.; Sewing Products Co., Box 1434, Cincinnati, O. Then for supplies,
these firms: Allan Fabrics, 60 Home Rd., Belmont 78, Mass.; Bartlett
Yarn Mill, Box 72, Harmony, Maine; Wool Products Industries, 988 Kent
St., St. Paul, Minn.; Martha Mannery, P. O. Box 1308, Springfield, Ill.;
Shillcraft, 66 Hopkins Pl., Baltimore 1, Md.
62. Do Pen Lettering, Scrolls.
Once upon a time, over a century ago,
there were many penmen making a living doing elaborate scroll work. A
Pennsylvania Dutch birth or wedding certificate was something wonderful
to behold. But today, too, there is some demand for pen lettering of
various kinds; and with the new lettering pens, techniques, etc. there
are many uses. Few retailers are without the need, regularly, of signs and
letterings. Give your hand a penmanship education, and then seek business
in your neighborhood. You'll find it. Contact National Artists, 801¼
N. Marsalis, A5, Dallas 3, Texas.
63. Make Mats out of Old Tires.
The other day a big tire company
executive announced that soon you'll be able to buy tires that won't
wear out for the life of a car! They are already pretty nearly indestructible!
Even when ready to give up on a car, they have usefulness left. In poor
countries they make shoes out of them. New techniques now transform
them into ever-wearing door mats. It's a business perhaps for you! Contact
S. & S. Patents, Inc., 1307 N. Clark St., Chicago, Ill.
64. Re-String Tennis Racquets.
Tennis racquets are fairly tender objects,
and if you're a lively player you'll want thoroughly taut, snappy racquets
to play with. It is a business that can be made profitable to lace new
gut into a racquet and make it as good as new. You can do it! People
are grateful for it, as it renders new racquet buying unnecessary. Contact
W. A. Bickel & Co., 803 S. Boulevard, Oak Park, Ill.
65. Upholster Old Chairs and Sofas.
Too many people are ready to throw
out a chair or sofa when the fabric cover breaks or there's a scratch. This
is silly, as there is expensive understructure remaining, usually practically
as strong as ever. You have an opportunity here. You can set up a small
shop in your home and get plenty of work. Learn about it. Contact Custom
Upholstering, Oxford, Pa.
66. Paint Flag Poles, Smoke-Stacks, etc.
If you're an adventurous and
not a hopelessly giddy type you can make very good money indeed, specializing
in painting very high, difficult places. A large premium cost is
usually gladly paid. Yet the facilities for this work nowadays are very
competent and safe. It merely looks hard and dangerous. But of course you
must be a steady-nerved person. Contact Skyline Co., Fairchance, Pa.
67. Raise Geese.
There's a special reason besides the fact that they are
good to eat. They have valuable feathers for pillows. (Note: the new
foam rubber pillows cannot equal a nice pillow of goose feathers!) Even
the army wants more feathers. Contact Northnode, West Rutland, Vt.
68. Make Cleaners, Soaps, Polishes, Cosmetics.
People still like to buy
home-made material of this kind, and if you make them right, they are
unbeatable. If you sell a customer one item, you usually sell more. Have
a line; label them with an attractive name-label. Contact Komix, Parkridge,
Ill.; Nu Silver, 508 M5, Aurora, Ill.; Mme Rubinoff, PM4, St. Louis
69. Bake Greaseless Donuts.
We no longer regard doughnuts as deadly
enemies of our digestion, because nowadays they are made without a lot
of grease clinging to them. And unbelievable millions of them are consumed;
in various forms. Many food shops, grocers, restaurants, bars and
grills, drug store and lunch counters are very actually eager to buy
fresh-made home-made ones daily, if they are well made. It's a steady
business. Contact M. Roy Co., 3605 S. 15th Ave., Minneapolis, Minn.
70. Sell Used Clothing.
Doesn't sound good, but a phenomenal volume of
business is done in old clothing. There is a market among the poor. Reason
for a large supply available is the rapid "obsolescence" of fashion, and
the American habit of not wearing clothes out, buying new clothes
seasonably. Therefore much "old clothes" would (in most foreign places)
be nearly new, and still useful. You can get a supply of such clothes
locally or elsewhere, just by asking for it, or paying children a pittance.
Sell at startling low prices (such as 65¢ for woolen overcoats $1.50 for
woolen suits, 15 cents for dresses!) to stores in poor sections of town. If
interested contact Moro, 55 AA, Roosevelt Ave., Chicago 78, Ill.
71. Fix Damaged Furniture.
With the new repair materials available
today it isn't necessary to let varnished surfaces of furniture which are
cracked, dented, blemished go on looking defective. You can greatly
please customers by fixing these defects. It isn't hard to do or learn. Contact
Monarch Specialties, 13449 Pulaski Ave., Chicago, Ill.
