One of my dreams has always been to start a business. The shortage of money to invest was the main problem I would face. That was until I found there were several zero investment business ideas available.
Surprising, isn’t it? But if you look around, countless businesses without investment are simply up for grabs.
Of course, zero investment doesn’t mean you’ll not require any investment. Making the best use of available resources and your skills is the only investment you need instead of money.
If you’re among those countless Indians aspiring to start a business, here’s my shortlist of 20 zero investment business ideas.
Best 20 Business Ideas without Investment
I include both online and offline business ideas with zero investment. Therefore, you can select any that matches your skills and requirements.
Online Business Ideas With Zero Investment
You’ll require a computer and Internet connection to start an online business without investment. That means, making the best use of your computer and Internet connection you may already have at home.
Unfortunately, most Indians think that blogging is difficult. I’ll assure you it’s not. Even if I talk about starting a blog, it's damn is easy and does not take more than 30 minutes to create and design it.
There’re two ways to start a blog. One by creating free blogging sites on various platforms such as Wix and Blogger.com. The other is investing less that Rs. 3000/- on a domain name, hosting, and other necessary things.
Create excellent content about something you’re passionate about and post them on your blog. Also include eye-catching pictures.
Learn a few tips and tweaks about digital marketing through excellent free tutorials on YouTube. Subscribe to Google AdSense once your blog gets a certain amount of traffic.
Google AdSense displays ads on your blogs. And when somebody clicks on these ads, you get some money.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is trending in India nowadays. That’s because many companies are now offering affiliate marketing programs to promote their businesses. Amazon India and Flipkart are some examples.
There’re several ways to start affiliate marketing. You can start affiliate marketing using your Facebook account or open a free blog. Write excellent product reviews about the stuff you wish to sell as an affiliate marketer.
There are various best affiliate programs available in India that you can join and start good money. If you create a good strategy then
3. Multilevel Marketing
Ever heard of companies such as Forever Living, Amway, DXN, Herbalife, Tupperware, Avon cosmetics and so on? These are some of the topmost Multilevel Marketing or MLM firms that thrive in India.
Entering the network marketing business for a top MLM company from India or abroad doesn’t require investment.
Register online with any top MLM company to become an associate. You might have to take some free online tutorials to learn about their products and their uses.
Promote these products through your social network using Facebook or a free blogsite. You can also sell these products offline.
Vlogging is another best online business without investment. It involves opening a free channel on YouTube. There’s no need to invest on a camera or other equipment. The video camera on your smartphone would be enough.
Create excellent videos about something you’re passionate about. Upload them on your YouTube channel. Promote these videos using your Facebook page and email.
Encourage relative and friends to subscribe to your videos and share with others. Subscribe to Google AdSense that will pay you for ads that people click on while watching your videos.
Dropshipping is another best business that's becoming popular. It’s pretty easy to set up your own dropshipping business online.
First, identify products that you wish to sell through dropshipping. The next step is to approach suppliers and manufacturers of these products and finalize a deal.
Here’s a simple guide on how to start a dropshipping business in India. Follow the steps on this guide and you’re in business.
There are projections that eCommerce in India is set to boom after 2022 as more people will buy stuff online, thanks to the Internet being available in rural areas. You can enter the business now.
6. Online Marketplace
If you can make excellent stuff such as pickle, spice powders, traditional skincare products or even handicrafts, sell them from your own online marketplace.
The best way to do this free is to open an online store on Facebook Marketplace. This allows you to sell stuff locally. All you require is a Facebook account.
The other superb resource is Shopify. However, they charge a small fee to open an online marketplace. Go for their free trial and check response.
If it works well, you can subscribe for the paid online marketplace for a nominal monthly fee. It’s also possible to sell certain things through Amazon and Flipkart.
7. Résumé Writing
This is one of my favorite ways to make money on the side. And I’m talking about some really good money. Most job applicants don’t know how to write a killer Résumé that can get them call to interview.
That’s because they aren’t even aware of the difference between a Curriculum Vitae, Résumé and Bio-Data. These are three different documents.
An employer asks for a CV, Résumé or Bio-Data depending upon the type of employees they want. Most fresher candidates aren’t aware about writing these documents.
And surprisingly even experienced job seekers can’t create a fabulous resume. This is a very profitable business if you have excellent writing skills.
8. Insurance Agency
An insurance agency is one more business idea with zero investment. You can start this offline. However, taking it online is better since you can get more customers.
The first step would be to approach some large insurance companies in India and try to get their agencies. Or you can work for authorized insurance agents of various companies.
You can sell insurance schemes and collect premiums on behalf of the insurance company and remit the money immediately online.
Your sales and marketing skills will play an important role in convincing people to opt for one or more insurance schemes. And there’re several large, reputed insurers in India which means stiff competition. This increases the chance of success.
9. Computerized Horoscopes
We Indians continue to cherish ancient traditions. And one of these is horoscopes. Devout Indians use horoscopes for almost everything such as taking career decisions, marriage, buying house or just out of sheer curiosity.
In fact, most Indians take more than one horoscope from different sources. Computer generated horoscopes and horoscopic matching services aren’t new to India.
However, they’re an evergreen business without investment that never goes out of demand.
You can download free horoscope software online or invest a small amount of money to buy a customizable one. You’ll require a small printed just in case someone wants their horoscope on paper.
10. Agony Aunt
People of all ages have all sorts of problems and ask all sorts of questions. And they seek answers to such questions. And they’re willing to pay for discreet question and answers.
People want privacy because most of these questions relate to personal life such as relationships. Nowadays, this service is available online and for a fee.
This is a very popular online business without investment around the world. In the UK, they’re known as Agony Aunts while in US the term is Online Advice Columnist.
