Indian small towns are struggling with job opportunities. There is a high influx towards big cities for jobs in multinational companies or better business opportunities. But with urban landscapes failing to provide relief in terms of living standards, a lot of young working people are considering going back to the good old small town. But how do you deal with the lack of job opportunities? You create them.
Though India features among the top three start up hubs of the world, Indian small towns are still reluctant towards new avenues in business. Unlike big urban settlements, small towns react to start-ups in a very different way. Each city has a certain character to it and hence different requirements.
Here are 10 low-investment business ideas that will help you grow in a small town:
Food trucks are not an entirely alien concept to small towns. Reminiscent of old-world 'thellas', food trucks are mobile eating joints that can offer unique cuisines at a fairly reasonable price. The mobility of a food truck allows it to place itself at different locations at an ideal time. For instance, a food truck can park outside a school in the afternoon and later in the evening, outside an office.
Food trucks are a perfect small budget business as you need not to invest in real-estate.
Ice Cream Parlours
Ice cream never goes out of demand. A tiny little ice-cream parlour is an ideal low-investment venture. They need minimal space, basic equipment and low-staffing, making it a perfect small investment option. Owners can chose specific themes and types of ice-creams that are not easily available in the city. Ice-cream parlours work great around cinema-theaters or a popular food joints.
Pre schools can be opened in small domestic spaces with a onetime investment on safety and educative material. A good pre-school which is innovative in its ways of teaching will surely attract working parents. One strong disclaimer though, owning a pre-school is a huge responsibility and required undivided attention on the children.
Laundry services require a relatively higher onetime investment but the costs can be recovered quickly. Initially, you can lure customers with cheaper yet quality services. A pick and drop service will be essential to spread the reach of your customer base. To attract the eye of customers you might want to offer complementary services like a small cafe or reading room for people who'd like to wait while the washing happens.
Combination of bookshops and cafes has been a big hit in a few metro cities but most Indian small towns are yet to experiment with this idea. With a growing culture of dating, these bookshop-cafes can prove to be an ideal meeting point to meet a person for the first time.
House cleaning services
Applications like UrbanClap and Haptik have opened a whole new dimension of how we work around cooking and cleaning services. But these services are severely limited to big cities and even restricted to only certain parts of the metro cities. Opening a new cleaning services via a website or a telephone service shouldn't demand for huge sums of investment.
Though this option is highly dependent on the location of the small town, most Indian towns have enough character to attract tourists, especially old cities. Venturing out for detailed city-tours, heritage walks etc. can be prove to be a profitable low investment, but involves high stakes in terms of time and knowledge. Opening themed stay options is another good way to cash-in the tourist influx.
Social network is as big in small cities as in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai and fitness is one of the trends that have percolated to small towns. Though fitness centers will demand a one-time heavy investment and pretty low maintenance charges.
Big or small, no town can survive without this commodity. The internet has made it big in all towns in our country with smartphones granting reach to the narrowest of avenues. Despite service providers like Airtel, Vodafone and now Jio, there is a serious dearth of good internet service providers for home appliances and PCs. This can be turned into a serious business opportunity. Though this particular business might involve a slightly higher investment, the returns are assured, given the service is good.
Where this might seem too unglamorous for many, it is definitely a need of the hour. Most cities are plagued with bad trash management. Segregation at the base level is crucial to better waste management and surprisingly it also provides a good margin. People interested in such a venture can even collaborate with local authorities to maximise profit and minimise effort.