Build your Own Side Business in India – Ideas that Will Help You Succeed

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Build your Own Side Business in India – Ideas that Will Help You Succeed
First, we need to look at what we mean when we call an enterprise a “side business”. If you are an entrepreneur who is looking to do something beyond your existing business, a side business is what you have in mind, or you could also be an office-worker who wants to set up something new - outside of regular work hours - to supplement your income.

Now, what could be the reasons that may have you looking at the idea of setting up a side business?
  • What you earn from your side business can be channelized to support your established trade, make extra money to invest in what you already do or build your savings.
  • It also opens up a fresh avenue of learning and skill development. Knowledge gathered from your existing businesses can help you set up your new side business. What you learn through the process of setting up a new business can help consolidate your existing set-up further.
  • If you have a passion to follow, your side business could help you fulfill that. While your main enterprise may or may not cater to your interests and hobbies, a side business can be designed specifically to address that area. E.g. If your main enterprise manufactures air-filters, your side business can look into the procurement and sale of paragliding gear, if that is your passion.
  • A side business will also help develop more contacts and provide you with the benefits of networking. The new contacts from your side business can come in handy for building your main enterprise and vice versa.
  • It is a fallback plan if anything ever goes wrong with your main business. Having a back-up in case of any emergency is always a smart move going forward
However, before starting a side business, there are various things to keep in mind. In the current Covid-19 scenario, how we conduct business has changed drastically. With restrictions on public gatherings and frequent lockdowns, some manufacturing sectors and the service industry, which are dependent on direct interfacing have reported setbacks. On the other hand, a whole set of businesses, which were previously not digitized, have now moved online. In fact, a report titled ‘E-commerce Trends Report 2020’ highlighted that e-commerce saw a growth of 17% during this pandemic. Thus, when setting up any new business - the idea is to develop a resilient business model that can face up to these challenging times.

Once you are sure about opening up a side-business, it is important to move on to product selection. Every successful business model is driven by the product performance of what it sells. The focus, therefore, is to choose the right product to sell. Ideally, it should be something that you have some knowledge of and are passionate about. This will help you to maximize the benefits from your new enterprise as well as absorb any initial setbacks that can come your way.

Before we get into some business ideas that you can use to kick off your side business, let us first look at how setting up a side business can impact your existing business.

Advantages of a side-business:

selling online representation of online store
  • You will be generating a secondary source of income. Once this revenue stream is established, over a period, there is more money in your pocket.
  • If you have a business set-up, chances are you already have some idea of how the taxation system works on different products and GST regulations for e.g. GST rates vary across items. Prior knowledge of the financial component of business running can give you a head start over new start-ups.
  • You may already have the seed money from your first business to invest in your side business. This means you do not have to hunt for an investor.
  • With a secondary source of income, you are more in control without your first enterprise being your sole source of financial gain.
  • You will be adding something new to your resume and diversifying your experience as well.
  • Most importantly, if you choose to sell a product aligned with your interests that is a guaranteed source of happiness.
With all the positives in mind, do note however, that you may end up borrowing money from your main business, thus burdening it with new expenses if you have not planned your side-business ventures properly. Additionally, time and energy will run at a premium when you have to commit to two different businesses alongside each other. With these factors in mind, proper planning can help to mitigate and overcome these issues before you get started

So now that you are well aware of what you can gain, why don’t we look at the Nine Best Business Ideas you can consider for your side business?
  • Developing Product Descriptions and Blogs – Sitting from the comfort of your home, use your writing skills to promote the products that need visibility. You can create product descriptions and blogs. These can serve a marketing tool for any brand or product that is looking for promotional coverage. You earn the extra buck with near to zero investment. All you need is the time to compose product descriptions/blogs to attract online traffic to impact the conversion rates of selling sites.
  • Selling and Reselling on Amazon – If you have a product to sell, register on online marketplaces, which are attracting sellers from all across the world. Becoming an online seller on marketplaces such as Amazon is easy and guidelines are available on how to get started.
  • Graphic Designing for Local Startups, Small and Midsize Business (SMB) and Photographers – The challenges of e-business are manifold, but if you are a graphic designer, you primarily invest your own time and talent. Build a client base out of local startups, SMBs and work with photographers to build your side business.
  • Website Designing and Development – With more and more businesses migrating to online platforms, there is a growing demand for websites to cater to customers. Online business challenges like accurate product descriptions and ease of purchase and returns are handled easily by websites that are user-friendly. If you are trained in website designing and development, diversify from your main business. According to the aforementioned ‘E-commerce Trends Report 2020’ report, there has been a growth of 65% in brands developing their own websites, over the last one year. Hence, tapping into this space can help you make your money as well.
  • Social Media Marketing for Brands – For brand promotion, social media marketing is an important component of the selling strategy. From texts to images, videos to infographics – used cleverly, social media can be an effective marketing tool. The role of a social media manager of any brand is vital in ensuring its visibility across various social media platforms. To read up more on this, refer to this page.
  • Filing Taxes for Business Groups – If you are from a business background and have the experience of running your own business, this is the right time to put that skill to use. Your knowledge of finance can be leveraged to help new businesses in filing their taxes, planning their future finances etc. Thus, you can build a side-business out of helping other businesses.
  • Develop SEO for Landing Pages of Companies – The entry page for any website is called its landing page. The website content for any landing page is always designed for its guided discovery and serves as an introduction for anyone visiting the website. You can develop search engine optimized (SEO) website content for companies to increase their visibility and engagement. Keyword research is an important part of the job here. Once the reader clicks on the keywords in SEO articles you develop, these keywords guide visitors to the landing page of websites.
  • sell on amazon representation of products sold online
  • Product Photography for E-commerce – If your passion is photography, here is how you can monetize your passion. Work with e-commerce marketplaces to photograph the products sellers offer for sale on such marketplaces – once again, utilizing your existing skill-sets and free time. For example, you can collaborate with Amazon India and provide your photography services to new and existing sellers on such marketplaces. Product photos play a crucial role since they entice customers to buy the product. Thus, by providing your photography services, you can gain some extra income whilst helping online sellers to grow their business.
  • Patent a Creative Idea – Do you have an innovative idea that you think you can sell? A patent is a form of intellectual property right, more information about which can be found here. Patent your creative idea when you know you can convert it into an innovation that will sell well. It could be anything – from a kitchen utensil to a microchip. If you come up with something creative, own it until you can sell it.
With just a few of these ideas, starting a side business and earning that extra bit of money should be easy. Use your time and skills to work creatively, whether it is at home or in the office. And eventually your side business will flourish thanks to your passion, skills and go getter attitude.
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