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How to Profit from your Hobbies
Listed below is an excellent collection of easy business ideas that have steamed from hobbies people enjoy and can be started with little training and investment. All these great ideas can produce additional income. Many people have started multi-million dollar businesses from hobbies they enjoyed doing . . . cooking, baking, crafts, etc.
Most of the business ideas below can be conducted in the comfort of your home or garage, in between household chores, during weekends or at your leisure. All of these ideas do not require extra help, brawn and best of all, some are extensions of hobbies or skills developed or acquired from childhood.
For best results, browse through the business suggestions and write down those that sound interesting. List the opportunities you would like to try out. Then narrow the list down to one, two or more related businesses. For instance,if you collect dolls as a hobby, you can start your own doll making business or start designing and sewing doll clothes (specializing in party clothes) for Barbie or Cabbage Patch Kids.
These ideas are intended to stimulate you imagination. Only you can make the decision based on your own experiences, qualifications, interests and the current market in your community. As you compile your list of possibilities, take a critical look around your area.
Note what is and isn’t available what is overpriced or inadequate that people in your community will pay for. When you find just the right combination, start preparing for a successful business operation!
The first thing you must do is to prepare a BUSINESS PLAN. This is an outline of what you plan to do and how you intend to do it. When you write a business plan, it will make you organize your business in your mind and on paper. This will insure your ultimate business success!
ADVERTISING SERVICE. Arrange for the design, printing and distribution of advertising/announcement flyers, mail outs and ad campaigns for clients for fee plus commission.
AFRICAN VIOLETS. Specialize in the propagation and care of this popular indoor plant. Nurture, hybridize and sell when in full bloom. Sell accessories and supplies.
ALTERATIONS. Replace buttons, let out cuffs, shorten sleeves, turn collars repair tears for clothing stores, laundries and cleaners who don’t already offer this service.
AQUARIUM SNAILS. Raise red ram’s horn snails for home and commercial fish tanks. Sell to pet shops and aquarium dealers. Advertise in fish related trade journals.
ARTIFICAL PLANTS. Make your specialty artificial flowers and plants. Sell a selection of arrangements, baskets and special occasion creations; take custom orders.
BABY CLOTHES. Specialize in bargain-priced new and hand-me-down infant clothing and supplies. Offer an alteration service; take in trades to refurbish and resell.
BABY SITTING. Go to client’s home by appointment and stay with children for hourly fee. Charge extra for two or more, doing housework or for taking the kids out.
BABY PICTURES. With video camera, arrange with hospital staff to photograph newborns (with parents, nurses, visitors). Sell print sets to proud parents.
BABY DOLLS. Make and attach fine wigs from client baby’s own baby hair to keepsake dolls. Try to get cloth from baby’s actual clothes to make similar looking outfits for the doll.
BANQUET DECORATING. Take full charge of banquet room preparation: theme decoration, seating arrangements, centerpieces. Advertise your service and list with Chamber of Commerce.
BASKET WEAVING. Design, make and sell a variety of your basket creations: plain and decorated (or with arrangements). Sell various fibers, plans and instruction kits.
BATIK CREATION. Learn this ancient process: dip fabric in wax, crinkle, scratch or melt design into the wax, then dip in dye. Clean, stretch and dry for a valuable decoration.
BEAN SPROUTS. Grow fresh bean sprouts on a rotating basis: have new crop every week or as needed to supply client restaurants, vegetable markets and retail customers.
BEAUTY AIDS. Sell general or specialized beauty supplies in your home salon or by appointment. Represent established lines and/or sell you own brand.
BONSAI PLANTS. Grow or buy and arrange into attractive pots or arrangements. Retail from your home, through ads, or wholesale to flower shops, greenhouses and nurseries.
BOOKKEEPING SERVICE. Provide bookkeeping services to small businessmen in your area. Expand to more complex systems and computers.
BREAD SPECIALITIES. Bake and sell unusual varieties of home made breads: low calorie, ethnic, etc. Take orders for loaves fresh from your kitchen, deliver to stores on a route.
