Wednesday, September 11, 2019

20 profit-making small businesses you can start with as low as Rs 20,000 - YourStory

20 profit-making small businesses you can start with as low as Rs 20,000 - YourStory


20 profit-making small businesses you can start with as low as Rs 20,000 - YourStory

Posted: 10 Sep 2019 06:11 PM PDT

small business

Starting a business, they say, is not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. But aspiring founders often find themselves struggling – with investments and ideas – before they join the hustle. 

You may have a bunch of ideas in your mind, but there are times when those ideas lack proper direction and you decide to switch plans. This is the period where most aspiring founders struggle to find a balance.  

Starting a business needs utmost determination and confidence, but you have to be very clear about your business idea before you step into the entrepreneurial arena.

To make the hustle easier, SMBStory has drawn up a list of 20 profitable manufacturing business ideas that you can start with low investment. 

Handmade candles

small business ideas

Candles are always in demand, which is what makes this an extremely popular business option. The traditional demand for candles comes from religious and decoration purposes. During festivals, the demand is extremely high. Otherwise too, these days the demand for scented and therapeutic candles is also on the rise with many restaurants, households, and hotels using them to create an ambience. 

The candle-making business can be initiated from home with low investment of approximately Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000.

The raw materials used to start the business include wax, wick, moulds, thread, aroma oils, and more. 

Apart from the major raw materials, you also need to have some candle-making equipment. This includes a melting pot, thermometer, pour pot, weighing scale, hammer, and an oven (to melt wax).

Pickles

small business ideas

Pickles are a traditional food item in India and are extremely popular. You will find at least one variant of pickle in every Indian household. Thus, if you want to start small, a pickle business is a safe and easy option.

Apart from the Indian market, Indian pickles are greatly in demand abroad. 

You can start this business at your home with a small capital of approximately Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000. 

Incense sticks (agarbatti)

small business ideas

India's agarbatti (incense sticks) market is growing due to large demand in the country and abroad. 

Agarbattis are used in most Indian households, and their popularity and demand picks up during the festive season. Their exports have also grown, on the back of the rising popularity of meditation in other countries and the associated use of agarbattis.

The first step of small-scale manufacturing of agarbattis involves buying bamboo sticks and essential oils with fragrances such as sandalwood, jasmine, rose, champa, etc. from the market. The sticks are coated with the oils, and dried.

Automatic and semi-automatic agarbatti-making machines, costing upwards of Rs 50,000, can be used for bulk production.

Once the sticks are packed and labelled, they are ready to be sold in local markets.

Buttons

small business ideas

Buttons are one of the most essential trimmings used in the garment industry and have huge market potential. 

From plastic to fabric and steel buttons, there are various categories in this niche that you can select depending upon your choice of business. 

You can either rent out a space or start at home with a basic investment of approximately Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000.

Designer lace 

small business ideas

Lace is commonly used in garments and for craft work. It is a traditional form of business and can easily be started at home. 

With emerging fashion trends, the demand for different kinds of laces has increased. Laces are also exported to various countries, which makes this a good option for those who want to start small. 

Laces can be designed manually, through bobby machines, or fully computerised machines – after you decide on the scale of operations.

You can start this business with a low investment of approximately Rs 25,000-Rs 50,000.



Shoe laces

small business ideas

India is the second-largest producer of footwear after China. The shoes the country manufactures can be segregated into categories like sports, formal, casual, and others.

The demand for shoelaces is high as well, and manufacturing shoelaces has become a lucrative small business idea. 

Shoelaces are manufactured by weaving a band and fastening the aglet (the hardened end of the lace). The simple, woven band is usually made from cotton, polyester, nylon, polypropylene, etc, and the aglet is made of plastic. 

Apart from the material for the lace and aglet, shoe lace braiding machines are also required. They can weave several metres of lace per minute, after which acetone can be used to fasten the aglet to the woven band. 

You can start this business with a small investment of approximately Rs 25,000 depending upon the kind of machinery you want to deploy.



Ice cream cones

Small business ideas

Everyone screams for ice cream, one of the most popular desserts today. The increasing consumption of ice cream has led to a rise in the demand for ice cream cones.

Therefore, if you want to start small, this idea could be a profitable business option.  You can start an ice cream cone manufacturing unit in a small space by investing approximately Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh.

However, if you want to operate on a larger scale with high capacity machinery, the investment cost goes a little higher. 

Handmade chocolates

small business ideas

When it comes to chocolate consumption, India is on top of the chart. Be it sweet or bitter, chocolate is a mood lifter and stress buster. According to Mintel, sales of chocolate confectionery in retail markets grew by 13 percent between 2015 and 2016 in India. Therefore, if you want to start your business and don't have an idea, manufacturing chocolate can be a lucrative opportunity. 