72. Be A Local Researcher.
You probably don't know it but a hundred or
two research firms, advertising agencies, periodicals, radio companies,
"pollsters", etc. operate with hundreds of local resident researchers scattered
all over the country. These researchers ask questions of people and
put down the answers on questionaire forms furnished them. They do
this either by personal contact or by telephone, and are paid on a per
unit basis. Some of this work is constant, others intermittent. Some of it
calls for visits to neighboring territory, or even farms, by auto. It is
interesting work, fairly well paid.
You can write to a list of the research companies. Give education,
experience, territory you can cover, and they will probably file your
data for possible use. If you live in a city, call on all the advertising
agents in town, to see if they can use you. Also newspaper advertising
departments. If you live in a small town, contact the national agencies.
Write to Department of Commerce, Washington, D. C. for a copy of
"Market Research Sources" booklet which gives list of research firms.
73. Teach a Specialty or "Coach".
This is a day of many kinds of adult
study courses. If you have a good basis of special knowledge, why not
organize a "class" and teach it? Meet in your home, or at any other
feasible place. Charge about $10.00 to $20.00 for a course of ten sessions.
You may even find a department store, or the local YMCA or YWCA, or
business school, or even a church or social settlement, which will hire
you to give a course. Even a cooking or cake-baking course, or baby sitting
or home millinery making, or almost any technique will interest women.
Technical subjects interest men. Coaching pupils in studies is another way
74. Supply and Arrange Flowers to Hotels, Stores, Restaurants, Even
Many hotels have an arrangement of this sort; you agree to
keep the vases in lobby, dining room, parlors, etc. filled all year long with
appropriate flowers; and also, on call, decorate banquet tables. Stores and
restaurants often like this plan—even churches, even funeral parlors, even
public institutions, offices, etc. Write to Coca Cola Co., Atlanta, Ga. for a
booklet on flower arrangement. Make a deal with one or more flower wholesalers
or hot-houses, and be prompt, careful, neat, artistic, resourceful.
75. Do Free-Lance Publicity.
Everybody likes publicity; few know how
to do it appropriately, gracefully, effectively. The ambitious, socially prominent
women or men of your town or community all will appreciate competent
attention to publicity. When there's a wedding, coming-out party
or other social event, it is important that the publicity be handled rightly.
All organizations, even churches, and charitable institutions need it.
Study the subject, then send your card to a carefully developed list and
make some personal contacts. Get well acquainted with your local newspapers—even
ask their advice and suggestions. See any advertising agents
there are—they may have work for you on a "free lance" basis. (Free
lance" means operating on your own, not as a salaried person, and being
open to serve various clients in various ways).
76. Be a "Home Secretary".
This simply means that you offer your secretarial,
typing, stenographic or general detail services to people in their
homes, at odd, part-time hours, on an hourly fee of $2.00 or more per
hour. This means typing or taking dictation from someone, man or
woman, who works at home or is invalided, or taking care of the business
details of some busy man or woman's personal or miscellaneous activities.
Your client may be a busy society woman, an author, a retired business
man or whatnot. It is a most interesting line of work.
77. Be A "Candid Shot" Photographer.
If you have a good "candid
camera" and are skilled in its use, you can make quite a good income in
three or four ways. Arrange with night clubs, restaurants, hotels for permission
to take candid shots of diners there, either of prominent personages,
which the restaurant or hotel can use for publicity, or by order from
the diners themselves. You can also take group pictures of group meetings,
dinners, etc, with an assistant.
Such candid photography is also lucrative when done to order at
home functions, organization meetings, weddings, etc. Buy several 75 cent
books—Good Candid Photography; Salon Photography, Fawcett Publications,
New York, N. Y.; How to Break Into Photography, American Photographic
Publications, 533 6th Ave., New York, N. Y.
78. Give Cold Wave "Permanents" to Women in Homes.
cold wave permanents, now very popular, make readily possible a service
in the home. You can let women know that you are available by appointment
to give superior cold wave permanents, and charge whatever is a
locally acceptable rate. You can do this service without qualifying as a
beautician or hairdresser; but can extend your service by taking courses
in hairdressing and treatment. A moderate price will yield plenty of
appointments for cold waves. Contact Gibbs & Co., 21 S. Wabash Ave.,
79. Set up a "Toy Fair" in Your Home.
You may not know it, but parents
are frequently, baffled about toys for their youngsters. They don't know
what is suitable, wise or which will interest the youngster. Ludicrous
mistakes are frequently made in giving children toys much "too old" or
"too young" for their ages.
