List of small business ideas requiring little capital

7 min read
Vinita Malu

This year due to COVID-19, unemployment is predicted to double in India, which in turn might make many people consider starting their own small business. If you want to be an entrepreneur but are not able to decide which business to start, this small business ideas list might be just what you need.

A successful business always starts with a great idea.

Investment doesn’t have to be an obstacle, as you can start a business with considerably small capital. You just need to be passionate about whatever you choose and be willing to work hard.

Changing needs open new doors

Before moving to the list of business ideas with small capital, let’s first understand that every business idea should be appropriate to the current situation and time. For instance, the COVID-19 situation, this year has changed people’s lifestyles from spending more time outdoors to indoors online.

So the best business idea during this time will be one that can help with these changes, fill the gaps, and solve the problems created by the pandemic.

Let’s have a look at the list of business ideas with small capital:

1. Selling PPE kits

COVID-19 has created a sudden increase in demand for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit, so this is first on our list of small business ideas.

Surgical gowns, one of the main products included in the PPE kits, saw a major spike in demand this year. Many businesses have set up production units to make surgical gowns for the healthcare community.

According to Invest India, the PPE market has disrupted the global supply chain, and India sees it as an Rs 7,000 crore industry.

From zero, India now produces nearly 4.5 lakh PPE kits every single day.

In just 60 days, the PPE industry in India has witnessed 56x growth. Hence, you can look at the manufacturing of some of the PPE products as a possible startup idea.

2. Courier and delivery services

As you are probably aware, the buying behaviour of consumers has changed from offline to online. Hence, demand for delivery services of various items has grown. This includes essential items like:

  • Groceries
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Alcohol
Delivery Person Wearing a Pink Mask

Make sure to choose a niche and try not to spend huge amounts on stock before you have tried and tested the product. Or to reduce the risk to you, you can become a drop shipper or an affiliate marketer. In both cases, there’s no need for you to pay for warehousing products yourself.

3. Sanitizer products

Other entrepreneurs have opted to start producing sanitation products like:

  • Face masks (made with normal or khadi fabric)
  • Gloves
  • Soaps
  • Hand sanitizers (including touchless dispensers)

As with PPE, smart entrepreneurs were quick to see the sudden increase in demand as an opportunity. Demand for hand sanitizers alone has risen 100x since the pandemic began.

Manufacturing of these products can be started with a small investment of Rs 20,000.

Examples of a few companies in India selling healthcare products this year include Saral Designs (surgical masks), PeeSafe (hand sanitizers) and Shree Shakti (sensor-based sanitizer dispensers).

Related: 5 manufacturing business ideas with low investment

4. Cleaning equipment

In the lockdown, the absence of domestic help has made people look for cleaning equipment or tools that can ease their household chores. Machines that can help ease cleaning like dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, auto spin mops and liquid household cleaning products have become quite popular.

For instance, auto spin mops became the fastest-selling household item online within a few days of the lockdown.

ShopClues has reported a 100% increase in demand for spin mops with buckets.

There may be many companies manufacturing such cleaning equipment already, but you can still try to come up with innovative products uniquely suited for Indian households. What about a line of locally-produced, earth-friendly cleaning products?

5. Online food/baking service

Person Holding Plate of Delicious Food

Since eating out no longer remains a safe option in parts of the country, you could start a food or baking service of some popular or desired cuisine in your area.

The initial investment required to start this business is minimal and just requires the purchase of raw materials. If you have baking or cooking skills, you can easily earn upwards of Rs 20k per month.

6. Healthy and Ayurvedic supplement business

The COVID-19 situation has also increased public appreciation of the importance of good health and a strong immune system. Ayurvedic supplements are a natural for any list of low-cost small business ideas.

According to a report published in Bloomberg, companies such as Dabur India Limited and The Himalaya Drug Co. are witnessing high demand for traditional products like chyawanprash.

Even proprietary supplements like Septilin, which combine Ayurvedic ingredients, are also in demand. You can tap this business opportunity by coming up with some immunity-boosting products like:

  • Herbal teas
  • Ayurvedic snacks
  • Juice shots infused with herbs

Think creatively about ways to satisfy this renewed interest in immune-boosting supplements.

7. Online teaching

Online learning was already booming before COVID-19 and this year it is set to grow.

You can start online tuition or coaching classes based on your knowledge, skills and expertise in any field or subject. For instance, you might offer online classes on:

  • Health and fitness
  • Crafts, music and dance
  • School tutoring
  • Photography
  • Digital marketing
  • Beauty tips
  • Life coaching

To start an online tuition business, you just need to have a computer and an internet connection.

Related: How to start online classes in 5 simple steps

8. Sell crafts and handmade goods online

If you can make soap, candles, sauces or pottery or have a talent for creating other handmade goods, you’re already on the list of small business ideas.

This can be started as a side hustle with a very limited investment.

Remember you’ll need to consider shipping and inventory management, too (website creators like GoDaddy’s Online Store Builder handle this for you, as do online marketplaces like Etsy). But you can always start simple on a per-order basis or with small batches until you start generating consistent sales.

9. Become a virtual assistant

Woman Wearing a Phone Headset
If you’re organised and disciplined, you could become a virtual assistant.

Virtual assistants are people who offer their remote services to companies and businesses that need help with routine business tasks like responding to email, setting up appointments and posting on social media.

If you have great communication skills and a business mindset, then this business is a good option for you.

Some of the services you can offer include:

  • Customer support
  • Calendar management
  • Website maintenance
  • Email marketing
  • Blog writing
  • Research
  • Social media management

You can find people looking to hire virtual assistants on websites like Naukri and Freelancer or list your services on Upwork.

10. Start a YouTube channel

You can even earn money from online social media platforms by starting your own YouTube channel. But for this business, you need to be passionate and willing to keep at it as your channel’s followers or subscribers grow slowly.

This idea is on the list of business ideas with small capital because all it requires is consistent effort. But remember, earnings from YouTube is based on only one matra: more subscribers = more earnings. You will need to have at least 1,000 followers to make this profitable.

Related: How to make money on YouTube

10 small business ideas that require small capital

I hope the above list of business ideas with small capital will be helpful to you in deciding the right business for you. Just work hard on your business idea and success will follow.

You’ll find helpful articles on a variety of startup topics in GoDaddy’s blog. Just use the search box in the upper right to find the answers you need.