11 Best Online Business to Start in India 2018 [with your savings]
If you are here reading this blog post I know you want to make money online.
If you are trying to find out the best online business in India.
I am not here to tell you about the time-consuming online survey, data entry online businesses. [which are not sustainable and also will not give you the money in the long term]
These kinds of businesses can be started online without investment in India and might give you quick cash but not enough to bring the real freedom of time, money and location independence.
Actually, the kind of manpower and efforts involved are huge. In other words, your income from these sources is directly proportional to the number of hours you put on a daily basis.
Simply, what that means is they are not scalable…
What I will cover in this blog post. [Online Business Opportunities in India with low Investment]
You will see The Best Online Business in India that give you…
- Month-on-Month consistent income
- Make money while you sleep/travel
- Give you actual freedom from time/location/money
- Give you money, not for living but more than your lifestyle needs
- Are Scalable with your little efforts once you build the system
- Which are automated and can be run with minimum efforts
- Able to replicate easily to earn more money online
- You will not depend on one income source/traffic/platform.
- Comfort of starting an Online business in India at Home
- A great way to starting a Marketing Business with no experience
To happen all the above things...
You should be ready to put in the effort and time to make money on the Internet for the first 6 months to one year.
The thought, planning, effort and energy you gotta put into this is serious!
However, once you figure out the way you will be rocking online and enjoy the real freedom of time, money and location.
The Top 11 Internet Business to start in India 
- E-commerce Website [Sell Your Products]
- Dropshipping Business in India
- Amazon Affiliate Niche Website
- Start Blogging
- Selling Digital Marketing Skills
- Start a Digital Marketing Agency
- Affiliate Marketing [CPA model]
- Self-Publishing an E-book
- Selling Online Courses [sell online courses from your own website]
- Consultancy Business
- Start a YouTube Channel [Video Marketing]
Why these are the most profitable online business ideas in India 2018.
Starting is easy and the investment you need to put in this businesses are very low and you only need to focus on few things to be successful online.
Key Things to do
Finding great products & ability to sell
Rs.5 Lakhs to Rs.10 Lakhs
Dropshipping in India
Striking a great deal with suppliers & rotating cash
Amazon Affiliate Niche Website
Write content related to Amazon products
Rs.50K to 1 Lakh
Affiliate Marketing [CPA]
For every 1$ spent, get at least 3$. Experience with Facebook and other paid channels.
Starting Rs.5 Lakhs for testing and invest money if you can get returns [Cash Intensive]
Selling Digital Marketing Skills/Freelance
Finding clients who pay and give projects [long term]
Selling Online Courses
Training students on complex topics using simple concepts
Starting an Agency
Find Clients who pay premium price
Office & manpower expenses [Rs.5 lakhs]
Persistence & treating blogging as business
Minimum [Rs.20000 to 1 Lakh]
Leveraging skills. Finding Premium clients
Self-publishing an Ebook
Storytelling & write from own experience
Laptop & Internet
Finding topic that will get viewership in tier 1 & tier 2 countries
Video equipment & Editing [Rs.20,000 to 2 Lakhs]
All costs mentioned in the table are average costs and if you feel you need to know more details contact me at [email protected] [for the purpose of this post I kept it short]
Best Online Business to start in India in 2018 [with Low Investment]
#1 E-commerce Website [Sell Products Online]
Let me start with e-commerce website online business and walk you through other online businesses that can be started from home with minimum investment to no investment.
You know the big names and unicorns such as Amazon and Flipkart. They are the mighty two largest e-commerce platforms in India.
Amazon has more than 2 crore products on its platform available for sale.
We are not going to discuss on how to start one more Amazon or Flipkart.
Here in this post...
If you are looking to start a small e-commerce website all alone with the main purpose of earning a side income. [great! Keep reading]
Key elements to be successful when you want to start an e-commerce online business.
- A product to sell [finding great products, not available easily on Amazon and Flipkart]
- Suppliers to sell the product [find a supplier who gives you products at a very low cost that you can make money even though when you try to compete on price with Amazon]
- An e-commerce platform [beautiful and simple to use]
- Marketing your business [how you will get noticed and why a customer will buy from you?]
- Customer handling & support [after sales support]
- Buy inventory well in advance [for best price]
- Shipping and logistics handling [delivery of the product in quick time]
How to Start E-commerce Business in India?
You can start an E-Commerce website and setup on your own from scratch, with WordPress and Woo-commerce. It hardly takes 4 hours to set it up and add all the products, you can also set up order and shipping management details. [It’s OK to take some time, learn on your own, explore the platform and set it up yourself]
If Tech is not your piece of cake:
You can hire a freelancer to build an e-commerce website he/she may charge you around $400 to $600 depending upon the complexity, design and look of your website.