BRIDGE LESSONS. Give Bridge lessons in your home when you are qualified. Charge by the lesson, or course. Hold tournaments, award prizes, publicize students.
BROMELIADS. Specialize in culture of these beautiful pineapple relatives with their hauntingly beautiful blooms. Sell growing on driftwood arrangements for highest prices.
BUYER’S GUIDE. Publish and sell or give away your guide to best prices and values available in your area. As it gains in popularity charge more to list the businesses!
CACTUS CULTURE. Propagate, grow, groom and arrange native and exotic cacti for retail and wholesale market. Prepare little information booklets for each species.
CAKE DECORATING. Take orders to bake and decorate special occasion cakes. Retail through small, constant ads ("CAKES- phone number"). Offer to decorate bakery cakes.
CALLIGRAPHY. Easily learned by artistic person: work through ads and stationary stores. Print fancy menus, show cards, place cards, invitations, announcements, etc.
CAN ART. Make and sell pincushion chairs and other unique, decorative items from tin cans and bits of cloth. Write down your plans and sell kits with instructions.
CANDLE MAKING. Turn a hobby into a profitable business. Design your own line, offer custom styling, scents and special effects. Between orders, make standard items.
CANDY MAKING. Specialize in one or more types of candies that you can make in your kitchen. Package with you brand and wholesale to stores or sell through ads.
CARPET CLEANING. With steam shampoo equipment, clean and renew residential and commercial carpets. Contact rental agencies, apartments and condos for wholesale jobs.
CATERING SERVICE. Prepare old fashioned, gourmet or special occasion meals for clients to pick up. Use insulated canisters to keep the food hot (charge deposit).
CERAMIC FLOWERS. Learn to fashion, color, fire and arrange ceramic flowers, both singles and in arrangements. Display them for sale; teach the art in your ceramic shop.
CERAMICS. Make ceramic pieces to retail, wholesale and display in your "Local Mall" during Art & Craft Shows. Hold classes, sell green ware, kits and supplies. Charge for finishing and firing pieces.
CHILDREN’S BOOKS. With licensed equipment, "publish" children’s books with their name appearing in print throughout the book. Set up booth in malls for holidays.
CHINA and GLASS DEALER. Collect and deal in antique and interesting china and glass items. Buy at auctions, private and public sales and through you advertisements.
MAKE-UP ARTISTRY. Make up women, actors for formal or entertainment situations. Offer classes for beauty or actor application and sell "your" line of make-up supplies.
COMMUNITY COOK BOOK. Publish a theme or organizational oriented recipe collection with entries from each family/member/department. Print and distribute for a fee.
COMPANION SERVICE. Accompany lonely, ailing or elderly people alone temporarily, on shopping trips, to and from the doctor, on short tours or when traveling longer distances.
COOKBOOK PUBLISHING. Publish a cookbook of your own favorite recipes (usually a catchy, interesting subject collection). Promote and sell through ads and stores.
COOKING LESSONS. Give gourmet/ethnic/regional cooking, canning, baking lessons in your specialty from your kitchen, or by appointment in your student’s kitchen.
CUSTOM HANDICRAFTS. Use your talents to embroider, tat, sew, crochet products for customers with limited time or talent. Make extra good sellers between custom orders.
CUSTOM KNITTING. Take orders for hand-knitted sweaters, stockings and sets (ski outfits?). Make more fast sellers between orders; attach your labels to all products!
CUSTOM TAILORING. Offer the luxury of hand made clothing: shirts, skirts, coats, uniforms, suits. Good service to add to alteration business when you feel competent to start from scratch.
DANCING SCHOOL. Instruct others in your dance specialty in group or individual classes. Be sure to "showcase" students to encourage them and publicize your business!
DOLL CLOTHES. Difficult work for expert seamstresses, but pays well. Work with doll makers, collectors, and sell at fairs.
DOLL MAKING. Use ceramic molds, hand paint and finish fine dolls to sell to collectors, children and stores. Advertise in doll publications; attend doll shows.
DOLL COLLECTING. Buy, sell and trade fine and antique dolls with other collectors and investors. Visit shows and fairs regularly to keep abreast of trends and prices.
