10 online businesses women can start from home
Setting up an online business is a lot easier and cost-effective than it used to be. Here are some ideas that can help women, especially homemakers, to set up profitable businesses from the comfort of their homes.
Affordable smartphones, cheap data rates, and easy access to the internet have made it easier for people to set up ecommerce businesses.
Women who have little or no entrepreneurial experience can now start a business from the confines of their homes. Using social media platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, or ecommerce platforms, one can easily set up a business at minimum cost.
Here are a few ideas to take inspiration from.
Ordering in food has become the norm with numerous food-ordering apps providing quick and easy meal fixes. Setting up a tiffin service can be a profitable business, especially in communities that have a large working population. You can easily start a tiffin service with kitchen appliances that are already available in the house. Other things you would need in addition are groceries and packaging containers. Using WhatsApp, you can create a group and send the daily menu on the group and get your orders. The cost of setting up can be as little as Rs 5,000.
Handcrafted jewellery is popular because of the uniqueness of the designs. If you are creative enough to fashion pieces of jewellery using quilling or other methods, you can use WhatsApp groups or create an Instagram account to showcase handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. With an investment of Rs 10,000-20,000 you can purchase raw materials like beads, wires, threads, stones and others. But you have to make sure the designs and the quality of finish is top notch.
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Paper and cloth bags
With the ban on plastic and polythene bags, and single use plastic on its way out for good, the demand for paper bags and cloth bags has seen an increase. You can make bags using store bought handmade paper or use fabrics like jute or cotton to make fancy ones. The investment is very low as all you need to buy are raw materials like fabric, paper, ink, threads, lace, etc.
If you are adept at baking and enjoy making cookies, biscuits, brownies, breads, or cakes at home, then this passion can become your calling. All you require: an oven and baking ingredients. A low-end oven can cost upwards of Rs 4,000 and along with ingredients, the total investment can range between Rs 5,000 and 15,000. It would also make sense to focus on one or two things you are good at.
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Pickles and jams
Homemade pickles and jams have always been a favourite in every household. With more and more juggling work and other activities, people find it difficult to make these preparations at home and therefore rely on others for supplying them with homemade chemical and preservative-free jams and pickles. Making them may be a tedious process, but if you have large orders, they turn out to be very lucrative. Investment is required to purchase ingredients in bulk and also for packaging. Artisanal jams are highly sought after and can be sold to small bakeries and cafes also.
Increasingly, aromatic and scented candles are becoming popular with people, both for decoration and well being. These can be made at home with very little investment. Ingredients include wax, wick, essential oils, perfumes, melting pots, pans, etc. You can use wine glasses, Mason jars, and glasses to create decorative candles. You can also experiment with scents and colours to produce unique candles that stand out among the competition.
Soap and shampoo bars
Soap-making is an art that can be perfected by attending a simple course available in most cities. Handcrafted soaps and shampoo bars are in demand as more people are switching to natural and organic cosmetics. Though the raw material like essential oils can be a bit expensive, but on the whole the investment is not very huge. You can also make conditioner bars to go along with the shampoos.
You can earn money by reselling clothes on social media platforms or ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart or Shopify. If you buy clothes from local markets or wholesalers, you can sell these online at higher rates and earn a profit. You can create a lucrative business by selling distinctive clothes not found in malls or stores. You can create a niche for yourself by selling antique clothes, ikat prints, embroidered sarees, or indo-western dresses that are on trend.
Cheap data rates and high speed internet have made YouTube stars out of common people. Even with basic equipment like a smartphone camera and amateur photography and editing skills, you can start making videos and upload them on YouTube and use Google AdSense to make money. All you need to turn it into a successful business is creative content. Most popular and easy to create are home cooking videos, DIY arts and crafts, makeup tutorials, home remedy videos, and more. If you specialise in a particular subject, you can turn that into a channel and become an influencer.
Papads are another staple found in most Indian households. These are in demand throughout the year. It is an easy business to set up with very low investment. You will need a papad maker and ingredients for all the varieties of papads you wish to make. You can sell them to individual consumers or in bulk to stores and also cater to functions and parties.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)