Small business ideas to start in India: a comprehensive list for 2024

BusinessCategory
50 min read
Stacey Hartman

Are you considering a dive into the exciting world of small business in 2024, but feeling a little overwhelmed by where to start and need some small business ideas?

With the looming unemployment situation in India, many people are considering starting their own small business. If you’re among the millions of Indians who dream of starting your own business in India, you’ve come to the right place. To help you start your journey in becoming an entrepreneur, we have curated a list of small business ideas that you can start today. Many of these business opportunities require little to no money to launch.

A successful business always starts with a great idea.

 

These budget-friendly, low-investment and potentially profitable business ideas will help you turn your passions and skills into a money-making adventure, giving you the chance to be your own boss and grow your ventures.

Editor’s note: Put your new business online in less than 5 minutes with Online Starter Bundle.

Small business ideas to start in India: an ultimate list for 2024

Let's get started and explore some fantastic low-budget new business ideas to make 2024 your most successful year yet. We've classified this list into different types of businesses for your convenience.

Best small business ideas requiring a physical location

Home-based small business ideas

Best online business ideas

Side hustle small business ideas on a low budget

Unique / alternative small business ideas

Best small business ideas in India requiring a physical location

1. Tuition centre

Top 10 Small Business Ideas Woman Outdoors
If you have a skill that is in demand, you can make money teaching it to others.
Photo: Naveen Kumar on Unsplash

Indian is a nation with aspiration. A tuition or educational coaching center that helps students prepare for their board and competitive examinations is sure to do well in any part of the country. However, this is also a home-based business idea you can explore! This might be ideal if you are on a hunt for a low-cost small business idea.

Your investment is next to nothing if you conduct the lessons in your home.

Unique Business Ideas TutorA tuition centre can be started in your home, which would help you save cost on rental and office equipment/supplies. The only investment you would need to make is on marketing. With a combination of digital methods like social media platforms and WhatsApp, as well as offline methods like pamphlets and referrals (Word of Mouth), you can spread the good word about your services and track record amongst students easily.

For more info on getting started, read this article.

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2. Food truck

No list of latest business ideas would be complete without this one. In the recent few years, the food truck business has become a central attraction in the restaurant space.

The biggest perk of starting a food truck is having access to multiple spots.

If business is not good at one spot, simply move to another spot. This costs less than that needed in starting a stand-alone restaurant. Also, as the primary business of food truck involves footfall rather than delivery, it requires fewer menu pamphlets for distribution.

However, in this digital age just using offline tactics is not enough. You will also need to be active on social media in order to attract customers.

To start, read How to Start a Food Truck Business.

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3. Open a restaurant or cafe

Top 10 Small Business Ideas Plates of Food

Restaurants take funding, passion and hard work to succeed.

According to a recent research, the Indian restaurant industry is worth Rs. 337,500 crores and growing. Smaller outlets, more food innovation, and same-store sales are driving growth.

A successful restaurant requires adequate funds and realistic goals.

Despite substantial risks and high competition, owning a restaurant is one of the most rewarding businesses in India. If you have a passion for cooking and serving appetizing meals, this is for you.

To know more, read this complete guide.

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4. Open a yoga and meditation centre

With both physical and mental stress reaching peaks, the demand for yoga and meditation has also increased.

You can start by offering classes at home with a few members.

The investment in yoga and meditation classes is very marginal and includes only the required mats, blocks and bolsters for performing all the yoga or meditation moves. Care must be taken to create a calm and serene setting.

For more info, read this article.

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5. Travel agency

If you have a passion for traveling, love to make travel plans and enjoy helping others have great experiences, then this might be a good choice for you.

While it might be fairly inexpensive to start, doing market research and attracting clients will take time and effort. But once you create a place in the industry and begin collecting reviews from happy clients, you’ll be on your way.

For more info on starting a travel agency, read this.

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6. Tailoring / Embroidery Shop

As far as successful business ideas go, this one is based on another basic requirement of life – clothing. Therefore, the potential target audience for this business can include everyone.

Tailoring and embroidery have been around for decades in India. Most are usually home-based businesses that receive and complete orders on behalf of small boutiques. But being a tried and tested idea does improve its chances of emerging as a successful future business, especially in larger cities where tailoring services are in high demand. Obviously one needs to undergo the requisite training and ideally should have sufficient experience in order to improve the chances of succeeding in this small-scale business venture.

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7. Electronics repair shop

Are you skilled at repairing your own devices and electronics? If so, you can turn this talent into a business by offering repair services to others. With modern electronics being relatively fragile, many people require assistance with issues like cracked screens and dead batteries.

You can choose to specialize in repairing a specific type of electronic device, such as the latest iPhone, or become a generalist who caters to a broader range of devices.

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8.  Landscaping

Do you have a knack for outdoor design? Would you rather be outside than sitting at a desk? If so, combining your interests into a landscaping business could be the perfect fit for you. As a landscaper, you'll have the opportunity to leverage your interests to create visually appealing outdoor spaces.

By starting a landscaping business, you can tap into this growing market and capitalize on the demand for quality outdoor design and maintenance services. Not only will you be providing a valuable service to clients, but you'll also get to work in beautiful outdoor settings, combining your love for nature with your creative skills to bring stunning landscapes to life.

