Over the past two to three decades, India has significantly evolved in terms of technology; today, it has become a digitalized society with 525.3 million Internet users. And Asia has the highest percentage of internet users (49%).
All these factors contribute to the exponential growth of online business in India and with the right ideas you can also encash this huge audience base.
Throughout India’s economic history, there was no other more comfortable or better time to set up your own business. India’s economic growth from 1984 to 2021 has been incredible and at a rapid rate, faster than some of the world’s most dominated economies.
Today, you can quickly start your own company over the Internet with limited to zero upfront investment. The trend to start an online business is booming in India, with entrepreneurs coming up with new ideas to exploit the Internet’s true potential.
The future of online business in India is secure under the Modi government because since coming into power, Prime Minister Modi has encouraged entrepreneurs to try their visionary ideas without fear.
The present startup India program is an example of his initiatives towards making Indian market start-up friendly. With this initiative, entrepreneurs are given benefits like three years of income tax exemption, a secure online registration process, minimal paperwork, and easy to wind up your company in just 90 days, in case things don’t go as planned.
So in this article, we are going to read about how to start an online business in India step-by-step with some trending business ideas that you can start with no to minimum investments. If this intrigues you, keep on reading:
Now, let’s talk about the perks of starting an online business:
There are a myriad of advantages associated with setting up your business ideas online in India over the conventional physical business model, and some of these are as follows:-
The Internet has reached the farthest of corners of the world, and there is hardly any place where you cannot reach people using the internet. Your ideas have the power to reach a global audience base with an online business in contrast to a physical company confined to its locality like India.
Larger outreach means larger business opportunities and exposure as well. Plus, you will get to work with people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
One of the biggest perks that you get with having an online company is that your business is operative 24*7. You can generate leads, make sales, and manage your business even when you are sleeping or on a family vacation to Hawaii.
Less Initial Costs
Whether you are setting up a small retail store or a corporate company, the cost of setting up a physical business is higher than starting an online business.
Now, for starting an online business, all you require is to invest in a programmer to build your website and an excellent virtual team, and in most cases, you won’t need a business loan.
You can save a lot on physical marketing, physical labor, and office spaces. The customer acquisition cost is relatively less for an online business. To top that, customer retention is also high.
Minimal Staff Requirement
Unlike a physical company, you can start an online business with virtually no additional staff; you can be the one man/woman army running the business. And when at later stages, when you are trying to expand your business, you can hire virtual staff and freelancers to aid you.
So, by now, if you’ve decided on starting your online business, then the next hurdle is nothing to get started. With this comprehensive guide on the same, will help you walk the path ahead:
A Step-By-Step Guide to Start Online Business
Step 1: Brain Storming Ideas
If you already have a business idea, then you can skip this step. Otherwise, you will need to brainstorm to narrow down on a business prospect that aligns with your specific business goals and expectations.
There are a variety of industries in India that offer you worthy opportunities to build an online business if you have ideas, and these are as follows:-
The digital way of marketing has been there for quite many years now. But in recent years, it had become an absolute necessity for every size of business.
Whether it be a start-up, small-to-medium company, a giant corporation, a huge brand, a non-profit organization, or a government project. Everyone needs digital marketing. There are many ways you can start a business online in the marketing industry.
Both organized and unorganized businesses can benefit from the technological advancement of digital mediums. Solving problems that businesses face on a day-to-day basis can be a huge online business idea with SaaS products and services. Because IT is now infused in every business eco-system.
The most recent successful example of online business in entertainment is Netflix. It has a huge user base, higher customer retention, and revenue generation from online or digital audiences. Creating, marketing and promotion of these online entertainment platforms can be a great idea for online business in India.
Social media is touching everyone on a more personal level. These mediums don’t only influence people but also their lifestyle choices. The influencer can be monetized in many many ways these days. For example, Virat Kohli earns Rs 1,35,66,749 for a single post on Instagram.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t know about Amazon. This platform has started its journey with a single person and computer, now it’s one of the largest companies in the world. That’s the power of the internet. Can you think of a problem in the e-commerce industry that you can solve? If yes, then do it now!
