The e-commerce platforms are extremely popular among busy Indians who do not have time to go looking for rare products in remote corner shops. The shift of retail business from brick and mortar stores to online platforms can be seen as a big advantage for small businesses that can save on rental expense.
Online platforms, especially B2B are excellent for sale of large orders and allow you to receive steady orders for products from all over India and even abroad. You no longer have to look at just your local market.
These four ideas can be used by those looking to start small businesses with minimal capital and no particular skill requirement:
(Please note that the following calculations are based on the rates mentioned on online wholesale websites. The calculations are only meant to give you an estimate of monthly expenses. Although machinery is included as one of the items in expenditure, it will be a long-term expense that will pay off gradually with profits raised every month.
Plastic was recently banned in the state of Maharashtra. Sooner or later, the policy could be adopted by other states as the world migrates to more environmentally friendly materials.
- Fully automated paper plate making machine costing around Rs 85,000
- Hydraulic oil at Rs 86 per litre
- Raw material at Rs 25 to 45 per kg, depending on the type of material and whether or not it is designed
- Dies (to shape the plates) worth Rs 3,000 to Rs 15,000
Total investment could be between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.25 lakh. Materials including the machine can be bought from online wholesale portals like indiamart.com. You can sell these plate online as well as offline to increase your customer base.
At the rate of Rs 33 per kg on production costs, you can stand to make around Rs 40,000 or more per month.
Agarbattis or incense sticks are everyday products used by most households in India, as well as neighbouring countries of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
With a product that has a high potential for export, you can start an agarbatti business with an investment of just around Rs 76,000. You will need:
- Automatic Agarbatti making machine costing around Rs 75,000 being your primary and major cost of the business
- Mix powder (ready made) with charcoal dust, kuppam powder, etc for Rs 15 to 20 per kg
- bamboo sticks for Rs 50 per kg
- Fragrance around Rs 400 per kg depending on your choice
- Die Ethyl Phathlate Rs 125 per kg
- Packing pouches and boxes Rs 2 per piece
You could sell it to a B2B website to make around Rs 5 lakh per month if you manage to sell 100kgs per day.
From birthdays to religious purposes, candles have a considerably sizeable market. The scented versions are also in high demand for interior decoration and as gifts. Additionally, candles can be exported or sold on international online retail platforms.
To start the business you will need:
- Candle making machine worth close to Rs 40,000
- Candle fragrance for Rs 500 per kg
- Paraffin wax (primary raw material) for Rs 40 to 80 per kg
- Thread for around Rs 100 per kg
- Moulds Rs 30 to 300 based on selection
For a 100 gm pack of candles, you will incur a cost of around Rs 10, and these can be sold for up to Rs 30, giving you a profit margin of Rs 20 per 100 grams sold. This means that if you sell around 100 of these packs, you can make around Rs 60,000 per month in profit.
The most profitable and the most capital-intensive business in the list is that of making soaps. Soaps are always going to be in demand as one of the basic requirements for human hygiene. Additionally, the product is also a highly exported, thus opening possibilities for overseas revenue. Materials required will be:
- Plant and machinery that will cost you Rs 5 lakh, more or less, depending on the location. You cannot start this business in your residence.
- Raw materials like soap noodle, soap stone, dyes, perfume, package boxes could collectively cost up to Rs 1,000 per kg.
- Labour at Rs 20,000 (for two persons) based on location
- Electricity at Rs 4,000 to 5,000 per month when used for 8 hours per day depending on the state of residence
You can make up to Rs 3 lakh per month if 500 pieces weighing 100 grams are sold on a daily basis.