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9. House painting

Two people painting the walls of a house

Starting a painting business is an attractive option for aspiring small business owners due to its low startup and overhead costs, as well as the ongoing high demand for specialized skills.

Unlike other trades, painters don't require extensive education or certification, allowing for quick onboarding of employees or self-employment. Additionally, working to develop specialized painting techniques can increase your earning potential, especially with the popularity of home renovation shows and historical property restoration.

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10. Auto detailing

Auto detailing businesses are an in-demand field of work with a low cost of entry. This business type offers flexibility in scheduling as well, allowing you to choose your working hours and whether or not to work on weekends. You would also have the freedom to set your rates based on what you believe is fair compensation for your time and skills.

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11. House cleaning

Launching a house cleaning business is another budget-friendly business option. The demand for cleaning services is consistently high, ensuring a steady flow of income for your business. As long as people live in houses, those houses will need to be cleaned. By offering a comprehensive range of general cleaning services, you'll be well-positioned to cater to a diverse clientele and capitalize on an evergreen business segment.

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Best skill-based small business you can start from home in India

Are you looking for a business that you can run solely from your home? Let’s take a look at a few ideas for those wanting to stick closer to their house.

1. Freelance writer and editor

Small business ideas woman writing at desk

Passionate about writing? If you love expressing yourself through words, content writing is for you. Low initial investment and flexible working hours make this a popular choice for those who wish to work from their homes. You can offer content writing services and turn it into a profitable web-writing business, even with minimal experience.

As a content writer, you can work on a wide range of writing assignments, including:

  • Blogs and articles.
  • Technical documents.
  • Websites and eBooks.
  • Marketing materials
  • Brochures, product manuals, video scripts, press releases, etc.

There’s a huge demand for freelance writing and editing, as many website owners need a steady stream of unique and valuable content to attract a following online. The key to a freelance writing business’ success is having the right clients from whom you can get steady and valuable projects. Most businesses prefer to deal with someone who is a specialist or an expert in their field — rather than choose a generalist. So you should pick a certain topic and become an expert in that field.

What you need for this work-from-home business:

  • A desktop PC/laptop with internet connection
  • Proficiency in English or any other Indian language.
  • Excellent knowledge of grammar, writing and editing skills
  • An eye for detail
  • Domain expertise
  • An attractive portfolio

Initial investment:

Rs. 2,000-Rs. 3,000 (Assuming you have a PC/laptop)

To succeed in your home-based content writing business, you’ll need to promote yourself by:

All of these will help you connect with good-paying clients. Once you earn a good reputation, you can hire a team of freelance writers and outsource projects to them. If you are just starting out, you can also consider freelancing for a content agency. With research and negotiation, this can be a well-paying opportunity with the job flexibility many crave for.

Editor's Note: Want to start becoming a freelance writer as your low-investment business idea? Read this guide first.

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2. Translation services

If you can translate from one language to another efficiently, starting a translation business could be a good home-based business idea for you.

The advantages of starting a home-based translation service include:

  • Low startup cost.
  • Access to a global market via the internet.
  • Growing demand for translators.
  • Opportunities to make significant profits.

To start your translation service business, you need to buy standard office equipment, which includes a computer with internet connection. You’ll also need transcription equipment if you plan to do translation from audio tapes.

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3. Social media manager & social media marketing

Successful Home Business Man with Smartphone

Many of us use social media daily, but did you know you can build a business managing and growing accounts for brands? Social media managers are in high demand, with their importance only set to increase, according to Sprout Social.

Many businesses hire small agencies to heighten their visibility on social media.

Do you love spending time on social media? Do your social media posts earn huge engagement? If your answer is yes, then home-based social media marketing business can enable you to earn decent money.

Like any other online business, you’ll need a website for this home-based business. The vast majority of people search the internet for everything. If they don’t see your social media marketing services there, they’ll go with someone else.

If you've successfully managed your own accounts, you have a head start. Otherwise, numerous educational resources can help you develop the necessary skills to excel in this growing field.

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4. Graphic designer

Another great business idea to start from home is to set up a graphic design studio, or be a freelance graphic designer.

If you’ve always had a love for design, or spend your off hours toying around with Photoshop and Illustrator, you can build a business around these design skills.

All you need is a powerful computer with an excellent graphics card along with your design skills.

Graphic designers create everything from logos and signboards to business cards and website designs. They also design book covers and banners. Their clients are other businesses that need help with visual branding.

There are several different niches you can tap into with your graphic design skills. For example, you can find work in markets like:

  • Book cover design
  • Front-end web design
  • Logo design
  • UX design for mobile and web apps

There are nearly endless arrays of niches open for those with the right skill set. And, if you need an attractive website to display your portfolio, GoDaddy’s Website Builder is the perfect place to start.

Editor's Note: Learn more about becoming a graphic designer in India.

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5. Web developer / Web designer

Top 10 Small Business Ideas Web Development

Web development is a competitive field in India.
Photo: Studio Republic on Unsplash

With many businesses rushing to build an online presence and increase sales through digital channels, web designers and developers are in great demand. While large companies have web developers in their IT teams, small businesses are mostly dependent upon either freelancers or web development companies.

If you have a knack for web design or web development, then you can build a viable business.