To clear the confusion I’ve include IT as well in this industry, but you cannot exclude IT from any other industry. Every day, there are innovations happening around the globe.
Some of these technologies have the potential to become essential for day to day life of common people. One of these is Smart Gadgets.
The online education market in India is said to be worth $1.96 billion by the year 2021. So do you have any idea how you can take advantage of this technological advancement of the education industry? If yes, then there is never been time to start an online education business then right now.
FMCG is a huge part of the retail industry and surprisingly there has been very little work done in the digitalization of the FMCG supply chain. The most recent innovation that’s happening in online retail is by JIO. But there is still a huge market segment that a small online business can cover.
The most important sector of the Indian economy is Agriculture and unfortunately, there has been very little work done in the digitalization of supply chain in this industry. You can brainstorm around how you can help farmers to make most of the online connectivity they are enjoying because of cheap internet.
Though because of the current pandemic situation Tourism industry has seen huge setbacks, but even in this blue, there is a silver lining. As a travel influencer, you can now try to help people with the safest travel experience. Because as they say ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.
Health and Wellness
The human race has become health conscious now more than ever. There was never a time human well being has become so paramount like it is now. If you are in the health care and wellness sector, you can help people achieve good health by creating information, consulting online, and make nutrition easily reachable.
Fashion and Beauty
The industry that has most benefitted from the internet revolution is fashion with no doubts. Thanks to the internet that fashion has reached the very end of society. And it still has so many opportunities underlying if you want to start a business online in this industry.
Management and distribution of finances have become very efficient with Saas and other digital innovations. Finance professionals can build a very profitable and sustainable online business with the right kind of resources.
Step 2. Do Market Research
Comprehensive research is a prerequisite, whether you are starting an online or physical business. Understand the demands of your market, and only based on those that offer products and services.
You need to understand the potential problems in the market in India and make genuine efforts to solve these with your online business ideas. Plus, doing research will help you identify the gap in the market which you can seize and get your business off the ground in the right manner.
To research your market audience, you must aware of the below demographics.
- Marital Status.
Step 3. Understand the Dynamics of Different Online Business Models
Once you know the ins and outs of your market, the next step is to understand your online business dynamics. These include the structure, which is the most critical aspect that needs to be focused on setting up the company.
Choose a structure following your present and future business goals. The next thing to pay great emphasis is the channels where you want to promote your online business; these can be social media or web platforms.
Understanding the target audience is imperative; it will give you a clear focus on who you are going to serve. You can model your products and services around your potential customers’ demographics.
The most popular types of online business models in India that you can use for your ideas include:
- Sponsorships and advertising
- Direct to Customer Selling
- Subscription of SaaS and physical products
- On-Demand Services
Step 4: Build an Online Platform and Launch
An online platform for your business is where your audience can reach you and engage with you. It is where all your transactions happen with your customers. This platform can be anything on the web like your YouTube Channel, Your social media profiles, your online community channels, forums, or a website.
Even if you have an online platform for your business ideas, it will serve no purpose if it is not getting the traffic needed to generate leads and make sales, this is where branding has a role to play.
If you are new to the term branding, then it’s worth hiring a proficient Internet marketing agency. They’ll provide a tailored action plan to help your brand build its unique identity in its target market and build on reputation to survive & thrive in today’s thickly competitive online business world of India.
Everything is going good till now, right? So, it’s time to build a platform like a business website, hire experts, and devote time & efforts; just like you would do in a physical business will do when building your showroom.
It is advisable to entrust only a credible web solution company with vast practical industry experience and core-level knowledge to build an impressive online presence.
Step 5: Marketing Your Online Business
Like a physical business, people will only come to your online business if you are visible in the right place. You’ll have to be where your potential customers are. And digital marketing is a means to accomplish that. Digital marketing has the following parts:
Search Engine Marketing
It is a combination of search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. With this SEM, you are empowered to draw the attention of your audience at the right time.
