Starting your own business is everyone’s dream. However, most budding entrepreneurs see their dreams nipped in the bud due to paucity of funds for investment.
Should you possess some special skills, you can definitely start your own small business with low investment. While some such small business ideas can be operated from your home, in other cases, you may need to lease small premises.
Funding small business
Generally, small businesses begin with whatever little capital you may have. Loans on very soft terms are also offered by community organizations and cooperative credit societies. You may consider procuring a loan to fund your small business idea.
Plan well for success
Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. Therefore, plan your business well in advance before launch. Study the market for the product or service you plan to offer.
Further, acquaint yourself well with your prospective competitors and their offerings. Talk to people you trust and seek advise if necessary. Additionally, build a database of your prospective customers before launch.
50 New & Best Small business ideas
Once you have completed the above homework, you are almost set to open your small business with low investment. Here are 50 new & creative small business ideas with low investment that we recommend.
1. Mobile phone repair/ accessories/ recharge
India will have nearly 300 million smart phone users by the end of 2017. Further, this figure will grow exponentially as more brands and cheaper variants enter the market.
Consequently, the demand for outlets and persons who offer repairs of mobile phones is expected to increase manifold. You can also sell accessories and credit recharge.
2. Meal service (Tiffin)
One of the best small business idea for women. Nowadays, the demand for home and workplace delivery of meals has increased vastly.
You can launch your small business with low investment right from your kitchen by preparing fresh, wholesome meals and supplying them to offices and homes.
3. Network marketing
Network marketing, also known as Multi Level Marketing is an excellent small business. However, you need to tie-up with well reputed brands that offer great products.
A search on the Internet will reveal some such major brands, whose products are always in demand.
Thanks to rising medical inflation, people nowadays look for unconventional health and nutritional products and supplements as well as skincare and beauty products.
4. Babysitting/ Childcare
This is a small business for women that can launch from home or small premises. Investment required for opening a babysitting and childcare service is very minimal.
All you need to invest in are a few toys, cribs and mattresses.
Add a few packets of disposable diapers, antiseptic lotions and a first aid box as well. Nowadays, babysitting and childcare facilities are in very high demand due to the rise in number of working couples.
5. Small Online Business Ideas
There are various small business ideas that can be done online from home or office. You can start many of such ideas without investment.
We have already covered such business ideas here. You can check which is best suitable for you from the list of 160 business ideas.
6. Small business idea to start an Ethnic food store
Should you be well acquainted with the palates of various communities of India, you can open a small ethnic food store with low investment.
All you need to do is procure products that have a long shelf life, from suppliers located in those particular regions and sell them to your target communities.
7. Mobile garage-(Small business for men)
Everyone has seen cars, scooters and motorbikes breakdown in the middle of busy roads. The unfortunate owner of these vehicles usually faces a dilemma about where to get repairs. For such eventualities, you can offer a mobile garage.
For this business with low investment, you will require a car, mobile phone and all the tools required to repair a stalled vehicle. All you need to do is, rush to the place where the vehicle is parked to perform repairs.
8. Aquariums & fish
This is a small business idea you can enter with low investment and also from your home. For this trade, you need to buy a few aquariums of various sizes and different kinds of fish that are popular as pets.
You can also breed fish by keeping special tanks.
Additionally, selling air pumps, fish food and decorative stuff for aquariums will net you more profits. Aquariums are also popular as gift items. However, you need to be well versed in handling various species of fish.
9. Nursery & garden requirements
Once again, this is a great small business idea with low investment. Due to increased awareness about environment, many people now maintain small plants and shrubs at their apartments and offices.
You can open this business from your home. Additionally, you can sell packets of fertilizers, seeds and other garden requirements.
10. Jams, pickles & sauces
As people become increasingly conscious about their health, the demand for healthier, non-commercial jams, pickles, sauces and ketchups is on the rise.
Moreover, consumers nowadays are wary of consuming foodstuff that contains chemicals of any sort. Given this scenario, you can manufacture jams, pickles, sauces and ketchups with traditional recipes that are chemical free.
11. Stamps & Coins
Surprisingly, this lucrative business is almost non-existent in India. Stamp and coin collectors look for the latest issues from around the world.
A few simple steps are all you need to enter this low investment high returns small business.
Register yourself with postal departments of various countries by paying them a small advance for buying the latest stamps. For coins, there are special government run bureaus abroad.
They will send you the latest stamps and coins which are sold at a good premium to collectors.
12. Pet care
Understandably, people love their pets. However, while travelling for holiday or business, they are unable to take their pets along. Hence, people look for services that will care for their pets while they are away.