For a beginner, your first step is learning how to design and code, developing a sense of aesthetics and building up your skills and portfolio.  Once you feel confident in your abilities, it’s time to start getting clients. You can start pitching clients on platforms like Upwork or start building relationships with businesses directly.

To increase your chances of success, find a niche for your services. For example, do you build websites for real estate agents and property managers? Are you focusing on a local market? Or, maybe you build sites for startup E-commerce companies? Whichever niche you choose, it’s a good idea to register a domain that clearly states your specialty.

Once you have your business set up, the challenge will be to find the first client. But don’t worry. You can ace that by using your network and through various bidding sites.

For those who already possess the required skills in web designing and development, starting a web development agency can be the path to good profits. If you are interested in starting your own web development company, check out this guide to learn how to start a web development company in India.

Starting a web design and web development business does require some up-front investment, particularly in software.

You need to have your business plan ready, outlining your services, target market, and financial goals. It is very important to have a website to showcase your portfolio of work online.

You should develop a strong network to access possible referrals. This can include people you’ve worked earlier with and also other professionals from allied fields. For example, you should have a network of:

  • Web writers
  • Graphic designers
  • Others involved in developing websites

What you need:

digital portfolio, web design tools and software, web design knowledge/certification, creative bent of mind

Initial investment:

Rs. 3000-Rs. 4000

Editor’s note: If you need a simple website, you can build it yourself with GoDaddy’s Website Builder. Try it free for 14 days totally risk-free.

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6. Remote tech support

Many small businesses cannot afford to hire a full-time information technology (IT) person. So they are on the lookout for remote technical assistance. If you are a tech geek and have experience working on computers and networks, this could be the work-from-home business for you.

Having a technical degree is a plus. You can acquire certifications while on the job.

It is important that you get a dedicated phone line and/or a toll-free number for your clients to get in touch with you and subscribe to a high-speed Internet service plan to ensure a steady, stable connection.

Your experience, knowledge and networking skills are also essential ingredients for remote tech support. You can start to build your remote tech support business by reaching out to friends, family, and local business owners about their tech support needs.

Woman sitting at desk talking via a headset

What you need:

Technical expertise, PC/laptop and internet connection, phone connection, remote support tools and software like TeamViewer, Windows Remote Assistance, Chrome Remote Desktop, Skype, and so forth.

Initial investment:

Rs. 3,000-Rs. 4,000 (assuming you have a PC/laptop)

7. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is a pretty broad category and can cover virtually any online marketing task. But, as more and more companies jump online to stake their claim, you can build a business by helping these companies succeed.

Once again, deciding upon a niche will help to increase your chances of success.

Here’s a quick look at the types of skills you can build an online business around:

  • SEO and SEM
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Building websites
  • Google Business Profile page creation

You can either build up a roster of local clients or serve clients virtually across the globe.

Related: How to start an online business

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8. Run your own consultancy

If you have years of industry experience in a particular domain, you can easily set up your home consultancy business with minimal investment.

A phone, computer and a list of industry contacts is all that’s needed to start a lucrative consultancy career.

From HR and recruitment services to advice on immigration and the implementation of ERP systems, one can provide consultancy about a large number of things.

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9.  Making and selling digital products

There are plenty of digital products that have a high likelihood of selling online. You have a good thing going for you if you have knowledge in the following areas:

  • eBooks
  • Online courses
  • Apps or games

As long as you have a fair idea of the kind of customer who will buy your product, there's nothing to stop you from going ahead and creating the product to sell.

For additional hot new business ideas in this category, take a peek at this handy article by Sellfy to see what other digital products you could sell online.

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10. Sell online courses

Chances are, you have some existing knowledge you can package up and sell as an online course. The online education industry is projected to grow to $325 billion by 2025. There’s enough room to make a name for yourself in this space.

You can package up your knowledge and sell it in a ton of different ways. You can integrate your course into an existing blog, sell courses from your social media profile pages, and even use one of many education platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.

The online world is so big. There’s room for even the most niche of information.

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11. Self-publish Kindle books / e-books

For people with good writing skills, another great small scale business idea is to write and publish your own eBooks on Kindle.

If you’ve been dreaming about making a living as an e-book author, this reality may be closer than you think. As a self-published author, you can make up to a 70% royalty on your books.

The prevalence of self-publishing has brought down the walls between you and your career as an author. The ease of publishing means there’s more competition, but by writing a book that satisfies reader expectations, you can still make a name for yourself.

If you have a large audience waiting to receive the content you create, you can look at turning in a neat income. The cost of publishing a book on Kindle is negligible and you can easily promote it through various online media.

Spend some time figuring out the genre you’re going to write in. Then, write the best book possible, and build an email list of readers to whom you can sell books in the future.

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12. Sell your art and craft & handmade goods

Do you love crafting and regularly create Pinterest-worthy crafts, art and other goods? 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.

You’ll also need to consider shipping and inventory management. GoDaddy’s Online Store Builder and online marketplaces like Etsy can handle this for you. Most beginners would start selling on Etsy first.

You can always start simple on a per-order basis or with small batches until you start generating consistent sales. Spend time to explore on Etsy and understand if there is a demand for the type of products that you want to make.

On top of that, make sure you can keep costs low enough to turn a profit. If you can move enough of your products on Etsy, you always have the option of moving to a full-fledged ecommerce store as well.

