Do you believe that a profitable business idea must be backed with a big investment?
If yes, then I hate to break it to you that you can start a business with less than INR 5k or even zero investment. You can also end up making massive revenues from such small-scale business ideas. It is quite evident that the current generation is all about start-up ideas. Plenty of start-ups like Flipkart, Ola, OYO, Uber, Zomato, etc. have commenced their journey in this decade and made it big in the Indian markets. These big names are all over the Internet and in every household with access to the internet. The 21st century is surely very fast-paced and you need to make sure that you catch up.
So, currently, there is a significantly high amount of opportunity for entrepreneurs to leave a mark with new business ideas. When it comes to startup ideas, starting properly is extremely important for securing a position and receiving continued growth. Like we mentioned, to start a business, you do not necessarily need to accumulate a load of investment, you could always start from as much as you have and build upon it.
If you don’t know how to do that, then this article will answer your questions.
Keep reading to find out about the best business models based on their low investment requirements. This list includes plenty of online business ideas along with offline ones, home business ideas, and more (includes business ideas for housewives too):
1. Content Writing
- Investment: INR 0 if you work as a Freelancer but if you involve a team of writers then you’ll be responsible for their salaries, workplace needs, and related requirements.
- Earning: INR 10,000 to INR 60,000/month
This is probably one of the best business ideas for earning online. Huge companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro to mid-level media startups to bloggers and websites, and more, everybody everywhere needs content. In the upcoming years, content creation and distribution are going to be in even greater demand than today. If you have a team of video creators, editors, podcast recorders, writers, photographers, and other kinds of content creators, then you stand a chance of making it big in the content industry.
Here, the investment is pretty small but the earning is significantly huge. The only investment you need to make here is your time, skill, laptop or a desktop, and internet access.
2. Coaching Classes
- Investment: INR 10k onwards (for renting a place) if you work alone
- Earning: INR 20k per month to several lakhs
You might have noticed that education is one of the most profitable small business ideas available right now or you might haven’t. Every exam needs proper guidance in today’s competitive environment and everybody wants to give their best shot at it:
Hence, the popularity of traditional coaching centres. But the last decade has seen an incredible rise in demand for online educational resources too, bringing more and more opportunities in the market. Besides, here, the investment is not so high. You could teach online which would cost you nothing and the entire fees will form your revenue. There are several companies like Unacademy, SimpliLearn, Topper, etc. which give you the platform to teach online and get paid for it. You could join such brands or even start your own.
3. App Development
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone.
If you start a small business with other fellow app developers, then you’ll have to pay their salaries, bear the cost of a website if you provide your services through the website, etc.
- Earning: INR 25k to INR 3 lakhs/month
It is evident that almost every website must have an app version to promote and expand their business:
Clearly, there is a lot of opportunity and scope to grow in this field. If you already are learning app development then you have a lucrative future ahead.
Don’t worry if you don’t already possess this skill:
It’s easy to master and several courses that teach the same are available online. Once you have learned it, apply your knowledge by becoming a freelancer or applying for jobs to people who are looking for app developers. Else, you could form a small business with some other app developers too. This is yet another one of the small profitable business ideas that require zero investment.
4. Professional Photography
- Investment: INR 0 if you work from home and alone.
If you start an agency, then you’ll be responsible for the salaries of other photographers in your team.
You might need an office space and bear its rent if you and your team don’t prefer working from home. You could also start a website for your photography services, where people will be able to place orders, etc. So, the website cost will be added.
- Earning: INR 390 per hour
In the previous decade, the Indian buying capacity has exponentially increased.
So, this has enabled people to buy costly stuff like equipment required in fields like photography. If you have a passion for photography, then why not start earning as a professional photographer? You have the option of choosing a niche in photography and approaching it professionally. One of the most profitable niches is wedding photography because, in our country, marriages are pretty expensive.
Social media has given a completely new turn to the popularity of photography. Most clients hiring photographers for events now are known to hire separate photographers for traditional and candid photography. Also, nowadays, people want a photographer for every event, be it birthday celebrations, shoots, pre-wedding shoots, engagement parties, and so on. Hence, you can make a decent living out of this startup idea. Your investment would include your skill, time, and the required equipment.
