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India is heavily reliant on its micro, small and medium enterprises. The MSME sector is not only a huge source of employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labor but also forms a huge part of the exports and meeting domestic needs. Out of the total industrial units in our country, only about 10%-20% can be considered as large industries, rest can be classified under the MSME sector, especially now when the Government has recently modified the definition of the MSME units. In such a scenario, setting up a small business unit has never been more easy and affordable with the help of many Government schemes and easily accessible loan options.

In the recent situation due to many job losses and lack of employment opportunities across the globe, small businesses are the best source of employment not only for the business owner or the entrepreneur but also for the many others that will be employed by him/her. This will in turn help the economy rise back slowly but steadily. Small business units usually require less capital investment and can be set up without any excessive legal hurdles. All one needs for setting up a small business unit is a good and viable business idea, small capital investment, and certain skills or technical knowledge regarding the same.

Some of the most profitable and easy business ideas for small business units are discussed below.

Online Businesses

With the boom of the virtual world, the world has become a much smaller place where a person sitting from the comforts of his/her home can provide many services to the potential customers. All that is needed is a steady and high speed internet connection, a laptop or desktop and the required software. Such online services include web designing, programme developers, app developers, coders, social media handlers, bloggers, novel writers for online portals, etc. These are virtually zero or absolutely low cost small business ideas as they do not require any heavy capital investment and the returns are therefore higher.

Online Cooking Classes

Online cooking classes are on the surge with the many households trying new and healthy cooking as well as international cuisines. People can simply share videos of the cook with details or tips that can make it better and easier to prepare. Again in this type of business, there is no capital investment requirement and can be set up very easily without any legal hassles as well.

Tutor/Home Tuitions

Another great idea for a small business is home tuitions or giving private lessons to school going children or even adults that are willing to gain from the tutor’s expertise. Depending on the educational qualification and the skills that the entrepreneur has, home tuitions or private tutors can be a huge money making business. Once the tutor is popular and is known for the quality of education he/she can impart, the business can be a huge success. The tutors can also partner with many private coaching centers on a freelance basis and provide expert lectures to the students.


Baked goods and patisseries are loved by all the age groups and therefore it is a very lucrative business. The entrepreneur has to have basic baking skills and patisserie skills to succeed in this business. Today the market is ripe for gourmet and customized cakes, so if the baker has additional skills like unique cake making and decorating skills, that is an added bonus and a sure success at hand. This business can also be carried out from the entrepreneur’s home and thus does not necessarily require renting a shop and additional expenses at the initial stage of the business. The main requirement in this business is skills and a good publicity and marketing and promotional strategy.

Coffee shop/ Tea shop

This is another great idea for a small business. Coffee shops or tea shops can be a very profitable business provided it has all the key elements i.e., a great location, entrepreneur’s unique blend of coffee or tea, a good ambiance and excellent customer service. Once popular, coffee shops enjoy good customer loyalty and that results in growth and possibility of turning it into a franchise business.

Beauty Parlours/Salon

Another most common and less capital intensive business is opening a beauty parlour. The entrepreneur can learn the necessary skills by various courses offered online as well as personally. Once certified, the entrepreneur can open his/her own beauty salon. Entrepreneurs can gain expertise in various specialized areas like bridal makeup and hairdressing, etc. the success of this type of business relies heavily on the word of mouth publicity as well as branding. Entrepreneurs can also seek loans from banks or NBFCs or MFIs for setting up the business with easy and flexible repayment options.

Event planner

Event planning and event management has been gaining a lot of popularity with the urban crowd. This is due to their lack of time and energy to plan an event and running around to take care of even the minutest details of the event. Thus, many people feel it is better to trust the entire event to professional planners and just enjoy the big day. Event planners can come up with unique ideas and set up for any party or events like kid’s birthdays, anniversary celebrations, farewell parties, etc. The entrepreneur has to have good connections with the quality caterers, home bakers or professional bakeries, venue decorators, florists, etc. to make any event a success. The business can be set up online or even by hiring a small office space that can be the base point to coordinate with all the necessary personnel involved thus requiring nil or minimum initial investment.


Catering business is a huge market for professional chefs as well as home cooks. Cooking skills are the only and the most essential requirement of this business. Professional chefs that already have a background of working in professional kitchens find it easier to start their own catering business and being a well known name and having a professional background gives them an edge in the business. Home cooks may require more time to succeed but once word of mouth spreads it will lead to increase in the customer base. The entrepreneurs can constantly upgrade their skills by learning new cuisines or techniques to create their own specialties and thus carve a unique position for themselves in the market.


Opening a small boutique can be a very easy small business venture. The entrepreneur needs to have basic skills and talent in designing clothes and tailoring/stitching them. Business owners can also hire professional tailors to carry out the stitching part and they can specialize in the designing part of the clothes as is the norm of this type of business. Entrepreneurs can start on a small scale and based on the quality of their designs and the increase in customer base can even expand the business to large scale production or even turn it into a fashion house.

Daycare facilities

Daycare facilities are on the rise in urban areas. With both the parents often working full time it is difficult to ensure proper care and safety of their children. This is where the daycare facilities are of huge help. The basic requirements in this business is being a good nanny or caretaker having basic skills like first aid and necessary licenses and permits in accordance with the city and state laws. The facilities should be welcoming and have a comfortable atmosphere for the children to enjoy their day and not be confined to a corner at the same time should provide the parents with the assurance of safety and security of their children.

These were some of the basic ideas for starting a small business venture that does not require heavy capital investment and can be done even remotely. There are several other areas where the entrepreneurs can use their skills and talent and create a niche for themselves or turn their hobbies into successful business ventures.

FAQs – Small Business Ideas

1. What are some of the small business ideas with minimum investment?

Some of the business ideas requiring minimum investment are,

  • Tax consultancy
  • Web designing
  • Online tutoring
  • Travel agency
  • Courier services
  • Mobile repair shops
  • Catering business
  • Organic gardening and selling produce on online portals
  • Professional makeup artists

2. Does the Government provide support to small businesses?

Yes. There are many Government schemes that provide a huge boost to the small businesses in the form of loans or subsidies or tax reliefs.

3. Does a small business need a business plan for loans or investment?

Yes. Small businesses often need a good business plan to make the potential investors and lenders realize the potential of the business and have faith in its success. Many small businesses requiring loans under the Shishu Scheme of PMMY do not require submitting a business plan to get a loan.

4. Is online coaching a profitable business?

Yes. Online coaching has a huge market as students do not need to physically go to the classes and travel to different cities to get the required education which saves their time and energy and enables them to learn better from the comfort of their homes.

5. Can anyone start a daycare facility?

Yes, provided they have the necessary training and permits as required by the city and state laws.

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