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13. Online consignment store owner

Thrift stores and consignment shops are more popular than ever. If you have a talent for putting outfits together and finding stylish clothing, then this unique business idea could be the business for you.

Consignment shops can work well as an online businesses too. So, you don’t have to worry about a building lease or employees.

Plus, there are sites like Poshmark and Mercari that allow you to create a virtual closet to sell your clothing and goods.

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14. Sell stock photos/videos - Stock photography

If you are handy with a camera and are passionate about photography / videography, you can turn this into a modest income stream by selling your pictures to stock photography websites like:

For videography, you can upload your stock videos to sites like Pond5VideoBlocks or VideoHive.

Simply create and upload content that aligns with current trends and market demands. To build a long-term business, it can be helpful to create a niche for yourself on these sites, either through your unique style or the topics you capture.

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15. Event/wedding planner

Profitable Business Ideas Wedding
Big celebrations are very popular in India. Photo: Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

If you have been associated with a specific industry like marketing, public relations or any profession that allowed you to develop a vast network, it is time you turn your attention to event planning.

The stress of event planning isn’t for everyone. But, some people thrive under this pressure. If you love planning and coordinating events, hiring caterers, booking talent, and managing staff, then this could be the right home-based business idea for you.

You might choose to specialize in a certain type of event such as weddings or business meetings and conventions. Or you could serve your local area by tackling the variety of events that’ll come up, or offer your services as an event planner of all kinds of events, such as:

  • Trade shows
  • Children’s summer/winter camps
  • Company picnics
  • Holiday parties

Consider getting a degree or certificate from a local university in event planning or management before you proceed.

Event planning is largely a word-of-mouth space, but with a quality online presence, you can make success that much more likely.

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16. Interior decorating

For those with a flair for design and a passion for transforming spaces, this career path can be incredibly fulfilling and creative. You'll have the opportunity to help clients realize their dream homes or workspaces while showcasing your unique style and expertise.

The demand for interior decorators is on the rise as people increasingly seek professional help to create well-designed, functional and beautiful spaces. This means there's potential for a steady stream of clients and income. And, as your business grows, you can expand your services, network with other professionals in the industry, and even establish your own brand.

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17. Music teacher

Person playing a bass guitar

As a child, you probably took your fair share of piano or guitar lessons. Now, if you have the musical skills, you can pass on this same love of music to the next generation.

If you have the right setup at your home, you can teach lessons right from there, either in-person or virtually. A work-from-home music teaching career offers the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on students' lives, foster a love for music, and enjoy a flexible, fulfilling career.

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18. Personal chef/caterer

As a personal chef, you can have a pretty broad customer base — anyone who loves to eat who has the budget for your services.

To be a success, you not only need to be a master of the kitchen, but also be up-to-date on the latest food handling and health regulations.

You might only have one client for whom you prepare meals or multiple families. Be ready to adapt to various kitchen setups or invest in your own portable kitchen utensils.

If you want to scale up your cooking even further, you can start to cater events and eventually scale it up to a catering business. To produce this volume of food, you may need to rent out a commercial cooking space and bring on additional staff. But, the fee you can make per gig can be much higher.

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19. Run an Airbnb

There’s a lot that goes into managing a successful property via Airbnb. But, if you’re serious about renting out your home, or even just a room, then you have the chance to build a decent side income.

Depending on how desirable your property is, and the reality of your local rental market, you may be able to offset your entire rent or mortgage just by renting out your place on the weekends.

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Best online business ideas

If you’re looking for some ideas to start your own online business in idea, we’ve got several suggestions to get you going

1. Ecommerce store owner

Woman working on an ecommerce website on her laptop while testing on her phone

India boasts an online market size of $33 billion and this is all set to expand with increased internet presence and a phenomenal growth in the number of people owning a smartphone. As a result, E-commerce stores have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, providing a promising avenue for those interested in selling physical products rather than digital services.

India’s eCommerce industry is slated to grow at a blistering annual growth rate of 51%, by far the highest in the world.

In the world of ecommerce, there are two primary approaches to consider. First, you can create and sell your own unique, handmade products. This allows you to fully control the product that you’re delivering, ultimately offering a much more authentic experience to customers.

Alternatively, you can opt for a more cost-effective strategy by sourcing inexpensive goods from other countries and reselling them at a profit. This method, often referred to as dropshipping, enables you to capitalize on popular trends without the hassle of inventory management.

Regardless of the approach you choose, the key to success lies in identifying a profitable niche and offering products that resonate with your target audience.

Building an online store has the inherent advantages of low investment and a market unimpeded by geography. You can take the help of online eCommerce solution providers like GoDaddy who will help you create your web store, manage inventory and shipping, accept payments — even market your products and services.

When you’re ready to create an ecommerce website, GoDaddy has you covered.

Editor's Note: Not sure what sort of products you can sell on your E-commerce store and start generating good business? Check out this guide for some suggestions!

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2. Drop shipping businessMan working at a desk sipping tea

Drop shipping is a mechanism that enables one to purchase products from a wholesaler and get them sent directly to the customer.

Why is drop shipping a great small business idea?

If you want to start a small business by selling items online but don't have the funding, you can easily do so with drop shipping. All you need to get off the block is your laptop. Even as your business grows, the cost will continue to remain quite low in comparison to any other business model. This is largely due to the fact that you can do everything by yourself, and the same holds true even if you might want to hire a small number of people somewhere down the line.

