Whether you want to be the next big startup, or just earn a little extra cash in your spare time, you're going to need an innovative idea. Unusual small business ideas catch people's attention, in effect marketing your business for you. Give some thought to where your strengths lie and you'll be able to find a small business idea.
While using the internet for business is nothing new, it still provides a number of opportunities for the innovative businessperson. Jason Sadler made as much as $365 a day in 2010 wearing t-shirts for companies looking for viral marketing exposure. Virtual Dating Assistants, founded by Scott Valdez, offers help for busy professionals looking to navigate the world of online dating. While these ideas are already taken, they offer examples of finding your own unique niche on the world wide web.
The great thing about being in business for yourself is that you can work from the comfort of your own home. A number of companies allow you to work from home as an independent contractor -- which means, you are your own boss. You'll provide services such as crafting articles for the internet, or transcribing them. You can even work creating closed captions for the deaf. If you happen to live on a ranch, you can make money babysitting farm animals while the owners are away.
Blogging can be a business, but there's hardly anything unusual about that. While many people make pennies, or even hundreds of dollars a week blogging about things like the news, you can carve out your own niche in the blogosphere. Think of some of the more unusual and unique interests that you have. Now consider starting a blog about them. You'll have to learn search engine optimization to get to the top of search rankings. Blogs also take a long time to grow, but you can view them as long-term revenue that lasts forever.
You don't need an engineering degree or a manufacturing facility to get into creating new products -- just an innovative idea. Think about a need the market has overlooked, then try to fill it. Alternately, you can come up with a wacky product you can sell on the strength of its novelty. One enterprising entrepreneur came up with a bottle opener combined with a television remote control. Juxtaposing two products can create marketing magic that puts dollars in your pocket.
Nicholas Pell began writing professionally in 1995. His features on arts, culture, personal finance and technology have appeared in publications such as "LA Weekly," Salon and Business Insider. Pell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.