5. Translation Services
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone from home.
You could start a small translation agency business with a team.
Then you’ll be responsible for the salaries of the workers and other related expenses.
- Earning: INR 3 to 4 lakhs/year
We all have heard those dubbed videos, haven’t we?
Well, you need a translator to translate video content, text, subtitles, etc. from one language to another. So, if you are good in two or more languages, then this is your chance to grow big.
You too could start a translation business with a team of writers, translators, editors, etc. Every movie or show needs subtitles in various languages. Subtitling and translating industries are big in the current era.So, this is one of the best options to go for. You could even work as a freelancer or create a business group. The amount paid in this line is pretty good. Besides, there are several perks to enjoy in this field:
Flexible work hours, varied and interesting work, excellent opportunities, independent working, and more.
You only need to invest your time in this and hence, it is one of the best small business ideas.
6. Digital Marketing
Image Source: emarketer.com
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone.
When you involve a team and open a website for your services, then you’ll need to bear the related cost of the same.
- Earning: INR 8 lakhs/year
Another great way to make money online is through digital marketing:
The world is constantly shifting towards changing norms and ways. Traditional marketing has become quite backdated. With the consistent advancement and shift towards digitalization, people are spending a lot of time online. And that is where digital marketing comes into play.
If you have some experience in building backlinks, improving the Search Engine Results for a web page, and have other digital marketing skills: Then, it is a great time for you to make money online through this skill. This domain includes several other fields too and you can start indulging in the same even from scratch. Digital Marketing has been witnessing great growth recently and that is why it has grabbed a spot in our top 10 small business ideas.
7. Product Manufacturing Ideas
- Investment: INR 20k to 30k
- Earning: INR 60,000 /month onwards
Many people believe the myth that if you wish to manufacture a product then you need to invest a lot of money into it.
There are several small scale product manufacturing ideas that will bring you tons of money. Some of the same include candles, pickles, agarbatti, shoelaces, ice cream, cotton buds, etc. Let me explain further:
- A candle is something that is always in demand in India and during festivals, these demands skyrocket. This is what makes it a very lucrative business idea.
Investment needed: INR 20k to INR 30k
- Agarbattis or incense sticks is something that is used daily in every Indian household for Puja. Besides, incense sticks export opportunities have also significantly grown.
Investment needed: INR 50,000
- Every garment industry needs buttons and hence there is huge scope and market if you indulge in the manufacturing of buttons.
Investment: INR 30,000 to INR 40,000
- Did you know that India ranks second next to China, not just in population but also in footwear production?
As you know, sports shoes need laces and the demand for the same in India is high. Hence, this idea has become a lucrative business start-up in our country.
Investment needed: INR 25,000
- Investment: INR 0 if you work from home. If you involve a team and rent an office space, then you’ll have to bear the salaries of the employees and other related office costs.
- Earning: INR 50k/month (approx.)
If you are good at something and can help others achieve a goal, then never do that for free.
For example, you are great at managing a business, then you can start a business consultancy. If you are a social media influencer, then you can start teaching people how to achieve this height.
A fitness coach would start a fitness consultancy, a life coach could start a counselling service, and the list goes on. Consultancy services are rapidly gaining momentum at a fast pace now and you might want to grab the opportunity. This too is one of the best home-based business ideas.
9. Graphic Designing
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone. You could involve a team and start a website to offer graphic designing services. Then, you’ll have to invest some amount for the website building and also the salaries of the people working with you.
- Earning: INR 20,000 /month (initially)
If you have learned graphic design or want to learn this skill, then congratulations! You can build a business out of this and it is one of the best business ideas of 2020.
Graphic design is incredibly easy to learn and master. Once, you have gained some experience in this then you can make an income out of it by designing and selling your creations.