You need to develop a product line to start off. An approximate capital of Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000 will be required to purchase raw materials and packaging.

However, if you want to deploy a piece of machinery for a larger production scale, the cost may rise up to Rs 2 lakh-Rs 3 lakh. Your volume production will be easier with mixing, cooking, and cooling equipment. Select the type of equipment to fit the scale of your operation.



Cotton buds

small business ideas

The cotton buds market is being driven by growing per capita expenditure of consumers, increasing awareness of hygiene, rising population, etc. Small manufacturers of cotton buds are required to source the spindle/stick, the absorbent material (cotton), and the packaging for the product.

The raw material then goes into the automatic cotton bud-making machines, many of which package the products too. The machines are available as per the quality and output requirements of the entrepreneur.

The cotton buds manufacturing business can be started with an investment of Rs 20,000-Rs 40,000.

Papad 

small business ideas

The thin, crispy food – fried or roasted - is a common accompaniment to most meals across India. Papads are mandatory at several occasions, functions, celebrations, and parties, which means demand is always high.

The manufacturing process is relatively simple once basic ingredients such as wheat flour, spices, and oil are sourced. 

The large-scale papad manufacturing industry is highly competitive, but entrepreneurs can start with a small investment of approximately Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 and sell to local department stores.

Entrepreneurs can also experiment with flours made from lentils, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, etc to differentiate their offerings from others.

Noodles

small business ideas

Noodles, especially the instant variety, are a popular snack in India across rural and urban markets. The noodle manufacturing process is simple and requires basic ingredients such as wheat flour, salt, sugar, starch, spices, vegetable oils, etc.

Both semi-automatic and fully automatic noodle-making machines are available in the market. The process of making noodles involves blending flour, starch, and sodium bicarbonate, mixing the dough, and passing it through the machine. The noodles are cut into the desired shape and size, dried, and packaged.

Low capacity noodle-making machines cost over Rs 40,000 while premium ones cost anywhere upwards of Rs 1.5 lakh.



Disposable plates and cups

small business ideas

Disposable food-grade plates and cups are used extensively in India during events, functions, picnics, etc. They are also used on a large scale by street vendors and hawkers. 

As they are widely used and have been inexpensive to make for a long time, the market has matured. They are usually made of paper, which has emerged as an alternative to plastic, steel, glass, etc.

To make paper plates and cups, paper can be acquired from local scrap shops at low rates. The major part of the investment goes into acquiring disposable plate-making machines. They cost over Rs 50,000, depending on their capacity.



Jute bags

small business ideas

The use of this biodegradable and reusable "golden fibre" is increasing by the day. With the world moving to ban plastic, a jute bag manufacturing business is a good choice. 

The jute bag making process is simple. Different types of bags are popular in the market and can be used for multiple purposes. 

Starting up this business demands a small capital investment of around Rs 50,000-Rs 1 lakh. You can begin in a small area of around 500 sq ft. 

Staple pins

small business ideas

Staplers are used extensively in schools, colleges, government institutions, offices, and wherever paperwork is involved. Staplers cannot work without stapler pins, and the pins are usually made from white galvanised iron wire. Using good quality iron will ensure the pins are sturdy and long lasting.

Automatic staple pin-making machines simplify the process of production. The machine flattens the round iron wire and produces the pins in predetermined lengths. 

Staple pin-making machines that can make 350 pins per minute cost upwards of Rs 3.5 lakh.

Paper making

small business ideas

Manufacturing paper is a low-cost business idea. Paper is used everywhere. From schools and colleges to offices and big corporates, the use of paper is certain. This translates into an unending demand for this product- despite the world going digital. 

From A2, A3, and A4 sheets to small copies, there is the vast scope of expansion too in the paper-making industry. However, you need to be wise in selecting the manufacturing location to avoid high transportation costs.

You need approximately Rs 2 lakh-Rs 2.5 lakh for setting up the machinery and getting the raw materials to start the business. 

Organic soap

small business ideas

Organic soaps are a really niche market to tap if you wish to start with a small business. It is a high demand product used by billions daily. 

To start a small herbal soap business you need raw materials like glycerine, herbs, essential oils, moulds, microwave, and more. An investment of about Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh is required for scaled production.

You can start the business at home or rent out a separate small space. Various government courses are available if you wish to learn the soap-making process. 



Coconut hair oil

small business ideas

People these days have become conscious about the use of natural products. Many do not hesitate to pay a premium on quality products when it comes to health and beauty. Therefore, starting a coconut hair oil unit can be a good small business idea. 

This low-cost business idea needs an approximate investment of Rs 1 lakh. You can start either by renting out a small farmland or can work with farmers in your area. 

