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20 profit-making small businesses you can start

20 profit-making small businesses you can start 

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.

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. 


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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