One of the biggest advantage and draws of starting a drop shipping business is that you are not required to maintain a large inventory of goods. You just need to ensure you set up a website, make your online storefront appealing to your target audience and concentrate on marketing. After that, all you need to do is to collaborate with a drop shipping supplier and list their goods for sale on your website. It's definitely more hands-off compared to any other type of online selling.

As a new business owner, this is a business model that does not require prior experience, and you can get started quickly and easily.

How to do drop shipping in 4 easy steps

  1. Choosing a profitable niche: Given that you will need to put in the same amount of effort to market any product, you should choose products with a higher revenue. Of course, you must also choose something that you would love to promote! Do take note of shipping costs. Find a supplier who charges low shipping cost, as that will have a direct impact on your ability to sell products.
  2. Understanding the competition: Choose a product with existing sellers, as this shows there’s a healthy demand for it. Steer clear of niche products with no competition, as these products could have high shipping cost, product quality issues and/or very low profit margins.
  3. Partnering with the right supplier: Make sure you find a reliable supplier whom you can communicate freely with them, even if they are located in another country. You can ask questions about their production capabilities, so that you don’t have a problem later when you scale up. As mentioned earlier, find a supplier who can charge you low shipping costs.
  4. Building an easy-to-use eCommerce website: Go with a convenient plug-and-play option from a reliable website provider to start with. With tools like GoDaddy’s Online Store builder, you can set up your e-Commerce store easily. What’s more, you can also leverage the power of the included marketing tools to help push sales. Once you’ve established your presence and grown your market to an appropriate size, you can go ahead and customize your website. By utilizing top-notch marketing tools, you can make your website appear even more cutting edge.

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3. Online apparel store

eCommerce is a booming industry as consumers are becoming used to the idea of buying clothes online.

Experts predict India’s online fashion industry will reach USD 35 billion by 2020.

To start with, you would need to:

You can also set up your own eCommerce website or sell through online marketplaces like Flipkart, Myntra and Jabong.

Read this start-to-finish guide to open your own online apparel store.

Related: How to make a website to sell clothes

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4. Start your home bakery to sell baked goods

Person kneading bread dough on a floured surface

If you’re a talented baker, you can easily earn upwards of Rs 20k per month. Create a business selling baked goods to consumers or local businesses. Most coffee shops and cafes don’t make their own baked goods in-house. Instead, they outsource this to others with the proper skills.

You can specialize in a certain type of pastry, like gluten-free or vegan baked goods, or instead opt to cast a wide net and bake every kind of pastry under the sun.

As is true for any online business, you’ll need to register a domain name and create an attractive website, with:

  • A shopping cart
  • Unlimited web pages
  • The ability to upload files

Think of a name that best suits your bakery business. Include photos of baked goods along with description, pricing, contact and shipping information. Do not forget to include a return policy. Add recipes, baking ideas, customer reviews, and helpful tips to woo more customers.

In the best home business ideas for baking, consistency and creativity play a vital role.

You also need to market your business online by creating a Facebook page and an Instagram profile and create YouTube instructional baking videos. Join online cooking and baking forums and post helpful comments to persuade people to visit your website. Offer ample discounts and online coupons to your new and existing customers.

What you need:

Roti on a napkinMicrowave oven or OTG, raw materials such as baking ingredients, a website, creativity, baking expertise, delivery boy, and lots of creativity.

Initial investment:

Rs.3000-Rs. 5000 (assuming you have the baking oven)

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5. Selling products for the hygiene and health-conscious

Whether it's due to the pandemic, or a higher level of awareness for health and hygiene, many people are starting to appreciate the importance of good health, a strong immune system and a clean living environment. Therefore, if you are stuck on ideas about what you can sell online, the path of health and hygiene products is definitely one to explore.

Let's start with health products. Organic food might be the first thing that comes to mind, and there are many types of healthy and organic food that you can consider.

Ayurvedic supplements

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.

Hygiene products: Mask and hand sanitizers

While COVID-19 might be far from our minds, it has also changed the way we looked at personal hygiene. As such, you can consider selling these products that help maintain personal hygiene and protect oneself from germs and viruses.

Here's a list of products:

  • Face masks (made with normal or khadi fabric). Mask-making machines are available for a modest Rs.1,15,000
  • Hand sanitizers (including touchless dispensers). Hand sanitizer makers cost a reasonable Rs.500,000
  • Gloves
  • Soap

Given the times that we live in, many would consider this the best small scale business idea that there is!

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?

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Side-hustle small business ideas with a low budget

Not sure if you’re ready to fully commit to a new small business? Have the right skills but need a low-cost business to start? Here are a few suggestions of some side business ideas for those who might be curious, but not ready to make the leap.

1. Data entry

Data entry is one of the most popular online home business ideas, because one doesn’t require any vocational skill except fast keyboard speed. All you need is the willingness to learn how to input information into your clients’ desired software program.

To get started with this home-based business, you just have to purchase a computer with an internet connection.

It might not seem like the most exciting job. But the fact that you can work from home, or a beachside bungalow, might help to make it a more appealing home business idea.

This kind of business might not be as lucrative as others on this list, but it won’t require as much attention either. So, feel free to listen to a podcast or put on Netflix while you work.

