Five Unusual Business Ideas that Have Worked

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Have you ever watched television infomercials when you can’t sleep, wondering why you didn’t think of that? Some business ideas seem so startlingly simple after we’re presented with them that we can’t believe that people are actually making money from them. Here are five of the most unusual business ideas that people have turned into real money-makers:

1.Cleaning Skeletons

Whether you know a hunter or a science teacher, you may have wondered how those skulls and bones that they keep got so clean. The answer to your question is this: Dermestid beetles. A few innovative people across the country have packed these little beetles into large boxes or converted freezers in their garages. Once a head or body part is shipped to these people, they place the item into the box of beetles that, in turn, clean the part until nothing is left but clean bone.


It may not be unusual, but people are making very lucrative salaries on eBay. It may seem unique to you, who can’t seem to sell a T-shirt on the site, but people who have an eye for things that sell have turned this into a career. Spending their weekends scouring auctions and garage sales, people are buying things for pennies and making hundreds of dollars on the popular auction site.

3.Crime Scene Clean-Up

It’s definitely not a job for everyone, but if you can stomach it, you can be one of the few that turns a grizzly job into a career. Professionals across the country are called in to clean crime scenes, particularly in homes or offices, so that no one knows that the crimes occurred. Once investigators have gotten all that they need from the scene, these men and women descend with their buckets and mops, cleaning away the rest of the evidence.

4.Worm Farms

Earthworms are fantastic for compost bins and the environment, and people are willing to pay for them. You may not turn your business into a multi-million dollar corporation but, then again, you just might. Think local if you are considering growing and selling worms to people. There are hundreds of people in the country who have turned growing worms and selling them to the locals into a tidy little side-job.

5.Growing Snails

Just like worms, snails are a big business in certain cities where they are lacking. Snails eat annoying garden pests and are great for the soil. Because snails aren’t prolific in urban environments, rooftop and balcony gardeners are more than happy to shell out a good chunk of change for the little, shelled insects. With two frisky snails, a container and some soil, you can start a booming business.

When you want to start your own company, it pays to think outside of the box. If these examples are any indication, the more unique your idea, the more likely you are to find success. From cleaning crime scenes to farming worms, people across the country have turned small ideas into big business.

Velda Stanford writes for education and business blogs. To find out more about a degree in business, read the Business School Journal blog.

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