Suppose you set up in one of your rooms a "toy fair" with toys
classified for sex and age, type and kind, and stress in particular educational
toys. It is remarkable and fascinating what toys are today avail,
able for children. In the last few years literally thousands of new toys
have appeared, America is now world-leader in toys. You can invite
parents to visit your Toy Fair and discuss their toy needs with you; perhaps
bring their children with them to try out their interest. You can
have literature, and catalogs available from many toy companies, and
take orders for toys. Subscribe to Playthings Magazine, 71 W. 23rd St.,
N. Y., and get their directory of toys; also subscribe to Toys and Novelties
Magazine, 307 W. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. (Note also idea for Toy
Exchange, Item in this book).
80. Make Quilts at Home for Sale.
You'd be surprised how many people
like quilts better than blankets and want some in their homes. But, unlike
their grandmothers, they haven't time to make them themselves. Here is
your chance, as you can put creative artistry and quality into them and
get a fair price. If you live along a well traveled highway you could hang
out a quilt sign and get customers. Or you could sell some to individuals
by mail, by personal call or telephone call, or local advertising. Contact
Stearns & Foster, Cincinnati 15, O. for their pattern catalog; also "Aunt
Martha", 2500 Buchanan St., Kansas City 16, Mo., and Cotton Batting
Co., Lockport, N. Y.
81. Embed Real Flowers in Plastic.
People are startled and delighted with
this new art, which is really very simple. You use liquid casting plastic
and embed real flowers in it. They stay real and colorful. You can make
them into jewelry, candle holders, book-ends, picture frames, figurines.
And you can imbed thus not only flowers but coins, photos, butterflies,
etc. to make plaques, paper weights, tiles, etc. Simple tools will do it.
Contact the Castolite Co., Woodstock, Ill.
82. Breed Tropical Fish.
A most enjoyable money-making idea! Strange
and colorful fish breed rapidly and sell for good money. Very few people
fail to take interest in a little home aquarium, and many become immensely
interested. There is endless variety! "Tetrums" that light up like neon
signs; "Gouram" that are 12 different colors! Actually hundreds of varieties
of small fish. You can sell not only to homes, but to restaurants, hotels,
offices, theatres, offices, etc. Contact Tropical Fish Breeders of America,
Los Angeles 15, Calif.
83. Sell Card Table Advertising Space.
An odd idea, but it is making
money for churches, organizations and for individuals. Members sell advertising
space on tops of lovely card tables. Contact F. W. Mathers, Md.
Ephram, N. J. for detail of operation and opportunity.
84. Sell Current Books Locally.
You can earn a neat extra income by
serving as a book buyer for people you know. Get a small note-size
letterhead printed—" Jane Doe, Bookseller" and you will be able to order
books. (cash in advance, or on credit, at 25% to 33 1/3% discount from
book publishers, and thus secure for customers the book they want
promptly. You can offer your customers 10% discount, and by having
printed a gummed address label with your name and address on it, you
can ask the book publisher to mail the book direct to your customer. You
simply send one of these labels, addressed to the customer; to the book
publisher with your order. He will mail the book direct. You charge the
customer the 12 cents postage. People are very glad to have someone look
up the publishers and order the books they want. They don't often visit
bookstores, and don't always know the exact names of the books they
want. You can serve them.
85. Be an Interior Decorator or Consultant.
Even if you don't plan to
go into this field fully, professionally, you can profitably operate some
part of it if you have really good taste and are alert to all the new
trends, materials, interior styles and ideas of plan and arrangement. You
can ask a $25.00 fee for consultation in planning an apartment; help
decide on color scheme, etc. Full professional service would be to actually
buy and oversee installation of everything, and get 20% professional discount
on purchases from supply houses. But you may want merely a well-deserved
fee for talking over or deciding on color, type of furniture, etc.
You may ask more if more than one or two rooms are to be planned; and
an extra fee if you are asked to go along when purchasing is done. Read
the interior decorating magazines; Contact American Decorators Guild,
7070 N. Clark St., Chicago 26, Ill.
86. Do Photographic Specialties.
Photography is a great money maker for
many people-never more than today. A rich variety of oddities and
specialties are now helping a lot of people to set up little businesses of
their own. Here are some of them:
- Photo stamps—make gummed stamps printed from anybody's negative
film (old or new; sell at a dollar or two for 100.) Contact National
Photo-Stamp Co., 654 Broadway, N. Y., N. Y.
- Novel Portrait Specialties. Either plastic enlargements or personalized compacts,
rings, lockets, bracelets, with photo permanently affixed; using
old or new negative supplied. Contact Novel Portrait Co., 3343 North
- Transparent Color Pictures from Old or New Negatives. Contact Allancraft
Products, 6340 N. Western Ave., Chicago 45, Ill.
- Rapidly Taken and Rapidly Finished Photos. Special camera takes and
develops pictures, without dark room. 30 or 40 of them inside one
hour. Contact POQ Camera Co., 1161 N. Cleveland Ave., Cleveland
Read the book, Photography for Fun and Profit, Arco Pub. Co., 480
Lexington Ave., New York, N. Y.