If you are like me… [Want to save money]
Give it a thought and use the same money for marketing the product take the hard path of learning on your own. [Helps you in the long run]
WordPress WooCommerce is easy to learn, highly customizable, and it’s free!
Finally, integrate a payment gateway such as PayUMoney [no initial setup fee] and an SSL certificate that comes with your hosting.
What you need to do [incorporate a business, buy packaging material, tie up with a (product delivery) logistics company, handle customer support]
For whom it is best?
For people who can invest full-time, has the capital backup, tech-savvy and for the people who can learn things on own and ready to do all activities and manage operations alone.
#2 Dropshipping in India [Selling Physical Products Online]
You thought of starting up an e-commerce website. You have sorted out the time, efforts, costs involved and the scope of the work to do.
However, if you are not ready to put those extra hours on packaging orders, handling returns, preparing invoice printouts etc.
Or if you have other things to do and handling all the operations and doing things alone or hiring people to manage all the above packing seems quite not possible because of your family or job commitments.
No Worries. You have an option…
You can start a Drop Shipping Online Business where you will not handle delivery, and also you no need to invest heavily in buying inventory…
So, What should you be good at?
You have to strike a deal with local wholesale shops or suppliers [from anywhere in the world] maintain a good online presence and provide excellent support to customers.
What is Dropshipping? Do I get good margins? What about returns etc…
As a drop shipper you’re the middleman between the supplier and the buyer, so you need to take care of only:
- Find a supplier to dropship the products [find a supplier who gives you products at a very low cost that you can make money even though when you try to compete on price with Amazon]
- Build an e-commerce platform [beautiful and simple to use]
- Marketing your business [how you will get noticed and why they need to buy from you?]
- Customer handling & support [take care of after sales support]
- Maintain a positive Cashflow [credit period from suppliers and cash you get from a customer is the key]
A dropshipping idea in simple words is you will have to make a tie-up with suppliers who have products, can ship the products on their own and take care of all packagings, invoice and handle returns as well.
You simply get orders online and tell these guys [suppliers] to ship the products to customer billing address. [You will mark up the prices on the website and earn profit]
Note: Take care of Shipping time [not more than 1 week time] and cash payments to dealers: maintain a positive cash flow by negotiating credit period with suppliers and take money as early as possible from customers while ordering online or cash on delivery.
You can mention clearly on your product page about the shipping time if it is a long time. This is how people know what they can expect before buying.
How to find products to sell through Dropshipping?
Go to Amazon and make a list of items that are selling well, do same with eBay and Flipkart.
Find someone who has a wholesale business and try to get info on best selling products and why they are selling.
Go to Aliexpress and order same items that selling well on above-mentioned platforms or find similar products locally, test yourself and see what is working for you and pick the ones performing well and scale.
You can pick general items such as flashing lights, mobile chargers etc to start and know-how of the dropshipping business.
Some key elements to Dropshipping Online Business in India Success...
You can focus on selling items that can not be available locally. And also on online shopping sites very easily.
Finding products to sell (demand) is the key along with striking a good deal with dealers.
If possible you can list on Amazon or Flipkart as a seller and sell online if you have got a good deal [price] from suppliers…
Few Niches that are gold mines are…
- Authentic articles that are rare to find online
- Personalized Gifts
- Handcrafted Items
- Goods that are not easily available online over Amazon/Flipkart etc…
With all that, if you can dominate Google and Social Media you will be successful.
What extra efforts you need to put to be successful…
As discussed above focus on.
Getting best deals for your customers
Provide excellent customer support
Excel in online marketing to reach the right audience
Find products which are quality as well as provides value for money for customers
Quick ways to make money online
#3 Amazon Affiliate Niche Website
If you can not find great products.
If you can not find suppliers with great products
If you do not want to provide customer support
If you do not want to spend money on paid marketing
If this is your situation...
Can you at least find great products from Amazon and write powerful articles that rank on Google?
Can you write great articles and product reviews?
If this is what you can do start an Amazon Affiliate Niche website.
What is an Amazon Affiliate Niche Website?
Few of the examples you can get inspiration from people who make millions of money using Amazon Niche websites.
The flip side is you do not know what works best…
If you do not have the product experience to write articles…
A good way to start is to pick a category of products on Amazon website that you have used in your life and have personal experiences with the products.
Write about your experience and share your views and write reviews both positive and negative. This way you can make money at least Rs.10k from one website.