DONUT MAKING. Make and sell a variety of donuts at home or in public view at fairs, flea markets and public events. Offer "specials": tasty toppings, bargain bags.
ELEPHANT GARLIC. Specialize in growing and marketing this remarkable, delicious giant garlic for gourmet restaurants and stores. Sell fresh, dried and frozen.
ENAMELING/CLOISONNE. Create beautiful, unique enameled objects of art to sell: your own designs, themes, plaques, jewelry, trinkets. Sell at shows and via catalogs.
EXOTIC VEGETABLES. Grow high value plants (chives, watercress, capers). Use a small greenhouse to produce big profits. Deliver fresh to restaurants and stores.
EXOTIC PLANTS. Raise and sell especially valuable plants, such as four leaf clovers, rare mosses or delicate begonias. Advertise and display often at fairs and shows.
FOWER ARRANGING. Arrange flowers for parties, banquets, office functions, from general decor to head table centerpieces. Make up displays to sell through stores.
FLOWER DRYING. Raise or buy dryable flowers and shrubs for retail and wholesale customers: one kind packets or arrangements. Sell kits with complete instructions.
FORTUNE TELLING. If you are good at palmistry or tarot reading, give performances at parties, fairs and at a mall booth and at festivals. Sell booklets, card kits.
GALLOPING GOURMET. Go to people’s homes by appointment; cook them a gourmet meal!
GARAGE CLEANING. Contact to clean out garages, sheds and attics for individuals, rental agents and absentee landlords. Get paid for the work AND keep anything of value.
GARAGE SALE SERVICE. Set up, promote and manage garage sales for inexperienced or reluctant clients. Inventory, help price and sell for percentage of the proceeds.
GENEALOGY. Trace and document family archives. Provide records and related artifacts to descendants. Charge by amount of research involved and documents produced.
WORD PROCESSING. Produce "editable" drafts and finished professional letters, manuscripts and documents for students, lawyers, writers and businesses. Allow editing prior to final printing.
HERBAL AND SPICE TEA. Blend and sell different blends of herbal teas. Include leaflets with history and folklore in each package. Use uniquely decorated containers.
HOBBY NEWSLETTER. Originate a newsletter or directory for and about hobbyists and their crafts. Build readership by fostering participation, exchanging ideas, listing fairs and supply sources.
HOBBY KITS. Sell do-it-yourself hobby kits in your field of expertise. Include step-by-step guidance and pictures to help beginners learn the craft.
HOLIDAY, SPECIAL EVENT BASKETS. Prepare holiday and special event baskets of fruit, flowers, "goodies". Wholesale or consign to gift stores and advertise custom retail work.
HOMEMAKER’S HELPER. Provide temporary relief or assistance for sick, vacationing or just plain "pooped" moms. Charge by the hour or job (more than a full-time helper).
HOMEOPATHY. Specialize in natural remedy products and related folklore. Provide information on "reputed" remedial properties. Be very careful not to offer "cures".
HOROSCOPE SERVICE. Provide horoscope/astrology information to clients—prepare manually or use your computer program to select and/or print out the information.
HOSPITAL GROOMING. Assist patients with nail, hair, skin care in hospitals and nursing homes. License may not be needed to provide an appreciated service on a route.
HOUSE CLEANING. Offer one-time or periodic house cleaning services. Perform the heavy tasks (shampoo rugs, clean stoves, wash windows, wax the floors, etc.)
IMPRINTED CLOTHING. Print/or have printed names, designs, slogans on T-shirts, hats, uniforms by heat transfer, screen or sublimation for schools/companies/ tourists.
INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS, CASSETTES. Make recordings of yourself or others teaching and demonstrating their crafts and specialties.
JEWELRY SALES. Sell inexpensive to fine jewelry to friends, through party plans, direct from advertisements, or wholesale to local stores. Compare suppliers constantly!
JEWELRY BOXES. Make fine jewelry boxes (lined, lacquered, inlaid, shell covered) for gift stores, catalog sales and retail sales. Add music works for extra profits.
