We always hear about the big corporates and their salary packages, but did you know that majority of India earns their living from small businesses? And while some of these businesses can be gender specific, most are not. Whether or not this inspires the entrepreneur, it is, nonetheless, a wise idea to explore some of these business ideas that do not require a lot of money to start.
When deliberating on how to start a business, be it big or small, the immediate pre-requisites that come to mind are startup money (capital) and space (e.g. shop, office). But if you already had access to these, you would be busy making money and not reading this blog.
Here, we take a look at 5 low cost small business ideas for the women and men in the small towns and big cities across India that do not have a lot of money or spare space to launch their business.
1. Kids Oriented Small Business
Just because your target clients are half your size does not mean that they cannot bring you twice the amount of pain and grief. Ask their parents, who are likely to be more than happy to leave their prized possessions with you for a few hours each day in exchange for some quiet and peace.
Most crèches in smaller localities in India begin in homes as parents may initially prefer smaller, more intimate settings to leave their children while they are away at work. Besides regular babysitting, you could also provide value added services’ ranging from support with their homework, providing nutritious food, or teaching them new skills such as dancing, craft, painting etc. – all dependent on the parents’ paying capacity.
2. Human Resources Services
Big companies do it. Small ones do as well. And no we are not talking about exploitation at the workplace but one step before that i.e. Recruitment. Although the big organizations often have established relationships with the big recruitment firms, most reach out to the employment pool in India through networks of independent headhunters. Since the supply (employees looking for jobs) is too high, it is advisable to start off on the demand side instead.
One can start by establishing contacts with the few small organizations in your locality that do not have a dedicated recruitment team. In this way, you can have something that can be presented to the professionals in your network. And the good news is that your network will only grow.
3. Decoration and Interior Design
Whether it is a lavish mansion overlooking the sea or a shared studio apartment, everyone wants their abode to look good. However, not many have the aesthetic eye or time to polish up their nests and this is where a small business entrepreneur comes in.
You could even begin with your own home before showcasing your decoration and interior designing skills to your friends and relatives. If they like what they see, then you definitely have a small business idea going as in this business, your contacts and networking skills count more than professional qualifications.
4. Financial Planner
In India where a large proportion of the population spends their entire life earning money, few are astute enough to develop a plan of not just safeguarding their wealth, but growing it as well. Most Indians have different priorities at various stages of their lives- in the early years, growth and wealth accumulation takes precedence while the sunset years are all about protecting and securing their wealth.
Being a financial planner is thus a great business idea especially for those with focused brains coupled with an understanding of various financial instruments. You can help your clients create a financial portfolio (comprising equity, tax, and insurance products etc.) that matches their specific goals.
5. Brokerage Business
India’s vast size and bureaucracy has and continues to provide a fertile ground for middlemen. And despite the evils synonymous with brokers, there is no doubting the vital role they play in creating markets i.e. connecting buyers to sellers. With technology today being widely used to automate processes, it is fast positioning itself as the ideal middleman, especially in India where not everyone has access to the internet and old school practices are still rife.
From marriage to real estate, many are still likely to feel more comfortable engaging another human being about their issues than selecting them via drop-down lists. With your knowledge about your neighborhood, if you know someone selling a house, car, computer, or even one who is looking for a spouse, you can connect both parties in return for a commission.