Don’t worry because the online industry is always looking for graphic designers:
India is continuously moving towards digitalization. Several new websites are created every other day and they need graphic designers to design the images and pictographs of their websites. There is plenty of demand for brochure makers, poster makers, images, and a lot more graphic content. So, it must be clear by now that the industry needs graphic designers like you badly.
- Investment: INR 1000 onwards
- Earning: INR 25,000 (initially)
You can start your own business even if you do not produce or manufacture your own products. You can purchase and resell goods on eCommerce websites like eBay and Amazon. A lot of people do that and it works fine as one of the new business ideas.
eCommerce reselling refers to buying products in bulk from wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, or from online platforms and then selling these products to customers with a profit margin. This is a great entrepreneur idea and you don’t have to worry reselling is absolutely legal.
There are several perks associated with this idea:
You don’t have to own an inventory, you can launch your business in just 30 minutes (you can resell a product on the same day you buy it), the financial risk associated is lower, low time commitment, etc. When you become an eCommerce reseller, you can virtually sell anything:
Be it clothing, electronics, stationery, furniture, cars, and whatnot.
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone. You could start a small business with a group of bloggers. Then, you’ll be responsible for the salaries of the people working under you.
- Earning: INR 20,000 (initially)
If you have a skill and have some expertise in it, then you could probably share it with others through Blogging. Hundreds of platforms will help your blog.
For instance, you could make videos on a subject you are good at and YouTube would be the best platform for this. If you are good at taking pictures then Instagram should be your take. Every skill has a unique platform available. Here is a list of platforms where you can expand your small business ideas:
- Facebook for writers and video makers
- Youtube for video makers
- Instagram for photographers
- Podcasts for those who have good oratory skills.
The point to be noted is that you can make plenty of money from blogging and have the opportunity to create content from your own interests and aspects of your life. Major investment in this type of business is a laptop or a desktop and an internet connection. Some bloggers even make millions per month.
12. Start an Etsy Shop
- Investment: INR 0 to 5K depends on your choice
- Earning: Varies as per the product
If you are a creative person and love making things like art, handicrafts, templates, greeting cards, or any other thing: Then, you must open an Etsy shop right now!
You just need to open an Etsy account, click photos of your product and list them on your profile. Connect your bank account with it and you will receive the payments for your items directly there.
This is a good way to create an online presence and expand on it. It will give you recognition and a good income source. This could be thought of as a part-time business idea and you could expand it later to full-time. Several artists have taken this path and are making a decent monthly income through the same.
13. T-Shirt Printing Business
- Investment: INR 40,000
- Earning: INR 245 per piece or more (depends on the price you set)
These days a lot of people chase customized products:
They want customized t-shirts, bracelets, caps, hoodies, bags, and whatnot. The craze is so hyped that people even want customized bed-sheets! So, why not start a business of manufacturing customized products.
You can set up this business online where people could choose or give you a design and you would then manufacture and print these on-demand t-shirts. The machinery will cost you around INR 10k to INR 15k and if you start with suppose 200 t-shirts costing INR 50 each:
So, you can start the business with just INR 40k or even less. If you sell these t-shirts for INR 300 each, then you’ll make INR 60k which means your profit will be INR 20k for the starting batch itself. The price could be set a bit higher than usual t-shirts because customization calls for some extra charges. This business works well offline too and is one of the best new business ideas of 2020.
14. Catering Business
- Investment: INR 1k or more ( You can start from home)
- Earning: INR 1.2 lakhs per month
Not everybody has the time to cook delicious and nutritious meals amidst their busy schedule. Let’s admit that this is a fast-paced era and people don’t get much time for themselves. So much so that, many people can’t cook daily meals. Plenty of people are sick and old but on their own. These people are completely dependent on food delivery options. Hence, the increase in the number of businesses that provide food delivery and catering business.
Why not capitalize on this and start your own meals-to-go or catering service in your locality and city? You can start a home delivery and catering service right from your home. Believe me on this, such business does plenty well. In fact, this works as one of the best business ideas for women and men who want to work from home.
15. Web Development
Image Resouce: The balance
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone. To maintain a team of web developers working under you, you’ll have to bear their salaries.
