Are you a woman who wants to be your own boss? These 12 ideas can help
A consolidated list of business ideas for women who want to be their own boss. All you have to do is Identify a skill or talent that you think could be converted into a home-based or online business opportunity.
Own your time and make good money! You probably read this in a shady get rich quick scheme. No one really gets to do that… or do they?
The internet has exploded and given people all over the world the gift of opportunity. Backyard to bank balance success stories fill our Facebook feed, and social media celebrities are self-made millionaires. They all have the same running thread – the desire to make it on their own.
Running a business is no walk in the park, and not everyone can become a social media sensation. But a business or one with low or no investment is a definite possibility.
It offers women who want to make money from the comfort of their homes, the opportunity to take it one step at a time and continue to fulfil all the other responsibilities that they are committed to.
The trick lies in marrying a talent with an idea and following it through. For any home based business to work, skill is a definite requirement. One cannot become a successful home baker without knowing how to bake!
Identify a skill or talent that you think could be converted into a home-based or online business opportunity. Simply go through our consolidated list of business ideas for women who want to be their own boss and find out if you could be one of them.
Food, glorious food
If you are used to receiving compliments on your cooking skills then a business in food is what you should consider. One of the most popular small business ideas for women is a tiffin service. There are a host of aggregators that give home chefs a wider audience.
Family recipes, traditional cuisines or simple home-style food is most sought after.
To start off, make a WhatsApp list of friends and family who always ask you to make them this or that favourite dish, tell them that you are starting out on your own and let word of mouth do the rest. Sites like Authenticook lets you be a home chef on your own terms and host people for a fee.
If catering food is not your style, you could simply document your passion for it. It’s a great business idea for a lady sitting at home with a lot of cooking ideas up her sleeve. Instagram is filled with celebrity home chefs who are reaping returns on their talent in the kitchen.
A great success story is that of Archana Doshi of Archana’s Kitchen fame. She used her passion in the kitchen to create a successful and very popular food blogging website that details meal plans, lunch box ideas and recipes.
The ROI comes in the form of brand collaborations and associations with the site or channel.
Approximate investment to get started: Rs 1,000 -10,000 onwards. This would majorly be spent on appliances and a good phone camera holder.
Your skills: In addition to the obvious skill in the kitchen, you will need, basic phone camera skills and basic online social media skills for a page to help people find you.
Bake that cake
If you are the designated cake baker at family functions, then a baking business may be right up your alley. It is a great business idea for ladies with low investment.
Services like Indulge by Innerchef give home bakers the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and bake as per their capacity. Good presentation and quality ingredients will build a client base. Over time you can choose to invest in a website to help you get orders directly.
If you would rather bake for your family, then document your baking adventures. Invest in a good camera and share your passion to create a successful profile that would give you the status of an influencer like Sonali Ghosh of Sugar.
Approximate investment to get started: Rs 2,000 -10,000 onwards. This would be spent on an oven, some basic equipment and a good phone camera holder.
Your skills: In addition to the obvious skill with the oven, you will need, basic phone camera skills and basic online social media skills for a page to help people find you.
Passion for fashion
Those with a passion for fashion who are looking for a business idea in India under 10 lakh, opening a small tailoring boutique may work well for you.
All that is needed to start off is a minimum 300 sq ft of space with a set of sewing machines and one tailor. The total running expenses per month would be about 40,000 to 1 lakh depending upon the area that you choose.
Platforms like Shopify and Facebook shop allow you to reach a bigger audience and showcase your designs. Online payment gateways make the entire process so much easier.
Anita Dongre of AND and Global Desi fame famously started in her balcony with two sewing machines. Prompt client servicing and innovative designs could help begin your success story.
Approximate investment to get started: Rs 5,00,000 -10,00,000 that will go towards shop space, sewing machine and ancillary tailoring equipment, along with, 1 part-time master cutter and 1 full-time tailor.