Tempered glass for smartphones

small business ideas

India's smartphone market is growing despite the global market shrinking. The Indian market saw a shipment of 32 million units in Q1 2019, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

Smartphone accessories such as tempered glass are also in big demand. These are made in high temperature machines where glass is heated and then rapidly cooled. The tempered glass also has to pass hardness tests, breaking tests, and dimension checks. The tempered glass also contains silicon, additional protection, and glue. The glue, which ensures the tempered glass sticks to the smartphone screen, is an essential component of manufacturing.

Low capacity tempered glass making machines cost around Rs 75,000 while high capacity ones cost over Rs 1.5 lakh.

Envelopes and files

small business ideas

Despite communication going digital, there is still a large demand for paper envelopes and files in schools, colleges, corporates, etc. Different kinds of paper, such as maplitho paper or scrap paper, can be used, based on buyers' requirements. Gum and glue also need to be purchased from the market.

Envelope-making machines cost anywhere between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 11 lakh.

When paper is fed into these machines, it is cut to specific sizes. After the gum is applied, the envelope is dried and sent for packaging. These products can be sold at departmental stores, supermarkets, or directly to schools, colleges, and corporate offices. 



Paper bags

small business ideas

Eco-friendly bags and packaging made from paper have become popular as people realise just how harmful non-biodegradable plastic bags are to the environment. Paper bags can be used to pack shopping items, food items, medical items, jewellery, and more.

Paper bag making can be started small scale with low investment. Automatic paper bag-making machines start at around Rs 5 lakh and have a great capacity – around a few thousand units per hour. Semi-automatic machines are also available under Rs 3 lakh, but they involve more manual work and labour.

Entrepreneurs also need to invest in sourcing raw materials such as paper sheets, ink, printing chemicals, tags, etc.

(Edited by Teja Lele)


Tracey Grace on How to Beat the Odds as a Woman Entrepreneur in Tech - Thrive Global

Posted: 10 Sep 2019 11:00 AM PDT

Work with women entrepreneurs, and you hear the same stories: roundtables where women couldn't get a word in, investor meetings that became all about appearance, developer calls that left the women in the room feeling like ghosts.

Situations like these led me to found Her Big Idea Fund, in partnership with Brown University's Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, to fund women's business ideas and to combat the funding gap. Through the female entrepreneurs I've counseled over the years, I saw just how hard women in tech have to work. But after talking with Tracey Grace, Founder and CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts, I realized I'd only scratched the surface of the struggles women entrepreneurs in the industry face. 

The women I worked with were just starting their careers. Grace has spent decades leading a tech company. Although she learned entrepreneurial skills earlier than most, she's still had to claw her way to places many of her male counterparts waltzed into. 


It's not merely a matter of standing taller, becoming a subject matter expert, or investing in overtime networking. To succeed, particularly in tech, women entrepreneurs need all those things and more. Grace showed me that, and I want other women — and men, frankly — to see it, too.

Haley Hoffman Smith: Were you raised around entrepreneurs, or did you always know you wanted to be a businesswoman?

Tracey Grace: My father was an entrepreneur. He owned the largest minority-owned carpet store in the state of New Jersey. He got me involved very early in life, answering phones and helping to tabulate quotes. I worked with him when I was off school for summer. By age 12, I was helping to install carpet in the small closets on job sites. As a reward, he'd let me drive his car around the neighborhood during lunchtime. He knew how to get me to the job site!

My husband is also an entrepreneur of 30 years. He'd encouraged me for years to start my own company. It wasn't until the stars aligned and I'd had enough of "climbing the corporate ladder" that I knew the time was right.

HHS: How did you find yourself working in the male-dominated tech industry, and what kept you there?

TG: The majority of my corporate experience is in information technology, particularly in training and consulting. I started from the bottom, just doing sales, but I learned quickly how to close deals with tech leaders. I'd ask open-ended questions to understand their problems, propose the appropriate training solutions, and consult on how to improve their operations.

Eventually, my success got me promoted to management. My responsibilities kept growing until I was facing C-level leaders — who were mostly men, of course. I had to adapt. I love sports, and I learned how to play golf. Once I figured out how to have fun with them, I realized we had a lot in common. My drive to succeed helped me relate as well.

HHS: Many women report feeling they have to "prove themselves" or work harder than their male counterparts to get ahead. What approach did you take?

TG: That is absolutely true. Without the support of my husband when our children were young, it would have been tough to dedicate the time needed to get ahead. I was always one of the first to arrive in the office and one of the last to leave. I volunteered for every new assignment. Any time a manager went on vacation, I agreed to be their backup. My goal was to learn every function of the company. I wanted to know what made the organization tick. My sense of curiosity has served me well. The more I learn, the more I want to know.

HHS: How have relationships played a part in your success as a businesswoman?