- Earning: INR 25k /month (initially)
If you are a web developer or a web designer, then don’t just sit with your skill:
Capitalize on it and charge money by building websites. Even if you don’t know how to create a website, you have plenty of sources to learn from. If you possess an interest in this field, then gain this skill from Udemy, Coursera, or several other legit courses available online.
You can become a freelance web developer. For that, you would need to build a profile on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, etc. and take up orders from customers. You can also look for such jobs on job searching platforms like Linkedin, Internshala, Naukri.com, etc. After gaining some expertise, you can make around INR 50k per month through web development.
The best part is:
You can make money sitting at home by building and designing websites and it is a great business without investment.
16. Editorial Services
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone. A small business plan would involve some other fellow editors as well and you’ll have to bear their work-related expenses and salaries.
- Earning: INR 20k/month (initially)
This field has a massive scope and opportunity for expansion. You can provide several services that fall under the editorial sector right from the comfort of your home.
Hence, this falls in the list of small business ideas from home. Some of the same are listed below:
- Copyediting: You will be required to check write-ups for grammatical, typographical, and stylistic errors.
- Proofreading: A proofreader has to check if the copyediting changes are correct and correct any other remaining errors in the article. This is the last step of the editorial procedure.
An editor can provide several other services too such as ghostwriting, copywriter, website content writing, and magazine article writing.
- Investment: INR 0. If you start a website to offer your services, then you’ll have to bear their salaries.
- Earning: INR 50k to INR 1.25 lakhs/month
The world has formed a habit of looking for all sorts of solutions online and so is the case with fitness training. A lot of people have health issues and need regular fitness coaching. Many don’t prefer stepping out of home and many can’t. So, it’s time for you to provide fitness lessons online!
Besides, amidst the COVID-19 induced lockdown, people haven’t been able to visit gyms and other such fitness centres and have been resorting to online fitness classes. If you are a gym trainer, a nutritionist, or a fitness coach, then you should try and provide your services both online and offline.
Online fitness training will allow you to reach a greater audience and impact people better besides increasing your overall income figure. Many fitness trainers have already commenced with this business startup idea. What are you waiting for?
- Investment: INR 0 to INR 10k (for renting a place)
- Earning: INR 20,000 /month (initially)
Dropshipping involves third party suppliers who store and ship the products to customers on someone else’s behalf. This works great as a low investment business idea because:
All companies that sell products cannot always store them onsite. People who run such companies and e-Commerce sites approach people to fulfil the orders. This third party person is a sort of wholesale retailer who has a warehouse and runs shipping operations.
A very minimal inventory and tools are needed for this work and so, it forms a great business idea with small capital. A variation of dropshipping is eCommerce inventory management. Most of the e-commerce companies are going out of their warehouse and inventory management across various cities.
Hence, this gives rise to a new business idea with low investment known as warehouse or inventory management. Initially, you could start this business from a small town or city and then expand. If you already have some unused space in your home, then this is the perfect start-up idea for you.
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone from home.
But, you could start a small business with a team. Then you’ll be responsible for the salaries of the employees and other work-related expenses.
- Earning: INR 40,000/month (Standard pay for each voiceover specialist)
Studies suggest that the voiceover industry is quickly growing. That figure is quite justified as the internet connects all parts of the world and you can’t expect everybody to understand many languages. Thousands of online content like podcasts, videos, texts, etc. need narration and voiceover. Several contents also need dubbing in a different language so that viewers all over the world can access the videos. If you have a good, audible voice and good speaking and narration skills, then this job is for you!
Consider this as one of the new business ideas which remained hidden from the majority of people. Give it a shot and carve out a spot in the voiceover industry because this might be a successful endeavour for you. Besides, the pay is really good.
20. Sell Handicrafts
- Investment: INR 1000 to INR 10,000 initially
- Earning: Depends on the price you set.
If you are good at making things, then you could start selling those and earn good money and recognition out of your talent.