87. Teach Dancing.
Either to adults, or to children. There is good patronage
for anyone who has a suitable dance floor space and good personality.
Many adults are poor dancers; also many adolescents. They want very
much to learn the new steps. Parents like to give their young girls early
dancing lessons to enhance personal gracefulness of figure. Set up a suit,
able place, and issue cards to logical prospects. You will be helped in this
by contacting Pioneer Publications, 1790 Broadway, N. Y. (for booklet
on dancing); Pickwick Co., Box 463 Midtown Sta., New York 18, N. Y.,
and Book Dept., Romance Time, 141 East 44th St., New York, N. Y. (for
"Photo vision" data on tap dancing, etc.)
88. Sell Like a "Hostess."
One of the most original ideas ever developed
in selling is that of the Welcome Wagon Co. with its "hostesses". In this
company's hundreds of branches the women who act as "hostesses" call
on people who move into the vicinity, on the very first day they move
there, to give them advice as to local shopping, and leave samples of merchandise,
courtesy of local merchants, etc. This hostess tells the newcomers
all that they usually want and need to know about the neighborhood,
and show such generosity as inviting them to lunch in a local restaurant
or store. They also give free delivery for 2 weeks of the local paper,
and tickets to the movie. The hostess has a pre-arrangement with the
stores, movie houses, etc. about all these items; each merchant paying about
$1.25 per call made. Even nationally advertised products cooperate.
The point is you can operate your own "welcome" plan in your
neighborhood or your own town. Call on the merchants and tell them
your plan, which can also include credit cards entitling the new resident
to her first quart of milk free from the dairy, her first bundle of laundry
free from the laundry, her first dress cleaned from the cleaners, a box
of cookies from the bakery, etc. or a $1.00 credit on her first order for
groceries, etc. You can write to big material advertisers yourself and
probably obtain samples for distribution; if you have the local retailers
endorsement. This plan can be used not only for new residents, but for
An additional idea is to work up among the retailers of a neighborhood
shopping center a special bargain day or week; perhaps feature one
week special bargains on laundry, another week special bargains in groceries,
next week one on drugs, etc. You can work out the details, get
up the publicity, collecting a dollar or two from every retailer cooperating.
89. Set up a "Sharp Shop."
Go the whole way and prepare to sharpen
anything. Call your business The Sharp Shop. Get the tools and machinery
to sharpen saws (including circular) tools, lawn mowers, scissors, knives,
etc. Tell your trade the truth, that sharpening things is a real technique,
and bunglers can hurt your tools. There are now special machines for
sharpening saws, lawn mowers, etc. and of course tools and abrasives of
the right sort. Write to Behr-Manning Co., Troy, N. Y., for a booklet of
instructions. (See Item No. 6 for names of lawn mower sharpening
You might have a side line, selling home power tools to hobby minded
men. Write Grilliom Power Tools, Malbert Field, St. Louis, Mo.; Syncro
Corp., Oxford, Mich.; Shopmaster, 1214 3rd St., Minneapolis, Minn.,
Mechanics Co-op. Oakland 8, Calif.; A. D. McBurney, 317 E. 4th St.,
Los Angeles 13, Calif.
90. Do Spray-Gun Painting.
With the new paint sprayers painting (of
every kind) is quite a new technique, and in many ways simpler and
faster. You can take on odd paint jobs and charge modestly because of this.
Many people will be delighted at what you can accomplish in one hour.
Get acquainted with the new technique. Contact John H. Fair Co., 27 East
Lake St., Chicago 1, Ill., and Sullivan Beaker Co., Kenosha, Wisconsin.
91. Re-Cast Old Auto Batteries Into New.
That old automobile battery
is far from worthless, and can, without too much effort or expenditure, be
made into a new, strong battery. It's a technique of re-supply. You can
develop a right profitable business in this. Contact Battery Laboratories,
92. Sell Personalized Baby Record Books.
Every parent, especially when
a first-born arrives, likes to make much of the newcomer in every way.
There is no more logical or interesting way than to start a "Baby Record
Book", which will record every little thing about Baby—his weight increase
record, week by week, his details of birth, growth, diet and the photos
taken of him, and so on up to his first saying and doings. There is a record
book especially designed for this, and no parent will lack interest in it.
You can sell it freely. Contact No-Co-Ro Co., Oakland, Calif.
