10 Small business ideas for Indian men & women

Small Business Idea 1: HR services

Big companies do it. Small ones do it too. No, we aren’t talking about employee exploitation. One step before that. Recruitment.

Some have relationships with big recruitment firms. But many reach out to the employment pool in India through a network of independent headhunters. The supply side (employees looking for new jobs) is crazy. Start off on the demand side instead.

If you can establish contacts with a few small companies in your neighbourhood that don’t have a dedicated recruitment team, you’d have something that you can present to professionals in your network. The best part is that your network will only grow.

In fact, your client company will do its little bit by making life tough for the same professionals you placed, so both will come back to you with requests for new opportunities. It’s a self-sustaining process!

Idea 2: Kids related small business

Just because your clients are half your size doesn’t mean they can’t give you twice the amount of grief and pain. Ask their parents, who’d be more than happy to part with their prized possessions for a few hours in return for some peace and quiet.

Most crèches in smaller localities are started in homes. Several parents may prefer a smaller, more intimate setting to leave their kids while they are aware at work.

Apart from regular babysitting, you could provide (MBA buzzword alert!) ‘value added services’ ranging from providing nutritious food, support with their homework or teaching them new skills depending on the kids’ skills and their parent’s paying capacity (craft, dancing, painting, political analysis frameworks).

Idea 3: Senior Citizen Services

All the media publications might be talking about how the average Indian is in the mid-twenties. But the fact remains that we have a lot of senior citizens who could use a little help.

Unlike in the west, old age homes still carry a stigma in India which forces many senior citizens to live independently.

Due to security risks and the health constraints many have limited access to basic services related to general day-to-day activities such as grocery shopping, bill paying, bank tasks, buying medicines, maintaining their household appliances and equipment.

They might appreciate some support if you can reach out and offer some ideas. They have to find you trust-worthy and reliable. Then through word of mouth you could reach out to others. Apart from being a small business, you’d gain some good karma too.

Idea 4: Interior designing and decoration

Whether it’s a shared studio apartment or a lavish 5 bedroom house overlooking the sea, everyone wants their little nest to look good. Not many have the time or aesthetic eye to dress it up though. This is where you could come in.

Starting with your own home, if you can show friends and relatives that you can help them give a makeover to their homes with your interior designing and decoration skills, you’ve got a small business idea going.

Your networking skills and contacts count more in this business than professional qualifications.

Idea 5: Financial Planner

In India, while big majority spends their life earning money, very few are astute enough to have a plan to not just safeguard their wealth, but grow it as well.

At various stages of their lives, they’d have different priorities. In the earlier years, wealth accumulation and growth takes precedence.

In the sunset years, it’s more about security and protection of their wealth. The financial tools available in the market can get too confusing. Tax planning is another scary area for many professionals and businessmen.

If you have a quant-focused brain with an understanding of financial instruments, you can help them create a financial portFolio (consisting of FD, equity, insurance, tax products) that matches their personal goals.

Idea 6: Education & Training business

This is a huge market in India. But it’s fragmented. The bigger companies come with cost and resource overheads that make them too expensive for students and professionals with a tight budget.

If you are good with technical skills in the area of software, competitive exams, grooming, language or any other area that you can think of, consider becoming a trainer.

But you’d need a classroom for that, right?

Not really. You could start off by holding the class in one of your student’s house (and give her a discount as an incentive). As the numbers grow, you’d have saved enough to lease out some commericial space to conduct your classes.

Idea 7: Brokerage Business

India with all it’s size and bureaucracy has provided a fertile ground for middle-men. For all the evils associated with this breed, they’ve still played a role in market making i.e. connecting buyers to sellers.

Technology is being used in a big way to automate things and position itself as the middle-man. But not everyone is on the internet. Old-school practices are still prevalent in India.

From real estate to marriage, many would feel more comfortable talking to a human being about their requirements than select them via drop-down lists. With your knowledge about your locality, if you know who’s selling a house (a car, a computer) or looking for a spouse, you can connect both parties in return for a neat commission.

Idea 8: Health consultant / Nutritionist

What’s more important than money? I understand your sentiments if you say – more money. But I was thinking of another (philosophically correct) answer – Health!

If you’ve been cursing your doctor for charging obscene amounts for even the most trivial health problems, it’s time to give them a taste of their own medicine (the trained eye would stop here for a fleeting moment to appreciate the medical analogy).

Go one step higher in their supply chain to teach people how to take care of their health and avoid trips to hospitals and clinics.

You don’t need an MBBS / MD degree to help people. You would however need to have some training and certification (whether it’s yoga, nutrition, alternative therapies) to elevate yourself from being a practitioner to a teacher.

Read more about Nutritionist jobs and dietitian careers in India.

Idea 9: Event Management

The aam aadmi parties a lot. Often it spills over onto the streets and causing embarrasment. If you’ve been a party animal too ( Trivia: BSP’s party animal is the elephant ), why not convert that into a business?

From birthday parties to bachelor parties, the range of events you manage could expand over time. But events aren’t just about parties. You could organise events (like offsites and outbound programs, award ceremonies) for corporate.

The Olympic Games is an event too, of gigantic proportions and complexities that our insignificant minds would struggle to fathom.

Start small, by organising the birthday party of your neighbour’s irritating son (forgetting that the lil’ devil scratched your car). Then move on to bigger gigs.

Your project management skills will come in handy here. If you have other talents like excellent communication skills, you could host it as well.

Read this related post – Anchoring jobs and event hosting careers

Small Business Idea 10: Start an online business

In the list of good low-cost small business ideas, we’ve saved the best (at least from our perspective) for the last. This is where we have aliteeltrack record too, so gives us a little more credibility when we propose this small business idea with a greater flexibility to scale up very quickly if needed.

Forget your locality and neighbourhood. Forget about geographical boundaries. Start an online business.

Of course, some services will offer greater flexibility and scope to manage the transition from the real world to the virtual world. The basics of running a business don’t change, but the potential for growth is ginormous.

You still gotta have a service or product to sell, and a platform (website, instead of an office/shop) to sell. But having an online business reduces (and in fact eliminates) many of the costs associated with running a real world business. There are risks as well.

This one is closer to our heart, so we’ll have a bigger post on how to start an online business.

Category: Business ideas

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