If you are well versed in handling pets, this is a great business you may consider. Again, this is a small business that requires low investment.
13. Fragrant candles- (Creative business idea)
Let you creativity and sense of fragrances run wild. Making candles is fairly easy. Fragrant oils are readily available. With some training and experience, you can make fragrant candles of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Nowadays, such candles are becoming increasingly popular for meditation and relaxation purposes.
14. Cakes & bakes
Armed with a good oven, you can open a low investment business making cakes, muffins, cookies and other bakery items
This small business has huge potential since consumers are always looking for new, better tastes at economical rates. You will however require great skills in preparing these baked delicacies.
15. Ice cubes
Understandably, this is a complex business. Especially, since ice cubes sold in the market nowadays have to conform to specifications prescribed by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
However, with proper equipment, clean water and proper packaging, you can enter this lucrative market of selling ice cubes in bulk to restaurants and bars and retail to consumers.
You will require FSSAI certification for your ice cubes.
16. Travel services
Offering travel and related services can see you make instant profits. Tie-up with long distance bus services, offer online reservation of rail tickets and reserve hotels at various destinations for clients.
You can also add local sight-seeing and other requirements for your customers. You can either collaborate with a major travel agent or enter into deals with service providers and get commissions for every reservation you make.
17. Imported products
Indians returning home after a foreign tour tend to buy stuff they can sell locally. They do so to defray costs of their foreign trip
Products they sell include fragrances, cosmetics, cigarettes, liquor, chocolates, food items and T-shirts among others. The craze for foreign goods in India ensures you have a good market for your wares.
18. Medical sample collection
This is yet another rapidly growing, low investment small business idea in India. It simply means you collect blood, stool, urine and sputum samples from patients, from their homes.
These samples are for delivery to pathological labs that will test them and issue medical reports.
The reports have to be home delivered to the customer. You will require a vehicle, equipment to store the bio-hazardous material and skills in extracting blood samples.
You will need agreements with pathological labs before entering into this business.
19. Antique furniture restoration
Nobody wants to part with antique furniture. Simply because they have sentimental values attached. Restoring or repairing damaged antique furniture is one business you can look at, if you have a sense of aesthetics and the required skills.
You can also hire craftsmen to do the restoration at the premises of your customer. Restoring antique furniture is very intricate and you will require excellent workers.
20. CCTV & surveillance
Increasingly, people are becoming security conscious. They want to protect their families and themselves against theft, rape and other crime.
Consequently, more and more people are installing CCTV and surveillance cameras at their homes and offices. This is a low investment and high returns small business idea.
21. Party services
People hold parties for various reasons. They are held round the year to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. With this low investment business, you can offer various services.
These include decoration of the venue, conducting games, mascot appearance, buying and packing return gifts, among others.
22. Address verification service
Banks, credit card issuers and mobile phone companies often require physical verification of addresses provided by customers. They do so to prevent frauds and defaults.
This is a low investment business that is again in demand nowadays. However, you will require a vehicle and might require manpower to visit the customer addresses provided by bank and other service providers.
23. Business idea to make Religious items
India has a huge market for items required by followers of various faiths. These include pictures of deities, incense sticks, cotton wicks for lamps, candles, prayer beads and other minor paraphernalia.
Making these at home or at a small premise requires low investment. There is no dearth of customers for such stuff.
24. Postal labeling and sorting
India Post requires all bulk mail to be labeled with addresses and sorted according to the Postal Index Number (PIN) code. Banks, companies listed on the stock market, bulk mailers look for small businesses that can provide this service.
Especially, since they do not need to employ staff for the purpose. You will require a vehicle and some manpower to enter this low investment small business.
25. Walking tours
For those who reside in cities and towns with several tourist attractions, walking tours is a great low investment business.
Foreigners and domestic visitors want to get a first hand feel of the city by walking on the streets, mingling with locals and experiencing sights and sounds of the place.
You will have to hire buses to take your tourists to a particular area where they will walk and visit attractions.
26. Caregiver service
Indisposed senior citizens and people in hospitals require caregivers. Especially, since their kin are busy at work or unable to attend to their needs. Caregiver services are fast gaining momentum in India.
Understandably, you will require some manpower to provide such a service. Several unemployed women and men are interested in working as caregivers for businesses that offer the service.
27. Soya products
Nowadays, an increasing number of people are going vegan. Soya products such as soya milk, tofu (soya curds), soya flour and soya chunks are provide a great alternative to meat.
Manufacturing Soya products is fairly easy, provided you have the required equipment. It is also a low investment small business. You can get a small loan to start this micro industry.