93. Make Perfumes to Sell.
Don't believe it if told that perfume-making
is a complicated art. You can make, mix, blend perfumes from basic
ingredients, and you can reap the extra large mark-up profit which is
usual for perfumes. You can secure all needed supplies and very readily
make excellent perfumes, to be labeled as you wish with your own brand
name. Contact Carey Laboratories, 19 Chauteau, P. M. 5, St. Louis 3,
Mo.; McCann Co., 4019-21 Rio Grande Ave., Amarillo, Texas; International
Co., 637 Parnell Ave., M. 5, Chicago 21, Ill.; Murst, Inc., 2132
N. W. 11 th, Miami, Florida.
94. Make and Sell Special Hand-Cleaner Soap.
There is an unbelievably
large market for good hand-cleaner soap, to garages, filling stations, mechanic
shops, factories, stores, homes. For cleaning the dirtier workers'
hands a special soap, a "hand cleaner," is preferred to ordinary toilet
soaps. It is a business. Contact Keenelo, 2445 Larimer St., Denver 2, Colo.;
Bayoo, Box 805, Pawtucket, R. I.; Dytex Chemical Co., India St., Providence,
95. Do Personalized Dressmaking at Home.
If you have a sewing machine
and will study the most modern methods, you may make very good
money being a dressmaker at home, for neighbors friends, etc. You can
learn the "factory short-cuts" and special fast methods that insure good
style, and use the various exciting new fabrics, and greatly please your
trade. Buy a couple of good books, such as Modern Dressmaking Made
Easy, Precision Draping, Modern Pattern Design, Fundamentals of Apparel
Design; all published by Funk & Wagnalls, 153 E. 24th St., New
York, N. Y. Also contact Good Dressmaking Institute, 310 S. Robertson
Blvd., Los Angeles, 88, Calif.; also Singer Sewing Machine Co., Singer
Bldg., New York, N. Y.; also Fashion Industries, Los Angeles 15, Calif.;
buy McCalls Dressmaking, McCall Corp., Dayton, O.; Girls Book of
Sewing, Greenberg Publisher, 201 E. 57th St., New York, N. Y.
96. Cover Buttons, Buckles and Belts to Order.
Very popular and snappy
are the new made-to-order cloth-covered buttons, buckles and belts—with
the cloth your customer wants, to match. They impart an "expensive
look". There is now a machine (costing only $17.30) with which you
can readily and quickly cover these items, and make money. People are
usually very willing to take off the buttons, belts, buckles now on dresses
and coats, and put new cloth-covered, matching ones on. It distinguishes
the garment at once. You can sell even to dress-makers, tailors, stores.
Contact Defiance Button Machine Co., 43-47 W. 24th St., New York,
97. Open a Mending Service.
It is appalling how many persons are
plagued by the problem of items in their household which "need fixing,
mending, adjusting", etc. And nobody seems to know where to go to get
the "fix". With modern repair tools and materials this isn't too difficult
for someone who wants a good business. Set up as "Mr. Fixit" or "Miss
Fixit" or a "Mend Shop"—for damaged china, glass, thermos bottles,
silverware, lamps, jewelry, antiques or almost anything. You can sublet
some jobs, or take electrical appliances, or leather or other special items
to other repair places. Handbags, gloves, shoes and other good leather
objects can be repaired; zippers, even favorite girdles can be altered to fit
changes in figure.
98. Be a Canape Expert and Supplier.
Hundreds of women appreciate a
service of supplying unusual good hors d'oeuvres at short notice, for social
occasions. You can learn from books how to make them and vary them;
or go to a cooking class for special instruction. There are thousands of
small and large social occasions at which canapes are served, and they are
always a problem for most hostesses. Drop a card in mail boxes, advertise.
You can also offer a side-line of ice cubes in quantity; delivering them
in sanitary, leak-proof containers; also shaved ice; also paper cups; napkins,
etc. Get the book "501 Easy Cocktail Canapes," by Olga de Leslie
Leigh, $3.00, Crowell Publishing Co., New York.
99. Supply Logs and Cannel Coal for Fireplaces.
People love fireplaces,
but fuel for them, in cities and suburbs, is always a problem. People with
fireplaces appreciate and pay well for well-cut wood, good cannel coal,
etc. You can go out into the country somewhere and make arrangements
for birch, old apple, oak and other woods, (or driftwood if you're near
the ocean), to be delivered to you, cut. You can get as much as 50 cents
a log for good wood of 5 to 10 inch diameter, 18 to 24 inches long.
As a side-line sell driftwood imitation chemical, which gives varicolored
flame, like drift-wood.
100. Groom and Walk People's Dogs.
A number of persons owning
dogs find it inconvenient to groom, wash, trim or walk their dogs. You
can supply this service. You can also be consultant on dog diet, health, etc.
Some well-to-do persons are willing to spend good fees on various types
of dog care. If you have the room you could even "board" dogs for
clients on vacation, trips, etc.
101. Teach Bridge and Canasta.
Many persons would like to play cards,
but know so little about bridge or canasta (or other games) that they
are willing to pay to learn. You can set up a "club for beginners" in
your home, at a fee. It will be a service many will profit by and enjoy.
