Tips and tricks for the business paths less travelled 

Here, we look at why a niche business might be a viable option.

Who wants a dull, buttoned-up drag of a job, when you could be having a wild time in a leftfield, off-the-wall business filled with interest and new experiences?

Indeed, starting a business that doesn’t make people yawn at its mention seems like an impossible dream. Worries of financial ruin and low uptake tick through your head like a stopwatch, stopping you stone-dead in your tracks and moving you towards the safe but bland sectors of business.

But striking out on your own always contains an element of calculated risk. So why not make your risk fun?

With that in mind, we’ve been considering some of the left-of-centre businesses you could start – and how to make them a smash.

Beautifying – the medical way

The cosmetic industry is a huge money-spinner – it’s expected to reach profits of over $265 billion by 2017.

But the more surgical branch of beauty is where the money’s really at for small businesses. Simple beautifying procedures can be learned easily (provided you have the right background knowledge), with chemical peel courses and Botox training available from accredited providers.

Tap into this market and your time spent on these courses will be well worth the effort.

Love a novelty

If there’s one thing people love, it’s the shock of the new. Whether it’s a Furby or a web craze, cottoning onto a novel idea can be a one-way ticket to millions.

Take the Million Dollar Homepage, for example. Set up by UK student Alex Tew, it was one huge webpage that sold a pixel on the page for $1. ‘Own a piece of internet history!’ stated its enthusiastic header – and it raked in over a million dollars by the time the screen was full.

Admittedly, the problem with a novelty business is the nature of novelty itself; it soon wears off. But if you’ve got the next hot trend up your sleeve, you can keep the fad train running.

Fill that niche – no matter how small

If you’re heading into an obscure business sector, like reselling Furbies or professional hair coiffeur, it’s vital that you really know your stuff. You’re entering a world of anoraks and know-it-alls, so you have to know your subject inside out.

The more arcane the niche, the more specific the market. So research, research, research.

Get social, get weird

We love a good social network, don’t we? Whether you’re messaging loved ones on Facebook, condensing your thoughts on Twitter, getting businessy on LinkedIn or happily snapping on Instagram, you love nothing more than sharing your stuff and showing it off to friends.

But what of the oddball dating site? Sites like (designed specifically for self-proclaimed gold-diggers) or even (for cat lovers with the same “purrsonality”) bring in plenty of customers and plenty of cash.

Why not set up a site just like them?

While gems like Gluten Free Singles might be taken already, there are still plenty of lucrative ways you can make a novel site that people will pay through the nose for.

The lesson? While an enterprise might be the path less travelled, it could still make tons of cash. 

Further reading on starting a business

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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