The strategies of SEM are easy and quick to implement, and the results are measurable. The traffic generated from search engine marketing not only boost the company’s revenue number but also creates brand awareness.
Social Media Marketing
It improves on inbound traffic to your business website and boosts your brand awareness with improved customer engagement. The social pay advertising model is cost-efficient, with the power of targeting your audience with high precision.
The best platforms for paid advertising include Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram. Twitter, etc.
If Digital Space is a kingdom, then Content wears the Crown. Content rules the digital space. And content creation for digital marketing is not just putting words together, it is a science.
All things that are discovered about human psychology are used in content marketing to reach, connect, and influence the digital audience.
To increase the visibility of your brand in the digital world and improve communication with your potential customers you need a strategic content marketing plan.
With influencer marketing, you can build immense credibility and trust among your target audiences. You are required to reach individuals or influencers having a dedicated social media following and expertise in the niche. For example, you can find food bloggers to spread word-of-mouth awareness for your catering business.
It is one of the most practical, results reaping and cost-efficient marketing activity to reach a wider audience and engage with them. With email marketing, you can reach out to a global audience, and it is easy to get started with it. Email marketing delivers personalized messages to the targeted audience with higher odds of conversation.
Viral marketing is used to get people talking about your online business. With viral marketing, you can reap benefits like rapid lead generation, fast growth, low advertising costs, and increased visibility.
It is a cost-effective way of marketing that works with just about any online business and helps in building a larger customer base in less effort.
Some of the well-known Viral campaigns in India are one of Amazon Prime’s responses to Rahul Bose’s tweet about being charged Rs.442.50 for two bananas at a luxury hotel.
This response had a wicked sense of humor that their target audience can relate to.
Step 6. Convert the traffic and Monetize
You are getting traffic to your website, but if they are not converting, then what’s the use? Therefore, you’ll have to put in all the efforts to monetize your website, including defining the call-out action buttons clearly.
If you are selling products online, ensure that the buying process is easy-peasy, right from the searching products on your website to the checkout button. Here, are some smart tactics to monetize your traffic:-
- Earning From Google Adsense
- Selling Ad Space on Website
- Donation Based Monetization
- Selling Your Own Products or Services
- Sponsored Content
- Selling Affiliate Products
- Data Collection and Mining
Step 7. Analyze, Optimize and Expand
There are many ideas but no linear process to start and run an online business in India or anywhere in the world. The process is cyclic. Once you successfully complete one phase of the business, you should analyze the growth you are seeing.
The analytics will provide you with valuable information to formulate a strategic market action plan to boost your efforts. It will assist with your decision-making process business and optimization of marketing efforts. Which ultimately lays the foundation for growth and progressive expansion.
And most importantly be patient; you can’t expect your online business to be a hit overnight. Give time and have realistic goals in mind. Monitor your progress and then optimize the process wherever necessary.
Here are 29 Trending Online Business Ideas in India to Start at Low Investment
For creatives, writers, or anyone with a distinct fascination for a specific field, starting a blog and monetizing can be one of the most beneficial online business ideas in India. The highest-earning blogger in India is Amit Agrawal, who earns approximately $60,000 a month from his blog labnol.org.
Through a blog, you can share your knowledge with your readers, and make a good amount of money with your efforts.
Building a monetary blog requires you to set up a website and create interesting content to keep your audience hooked up. You’ll need to choose a niche and develop your reader base. Blogging takes time, so be patient for months before you see any result.
You can learn in detail about Blogging in our series dedicated to blogging here:
Famous YouTube stars make an ample amount of cash in the form of advertising revenue. One viral video can prompt YouTubers turning into stars and piling on tremendous measures of revenue (YouTube average pay-outs of £1,750 per 1 million views}.
But starting on YouTube as a content creator isn’t an overnight success. First, you’ll have to settle on the sort of video content you’re going to deliver. The absolute most well-known specialties incorporating are well-being, way of life, fashion, and skill development.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is fundamentally the way toward winning a commission by promoting & selling another person’s item.