Lately, a lot of people are utilizing this small scale business idea to grow to great heights and you can do the same. You can set up this business online as well. You could also bring this plan into action by partnering up with some handicraft artists, pot makers, candle makers, etc.
You need to know that plenty of sellers on Shopify started by selling home-made items. So, you have a good scope to flourish with this model on Etsy, Shopify, or you could even launch your own eCommerce store. This works as a great village business idea too and would help the rural areas grow and gain recognition.
21. Food Business Ideas
- Investment: INR 20,000 to INR 1 lakh
- Earning: INR 2.5 lakhs/month
There are lots of opportunities in this area and in fact, it is perfect for people who want to start a business with a low investment.
Papad is a thin, crispy, fried side dish that accompanies almost every Indian meal. The manufacturing procedure involves just wheat flour, spices, and oil. You can manufacture other condiments as well like pickles. This business can be started from your home itself and will be profitable because Indian meals usually are incomplete without pickles. You can also venture out to make ice-cream and chocolate which are quite sought after in the Indian food market.
This small scale business has the potential to grow big in the near future. Besides, this manufacturing business idea requires an investment of only INR 20,000 to INR 1 lakh.
22. Internet Advertising
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone from home You only need high-speed internet. You could start a small business with a team. Then you’ll be responsible for the salaries of the employees and other related expenses.
- Earning: INR 30k/month
This too is a very promising business idea to opt for. The Internet is used all over the globe for advertising and you could start up your own advertising business.
All you need to accept advertisement requirements from the business and create and distribute them to popular blogs, websites based on the target audience and location. Such advertisings could also be done on Facebook, YouTube, and other such social media platforms. The advertisements could be text-based, image-based, or video-based. You will surely earn a huge deal in this business and rarely go out of work since there are so many brands willing to advertise on the internet.
23. Paper Manufacturing
- Investment: INR 1 lakh
- Earning: INR 60k to several lakhs/month
Needless to say, papers are needed everywhere. Schools, offices, colleges, corporates, every sector needs paper for day-to-day work. The world might turn into a digital one but there is always going to be a never-ending demand for paper.
Different requirements call for different sizes of paper. A4, A3, A2, small copies, envelopes, and many more needs of paper are in demand and there is a vast scope of expansion in the current industry. But, you should try to choose the manufacturing location wisely in order to not end up paying much transportation costs. Overall this is one of the top business ideas that does not need an investment of more than INR 1 to 1.5 lakhs.
24. Sell Jute Bags
- Investment: INR 50k to INR 1 lakh
- Earning: INR 30 /bag
The world is shifting to using eco-friendly products. We know that environmental protection and awareness have increased considerably over the past decade:
So, there is a visible demand for eco-friendly products as a result of the same. People are shifting to a biodegradable version of bags, i.e. bags made of jute aka the golden fibre. Plastic is now banned and jute bags are a sustainable alternative. So, take advantage of the situation and build upon consumer demands. The manufacturing procedure is quite simple and these bags can be made in several designs as their purposes. Do consider this new startup idea and share it so that people increase the use of natural products.
25. Online Teaching
- Investment: INR 0 only internet and laptop cost Which is already present in your home
- Earning: INR 20k to INR 1 lakh/month
You will agree with me when I say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the shape and structure of the world. Well, not quite literally. But it surely has affected every sector and industry worldwide. Online Teaching is one of the best businesses to start in the pandemic. People who adapt to the changes are the ones who survive trying times. More or less every school and college has shifted to online education to ensure the safety of students and teachers.
So, if you are good in a niche such as teaching a subject, dance, fitness, health, etc. Then take your classes online. This way you will be able to reach a larger audience and earn more. Online teaching is one of the best business ideas to make money.
Image Source: Statista
This is one of the successful future business ideas. Vertical farming is a practice of growing plants in vertically arranged layers. This practice does not always need soil, instead, it can also thrive with hydroponic or aeroponic growing methods. These farms also enable you to grow agricultural plants in challenging environments such as the places where the arable land is rare or not available. So, this is a very promising field for the modern age:
Here, you will take up an assignment to build a vertical garden in the office or home.