Start 2 to 4 other niche Amazon websites once you get the knack of writing, setting up a blog/website on WordPress and promoting the websites online.
From all the 4 websites aim for 50k to 1 lakh [a serious side income] or aim for making money for living. As you grow over the years you will enhance internet skills and find some other sources or multiple income sources.
What if you are afraid of writing. But have the skill set to find on-demand products that sell.
In this case:
You invest money and find good freelancers who write articles for you… [Typically, an experienced freelancer with quality work will charge around Rs.3000 to Rs.5000 per article]
All You need is 10-20 good articles to generate income on autopilot…
There are crores of products on Amazon and more than 40 main categories and few more hundreds of subcategories to look for your niche that you can dominate online and get some easy bucks…
How to Start an Amazon Affiliate Niche Website [what all you need]?
- A website or a blog
- Great content [review products and information about products]
- Sign Up for Amazon affiliate [Hardly takes 2 minutes]
- Find great products on Amazon to promote
- Rank on Google for your chosen products [occasionally do paid ads] or implement email marketing
How to win as an Amazon affiliate?
- Write how-to posts, informational blog posts and Step by Step Guides along with honest reviews
- Clear and powerful product descriptions and images that sell
- Know your audience and focus on narrowing your niche
- Invest in a great design and website branding.
- Write content by using the recommended products on your own and engage users with fresh and update content regularly.
How can you choose or narrow down a General Niche?
For example, if you choose Fitness as your Niche topic.
Try to narrow down and segment the general Fitness Niche as below.
Here is what
I believe a Fitness Niche can be further narrowed down to 4 sub-niches.
1) Users with Age group 18-24 who want to take fitness route to build muscle and impress their peers.
2) Users with Age group 24-30 people who are about to get married taking fitness route [want to stay fit if they have issues with belly and overweight]
3) After marriage and Pregnancy [social esteem] want to look fit and healthy [self-care and social movers segment]
4) Users with Age 40+ as per the doctor and well-wishers advice they want to focus on fitness [walking and light workouts]
In this case, you can take a focused sub-niche for example:
User group aged 24 to 30 (Female) who gave birth to first child and want to be fit and look good again [being fit, self-care, social, healthy]
So far we have seen three online businesses which are similar to each other but the business models and the way they need to be operated are different…
E-commerce Vs DropShipping Vs Amazon Niche Site
Here is a quick table showing the differences
Online Business Type
By products well in advance, build a platform to sell products + Customer support
Rs.3 Lakhs inventory plus Rs.2 Lakhs for operations
You can buy products when anyone place order online, rotate cash to run business + Platform to sell products
Rs.2 Lakhs for cash rotation and Rs.50k for setting up e-commerce platform. Your time as an investment to drive traffic to the website
Amazon Niche site
Find great products on Amazon, Send Traffic and that's it...
Rs.20,000 to 1 Lakh
Invest time to drive traffic using SEO
All these businesses are easy to start/no entry barriers also can be started with minimum investment but getting returns requires a lot of skills, determination and will power to go extra mile…
So, starting should not be your worry you should only focus on scaling and learning things to make your business successful.
#4 Blogging as Business
Blogging is my favorite [requires minimum investment and over a period of time gives you multiple options to monetize the blog] online business which can be started with a minimum investment in 20 minutes.
You can start blogging with as low as $100 if you want to start a blog and treat it as a business you have to invest anything around Rs.1 lakh to 2 lakhs in one year.
Here is a complete blog post on why blogging is a profitable online business.
If you are planning to start blogging all you require is following Tools
An overview of the tools and costs shown in the below image.
I have written a long and a detailed blog post on why blogging is a profitable business idea and also how much does a blog cost and why you have to treat blogging as a business.
There are multiple revenue options for a blogger. However, you only work on two major things.
- Promoting others products
- Selling Your own products.
If you can write blog posts on useful topics that interests and solves your reader problems you will soon establish a strong relationship with your reader base. Over a period of time, you can recommend your own products or others products to make money online.
Abby a Do It Yourself Blogger who earns $40,000 per month from blogging is a great example and an inspiration for people who are technically challenged.
She helps people in the areas of organization, productivity, and blogging, she also has created eBooks and courses from her own experiences.
Abay’s House Organizing tips and productivity hacks are popular on the internet.
If money-making is not your main goal...
You can share your thoughts online without any expectations and blogging is the best platform and in future, you may give a thought of making money with blogging if you have got loyal readers who like your content.
Best Online Business to Start with No Money
#5 Selling Digital Marketing Skills
Following are the hot and on-demand internet skills with which you can earn money online without any investment working from home.