There are two fundamental ways people do affiliate marketing:
You can promote digital products such as books, online courses, and educational videos. The commission associated with digital products is on the higher side, typically around 50 to 60% of the selling price of the product. However, selling such products is slightly difficult.
One of the most popular Affiliate marketing programs to sell physical goods online is – Amazon Associates Program. Many affiliate advertisers are making big money with Amazon.
There is a vast array of products to browse and sell. These products are easy to sell if your affiliate site is getting a good amount of traffic. For more information, you should look into the Amazon Associates Program.
Dropshipping is an online business model that includes selling and delivering items while never having physical storage for any products. Rather than loading the items from other websites like Amazon, you have access to your store yourself.
You simply request items from the provider/merchant when a customer places an order on your online store and have them shipped directly.
The most prized advantage of dropshipping is you don’t need to buy and keep enormous amounts of stock as you will do in an ordinary retail business. However you may need to ensure your dropshipping providers have a quick conveyance time, are reliable, and can give needed customer support.
5. Selling on Marketplaces
If you make your own eCommerce website, you have complete control, enormous benefits, higher adaptability. However, it can turn out to be expensive for you as setting and advancing a specialty brand requires a high venture capacity.
But, on a Marketplace, you could sell your items online with limited control. However, you will be able to use the worldwide reach and administrations of a Marketplace with minimal investments and risks.
Customers regularly incline toward purchasing items from Marketplaces as a result of the wide assortment of items and the simplicity of the across the board shopping. Apart from this, selling items on online Marketplaces could offer you comparatively more benefits.
The vast fame of Marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, Walmart, and so forth for web-based shopping naturally gives you the availability to all its customers without spending much cash on promoting. It’s a good enough open door for entrepreneurs to gain great benefits with zero to minimal risks.
6. Becoming Influencer
The explosive growth of portals such as YouTube and the evolution of Instagram has given birth to lucrative and attractive careers like being a social media influencer.
Organizations make associations or run advertising campaigns through these “influencers” – people with immense followings on their media accounts. This is a showcasing strategy, a technique utilized in pretty much every industry.
Your smartest choice for progress is to discover your specialty and build your personal brand image. Pick something where you realize you can make content related to it.
There are a significant number of youngsters attempting to become influencers that it’s become a new career path, especially in the niche of fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, and fitness.
Set up to hustle: it’s a common myth that the life of an influencer is a simple one. But the truth is you have to be ready to accept fluctuating incomes and a great deal of hard work in the beginning.
Learn how to becoming an Influencer and Set-up and Influencer Marketing business in this Most Practical Guide on the internet.
7. Digital Marketing
If you wanted to build an advertising agency 25+ years back, the section’s hurdles were monstrous. Without experience, the overhead to make such an agency was overwhelming and unimaginable.
On top of the startup costs, you were restricted to physical and conventional media. Also being “in the red” for an incredibly long time was inescapable.
8. Bookkeeping Service
Bookkeeping is a tedious task that consumes a lot of time, and even the slightest mistake could prove to be costly. Thus, why small, medium-sized to big businesses hire professional bookkeepers to maintain a record of their financial transactions.
Starting a bookkeeping company online and getting a client easy. All you’ll have to do is illustrate your credibility so that a particular individual or company provides you their financial data. Having certification and community membership could support you accomplish that.
Functioning as a specialist freelancer is one of the most flexible employment you can have which is made increasingly available with the Internet. Specialists chip away at an authoritative premise or every hour or venture, most work from home and for the hours and times they pick. If you have the right stuff and the hardware, it’s a practically prompt approach to begin bringing in cash.
10. Paid Campaign Manager
The role of a paid campaign manager is to formulate, run, and monitor paid advertising campaigns on various platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin, or Google Adwords to market products and services.
With more and more businesses running online or establishing their online presence, paid campaign managers won’t have a hard time to land into a good opportunity that not only ensures they make a good amount of money, but also hone their skills.
You can quickly set up a virtual company that offers paid advertising campaign services with next to zero initial investment.