You’ll need a computer with Internet connection and astute knowledge about relationship issues to open this business. It’s an emerging field in India.
Offline Business Ideas With Zero Investment
Maybe you don’t wish to start an online business without investment for any reason. That’s no reason to worry. There’re plenty of best business ideas without investment that you can do offline too. These would require your physical efforts.
11. Graphic Designing
Businesses of all types, individuals, and families, as well as printing presses, require graphic designers.
That’s because they need logos, business and invitation cards and lots of other stuff. Therefore, they look for excellent graphic designers that can provide these designs and logos.
Often, people want to use their own creativity and your services to create their design. Hence, they may wish to sit beside you while developing a graphic design.
All it needs is a computer with some graphics designing software. You can also tie-up with a printing press to offer the service to their clients.
12. Fitness Coach
Indians are becoming increasingly health and fitness conscious. That’s mainly due to a massive surge in cost of medical treatment. Staying fit in the proper way requires assistance from a fitness coach.
A lot of people don’t have time to go to a gym. Instead, they prefer setting up a gym at home and enlist services of a fitness coach to train them on proper techniques.
However, to open a fitness coaching business, you’ll require a certification from any reputable organization. There’s no shortage of such excellent institutes to study and get a fitness coach certification.
Maybe you know a lot about fitness and don’t require training. However, a certificate will help you bag more customers.
13. Yoga Coach
The ancient Indian art of Yoga is immensely popular. And people love Yoga because it doesn’t involve heavy exercising at a gym.
Usually women opt for Yoga because they can’t find time while juggling between various household tasks and socializing.
There’re several excellent Yoga institutes in India where you can learn Yoga and get a certification as an instructor. Understandably, it’s going to cost some money.
However, a Yoga coach can easily earn more than Rs.100,000 simply by providing training at homes of customers.
14. Repacking Services
Repacking services? You might wonder what are these. Actually, repacking services involves three main processes.
That’s unpacking a large crate or box, checking the items for any damage and repacking them into small boxes or packets for sale or dispatch. This service is very important for wholesalers and retailers.
Usually, the customer will send the large cartons directly to your home along with the necessary repackaging material.
Once you’ve made smaller boxes or packages, the customer will collect them for onward dispatch to customers. The service is generally used by dealers of gift items and stationery.
15. Real Estate Agency
A real estate agency isn’t a new business: it’s been on since decades. However, it continues to remain one of the topmost offline businesses in India.
Thanks to high migration rates among millennials seeking jobs in other towns and cities, there’s a huge demand for rental accommodations.
You can provide such accommodations by tying up with property owners and other estate agencies. Earnings are usually through commissions.
However, you can make more money by providing add-on services such as legal documentation through notaries.
16. Marriage Bureau
I’m not denying that websites such as Shaadi.com and Bharatmatrimony.com aren’t doing an excellent job.
However, there’s a large section of the Indian society from all walks of life that don’t wish to form matrimonial alliances using online resources. Instead, they prefer offline marriage bureaus.
Usually, offline marriage bureaus are community specific. Meaning, they’ll arrange meetings between prospective brides and grooms from a particular community only, due to local traditions.
If you have a large social network within your community, start an offline marriage bureau. This is a superb zero investment business idea.
17. Cleaning Services
Busy schedules and shortage of reliable domestic helpers causes people to look for cleaning services for their homes and offices.
The demand for cleaning services is particularly high before festive seasons, weddings, special occasions, moving to premises or after renovation. Cleaning services are an evergreen business.
Of course, you wouldn’t be able to clean an entire home or office alone. In such cases, you can hire laborers whenever you get a task or contract.
A small investment on cleaning equipment such as brooms and mops, disinfectants and perhaps and vacuum cleaner would suffice. You’ll pay the labor after they complete the task.
18. Manicure & Pedicure
Maybe this comes as a shocker: Indian men are also now large customers for manicure and pedicure of their nails. That’s because of high disposable income among millennials and the compelling urge for personal grooming.
Regardless of whether you’re a woman or man, a manicure and pedicure business is something you can do with almost zero investment.
The only expense would be on some gear. Usually, there’s a high demand for manicure and pedicure during wedding season and other special occasions.
19. Feng Shui & Vastu Consultant
Indians are very particular about their homes and offices complying with the ancient Chinese tradition Feng Shui or the Indian one, Vastu.
It’s a common belief that a home or office that’s Vastu or Feng Shui compliant leads to prosperity and happiness. Hence, people spend heavily on consulting experts in this field.
It’s not a child’s play to become a Feng Shui or Vastu consultant. You’ll have to study a lot and even get certifications from any respectable organization in these fields.
However, there’s tremendous income potential from this business. Additionally, you can get commissions from stores that sell Vastu and Feng Shui articles when your customer buys them from your source.
20. Labor Contractor
When I speak about Labor Contractor, I’m not referring to construction work. Instead, I’m speaking about workers for bars and restaurants, weddings and banquet halls.
Medium and smaller restaurants in India depend upon casual workers to perform tasks such as waiters, kitchen helpers and cleaners, among others.
Since the sector is largely unorganized, the attrition rates are extremely high.
Research in Mumbai reveals that at least one worker leaves their job daily for various reasons. Hence, restaurateurs have to scramble to fill up the vacancy.
They’re willing to pay labor contractors that can provide workers on temporary basis. This is a superb business without investment.
All you need is some superb contacts with restaurants, caterers and banquet halls. And the ability to gather workers at short notice.
The top 20 zero investment business ideas might encourage you to become an entrepreneur. Remember that some of the world's largest business empires began with zero or minimal investment.
Classic examples are KFC and Airbnb. You too might strike it rich one day by using any of these 20 zero investment business ideas.
The distinct advantage of these business without investment? You can exit the business anytime without losing money. Upon making profits, you can invest and expand your business.