Only thing is you should have experience with these skills to earn money online.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Content Writing
- SMM (Social Media Marketing)
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing aka Google Adwords)
- Keyword research & Content development
- Social Media Accounts Management
- Facebook Marketing
- Graphic Design
- Video Editing
You can trade these skills for money as a freelancer.
If you do not have any of these skills try to learn by working with a digital marketing agency or with an Internet Marketer as an Intern [India is going to spend more than $2 billion on digital marketing and ad spends in 2018-2019 according to eMarketer report]
You can learn these skills by blogging which I explained in one of my other post [How you can sustain your online business by self-funding]
You have to invest in few online courses and start learning [find industry influencers and buy any of their courses online]
Managing social media accounts for a School or a local restaurant or saloon will also give you side income opportunities.
You can find opportunities and the demand for the digital skills over micro jobs and major job portals such as Internshala, Upwork, Fiverr and on Naukri portal.
To whom you can sell Digital Marketing Skills?
- Small business owners
- Individuals who run an online business
Where can you find these guys?
Discussion forums & Facebook groups
Local business and startup networking sessions
Micro job freelance sites
For whom this is a great business idea.
For people who want to run a business on your terms from home by being self-employable.
If talking to people, spending your time answering client questions with quick skype calls and if you are a person of good work ethics who maintains a good relationship with clients.
You can always find at least 4 clients who pay $500 per month and love what you do at your own pace rather than having any headaches of setting up a business, overseeing operations etc.
#6 Start a Digital Marketing Agency
According to the Dentsu Aegis Network report. The Indian digital ad industry is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 32% to Rs 18,986 crore by 2020.
With $2 billion to spend in coming years online.
Companies are looking for small teams and dedicated agencies who can perform and deliver end to end business solution [value for money]
So you have space to earn money online or a piece of pie (market share)
How to start Digital Marketing Agency
If you are an expert in any of the skills mentioned in the above image and want to leverage your skills and earn more money by providing end to end solutions to clients.
All you need is to find a great team who have complementary skills and good work ethics.
If you can manage both team and clients and get things done you are good to set up an agency business model and once the process is set scaling your agency business will be easy.
Here is an Award Winning Social Media Agency (echoVME) in India headed by Sorav Jain providing integrated marketing solutions for clients.
You can start a Digital Marketing Agency by incorporating your business as a solo proprietor or start collaborating with one of core team member who has complementary skills by registering as a partnership company. [With Rs.5000 you can register a partnership company and this will be a good idea to continue as a partnership firm for at least first 2 years and when you are ready to scale up the operations you can go for a Private Limited Company (costs you approx Rs.25000)]
#7 Affiliate Marketing [CPA - Cost Per Action]
I want to discuss CPA route other than Amazon affiliate Niche website route in this section…
CPA route which is the cost per action [invest 1$ if you can get a return of $3] [ facebook at the forefront to drive sales]
I never tried this online business but have experience of running Facebook ad campaigns and Email Marketing campaigns.
But, I can share you a life-changing resource that you will thank me later after reading all the stuff he provides to the people like me and you for FREE.
Here you go... [Remember the name Charles Ngo] (https://charlesngo.com/blog/)
Charles Ngo is one person who mastered the CPA affiliate marketing and you can find great inspiration from his blog. [I recommend you to read about his personal experiences and struggles with affiliate marketing]
In 2008, he lost $5,000 running affiliate marketing campaigns. Later in the same year, he made over 75k USD in profit.
Charles Ngo in his blog shares all the secrets and strategies to become a successful affiliate marketer. He also writes in great detail about how to run ad campaigns and be successful with affiliate marketing using Facebook Ads.
You can also read more about angles, copywriting and how to test ads on his blog.
#8 Writing an Ebook [Self-Publishing on Amazon Kindle]
Do you have any skills or interests that are endorsed by your peers?
Are you a Subject expert in any field?
Can you write career advancement related content?
Are you a creative person who can take people to a totally different fantasy world or have some life lessons that you can share in the form of stories [comedy/humor/drama]?
Do you have any business experience and zeal to help startups and entrepreneurs with your writings?
Can you help people with money-saving hacks?
If you say yes to any of the above-mentioned questions...
You are good to write an ebook and self-publish on Amazon Kindle or on other online publications.
How to publish on Amazon and on Amazon Kindle?
Refer to this link and find yourself how easy it is to self-publish on Amazon Kindle.
There are step-by-step guides and how-to videos and resources on any help provided in the link given above. [All this information is given exclusively by team Amazon]
What all you need to be successful…
Find any topic or your passion to write that sells.