You can charge extra for serving refreshments. Read books such as How
To Win at Gin Rummy, Arco. Pub. Co., 480 Lexington Ave., N. Y.;
Contract Bridge Complete, by Goren; Bidding and Play, Duplicate Contract
Bridge, by Culbertson; Bridge as an Easy Game, MacLeod; The New
Canasta, and Samba, by Goren. All obtainable from Brentanos, 47 and 5th
Ave., New York, N. Y.
102. Do House or Apartment Hunting.
Nearly all folk hate the job of
searching for a suitable home or apartment to rent. A great many are
perfectly willing to pay someone intelligent who will scour the field and
line up one or two which will fit specifications. Then the choice can be
made. You should not find it difficult to get business, especially in large
cities where distances are long. A fee of $10.00 or more is entirely within
reason. You may be scouting for half a dozen clients on the same trip.
You may extend your services to aid in moving—planning, packing, supervising,
etc.; or even to advise on decorating, painting, furnishing.
103. Make and Sell Rag Rugs.
Your grandmothers never threw away
any rags—they kept them, braided them, for rag rugs, and very artistic
and satisfying they were, too. Why not make a business of it, for there
is today a revival of interest in such things as rag rugs. You dye the white
or light colored rags and use pretty colors with commercial dyes, and
braid and sew them fairly rapidly into rugs. You can even afford to
give children money per pound for rags they collect. The trick is, for
good rag rug making, to be sure to have the centers flat and not baggy.
You may be able to sell all you can make to stores; or you can hang
out a sign and make sales at home, or by house to house call with a
sample—at $2.00 or $5.00 per rug. They are popular also in bath room
size. (For Hooked Rug Making, etc., see Item 61).
104. Teach Cookery to Young Wives and Girls.
It is a fact that the
average bride today "does not know how to boil an egg". She went to work
or school during the years our mothers or grandmothers stayed at home
and learned cookery. Therefore most women, especially engaged girls
and brides, really need and usually would like a series of good, practical
cooking lessons. There are too few facilities for this. If you are a really
good cook you can readily persuade a dozen women to take a course of
10 or 20 lessons or more from you at $2.00 or $3.00 per lesson, (including
food cost). If you get the patrons you could operate 3 or 4 classes or
Prepare a well-balanced series of cooking lessons and brush up your
cooking knowledge, with half a dozen good cook books; such as American
Cook. Book., Chas. Scribner's, Sons, 599 5th Ave., New York, N. Y.;
Let's Cook it Right, Adelle Davis; Paris Cuisine, Beard-Watt; Long
Island Seafood Cookery, Business Bourse, New York; Concise Encyclopedia
of Gastronomy, Simon; Coast to Coast Cookery, Indiana University,
105. Organize a Knitting Class.
If you are a good, versatile knitter, and
have patience to teach, you can get together a dozen or more women who
want to learn. They will gladly pay $1.00 or $2.00 per lesson. You can
keep up your end by constantly learning new techniques and suggesting
new ideas and materials. Subscribe to McCalls Needlework Magazine, 230
Park Ave., New York, N. Y.; get the book Number Knitting, Crown Publishers,
49 Fourth Ave., New York, N. Y.; contact New York School of
Knitting & Handicraft, 545 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y.
106. Organize Sketching Art Classes.
An incredibly large number of
persons, of all age, have been developing interest and delight in oil, watercolor,
charcoal painting and sketching. They like the idea of sketching
groups (in spring, summer, fall season) going to interesting spots for
sketching, on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays. You can organize such groups
for pay, even though you do not yourself paint or sketch. You merely
organize the group and charge a fee. Such people like companionship,
and do not expect lectures or instruction, but learn from each other.
You could also include a picnic lunch in your fee, and possibly the fare
too. If you have a car it becomes even more attractive.
Hikes are also profitable to organize at a fee. The social feature often
is a considerable attraction in such groups. In winter sketch groups could
sketch in your home from life models or still life objects supplied by you.
You could also supply good instruction books to beginners, and sell
107. Set up a Piano Tuning Service.
Most people's pianos are out of
tune. It is a service easily learned, if your tonal sense is good. It pays
well ($2.00 to $10.00) and takes hardly an hour or more when you
are skilled at it. You can make special rates for periodic tuning. A small
local classified ad, and your card distributed to homes and apartments
are all that is needed-plus of course a tuning tool. There is a course to
study. Contact No. 7 Nelson Hall Co., 210 S. Clinton St., Chicago, Ill.