11. Online Teaching/Tutoring
Online tutoring is a rewarding business idea in India. This industry is proliferating with the advancements of technologies and across the population use of the Internet. Graduated and undergrads are OK with online tutoring websites for their personalized learning requirements.
The life of an online tutor is loaded with fun and prizes, both mentally and financially. They get the chance to work with undergrads from different social foundations and geographic regions. Through one-on-one meetings, you can help undergrads to achieve their highest potential.
12. Business Consultant
As a business consultant, you will help clients with a master’s persuasion in territories, for example, the executives, bookkeeping, law, HR, and showcasing. Your fundamental undertakings will be to plan, execute, and rectify issues of your clients to help develop their business.
Functioning as a business consultant requires expertise in a wide range of abilities. You’ll require industry involvement with counseling a broad business foundation.
13. Online Transcription
Whether you want to pocket some extra cash or have a career, an online transcription business can be a great idea. Being such a competitive industry, the earning potential is quite high. To set up an online transcription business, you must have the proper certification to suggest you as an apt candidate to transcript documents.
If you have the skills, you can either find good jobs online on freelance portals like Upwork or have a dedicated business website and promote your transcription services to a broader audience base.
14. Web Development
Having a website has become essential for practically all active businesses. However, the vast majority, despite everything, come up short on the abilities they have to create a website themselves. As a web engineer, you’re offering an absolutely necessary service to most organizations, and you’ll never have a lack of customers.
In any case, service in such appeal implies there are vast amounts of web designers out there. An ideal approach to bring in cash as a web engineer is to pick a specialty—either center around a particular industry or a specific kind of website plan: eCommerce, for instance.
15. Fitness Instructor
The wellbeing and fitness industry has overwhelmed the online world. It has gained an enormous awareness in mainstream society, especially among youngsters.
The quantity of Instagram and YouTube fitness influencers has expanded exponentially over a recent couple of years, with people posting exercise clasps and recordings, plans, and way of life content.
With expanded attention to following a solid eating routine, combined with the ascent of veganism, there’s currently a broad market for selling diet plans. It is one of the best ideas because there is almost zero initial cost to start an online business as a fitness instructor in India.
16. Mobile App Development
Mobile apps are getting increasingly more famous continuously. On the off chance that you have a thought for a fresh, valuable, and fun app for a smartphone or a tablet, this might be the best approach.
It assists with making them code information, yet it is anything but a flat out need. There are a lot of programming engineers hoping to work together with individuals on app creation.
A digital broadcast can be an extraordinary income generator.
As your podcast gains an audience, you can offer paid sponsorships and sell your products and services through affiliations. Through the Podcasts, you’ll gain the trust of your audience, which makes them considerably more prone to buy what you are suggesting.
18. Ghost Writing
Ghostwriting is one of the best ways to make money online with your god-gifted talent of playing with words. In India, ideas like freelance online business is monetarily rewarding with immense potential to live a satisfying life.
This kind of writing involves curating blogs, articles, and promotional content for business & individuals, without getting the credits for your content. Thus why it is termed as ghostwriting. You can easily find great opportunities for ghostwriting on top freelance platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer.
19. Pick and Drop Services
With fewer individuals purchasing vehicles (fundamentally because of the expense and bother), the requirement for drivers who can drive people to and from that point; goals have developed. This has been combined with the blast of taxi and ride apps, including Uber and Ola, which means the demand for escorts/drivers has never been this high.
To begin your escort/driver service, you’ll need at any rate one capable vehicle and an accomplished driver. You can enlist as a temporary worker for an organization, for example, Uber (working for yourself, with Uber taking a cut) or register as a nearby taxi firm (you’ll need a taxi permit).
20. Buy and Flip Websites/Expired Website
Numerous individuals buy and sell domain names to procure cash online since it requires some investment or speculation. You can buy a domain at its enrollment cost or even a lot less expensive and resell it for a benefit.
It generally pays to get your work done first on websites like Afternic.com, space lord.uk, Sedo.co.uk, or other domain sell off websites to get an idea of what’s famous as far as space names.