JEWELRY CREATIONS. Use your talent and ingenuity to mass produce or individually create exquisite jewelry—from virtually anything from diamonds to sliced bamboo.
JUNK JEWELRY ART. Buy old jewelry and create designs on framed velvet backgrounds. Glue on beads, drill holes for lights. Wire and light for a spectacular display.
MACRAME. Make and sell a good selection of hangers and hangings. Take orders for custom work. Find good sources for materials, sell do-it-yourself kits.
MINIATURE GARDENS. Create various sizes of garden-like displays of live plants for hospital sick rooms, boxes for balconies, rooftop planters, offices and residences.
MONOGRAM SERVICE. Embroider names, logos, initials on clothing, uniforms and company team jackets. Specialize in a style or service, charge extra for custom work.
MUSHROOM CULTURE. Grow and sell mushrooms. Fill standing gourmet restaurant and store orders, advertise for retail sales. Can, freeze or dry leftovers and stems.
NEEDLECRAFT. Make and sell homemade items (pot holders, bonnets, towel rings) to sell on consignment, to mail order catalog companies, or through parties and ads.
PARTY PACKAGES. Make up and market complete party packages with innovative games, masks, favors, stunts and entertainment for various age, size and interest groups.
PARTY PLANNING. Take complete charge of customer’s planned party: decorate, schedule activities, send invitations. Arrange entertainment, catering and clean-up.
PET SITTING. Feed, water, clean up after and check on pets twice a day in their homes while owners are away.
PET HOTEL. Board and care for pets in your kennels or cages while owners are away. Or, work with assistants who provide "foster homes" for unusual or pampered pets.
PIES AND COOKIES. Take orders or contract for baked goods from your kitchen. Deliver to customers or stores daily with your name and logo imprinted on the cartons.
PILLOWS. Make and decorate designer, fancy, or "down home" pillows to sell in boutiques, fairs, party plans, sales catalogs and/or advertisements and mail order. PLANT SCULPTURE. A profitable specialty: braid trunks, shape into interesting forms.
POPCORN PRODUCTS. Make and market various popcorn base products. Give your recipes exotic names. Create your colorful holiday and special occasion containers.
POTTERY. With your potter’s wheel, make, fire and sell your own style of pottery. Encourage onlookers and students and put your "mark" on every piece you offer for sale.
PRODUCTBROKER. Buy a quantity of a product wholesale (preferably at a close-out price) and advertise it as a "one-time special" locally. Sell leftovers at close-outs!
PUPPET MAKING. Create your own puppets (cartoon, caricatures or custom faces). Give shows at children’s parties, train both "actors" and puppet makers. Sell kits.
QUILTING. Make and sell beautiful homemade quilts from "scraps" in your "spare time". Take color photographs of each quilt and make a "catalog" to show them.
RAG DOLLS. Make and sell rag, sock and similar stuffed dolls in your own unique fashion. Attach your label and offer to stores in your area and via mail nationwide.
RECIPE SALES. Perfect your favorite recipes. Promote and sell them individually, in small sets, or collections. Sell something that will make the cook look great!
REPORT WRITING. Write information or "how-to" articles on subjects in which you are well versed. Sell to technical publications or advertise and sell "reports" direct.
RESUME SERVICE. A professional resume writing services: interview and review qualifications. Slant for types of job sought: include picture on each resume (computer programs exist).
RUG MAKING. Make sell hand woven (or?) rugs in standard and custom designs. Offer instructions, materials do-it-yourself kits, plus related supplies and equipment.
SCARECROWS. Make and sell authentic scarecrows for gardeners and garden displays. Also, sell kits, complete with frames, straw, and old clothes and face parts.
SCREEN PRINTING. Set up a silk screen apparatus in your shop to print anything from a small badge to a large order of real estate signs, even fabrics and labels.
SEWING SERVICE. Make repairs and do alterations for non-sewing (busy bachelor?) clients needing buttons, adjustments. Charge extra for one-day or "emergency" service.
