Some Small Business Ideas

Some small business ideas I’m putting out there to see if they can gain some traction.

A shot of the “Show Business” newstand on the south side of Union Square near University Place in Greenwich Village. (Photo by Jack Szwergold; Taken May 8, 2002)

Bitter Suite

A well crafted yet ultimately bitter and negative bed and breakfast. Nothing is positive and you must pay for at least one night’s stay even if you decide to leave before the night is over.

One Expensive Cookie

A shop that sells extremely expensive cookies. Prices begin at $5.00 per cookie. Varieties of cookies include chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and nothing else. No beverages are sold or allowed on the shop’s premises.

White Linen Tables

A shop where you get to pay to sit at a table with white linen sheets. Nothing is served. Nobody helps you. Entry fee is $20.00.

A Few Good Flans

A shop that sells only a few good flans. There are no other flans available to contrast and the stock of good flans is extremely limited. When the stock is whittled down to none, staff is instructed to repeatedly tell customers, “No!”

Day Old Dreams

A store that sells day old bread. Each bag of bread has someone’s failed dreams printed on the bottom. A scannable QR code will allow a bread consumer to quickly — and easily — retrieve detailed information on a failed dream. A star at the bottom of each profile will allow bread consumers to “favorite” a failed dream.

Happy Clammers

Instead of Jolly Ranchers, these will be Happy Clammers. Flavors are the same but in each bag is one mystery flavored candy that tastes like a salty sea creature. The logo/mascot on the package will be a very happy clammer with a bucket filled with ambivalent clams.

Huge Cup of Water

The idea is there is a shop that sells only huge cups of water. No lids or straws. Just a huge cup of water for $3.00 to $5.00. It takes 3–4 minutes for each cup of water to be prepared and the staff will always forget your name.


A startup app/website that delivers condiments to your home for a nominal fee. Within a few taps on an app, a Cndmnt consultant — who can deliver by foot, bike or car — will be dispatched to your location with an array of basic condiments. A starter pack of condiments which includes 2 packs of mustard, one ketchup and 5 packs of relish will sell for $5.00 and contain a trivia card which explains how condiments are used and enjoyed throughout the world

Napkin Nook

Ever need a napkin but can’ find one? Well here’s a small vending kiosk that sells napkins. A quarter gets you 2–3 basic napkins. A dollar gives you a nice sized stack. $5 and above hooks you up with nice cloth napkins. Also sells hand sanitizer and moist towelettes. An integrated app allows you to order napkins on the go that will be available for pickup at a later date.

Rift Shop

A shop that sells discarded items people don’t want after a relationship. After a breakup, simply contact the Rift Shop and a consultant will come to your location and place your belongings in a plastic tub with an RFID tag. Your items will be stored at a secure location until some resolution in who owns what can be negotiated within 3 months. If and when such a negotiation can take place, a Rift Shop consultant — accompanied by a relationship counsellor and an armed security guard — will escort all parties involved to the location where their items are stored to divide things up. Items discarded by the parties involved — or abandoned after 3 months — will be resold to the public.

Shelf Reliance

A service that helps you put up shelves and bookcases. They don’t sell shelves or bookcases, but they will send a person out to provide emotional support you in your efforts to put up a shelf or bookcase. They will not help you physically in any way but they can make snacks and say nice things.

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