When it comes to finding clients, you won’t have to struggle much. Fiverr.com, FlexJobs.com, Freelancer.com, and Upwork.com are a few good websites to search for data entry jobs.

However, you should make sure that you research about the client or company you’re going to work with to avoid online work at home scams.

2. Join a freelancer site to be a freelancer

Do you have expertise in any of these fields?

If so, you can sell your services to clients across the world. There are many massive freelance platforms that you can take advantage of by selling your freelance skills.

For example, you can join FiverrGuruFreelancer and Upwork, to get your name out and start finding clients.

To build a sustainable business on the back of these platforms, you’ll need to create a niche for yourself. For example, do you do SEO for large content sites? Are you a graphic designer who does startup web design? Or, are you a writer who specializes in small business personal finance?

These platforms are a quick path toward a reliable income. As your experience and reputation grow, you can expand beyond these platforms and diversify your client base.

Related: Top freelancing websites in India

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3. Blogger

Creating a blog gives you a multitude of opportunities to create an excellent side business or even full-time income. There are tons of success stories floating around online about bloggers earning crazy profits online.

It will take a lot of work to get to this level as a blogger, but with the right strategy, you have a solid chance of building a business.

A blog in and of itself won’t make you any money. But there are many different ways you can monetize your site once it’s picking up traffic, such as:

  • Selling affiliate products
  • Paid advertising
  • Selling online courses and ebooks

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4. YouTube channel

Top 10 Small Business Ideas YouTube Videos
If you pick a popular topic and stick with it, you can succeed on YouTube.

It’s no secret that YouTubers like PewDiePie and Lilly Singh are making millions out of their YouTube channels. You can earn money by starting your own YouTube channel.

Creating a successful YouTube channel requires creativity, talent and a focus area that others find interesting. Most importantly, you need to put in consistent effort, and be passionate and willing to keep at it as your channel’s followers or subscribers grow slowly.

Expect to invest a few years in your YouTube channel before you see returns.

All you need is a setup and a compelling topic (healthy family meals, for example, or how to dress well for less). Once you are ready with your idea, start creating videos and uploading them on YouTube. YouTube might even pay you if your channel becomes popular enough. 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

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5. Affiliate marketing

If you happen to have a fair amount of traffic coming to your blog or website, you can leverage this profitably via affiliate marketing.

In this case, you advertise another company’s products and services on your website or blog.

Your earnings will come by way of a fixed percentage received on every product or service sold through your link. You will also receive a fixed percentage from any CPA (click per acquisition) affiliate programs.

One such program is GoDaddy’s Affiliate Program. All that’s required is for you to place a banner ad on your website, blog or email. You earn a small fee every time someone clicks on an ad and makes a purchase.

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6. Photographer

Are you talented with your camera? There are a number of different photography-based businesses you can build from home.

For example, you could specialize in wedding photography, portraits, product photography for ecommerce, studio photography, drone photography, events, real estate photography and more.

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7. Pet sitter/dog walker

A fluffy corgi sitting on a ledge in front of an orange background

If you have a deep love for animals, then it’s hard to imagine a better job. You spend your days watching and playing with pets while their owners are away. Or, walking a group of dogs down to your favorite park for the afternoon.

Most pet owners care for their pets as if they were their children, so attention to detail and a high degree of trustworthiness are essential qualities to possess.

Typically, dogs and cats will be the most common animals. But, you may have to take care of fish, birds, rabbits and other animals on occasion.

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8. Fitness instructor

If fitness is your passion, you can create a business sharing this with others.

There are multiple paths to success as a fitness instructor. You can make house calls, create group fitness events in your local park, work out of a gym or have clients come to you (if you have the space and equipment).

Social media marketing tools like Instagram can be very effective in helping you build your brand, whether you’re operating your fitness business out of a gym or offering personal consulting.

Beyond physical fitness you can also consider adding meal planning and diet consultations as an additional service to help your clients meet their fitness goals.

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9. Kids’ fitness classes online

Two children doing yoga

With schools closed owing to the lockdown, kids are missing out on every kind of sporting activity and peer interaction.

Their fitness is a matter of concern for parents, who are more than willing to pay to keep their children occupied.

Hence, opening a fitness class for kids on a virtual platform could be one of the best home business ideas in the time of coronavirus.

You can offer indoor training and fitness classes through an online video conferencing system from the comforts of your home. First of all, you need to work on an attractive website that will attract both parents and their kids to join your regimen. You can customize your classes based on their age group and any special needs. There is a range of free online exercise tutorials available for children on YouTube. Take your pick from specialty designed kids workouts, diet, warm-up sessions, dance, and mind and body wellness programs.

What you need:

PC/laptop, internet connection, Skype/Zoom, mini dumbbells, trampolines, yoga mats, indoor golf equipment, games kit

Initial investment:

Rs: 2,000-Rs 3,000 (assuming you have a laptop at home)

Editor’s note: GoDaddy offers two ways to put your new home business on the web: Online Starter Bundle, for those who simply require a business card website, and Websites + Marketing, for those who need a full-featured website or eStore.

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10. Online tutor/teacher

If you have a penchant for teaching, you can start a business teaching or tutoring online. It’s more of a contractor role than a traditional business, but the work is consistent, and the need for competent teachers is high.

