Recently, one of my friends asked, i would like to start a small business that should not FAIL. I told him that though no one can guarantee the success. Still i gave him some ideas on small business, i will be sharing in this post. It is based on my personal observation and study. The background is that this friend of mine lost a job recently and was looking out for a new job. In my post on how to handle job loss, i shared some of the tips on this situation. At the end of the day, he cannot wait for long. There are not many available jobs in the market.
There was another news on the web regarding largest layoff in corporate history. One of the MNC Giant in IT space is culling more than 1L jobs. I get goose bumps when i think what all these people will do. Anyways, we all know that life is uncertain. Sometime back i shared a post on 5 ways to create second income while in a job. A secondary income is back up for primary income. In the current scenario, anything is possible. I am not scaring you but cautioning you. As i believe that precaution is better than cure. I also shared some of the business ideas without any investment with my friend but he was not keen. He told me that gestation period of business without investment is long. I agree with him as i am also pursuing one such business :). The best part is that the investment is negligible.
As the jobs are bit hard to come by therefore Govt of India is also focusing on Startup India to promote entrepreneurship. In my opinion, it is the way forward. Those who will enter early will enjoy the first mover advantage. By startup, we always mean something new i.e. fresh idea. As an individual, we never thought of some of the tried and tested small business ideas. Maybe after doing a management course, a small business is too small for an individual. It reminded me of an interview with a founder of very popular lingerie brand published in the business newspaper. Her mother felt too shy to introduce her daughter to friends and relatives. Once she is successful and popular, now her mother is proud of her. Success has many fathers whereas failure is an orphan.
Top 5 Offline Small Business Ideas that can NEVER FAIL
The following small business ideas are based on my personal observation. At the same time, i am not saying that i am sharing some rocket science in this post. It’s just somethings are happening around us that we don’t notice in daily routine. In my next post in the Business section, i will explain why these small business ideas can never fail.
1. A Morning/Evening Snacks Shop: I am very much convinced about this small business. The key success factor is QUALITY. Once the word of mouth publicity starts then there is NO looking back. You can charge Rs 30 for a Rs 10 stuff. Few months back, one of the IIM graduates started a snacks shop near my apartment. Yesterday he told me that he is earning more than his job in one of the global consulting firm. He opened a shop in the area with a lot of PG’s around. These bachelors have a tight budget but want quality food. The business model is successful because of economies of scale. In the morning, this shop serves paranthas, vada pav, etc. The evening menu is samosa, kachori, dhokla etc. The wastage is minimum as most of the food items are served on demand.
2. A Mobile/Laptop repair shop: You can take advantage of increasing penetration of smartphones and laptops in India. It’s a small business with huge potential. Gradually, desktops are being replaced by laptops. Now it is mandatory in most of the schools to carry laptops. The next generation will be of Laptop and smartphones. In big cities, good repair shops charge Rs 200 just to check the device. It does not guarantee a repair. If you can provide home service then nothing like that. Recently, my wife’s smartphone knocked off. She found difficult to get it repaired. You may find a lot of mobile recharge shops that accept repair but there is no certified and branded repair chain. In my opinion, there is huge scope in this area.
3. A Stationery Shop: Stationery is low value and on-demand product. There is no threat from e-commerce to this domain. Secondly, the average purchase value is normally less than Rs 100. Therefore, this small business will remain successful in offline mode. I tried online stationery purchase. Either the delivery charges are high or min order value is Rs 500. Lastly, i have not seen people stocking stationery items. This small business is more successful near educational institutions. The only threat is more competition. For any business, competition is always a threat. In India, there is a tendency to replicate successful business models.
4. A Dance School: I have seen a lot of craze among kids and adults to learn dance. Only investment in this small business is to hire a good dance teacher and rented/owned commercial hall. Dance is also promoted as an alternative form of exercise. Currently, Dance is positioned as three in one concept i.e. relaxation, exercise and enjoyment. One of the dance school in my area has dance troop that perform in birthday and private parties. The dance teachers and dancers are being hired on profit sharing basis. They also organize dance classes in various apartments and schools. The only issue is to find good dance teachers and dancers. Only dance enthusiasts are interested in this business idea. There is not much competition.
5. Facility Management Services: A small business idea in B2B segment for those who are not comfortable with B2C segment. It requires good management skills. If you are not good in that then no problem, you can hire retired servicemen. You can hire temporary staff from staffing agency if you don’t want to deal with them directly. It is a high margin small business. In my apartment, i have observed that agency is being paid Rs 15000 whereas the workers are paid only Rs 8000. With the apartment culture growing in small cities, you can start this small business in state capitals. You can also start it on a very small scale like small offices, guest houses or PG’s. The investment is negligible as the requirement of workers is on-demand depending on the business.
From the list mentioned above, My friend is convinced with the idea of a dance school. He is already receiving queries from all the age groups. I wish him all the success :).
Words of Wisdom: There are a lot of small business opportunities around. I only shared the ones noticed by me. The list may vary from geography to geography. Small business is more likely to succeed because of low cost and control on operations. Small business is easy to start and can be scaled up in future. The best part is none of the above mentioned small business ideas can be replicated online. Therefore, there is NO Threat of E-Commerce. The key to the success of any business is to keep the cost LOW. I personally believe in this philosophy. On the other hand, if god forbids and the small business idea does not click then it is easy to wrap up the business and start something new. If the investment is high then loses are also high. Though everyone will not agree with me :).
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