Your skills: Good eye for designs and patterns, production skills that help you get work out of your staff and good customer relation skills.
If you are great with your hands then a good home based business for women is handmade craft supplies. The world is seeing a shift towards handmade as it is authentic and unique.
Websites like Shopify offer the opportunity to set up shop online and sell your creations from the comfort of your home. Stationary to handcrafted book covers, great ideas can be used to create handmade goodies that can pay good money. Backing your creativity with good quality and unique products will help build loyal customer bases.
Reaching out to party planners who design wedding and party favours is another way to make this work. They are always on the lookout for unique products and services.
Approximate investment to get started: Rs 500 - 2,000 onwards, which would go towards craft supplies.
Your skills: In addition to your creativity, you will need an online shop that you can manage like a Facebook shop. Decent skills with a camera phone to take pictures is also essential.
Resell to your social network
Reselling is fast becoming a popular online business idea for women in India. Apps like Meesho enable women to act as resellers to their social network from the comfort of their homes.
This is an internet friendly version of the earlier offline “home sales” or “garage sales”, where women would call their friends and neighbours home to showcase sarees, suit pieces and jewellery among other items.
Reselling platforms take care of pick-up and delivery and also provide additional conveniences like COD. For women who have a wide social network, nothing like making it earn you some extra cash!
Approximate investment to start with: INR 0 – onwards, depending on the terms with the original sellers.
Your skills: Good eye for trends and new products along with interpersonal skills that will help build customer relationship.
The stock market has a huge potential for becoming a home based business for women. A large number of market savvy housewives are turning the stock market into their office. They look at earning extra cash by stock trading.
Stock trading can be done from anywhere, even parallelly with a job! It allows you to decide your risk appetite and earn using your financial skills. There are sites like FundsIndia that offer help and advice with playing the stock market and making sensible investments.
This option is great for those with a financial services background who have taken a break from work. But that does not mean that those without such a background can’t learn to become stock market pros. An appetite for risk, however, is a must.
Approximate investment to start with: Rs 5,000 and upwards, depending on your risk appetite.
Your skills: Apart from an interest in the stock market, a regular study of current happenings and the willingness to learn from trial and error are also important.
Social media influencer
Social media has become one of the biggest places to generate brand awareness with millions of eyeballs to be caught every second. Becoming a social media influencer is a great idea for a business in India with low investment. Any talent that you are passionate about can help you become an influencer.
Makeup, travel, food, fitness and fashion are the main areas where social media influencers operate. Daily conversations about your area of interest supported by pictures, videos and blogs would help garner a growing list of loyal content consumers. Your phone camera can be your gateway to big opportunities.
Brands associate with influencers who can engage their followers. So reading and keeping up with trending topics will help connect with more people and build larger audiences.
The key remains regular creative and value-adding content that you enjoy. A successful influencer takes about one to three years to gain popularity. A lot is dependent upon the quality of content.
Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0, all you need is your camera phone and an eye for detail.
Your skills: An understanding of what you want to be known for and good social media interaction skills.
Freelance content creator
Those with good creative skills can choose to make an online home business out of it. From written content to photography, graphic design or animation, content is king. Today, more than ever before, brands are leaning towards working with freelancers.
There are several content platforms like Witty Pen, Fiver, Behance etc that help those looking for freelance content creators find people like you.
Creating a profile on the relevant platforms and putting your portfolio out there goes a long way in helping brands find you.
Most content creators start their business with no investment. You can choose how much work you want to take up and set the pace to suit your schedule. Really good content creators are always in demand and the creative space is filled with success stories like Alicia Souza.
Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0 onwards. All you need is your creativity. However, you can look at investing in equipment to enhance your productivity later.
Your skills: An understanding of your core creative skill set and making sure that you keep abreast with the latest in your field is very important. Additionally, setting up a page dedicated to the work that you do is an added advantage.