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

You can explore virtual teaching roles on sites like VerbalPlanet and Learn4Good.

If you prefer to take the tutoring approach, you can build a sustainable tutoring business teaching kids about your favorite topics. For this approach, you can find solid leads on your local Craigslist page or on sites like Tutor.com.

For those who have a knack for teaching, online tutoring is a good home business idea. With online tutoring, one can teach a diverse range of learners.

From Primary Class to professional courses, you can find learners for anything you are good at.

There are two ways to start home-based online tutoring:

  • Start your own online academy.
  • Tutor through a marketplace.

Some popular online tutoring marketplaces are Tutor.com, Chegg Tutors, Kaplan and Udemy.

Starting your own online tutoring business requires proper planning. To make your task easier, you can read this guide to start online tutoring.

Related: How to start online classes in 5 simple steps

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11. Virtual assistant

[caption id="attachment_275458" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Woman Wearing a Phone Headset If you’re organised and disciplined, you could become a virtual assistant.[/caption]

If you love planning and organization, and possess great communication skills and a business mindset, a virtual assistant business might be right up your alley. 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.

As a virtual assistant, there are a ton of different tasks that’ll fill up your workday.

A lot of online businesses and solopreneurs are turning to VAs to handle daily tasks they don’t have time to themselves.

Home-based virtual assistants offer specialized services to clients and companies from their homes. These services can include (but are not limited to):

  • Blog management.
  • Book keeping.
  • Responding to emails.
  • Calendar management / Scheduling meetings.
  • Proofreading.
  • Internet research.
  • Real estate listing management.
  • Travel and event planning.
  • Administrative tasks such as booking and confirming appointments.
  • General data entry
  • Customer support

The best thing about starting a virtual assistant home-based business is you don’t need a big startup cost. Most home-based virtual assistants can get started with an internet connection, Fax, telephone and a few online collaboration tools.

If this sounds like the right home business idea for you, you can explore gigs on sites like Naukri, Freelancer, Upwork or Remote.co, or learn more here about this field. Having your own website for your home-based virtual assistant service will also help you find a stream of regular clients.

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12. Provide delivery services

The pandemic has changed the way people make purchases, and now getting online purchases delivered to your home is becoming a norm.

With that in mind, you can consider providing delivery services yourself, or start a doorstep delivery business. If you are looking to set this up as a business, hire delivery personnel and obtain the necessary licenses before you get started.

Everything from groceries and medicines, to electronics and alcohol can be delivered to people’s doorsteps. During the pandemic, we've seen essential items such as food and pharmaceuticals in high demand.

With the government allowing online delivery of food, one can easily start a food delivery business with minimal investment. You will need to spend some money on setting up a kitchen and paying the salaries of the cook and the delivery personnel (if any). That apart, you will need to list your business with Swiggy or Zomato to allow people to order from you. Other than that, you are all set to start.

Delivery Person Wearing a Pink MaskMake 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.

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13. Bookkeeping

Quite a few entrepreneurs are clueless when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting. If you possess the requisite skills, you could help startups and independent ventures streamline their invoicing, bookkeeping and reporting.

Additionally, you can help fine-tune the way they handle their finances or streamline things like expense reports, fund flow statements and so on.

Bookkeeping can be a very profitable business venture and is fairly simple to launch.

 

This article from The Work at Home Wife is a great resource for learning how to get started.

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Unique / alternative small business ideas

1.  Home solar energy set up

Topping the list of hot new business ideas is solar energy installation. India is one of the world's biggest energy producers, as well as consumers of energy. Most of the energy consumed here comes from coal and other fossil fuel-run power plants.

Given the increasing problem of environmental pollution, the demand for clean energy sources is expected to be strong in the years ahead.

House with solar panels on roof

You could tap into this demand by purchasing solar equipment and installing it on roofs and apartment balconies. This cleaner power source could then feed into the main power battery of an individual unit or an entire building.

All you need to do is to find the first 10 people who will pay you in advance.

 

This will enable you to purchase the required solar panels you need to begin building from that first order. If you need more information on how to get started, check out this article by Startup Sutra.

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2.  An ethnic eCommerce store

Sari fabricThe eCommerce industry in India is thriving with its easy access to relatively cheap labor and goods. That’s what makes eCommerce a good contender as one of the hot new business ideas. Aside from that, the costs of shipping goods internationally have gone down in recent times. This makes it easy to sell cultural and ethnic items from India to markets abroad. Plus, foreign markets tend to pay well for them.

Setting up an eCommerce store is a low-cost venture that could involve sourcing materials from street vendors.

Editor’s note: Setting up an eCommerce store for the first time? GoDaddy’s Online Store gives you all the necessary tools to build and promote your eCommerce shop with no technical knowledge. You can even create your own custom logo using GoDaddy's free logo maker to boost your online visibility even further. Choose from hundreds of design templates, with no prior design knowledge necessary!

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3.  Stock market trading

When it comes to hot new business ideas, India is full of lucrative stock trading markets that you could create a viable business from. Learning to trade stock is quite easy to do and is a profitable skill to have under your belt. Before pushing ahead full steam, you’ll want to understand the finer nuances of the business.

You can do this by first opening a demat and trading account online with a reputable broker, then linking it with your bank account. Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead and start trading.

