How to make money when you have no idea what to sell

By Susan January 4, 2016 11:47

How to make money when you have no idea what to sell


Can you think of thirty ways to turn something you like or love into a revenue stream? Yes, thirty! And you don’t have to stop at thirty, either. The following is an excerpt from The Savvy Guide to Making More Money, published by Penguin.


How to make money when you have no idea what you could sell


“Our world is full of money-making opportunities.

There is an abundance of ways to make money all around you: all you need to do is think. You could simply begin by taking a look at structures that are already in place:

  •  Become an agent for another company’s products or services (Example: Amazon, Kleeneze, ClickBank, etc.).
  •  Buy a business (
  •  Take a franchise.
  •  Go to a recruitment agency to get a job
  •  Look for seasonal jobs.
  •  Keep an eye out at your workplace for additional opportunities
  • Commercialize research. I have met with several academic professionals who have the most amazing ideas for a new piece of technology, a biomedical process or a food supplement. However, they don’t have any desire to bring them to market. They don’t ever want to have to think about a sales pitch, raising money, creating invoices and the logistics of international expansion. That’s where entrepreneurs can come in.

In addition, it’s important to look within and see what you enjoy doing. Spend a few minutes writing down every single thing that you like to do. For now, please don’t let any thought be an obstacle – we’ll deal with ‘How could I possibly make money out of that?’ later. For example, I might like to:

  •  Talk to other people.
  •  Shop.
  •  Relax.
  •  WatchTV.
  •  Eat in nice restaurants.
  •  Spend time with my kids.
  •  Travel.
  •  Go on nights out.
  •  Eat chocolate.
  •  Run.
  •  Go to the theatre.
  •  Play football.
  •  Write.
  •  Paint.
  •  Go to beauty salons.
  •  Go to the gym.
  •  Cook.

Let’s take that last example – I like to cook, but how can I turn that into something that people would pay me for? Let’s brainstorm some more.

I can think of over thirty ways to make money out of a love of cooking:

  1. Write a cookery book and self-publish it: it could be recipes, or tips to improve your cooking skills, or ways to organize your kitchen.
  2. Deliver a weekly or monthly meal plan to paying subscribers, consisting of a list of meals for the week, the recipes for each meal, a shopping list and an app that maps their progress.
  3. Write a cookery blog or start a series of podcasts and then sell the advertising attached to the space.
  4. Write a blog with recipes for unusual ingredients and sell those ingredients.
  5. Write a blog in which you review kitchen utensils, knick-knacks, etc., and sell the best of them for a supplier on commission.
  6. Develop your own innovative products to sell to the retail or industry markets (for example, while cooking you had an idea for a contraption that would halve prep time).
  7. Sell your homemade cakes, chutneys, jams, etc., to give as presents.
  8. Design a foodie experience for parties.
  9. Give a ‘foodie tour’ in your local area.
  10. Open a café/restaurant.
  11. Supply a café/restaurant.
  12. Work as a chef in a café/restaurant.
  13. Open a cookery school.
  14. Open a catering business.
  15. Offer a specialized home dinner-party service.
  16. Make dishes and cakes to sell at an artisan market.
  17. Open a food-consultancy practice.
  18. Open a restaurant-consultancy practice.
  19. Become a food buyer for a restaurant and travel the world sourcing ingredients.
  20. Organize a regular cake sale in your workplace.
  21. Be a foodie mystery shopper.
  22. Write a paid cookery column for a newspaper or magazine.
  23. Produce a food magazine (online or offline).
  24. Become a celebrity chef/critic and get paid to deliver after-dinner talks (I can hear you saying ‘but. . .’ – remember what I said earlier about just putting everything down, no matter how outlandish it might seem!).
  25. Produce a show where you travel to undiscovered places and showcase their cuisine.
  26. Develop an ‘add-water’ product to sell in shops.
  27. Create a supper club where you charge people to come to your home for a dinner party.
  28. Start a specialized cake-making business.
  29. Cater specially for children’s parties (and joint-venture with other businesses selling into this market, e.g., bouncy castles).
  30. Offer a niche business catering for weddings in marquees at home.
  31. Sell ready-made picnic boxes in the summer.
  32. Sell Christmas hampers as corporate gifts.
  33. Create a cooking-related world record while simultaneously raising sponsorship and a media profile.

Now it’s only a matter of examining each idea within the right framework. Which one is feasible for you at this point? Which one can actually bring in money? Which one will you implement?

To examine each idea with a methodical step-by-step framework to avoid overwhelm, have a look at the

‘Wheel of Strategy’  and at The Savvy Guide to Making More Money.


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By Susan January 4, 2016 11:47