28. Unique ice creams
Some years ago, people would have balked at the idea of ice cream made with tomato or capsicum. However, such unique ice creams are trending nowadays.
Unfortunately, manufacturers of such rare ice creams are few despite the huge market. If you are daring enough, enter this low investment business of unique ice creams.
29. Used laptops
Considered a luxury some years ago, laptops are ubiquitous now. Shopping trends indicate, people sell their used laptops and buy those with the latest features and higher configuration.
Despite, there exists a huge market for used laptops. Buying, refurbishing and selling such used laptop is a low investment, high returns business you can consider.
Generally, there are two types of signboards used by businesses and shops: Painted and Neon. Every small business and commercial establishment requires signboards.
The demand is for creative yet low cost signboards that aptly advertises the business. Making and supplying signboards of all types, according to specifications of the business owner, is a business in demand round the year.
31. Manpower supply
Every business requires more manpower almost on daily basis. This is especially true with restaurants where staff attrition rates are rather high.
Waiters and cooks leave at short notice or merely abandon work. This puts the business owner to great inconvenience.
Occasionally, households also require manpower for cleaning the home. With some ingenuity and low investment, you can help restaurants overcome their manpower problems and earn a handsome income almost daily.
32. Stationery supply
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions as well as businesses require bulk stationery. These includes customized letterheads, business cards, envelopes, invoice books, receipt books and motley others.
With little investment and some contacts, you can enter into this evergreen business. You will need agreements with printing presses and a few samples to enter this profitable venture.
33. Digitizing audio and video
Millions of people across India possess audio and video tapes of their favorite music and movies, recordings of special occasions and other stuff. However, audio and video cassette players are now rare.
Nowadays, DVDs and digital forms of music storage are popular. If you possess the older type record players, audio and video cassette players, you can enter into this business of digitizing old recordings.
You will need to invest in equipment that allows you to copy audio and video in the older formats to the latest ones.
34. Gardening services
Individuals and housing societies owning gardens generally are unable to attend to their favorite and sometimes expensive plants, trees and lawns.
Therefore, they look for small businesses that can perform the required task.
You will need to invest in some gardening equipment and hire manpower to enter into this small business, which is also round-the-year in demand.
35. Glamour photography
Undoubtedly, every male and female wants to appear glamorous. Glamorous pictures are used for several purposes: To apply for jobs as models, actors and actresses, cabin crew with airlines or matrimony.
For those with an eye for photography, taking glamorous pictures is a great business to open with small investment.
You will have to buy a professional camera and related equipment. Taking pictures can be done at the residence of the customer or at public places. Alternatively, you can hire a studio by the hour, if needed.
36. Broken glass
Strange as it may sound, there exists a huge market for broken glass. Millions of glass bottles that cannot be recycled, as discarded daily in India.
Shards of broken glass are used in building compound walls of bungalows. They deter robbers from scaling the compound wall to gain access to the bungalow.
Glass shards also prevent reptiles like snakes from slithering over the compound wall. A word of caution: Dealing in broken glass can be hazardous and has to be done with extreme care.
37. Computerized horoscopes
Understandably, this is one of the most common low investment businesses in India. All it requires is a computer with the required software, a printer and fancy paper to print the horoscope.
However, in a land of superstitions, computerized horoscopes continue to remain in high demand. The reason is simple: People do not rely on results from only one computer.
They want multiple horoscopes from different sources.
38. Corporate gifts
India has a rich culture of corporate gifting. It continues round the year. Corporate gifts include pens, wallets, mugs and a wide range of stuff given to staff and business associates.
Usually, these items are printed with the company’s name and logo. With adequate samples and contacts, you too can open this business with low investment.
You will need a wide range of products and their samples to display to clients.
39. Packing services
Small and medium businesses generally do not have a separate department for packing their products. They hire individuals- who can often be unreliable.
Or, they outsource the job to small businesses who can pack their stuff with care while adhering to deadlines.
To enter this business, you will require adequate packing material such as cartons, strapping machines and cutters and of course, manpower.
40. Homemade chocolates
With some chocolate making skills and little investment, you can enter into this highly profitable small business idea. Homemade chocolates are sold by almost every major pastry shop and gift store.
They are in high demand since their taste is much different from bulk manufactured varieties commonly available in the market.
Several companies order homemade chocolates to send as gifts to their business associates. Such chocolates are in great demand during festive and wedding seasons too.
41. Name plates
A common system worldwide is to affix one’s name plate outside the door of a house or apartment. Moreover, people also install large names outside buildings, villas and bungalows.