It doesn’t matter
If you have average English writing skills when you can convey your thoughts to people in simple words.
Moreover, writing is one-time investment…Treat an ebook like a combination of your 6 blog posts. Take a topic and solve one problem of your readers as deep as you can. Use online tools to proofread, design a cover page, write a catchy title and you are done.
If you need any help. You can hire someone to help with proofread, design and copywriting.
Once you have a copy of the proofread ebook you no need to worry about the following in today's internet world.
No publications expenses
No marketing required
No printing costs
Sell on Amazon.
Sell on your blog or on your own website [if you have one]
If you want to extract more money from your writings...
Give away free copies to influencers and get recommendations and testimonials to showcase and for promotion purpose…
Selecting right category on Amazon, Book Title and pricing your copy is what you have to invest time on after writing the book.
#9 Creating Online courses [Informational Products]
If You are an expert, have domain knowledge and comfortable teaching students online with a passion and if you can explain the complex concepts in an easy way to a beginner.
You have a great chance to excel in selling Informational products. [Make Money with Online Courses]
If you see yourself as an expert in any technical field or have an advanced knowledge in on-demand training courses such as IoT [Internet of Things], Digital Marketing.
If you can teach someone in the personality development space?
Can you help bloggers or internet users to make money online with your teaching skills and expert knowledge?
I have explained why Online training business [Selling your skills/expertise online via video classes] is the #1 money making business in 2018.
You can read why Online Training Business [sell online courses from your own website] provides the exponential money making opportunities.
#10 Setting up a Consultancy Business
You will see from my 29-things-selling-online-courses post that you need to possess additional skills and have to invest time and money.
You are not ready to invest money and if you are not comfortable with teaching you can start your own consultancy business all alone.
You can set up a website in a couple of days and write 2 to 3 pages content on the services you will provide and build a brand [personal brand] and start making money with premium clients by providing services in business consulting space, personality development and investment Niche.
The key difference between a Consultant and a Freelancer/an Agency.
Consultancy is a low risk and high paying online business. Here you will plan and coach small businesses and startups how to excel at business.
Unlike in freelance and agency set up you will not do the work yourself.
You will only guide as a mentor and as a coach suggesting best ways to do a business or particular tasks. Your purpose is to make sure business owners execute best strategies and business practices.
If needed you will oversee how business owners are executing best practices and motivate them to get results.
A Consultant is an expert and has vast experience in implementing business strategies and plans with a good track record whereas a freelancer has only minimum experience with few clients.
#11 Starting a YouTube Channel
This video will give you an idea of what you can expect and how to be successful using Youtube as a platform to make money online.
This is a video where all the top Indian YouTuber's sharing the experiences and how did they end up being YouTuber, income potential, and all other insider tips.
You can earn money by starting a YouTube channel for free without buying any hosting and if you have a smartphone and bank account you can start recording a video and upload on YouTube platform and later monetize your work.
What you need:
A good Laptop, hi-speed internet, recording equipment such as camera, mic, tripod or a smartphone.
Find your Niche and narrow down your topic as explained in this post in Amazon affiliate niche website section, prepare a content and start making videos…
Best profitable online niches.. [try to find your products/content around these topics and niches]
- Personal Development
- Training [Education]
- Tech [Gadgets Reviews]
Video editing skills
Bonus: Earning Money Online in India without investment
If you have no money to invest then you can write articles and earn money in India. The only skill you need is to write search engine optimized articles. You can dig deep going through these resources.
If you are prepared to start any of the above-mentioned 11 online business soon or later you need to
Invest in yourself with these top 6 internet skills
- WordPress [will help you to build a wonderful website/blog to let know your target audience about your services and Opinions]
- Design skills using tools [designing social posts and website images and blog images for promoting your business over social channels]
- Research and reading skills [update yourself with latest trends, tools, resources, and info that your readers will love you and pay for your premium products]
- Email Marketing (automation tools) [Will help you in creating your own email list that can connect directly with your readers. You will understand how powerful this skill to increase your business over here]
- Content writing and copywriting [this is where you tell the readers hey you have this pain points and I have all the answers to your problems]
- Promotions skills on social media [this is how you find the people who like what you teach and they notice you and accept you as an expert]
Image Credit: All images used in this blog post are creating using Canva
Pick any of the above-mentioned 11 best online business that suits your interest and skill set.
Before starting any online business find about the dedicated time you have, resources at your disposal, support from family, financial backup or savings that you can afford to lose, the eagerness to learn, persistence levels and your willingness to keep running the business for next 3 years.
Which one of the above-mentioned online business do you want to start and why?
Let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comment section.
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