Share your teaching skill
Another homemade business idea for women in India is home-based tutoring. If you have a teaching background in any subject, then this is for you. Working parents do not have the time to teach their kids and often want a smaller and safer teaching environment for younger children. Your home could offer that.
Maths, Science, English and third languages are the subjects that parents usually need help with. Offering to tutor to children in the primary section requires more child
management and a graduate knowledge of the subject. What is needed is a knack for teaching and good skill with children.
Home-based teaching platforms like CueMath are a very good and viable business idea for Indian housewives. They give training and teaching material against a small one-time fee. Post which your work is on a revenue sharing basis per student. More students equal more revenue. This great business for ladies sitting at home.
You can choose to have as many students as you wish, at your convenient time, in the comfort of a location that is of your choice (your home or that of the student). Fee collection and other admin related work are often handled by the service provider reducing your involvement in the same.
Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0 – onwards, depending on whether you are doing this on your own or with a teaching platform.
Your skills: Good interpersonal skills, patience with children and a willingness to be innovative in your approach will help you deal with the different types of students that you will find yourself with.
If you love being with kids and have a great time entertaining them, then the good business idea with less than 10 lakh investment is starting a small daycare facility.
When both parents are working, daycare is often the only option for a safe and healthy environment for the child. A small facility that is child safe with a well chalked out schedule as per the age group of children has made many small daycare setups a success.
You can take up a franchise as well. Daycare and pre-school franchisees have investments of 10 – 20 lakhs and upwards. You can choose what works best for you.
Approximate investment to start with: Rs10,00,000 and upwards, depending on the terms of your venture.
Your skills: Good business skills with regard to facility management, customer relation skills to handle parents and a keen interest in children.
Home-based hobby classes
If you have a skill that you are really good at, you can consider conducting classes to share it. Hobby classes like flower making, cake decorating, jewellery making, art, pottery etc are popular with adults and kids alike.
A Facebook page or Instagram account can help spread the word along with word of mouth. This is a very good business idea for women in India, where community living gives people the opportunity to interact and do these kinds of activities from home.
Success is stories like Sonjuhi Malhotra, who started her cake baking classes “Sonjuhi” at home with no investment. Today Sonjuhi has snowballed into an academy that gives certificate courses in bakery training!
Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0 – onwards. (The students pay for their own equipment)
Your skills: Good interpersonal skills, innovative teaching skills and a fun personality will help draw more students to your classes.
Digital marketing services
Digital marketing has become one of the most sought after services that have great potential for those who want to start their own home-based business.
Online courses abound that give a good understanding of the subject. If you have worked in the field of marketing and brand building, then this might be just the right fit for you.
Freelancing with smaller brands that seek digital marketing services on a project basis is a good way to start and build your portfolio. Having a website that details your projects and the work done would help build the credibility of your business service.
Approximate investment to start with: Rs 10,000 - 50,000 and upwards – towards a good course in digital marketing.
Your skills: In addition to a marketing background, an added digital marketing qualification is important. Good client servicing skills will help you retain and grow your client base.
These are the top 12 business ideas for women in India with varying skills sets, that can be started with little or no investment. Match your skill or passion with any one or more of these to create an opportunity that is best for you. Being your own boss gives you freedom of choice and the ability to juggle your various commitments if you are a parent.
If you found this post to be helpful or you have an idea to add to the list, write into us we would love to hear from you. Sharing this post could give someone out there the brilliant inspiration to be their own boss. Who knows, you may inspire the next Anita Dongre!
Sanjay Shenoy is the co-founder of PixelTrack, a digital marketing training and consulting company. He is also trying to put the marketing back into digital marketing through his blog: Sanjay Shenoy. Content is his forte and has left his mark at prominent startups like Thrillophilia and Explara in the past. He is also a TEDx speaker, author, a corporate trainer with clients like Mercedes Benz India and Nikon Lenswear. In his free time, he likes to travel, juggle, learn music, play football and pet his dog, Max.