These days, there is an evident shortage of space for gardens and farms. Hence, vertical farming is an efficient technique that produces all the desired results. Besides, it is eco-friendly, does not require high levels of investment, and is one of the very unique business ideas. Everybody wants to beautify their decor by growing plants. Hence, many small and medium businesses go for vertical farming.
27. Video Editing
Image Source: Oberlo
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone from home. You could start a small business with a team. Then you’ll be responsible for the salaries of the employees and other work-related expenses.
- Earning: INR 20k /month (Initially)
There is a massive consumption of online video content, movies, short films, video ads, TV shows, web series, and more. And so, there is obviously an increased need for people who can produce such content, edit them, and present them to the world.
Basically, video editing refers to the art of manipulation of video content in such a way that the end result is attractive, engaging, and user friendly. This is a very lucrative business idea. But first, you need to be good at editing and making videos. You can gain this skill online and use software such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc. The pay in this field is really good and you should definitely try out this startup idea if you are good with video editing.
28. Travel Planning
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone from home.
You could start a small travel planning business with a team. Then, you’ll be responsible for the salaries of the people involved and other work-related expenses.
You could also own a website through which you and your team would offer your services. So, you’ll be bearing the website cost as well.
- Earning: INR 2.5 lakhs/year (Initially)
This is a very lucrative business idea for the upcoming future. You need to plan travel trips for people when you are involved in a travel planning business. For that, you should to have proper knowledge of the hotels, bookings, and various routes. So that you’ll be able to plan a trip for your customers. You could also take up franchises of famous travel companies for quickly setting up your business. Travel planning start-ups would serve the best when done online:
These days, everybody looks up on Google to search for flights and hotels. People make use of online hotel searching engines like MakeMyTrip, Trivago, and so on to look for the cheapest travel budget option.
Hence, if you too could set up a dedicated team and open such a website which provides cheap travel options, then the audience will be huge. With the increase in demand for lucrative holiday plans and flexible business trip management services nowadays, such a business is sure to boom with time and would become bigger gradually.
29. Wedding Planner
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone. But usually, such businesses work with a team. So, you’ll have to pay the salaries of the employees. You’ll also have to bear the cost of an office space. Else, you could choose to just operate via a website.
- Earning: INR 2 to 6 lakhs/month
Indian weddings are always grand. The wedding season in India provides a big opportunity for all the entrepreneurs who could help in taking care of various operational activities and wedding-related assignments.
Wedding planners do a lot from helping the bride and groom in choosing dresses to organize events and managing guests. People who are creative, are interested in parties, celebrations, and have management skills that can start a wedding planning business. You would require a group of 5 to 10 people who should be able to complete the assignment on time.
This creative small business idea will have you earning a lot if you succeed in it. You could also opt for a complete online existence and no concrete office in this type of business. The investment would not consist of anything but the earnings shall be grand.
30. Transcription Service
- Investment: INR 0 if you work alone from home. You could start a small agency business with a team. Then you’ll be responsible for the salaries of the workers and other work related expenses.
- Earning: INR 20k/month (Initially)
Another one out of the many online business ideas:
This work requires you to convert audio and video content into textual format. These services are required in several languages. Medical videos, ads, famous speeches, courtroom proceedings, etc. need transcription services. So, if you are not well versed in English but are fluent in any native language:
Then also you can give this a shot!
If you are someone who has a sharp ear and possesses the ability to write fast, then this is the job for you. The best part is that you can do this work from home and have a flexible schedule. You can also consider becoming a certified transcriptionist and charge more.
We hope to have answered all your small investment business related queries. This list of business ideas aims to provide you with the most profitable and the best startup ideas that need minimal to zero capital investment.
We have tried our best to compile most of the business ideas with low investment and high profit. You must have also found several small business ideas for women who want to revamp their careers. You could try opening a Fiverr, Upwork, or other such accounts for all the online freelancing ideas we have provided. Let us know which startup business idea from this small business ideas list is your favourite in the comments below.
Did we miss some company ideas with low investment? Let us know.