108. Sell Foods Prepared in Your Kitchen.
A surprising number of flourishing
food concerns have been developed by women, starting in their
own kitchens. The Pepperidge Bread, Gras Noodle Soup, Wagner Pies,
Snyder Candies are some of many examples of just a woman selling what
she so excellently prepares in her own home and built into a large, profitable
business. You, too, can sell some item of food you are specially skilled
in preparing. There is even a trend now in large cities to sell entire
prepared meals. Some frozen prepared dishes are also sold successfully.
It is even possible for you to freeze foods.
First, be sure that what you have to offer is really a splendid product,
one liked by nearly everybody. Then see that you solve the problem
of delivering it in good condition. You may be able to sell some item
(like cake, cookies, bread, pies) to retail stores, shops, restaurants, hotels,
lunch counters, roadside stands, even railways and airlines. Or you may
cater only to local homes. One woman built up a business selling to
factory and office lunch rooms. You would do well to seek sales in fair
quantity as this woman did, so as to be able to deliver in fair quantity,
rather than small quantities at widely scattered locations. Give a bright
name to your product, and package it neatly, colorfully.
It will astonish you to know that it is claimed that there are over
1600 products which a woman can sell from her kitchen! Read a new
book Malting Money in Your Kitchen by Helen Stone Hovey, Wilfred
Funk, Publisher, New York, N. Y.
109. Start Groups in Public Speaking.
Everybody should know how to
get up before a group (small or large) and make a talk. It is nowadays
a distinct handicap not to be able to do this. Therefore you would do
well to make a little business in your home, of classes in public speaking.
You don't have to be a well-known speaker to do this; but you will need
to be able to talk in an acceptable, clear way to a group. Then you can
use a book well adapted for the purpose of teaching (How To Be a Convincing
Talker and Charming Conversationalist, By J. George Frederick,
Business Bourse, 80 W. 40th, publishers, New York, N. Y., $3.00).
An important point is to insist that each one of the group get up at
each lesson and talk on some subject. Study systematically, voice, diction,
inflections, mannerism, gesture, posture, content, emphasis beginning argument,
preoration, vocabulary, humor etc., all from detail provided in the
book. You can charge a fee of about $1.00 or $2.00 per person inclusive
of a copy of the book, for each of 20 or more meetings of the group, perhaps
also inclusive of refreshments.
110. Get Up a Clinic on Home Money Earnings.
There is very widespread
interest in this subject, and women can definitely help each other
in this matter. This was recently illustrated May 1953 when the N. Y.
State Dept of Commerce, and the Ogdensburg, N. Y. Chamber of
Commerce, Cooperating with the Women's Club of Lawrence County,
N. Y., and its County Home Bureaus, held a "Business of Your Own"
clinic. This was the 33rd Clinic, and they have greatly aided women
who want to make money at home.
This suggests a money making plan in itself; be smart, organize such
a clinic yourself at your home, for your local neighborhood, and charge
a dollar admission. Meet every week or two; use this book as a basis
of discussion, and obtain each other's suggestions and ideas on a suitable
line of business. It will pay well those who come to your clinics, for they
may get some or all present as customers! Even after women start a line
of business, they will find it valuable to come to the clinic to discuss
Contact Miss Jane Todd, Deputy Commissioner, N. Y. State Dept.
of Commerce, Albany, N. Y., for what material she can furnish on "a
business of your own."
111. Develop Souvenir Items for Local Tourist Trade.
If you live in a
region frequented by summer vacationists or tourists; and particularly if
you are located in a tourist region, or on a main highway, you have the
opportunity of developing a business of your own in many items. It can
be either food or merchandise likely to appeal to tourists, or souvenirs
of the region, or antiques, or even general items of interest and usefulness.
A lively interesting display sign, and if possible a showing of the goods,
may be all that is needed. The erection of a uniquely artistic stand or
cabin close to the road may be advisable. Anyone who has traveled much
around the country by auto will have seen hundreds of such small businesses,
selling everything from dogs, pottery, hooked rugs, antiques,
plants, needlework bedspreads, candy, and an endless variety of other
There must be sharply marked display and appeal, not merely some
crude small sign. It may be a good-paying plan to move to a home on a
good automobile road, for the specific purpose of selling to passing
112. Take in Transient Autoists Overnight.
If you have a roomy, comfortable
home on or near a well-traveled automobile highway, you can
get automobilst overnight boarders. Many travelers, some distance from
home (especially over week-ends) welcome a place to stay overnight in a
home, so that they will not need to travel fast at night to get home, or
to a city. They may prefer such accommodations to the "motels," or there
may be no motels in the vicinity. Autoists willingly pay $2.00 per person
per night for such accommodations in a neat, well furnished home with
modern facilities and good clean beds. Hundreds of women with large
houses and small families have found this a surprisingly easy way to make
a fair income. Good illuminated signs on the auto highway at 3 or 4
points are important. Also discrimination in acceptance of guests.