SEWING CLASSES. When qualified, hold sewing classes in your home. Offer full courses as well as special "how-to" seminars for specific techniques. Sell material and supplies to students.
SHELL CRAFTS. Use glue, dyes, toy animals eyes, props and your imagination to make shell decorations and novelties to sell at fairs and wholesale to local stores.
SHOPPING SERVICE. Do grocery shopping for clients. Get their list, buy and deliver. Use your shopping, pricing experience and volume buying to get best values.
SHUT-IN SERVICE. Call and/or visit temporary or permanent shut-ins on behalf of absentee relatives. Take magazines, play games, read to them, and be their friend.
SOAPMAKING. Learn as a hobby or adjunct to candle making. Create and sell various shapes, colors, fragrances. Mold prepared solutions or make your soap from scratch.
SPECIALTY FOODS. Represent one or more suppliers of specialty foods (diet, ethnic, gourmet) to restaurants, stores and/or individuals. Advertise for customers.
SPECIALTY MERCHANDISE. Sell a line of merchandise from your catalogs and samples to retail stores, individuals, and sub-sales efforts like parties or group discounts.
SPICES AND HERBS. Grow spices and herbs that thrive in your climate (and greenhouse). Sell dried, blended, freshly cut, in flats or pots, packets and bunches—ready for use.
STAMP APPROVALS. Buy U.S. or foreign stamps in bulk; search for valuables (to sell individually); sell the rest in packets or as approvals (e.g., 2 for each one kept).
STAMP DEALING. Buy, sell and/or trade postage stamps of the USA or world. Buy in bulk, sell packets, mixtures, sets and singles to beginning or intermediate collectors.
STENCILING (FABRICS). Design your own stencils for interesting fabric designs. Apply to clothing and fabrics for sale. Sell stencils, fabric kits paints, dyes and supplies.
TAMALES AND TACOS. Take orders for tamales, tacos (or other specialties) in your kitchen for customer or pick-up (or delivery to restaurants). Freeze leftovers.
TEMPLE RUBBINGS. With lumber (or similar) crayon and rugged, fabric, copy stone or metal relief designs by rubbing onto covering paper or fabric. Seal, frame and sell.
TERRARIUMS. Start and nurture plants in bottles and plastic containers that require little if any watering. Grow plants to peak of attractiveness and sell, container and all.
TURTLES. Raise and market various types of turtles: edible, aquarium, decorative, pet shop and possibly larger ones to protect species and/or market to zoos and preserves.
TUTORING. Provide assistance by appointment or scheduled classes to students (anyone in need) of your expertise, whether academic, technical or operational skill.
TYPING SERVICE. Do typing jobs in your home: for doctors, lawyers, business people, and students. Charge less than word processor but still make a nice profit.
USED BOOKS SALES. Buy, sell and trade used books: novels, reference, science, text, even collector editions from your home.
VEGETABLES, OFF SEASON. Grow and sell "vine ripened" (with lights, heat) tomatoes from your greenhouse in winter, fresh corn in spring, ripe strawberries in the fall.
WEAVING, SPINNING. On old fashioned equipment, spin, weave and dye authentic, hand made fabrics that command high prices; sell kits, instructions and folklore.
WEDDING CONSULTANT. Plan and coordinate weddings from start to finish: decor, guests, dresses, schedules, catering, photographer, etc. Receive fee and commissions.
WINE AND BEER MAKING. After perfecting your recipes, sell kits, instructions and supplies (not the product) to others who would also like to make their own too.
WORD PROCESSING. Produce "editable" drafts and finished professional letters, manuscripts and documents for students, lawyers, writers and businesses. Allow editing prior to final printing.
WRITE FOR CHILDREN. Write poems, Sunday school stories, puzzles, explanations, riddles, etc., for children. Sell to local papers, children’s book publishers or in your own booklets.
WRITING, FREELANCE. Starting with local articles (even "filters"); sell or even GIVE to local paper (to be "published"). Work up to articles and stories that sell.
YOUR-BRAND PRODUCTS. Make or formulate your own line of household (or?) products from "secret" recipes. Design your own packages and advertising and market your products.