An ideal method to discover great domain names is to look at records that offer many expired names and have advanced go into the pool for individuals to buy. A useful site for this is expireddomains.net, where you can place in the ideal catchphrase that you need in your domain name, and a list of domain choices will appear.
21. Resume/Cover Letter Writing
Individuals will consistently be searching for jobs, both permanent and temporary and they’ll require help with their resumes and cover letters.
That is where you can come in and assist them with making a professional resume to help them get hired. However, you’ll require some sort of practical experience in the HR sector to help your clients in better ways.
22. Online Tech Support
With online tech support, you mainly offer your abilities as a tech-junkie. You can work with larger organizations or even one-on-one customers.
Tech support employment can be easily found on Upwork or you can even set up your online tech support firm.
23. Virtual Assistant
Businesses and experts can frequently utilize an associate’s assistance to oversee works like emails and social media profile management. And you can offer your services to those customers online as a remote assistant.
24. Sell Coupons and Deal Online
A daily deals site, as the name proposes, is where buyers can discover coupons and deals, for a particular niche.
You’ll need to source heaps of brands and vendors to work with to make the site fruitful, which can be very tedious. In some cases, sellers are available to offer high profits in return for the promotion opportunities, as the offers are just accessible for a limited period of time.
A deals site means that you’re only a mediator, which means you don’t need to deal with the products themselves or provide any services.
To start this online business, you’ll have to buy a domain and build a website, making it a financially savvy startup. You’ll bring in cash mainly as a commission for promoting deals and offers on products and services.
25. Write and Sell E-books
It’s OK to let it out: you might have thought about writing your own book sometime in the not so distant future. While seeing your name on a list of bestsellers may appear to be a fantasy, but it’s not that out of reach.
It doesn’t make a difference if it’s a sci-fi novel, a how-to-guide, or a kids’ image book. There are currently a lot of ways to independently publishing your work successfully. There are numerous platforms such as Amazon Kindle where you can self-publish and sell your ebooks.
But, if you really want your ebook to be a mega success, then you need to have strong domain knowledge. For instance, if you are writing a book on Facebook advertising, then make sure you have extensive knowledge in the vertical of Facebook marketing.
26. Branding Consultant
Branding consultants help organizations of different industries to establish their brand identity among their target audiences. They do this by breaking down the brand strategy and perceive how it performs against competitors.
Also, know as called brand specialists, these professionals can change little organizations into a force to be reckoned with through market investigation, content marketing, website review, and video marketing.
27. Online Tax Consultant
A tax consultant is referred to as a tax bookkeeper who does the job of filling annual taxes and taking care of expenses. This can include extricating and examining data from their money related reports, similar to, pay, business, and home loan, venture articulations, and so forth.
A tax consultant is not always required to travel to meet with customers and clients. Tax counsels can either work autonomously, for the administration or a firm. Their compensations additionally rely upon instructive capabilities.
Tax consultants utilize their finance skills to enable their customers to settle on instructed expense choices concerning tax-related issues.
Tax experts prepare tax returns, lead legitimate examinations on tax issues, help with home arranging, and guarantee that customers meet tax commitments, which regularly implies they appreciate stable, in-demand vocations.
28. Online Travel Consultant
Being a travel specialist can be an exciting and rewarding profession. If you are somebody who wants to travel, or just somebody searching for an energizing vocation opportunity telecommuting, turning into a work-from-home travel consultant could be the correct decision for you.
And, the best part, it is not a specialized job, so with little research, you can become an online travel consultant.
29. Personal Shopping Consultant
For some, shopping is something other than a need – it’s enthusiasm. While shopping relentlessly isn’t many people’s primary concerns, it’s conceivable to do cash shopping by turning into a personal shopping consultant.
He/she helps their clients who don’t have the opportunity, intrigue, or capacity to search and shop for themselves. You can find clients as a shopping consultant on Instagram and other social media if you approach people in the right way
So, how’s the josh? All set to put your online business ideas to work in India? But it is not a walk in the park, you’re required to put in efforts and devote time to accomplish big things.