Setting up a successful business is often included in the bucket list of most people. From skilled professionals who earned a business degree to the average man with a million-dollar idea, there are almost no limits to success. Such successful ventures take perseverance, creativity, and individuality. There are some businesses, for example, that people would never have imagined as million-dollar ideas. If you are wondering what some of them are, here’s a list of ten bizarre businesses that brought in millions.
10. Ashleymadison.com: The Online Affair Dating Site
Launched in 2001, the Ashleymadison website hit off with its slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.” The online dating site and social network caters exclusively to married people or those who want to date a married person. Despite constantly receiving criticism for its unprincipled purpose, the Ashleymadison site has around 32,000 members. The site owned by Noel Biderman, ironically a happily married man, has earned as much as $20 million dollars in profit.
9. Pet Butler: The Pet Waste Removal Services
The founder of Pooper-scooper.com and eventually Pet Butler started out from small beginnings. Matthew Osborn’s millionaire journey began when he was working two jobs for a family and making less than $6 an hour. However, innovation struck him in 1987 when Osborn realized that there were around 100,000 dogs within a 15 mile area and pet waste that would follow. Osborn then began his pet waste removal services and called it Pet Butler. An originally small business working in backyards, Pet Butler eventually grew and was able to afford employees and, later on, fleet trucks. Pet Butler is now the largest pet waste removal to date with approximately 3000 clients. The service continues to thrive under Texas-based Pet Butler owner Matt “Red” Boswell.
8. Super Jam: The Jam-selling Business
Fraser Doherty’s success started at the raw age of 14 years old when he sold jam recipes from his grandmother to the local neighborhood and a few friends. The franchise began to grow and it came to the point where Doherty needed to leave school to focus solely on the jarred products. The franchise was then called Super Jam. Demand picked up and he began renting a factory at 16 years old after borrowing money from the bank. After much hard work and dedication, Doherty’s Super Jam now sells 500,000 jars a year with profit reaching $1 to 2 million.
7. Doggles: Sunglasses for Dogs
Founder Roni Di Lullo discovered the million-making franchise when her dog was squinting its eyes due to the sunlight. After testing and fitting human sunglasses with goggle straps to find one that will fit the shape of a dog’s head, Di Lullo began selling Doggles and it soon became an item of high demand. Constructed of tinted polycarbonate material while using elastic strips to secure it on the dog’s head, Doggles protected the eyes of pets from UV rays and dust particles that could lead to eye problems later on. The company has been featured on CNN, Regis and Kelly, and even on National Geographic. Aside from sunglasses, Doggles now manufactures t-shirts, backpacks, floatation devices, and other products for dogs.
6. LuckyBreak: Synthetic Wishbones
LuckyBreak was founded by Ken Ahroni who wanted to give more people the opportunity to make wishes on wishbones during Thanksgiving. The company produces synthetic plastic wishbones where it feels and sounds just like dry turkey bone upon breaking. Sold for promotional, personal, and corporate purposes, LuckyBreak produces 30,000 wishbones a day and makes $2.5 million in sales per year.
5. Wuvit: The Microwavable Pillow
Kim Levine took the world by storm with the Wuvit, a microwavable pillow that allowed the penetration of moist heat. Levine discovered that moist heat penetration in pillows was possible if she used corn with the fabric. Originally for kids and people in her local area, she noticed that her pillows were in high demand when even local parents would call her up in the middle of the night as some kids could not sleep without the Wuvit. It eventually pushed her to contact local retailers until Saks Department Store asked to put her product on their shelves. Levine has now made millions with her idea and the Wuvit continues to be a sought-after product.
4. The Million Dollar Homepage: Internet Pixels for Millions
Conceived in 2005 by Alex Tew, the student from Wiltshire England created a homepage consisting of one million pixels using a 1000×1000 grid. With the purpose of raising money for his education, he sold $1 for one 10×10 pixel block. A purchased block would render you an image with a URL link to a site as well as a slogan if the cursor hovered over it. The site became an Internet phenomenon and auctions were even held to purchase pixels for as much as $1 million.
3. Excused Absence Network: Online Excuse Note Service
The Excused Absence Network is an online site that offers workers and students reasons to miss school or work. The excuses are widespread and the site offers papers that can appear authentic and made by professional doctors, juries at court hearings, funeral arrangement programs, and others. A note can be purchased for $25 dollars. Originally running at $300, the Excused Absence Network has now made millions and takes in around 15,000 orders a month.
2. LaserMonks: Printer Cartridges Sold by Monks
LaserMonks was founded by Father Bernard McCoy in order to sell discounted ink and toner cartridges. The idea came to the monk one day when he ran out of ink for his printer and couldn’t seem to find any stores that sold cartridges at reasonable prices. The company originally started with a small group of monks who filled a few cartridges with black powder on a daily basis. LaserMonks now claims to have served 50,000 customers and process 200 to 300 orders daily. Customers of LaserMonks range from locals, churches and even big companies such as the U.S. Forest Service and Morgan Stanley (Research). Their sales rose from a mere $2,000 to $2.5 million.
1. Whateverlife.com: MySpace Layouts Site
Ashley Qualls, a high school drop-out at 17, created Whateverlife.com to sell various layouts and even offer tutorials. With unique and colorful designs, Qualls has made a fortune with 7 million monthly visitors and 60 million page views. The layout site now earns up to $70,000 a month and the rates are still increasing.
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