They prefer artistically designed name plates or simple ones. Making these name plates is a low investment small business that anyone can begin with ease. The demand for these name plates is round-the-year and you can make decent profits from your venture.
42. Wedding gowns
Earlier, wedding gowns were the mainstay of the Christian community. However, over the years, the concept of wedding gowns has become popular among people of other faiths too.
Bollywood movies have also contributed immensely to popularizing the wedding gown.
For men and women who are adept at fashion designing, making wedding gowns is a great, low investment and high returns small business idea.
Additionally, you can also offer other fashion wear to ensure income round the year.
43. Chips and wafers
Chips and wafers are consumed almost everywhere: cinema halls, schools, home, bars, in buses and on trains. The list is endless. Manufacturing chips and wafers with potato, raw banana, jackfruit, tapioca and other starchy roots is fairly easy.
Equipment required is not expensive.
However, you need to ensure proper supply of raw material and have good packaging. Generally, shops and bars order such chips and wafers in bulk.
44. Idli and dosa batter-(Best small business idea in India)
The mainstay of south Indian communities, Idli and Dosa are now popular across India. However, not everyone can prepare the batter required for making these dishes.
It requires a proper blend of rice and cereals.
The batter has also to be fermented to the right degree to ensure it gives great tasting Idli and Dosa.
Packaged Idli and Dosa batter is fast becoming popular, with most stores stocking several packets for their customers. Setting up a batter manufacturing unit from home or a small premise is fairly inexpensive.
45. Air conditioner maintenance
Nowadays, air conditioners are an essential component of several households and most offices. Hence, there is an ever increasing demand for small businesses who can offer excellent maintenance of these expensive appliances.
Trends nowadays indicate, people are willing to sign annual contracts for maintenance of their air conditioners.
All you need is some basic equipment required to service air conditioners and skilled manpower who can perform the tasks. Acquiring skills in maintenance and repair of air conditioners- especially window and split types- is fairly easy.
46. Renting scooters and motorcycles
Tourists, salesmen and small business owners look for hiring scooters and motorcycles while visiting a town or city.
Renting such two-wheeler saves them precious time and offers the ease of commuting. With a small investment, you can open a scooter and motorcycle rental business.
You need not rush into buying a fleet of vehicles. A couple of two wheelers will suffice to begin with. However, you will need to get proper licensing, insurance and permits before renting out these vehicles on short term basis.
47. Employee background checks
With most places in India witnessing high migration of labor, several companies now resort to employee background checks. This means, they verify information provided by a jobseeker through an external agency.
Checks include verification of work experience and educational qualifications. This is a rather simple and low investment business to open.
You will need a database of companies who require employee background checks, computers and landline telephone to open this small business idea.
48. Handicrafts-(Creative small business idea in India)
An excellent low investment small business anyone can start is buying and selling handicrafts. Generally, handicrafts are made in rural areas.
However, glitzy showrooms charge exorbitant rates for the stuff, which they usually procure fairly cheap.
You too can enter this huge market by buying handicrafts from different regions near you and selling them at reasonable rates.
Once again, the market for handicrafts is always high because they are also given away as gifts or used for home and office décor.
49. Skin and beauty treatment-(Small business idea for men and women)
Increasingly men are becoming beauty conscious. For men and women skilled in providing skin and beauty treatment, opening a small business offering the service is an excellent small investment option.
You can design your own therapies for glowing skin, anti-aging and facelifts.
This business can also be opened from home, provided you have ample space and privacy for clients. Offering herbal and natural therapies will help you stay ahead of competition.
50. Mushroom harvesting
Mushrooms are considered a delicacy and fetch fairly high prices in the market. They are very nutritious as food.
Hence, governments of various Indian states provide subsidies and facilities to people who can harvest mushrooms. This is a great low investment small business idea.
You will need to set up a green-house with controlled temperature for getting the right crop. Mushroom spores are readily available from state-run cooperatives and agricultural shops. Bulk customers for mushrooms are easy to find.
Extra: Apiary & honey
Here is one great small business idea with low investment, provided you have a garden or open plot of land. Setting up an apiary to breed honeybees is inexpensive.
You will also require some basic equipment to extract honey from honeycombs. Homemade honey fetches a great price.
Royal Jelly, produced for the queen bee, commands a high price in the market from individuals and medical companies.
Remember, having ample capital to invest in a small business of your choice is not enough. You also require the necessary skills to ensure its proper functioning.
Before entering into any venture, it is advisable to know licensing procedures and other legalities concerned.
It is better to legitimize your business since it can help you get loans and subsidies in future. It will also protect you against any lawsuits.