113. Make and Sell Artificial Flowers.
Easy to make at home out of
materials that you can buy, and you'll be surprised what lovely flowers
you can make. A lot of people like to buy them. Take a basketful and
go door to door—you'll see what happens. Contact Dennison Mfg. Co.,
Framingham, Mass.; Plower Materials Co., 229 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago
24, Ill.; Hobby Mart, 604 Penn Ave., Phila. Pa.
114. Make, Trim, Sell Women's Hats.
You don't have to open a full,
fledged millinery store—you merely need to make a couple of dozen good
hats in your own home and invite people to see—and buy. If you have
already—or can learn—a "flair" for making up a becoming hat, you have
a skill that is in demand. Contact Louie Miller, 225 W. Wabash Ave.,
Chicago 1, Ill. If you live in or near New York, come in 2 or 3 times a
year to the "millinery district" (6th Ave. to 5th Ave. on side streets 39th
to 35th Sts.). You'll quickly find sources of supply, ideas, special shapes,
trimmings, and latest design firsts. Subscribe to Hats, 15 E. 40th St., New
York, N. Y.
115. Open a Greeting Card and Gift Shop.
The market for greeting
cards, gifts is truly surprising. No matter how small, you can hope to make
it go if you will contact the greeting card manufacturers and stock up on
attractive displays; and in addition handle a limited line of gift items
suitable to your town or neighborhood. Subscribe to the trade magazines,
Giftwares and Home Fashions, 1510 Broadway, New York, N. Y.; Gift
and Art Buyer, 212 5th Ave., New York, N. Y. Contact all the greeting
card manufacturers listed under Item II, Part I.
116. Learn to Make Leathercraft.
People always are willing to pay a
premium for leather goods "with a difference", an individual trade. You
can learn the art of leathercraft, and make something lovely and highly
saleable out of ordinary leather goods. Contact J. C. Larson Co., 820 S.
Triff Ave., Chicago 24, Ill.
117. Crochet Ties for Men.
Knitted ties (of quality) are popular with
men. You can make a most salable item out of simple materials. For a
dollar you can buy a kit for making one tie, and learn the art. Contact,
OMC Corp., 36-20 Thomson Ave., Long Island City, L. I.
118. Make and Sell "Samplers".
These are much liked by many householders.
There is a wide variety of designs possible in needlepoint, and
they fetch good prices when neatly framed. Illustrations, sayings, mottoes,
etc. are used. Some people make collections of these samplers. Contact
Heirloom Needlework Times, 11 E. 26th, New York, N. Y.; Paragon Art
and Linen Co., 11 E. 26th, New York, N. Y. Some tablecloths, tea sets and
rugs are made with this needlepoint method.
119. Re-design, Modernize Kitchens.
Any number of people find that
their kitchens are out of date, inefficient, unattractive—whereas today the
kitchen has come forward as a main room of the house, and even little
parties are held there! You can make a neat fee ($25.00 to $100.00)
planning, arranging, supervising the remodeling of people's kitchens. Buy
the book "Prize Kitchens", Fawcett Pub. Co., 67 W. 44th, New York
N. Y.; contact Crosley Mfg. Co., Cincinnati, O.; Morton Mfg. Co.,
Chicago, Ill.; General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y.; Westinghouse
Electric Co., Mansfield, O.; Am. Central Mfg. Co., Connersville, Ind.;
Ingersoll Steel Co., Chicago, Ill.; Mutschler Bros., Nappanee, Ind.; Hot-Point
Co., Chicago, Ill. Buy book, The Cornell Kitchen, Roberts Hall,
Ithaca, N. Y.
120. Do Mirror Silvering.
You probably never meet anyone, or heard of
any concern doing this. Yet it is a business which can offer a good service.
Many people don't know that old mirrors can be resilvered; and new
mirrors can be made to order and size, using plate glass. It takes no great
technical skill, and commands a good price. Contact: Gun Metal Co., Ave.
D, Decatur, Ill.
121. Take Magazine Subscriptions.
There are now nearly 30 million magazine
readers, and it should be obvious to more of them that it pays to
subscribe by the year, and save 30 to 40% in cost over newstand price.
Arrange to be a subscription agency, at a saving to subscribers; not for one
magazine or group, but for any and all periodicals. You'd be surprised
what you can do by intelligent handling of this business, as there are
general agencies for it. Contact McGregor Magazine Agency, Mt. Morris,
Ill., or Courier, 40-GAR, Corona, N. Y.; Cassell Agency, Westfield, N. J.
122. Sell Popcorn or Potato Chips.
It has become a by-word how popcorn
selling has zoomed allover the U. S., particularly in movie theatres,
etc. Freshly made popcorn is, admittedly, delicious eating. So are potato
chips. Look into this as a business. Contact Long & Eakins Co., 5365
High St., Springfield, O.