TG: Relationships are essential for entrepreneurs. Networking has helped me build so many partnerships and close millions of dollars in business deals. It may feel awkward at first, but keep with it.

When I decided to start IBEX, I committed to spending my first year going to networking and industry events. I tried different industries and different verticals. I went to different meetings each month and finally narrowed it down to three. With those three, I decided to go deep.

Today, I continue to network with and learn from those groups. Being an entrepreneur is a way of life. You have to find ways of doing business that you enjoy. That's why so many businesspeople close business deals on the golf course. Learn how to incorporate what you enjoy doing into your business life, and it will no longer feel like work. Later this month, for instance, I'll attend a chamber event on a tennis course.  

HHS: What do you advise women to do when they constantly feel undermined or in the shadow of their male counterparts in the business world?

TG: A situation early in my career taught me just how important it is for women to fight for themselves. I'd been promoted to senior sales manager, which put me in a position overseeing two male counterparts. Both vice presidents, both male, came in from corporate during a week when I was on vacation.

After I returned from vacation, they called me into a meeting. They told me that they'd decided the company would no longer use senior titles for sales managers, which would put us all on equal ground. I later found out that this decision was made following an evening out at a bar.

I was young, and I didn't know how to fight back. I hung in there, though, and resisted the change. I took my case to the highest level of the company, and I was eventually allowed to keep my title. It was a battle, and it really shouldn't have been. Be true to yourself, and know your value. When it comes time to negotiate, do your homework and be prepared. Be able to back up your request for more money with facts about your job performance and your impact on the company. Don't assume anything, ask questions, and find a mentor, as well as a sponsor. Know the difference. A sponsor is an active player on your path to success, and that's essential in corporate America.

Most importantly, always have a side hustle. Start a small business doing something you enjoy. Always have something to fall back on. That way, if everything goes wrong in your day job, you never feel hung out to dry. And you never know — one day, your side hustle may very well become your million-dollar main hustle.

Employment Outlook: Amazon Has 30,000 Job Openings, Latino Impact Surges, Double-Digit Growth For Small Business - Forbes

Posted: 10 Sep 2019 06:50 AM PDT

According to the New York Times, Amazon has 30,000 current openings across the United States. The online retailer is looking to expand its workforce of 653,000 employees nationwide. From warehouses to white-collar workers, Amazon is on a hunt for a wide variety of employees, and has announced career fairs in six major cities: Arlington, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Dallas and Seattle.

The job outlook remains particularly strong for women of color, according to the Washington Post. Minority hires outpaced white hires for the first time last year. Women, especially Latino women, are the primary driving force behind this trend.

Consider this statistic: since 2016, there are 5.2 million more people with jobs in the U.S. 4.5 million (86%) of them are minorities. There are multiple reasons for the expansion: a high demand in a tight labor market has created opportunities for women, particularly Latino women, where cultural ideas around working outside of the home have been changing. Job postings that request Spanish fluency have almost doubled in the last two years. Nineteen states and 21 cities have raised the minimum wage, according to CNBC - and higher wages are drawing new workers to the market. The other factor? Over 90% of immigration and deportation arrests are men.

"We see women entering the workforce because their husbands may no longer be in the country," said Samantha Sherman, chief program officer at Wesley Community Center in Houston.

Latino Impact

Other factors driving the career surge for the Latino community: 72 percent of Hispanic Americans (aged 25 and older) now have high school diplomas - a 22% increase since 2006. College enrollment among Hispanics has grown by 300% since the mid-90s. Government policy is trying to adapt, so that this trend can continue. "Our challenge now is to do what monetary policy can do to sustain the expansion so that the benefits of the strong jobs market extend to more of those still left behind," according to Federal Reserve Chaiman Jerome H. Powell.

Small Business Shows Strong Growth

According to a recently released report from Kabbage, The Small Business Revenue Index, small business revenue grew nearly 20% from January 2018 to January 2019. Leading the growth in small business is the country's least-populated state, Vermont - where revenues grew 118% since 2017. Based on revenue trend tracking that drew from over 200,000 small businesses, the survey results point to ongoing strength in what might be called America's micro-jobs center. Kabbage head of Data Analytics and Strategy, David Snitkof, points to these micro-job makers as a powerful economic engine in an already-thriving economy. "This is the only tool available with an ongoing pulse on the financial health of local American small businesses, such as restaurants, hair salons, dentists, lawn care providers, boutique shops and more." The businesses represented in the index have average revenues of less than $300,000 per year.

Opportunities for job seekers are prevalent in the current economy. Explosive growth for women of color has been driven by desire, skill and necessity. From hair salons to Amazon, companies are trying to fill the need for additional people, more resources and increased revenues. The one remaining question: how long will the trend continue?

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