Having a fair knowledge of the different industries and their performance indicators will stand you in very good stead. You’ll also want to know the merits and demerits of investing in small cap, mid cap and large cap stocks.

Laptop with stock market trading chart

Learn more about other share market basics using this article from Karvy.

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4.  Compliance & regulatory consultancy to eCommerce stores

While the eCommerce industry may be booming in India, it does require a fair bit of compliance and regulation conforming.

This presents a business opportunity to those who can advise eCommerce businesses on such matters.

As far as low-cost hot new business ideas go, this is one of the best ones around. It builds on your knowledge of industry regulations and is frequently sought after by eCommerce business owners.

This article by Corporate Compliance Insights has great advice on how to make money as a compliance and regulation consultant.

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5.  3D printing

3D printing is one of the hot new business ideas to hit India in recent times. The cost of owning a 3D printer has substantially decreased and provides excellent profit margins. All you have to do is buy the hardware set you need to open up shop.

Of course, the price of the set up would vary significantly in accordance with the features that you seek. But you could use different types to make needed parts for manufacturers and other businesses. These include:

  • Electron Beam Melting
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

Find other ways to make money using a 3D printer in this article by Protolabs.

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6.  Outsourcing

It is not for nothing that India is considered a major global outsourcing hub. A majority of the customers for these services are situated in nations like the U.S., Canada and Australia. These countries are expected to see a rise in self-employment in the near future and will need to hire cheaper workers in nations like India.

Outsourcing is a good option for businesses in technology, knowledge and content creation sectors.

Learn how to sell your outsourcing services by reading up on the different ways to get started. You might begin with this blog on how to start a business process outsourcing firm.

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7.  IoT home consultant

The Indian government is very supportive of any plans that involve the Internet of Things (aka IoT). This is a great opportunity for people looking to provide a consulting business focused on transforming homes into a smart living space.

This means they can offer advice on how to automate homes according to certain predefined specifications.

As an IoT home consultant, you can offer your services to homeowners and builders. You can learn more about becoming an IoT home consultant by checking out these articles by Whatis.com.

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8. Grow and sell plants

If you have green fingers and are passionate about plants and herbs, why not put your gardening skills to use and earn some cash along the way?

There are many ways you can earn from growing and selling plants in India. An example is an indoor plant business. This business primarily comprises of delivering and taking care of indoor plants in homes and offices.

Given that some of these plants are able to reduce pollution inside buildings, demand for this service has increased in India.

To start an indoor plant business, you can build a website and social media profiles to start marketing to companies and homes. This is done alongside sourcing for your supply of plants. Once you obtain the orders, you can source the plants from nurseries and make deliveries. You could easily set up a business like this for as little as Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 100,000.

Another type of business you can explore is to grow and sell medicinal plants. With the Indian government providing backing to this sector, you can be off to a great start!

[caption id="attachment_129775" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Unique Business Ideas Lavender Plant Medicinal plant farmers can earn as much as Rs. 100,000 per acre on average.[/caption]

For your part, you will be required to grow medicinal plants that are highly regarded for their unique properties.

Medicinal plants like tulsi, lavender, ashwangandha, brahmi etc are seeing a huge demand from manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies. One bonus is that these types of plants require far less land to grow than traditional crops.

Besides selling plants, you can also look into selling gardening essentials such as fertilizers, seeds and other garden supplies and equipment.

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9. Manufacturing products

With the vast amount of resources that can be found in India, manufacturing is an area you can explore if you have the requisite capital to start your small business. Yes it can be a small business, because you don't have to start by producing a lot of products.

With the Indian prime minister’s recent call for phasing out single-use plastic bags, a huge opportunity has been opened for paper and cotton bag manufacturers to step up and plug the gap.

[caption id="attachment_129755" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Unique Business Ideas Blue Paper Bag You can buy a machine to manufacture paper bags for as little as Rs. 400,000.
Photo: Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash[/caption]

The price in the case of cotton bag manufacturing machines starts from Rs. 850,000. Given their modest levels of investments, these are businesses almost anybody can try their hand at. With a large market ready to buy, you could quickly be on your way to recoup your costs and start earning a neat profit.

Related: What is government loan scheme for small business?

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Find your next lucrative business with these successful small business ideas

The possibilities for starting a small business in 2024 are vast, with plenty of budget-friendly and easy-to-start options available. Whether you're interested in offering specialized services like web development or graphic design, selling unique products through an ecommerce store, or sharing your passion and expertise as a music teacher or fitness instructor, there's a small business idea out there for you.

By exploring these recommendations, you can find the perfect opportunity to turn your skills and passions into a thriving venture. And if you need examples of how to write a business plan to help formalize your strategy into a plan of action, we've got you covered. Don't let the fear of starting a business hold you back — take the plunge and make 2024 your most successful year yet.

While the economic situation is gradually improving, the world of commerce has been upended and requires a whole new approach.

In light of this, quite a few entrepreneurs have begun to explore new ways of meeting the growing demand for whole new categories of goods and services.

Put your new business online in less than 10 minutes with Online Starter Bundle. Let the world know you’re open for business.

Editor's Note: This article contains content written by Vipin Labroo, Charu Mitra Dubey, Toshani B and Sandeep Babu. The information contained in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement or advice from GoDaddy on any subject matter. Investment figures are estimates only.

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