Home Based Business Opportunities for Women
Business Ideas for Women – Work From Home
Spread your wings and prepare for take-off, ladies.
Work from home opportunities are fraught with uncertainty. There is the initial risk of launching a business that will not pick up, the question of where an investment will come in from and the worry if the choice of doing a home based business is a good one. There are several ways to create a successful business setup from the comfort of your own home. If you are a woman looking to become an entrepreneur, or a housewife planning to make some extra income, here are some ideas you can use to build a flourishing business right at home.
Why you Ladies Should Consider Working from Home
As any career woman has realised, working a full-time job away from the home while juggling with family life is a luxury not many can afford. The sheer guilt of staying away from kids as they are growing up has caused many women to give up a lucrative career and stay at home to devote their energies towards their family.
Whatever your situation in life, you may one day find yourself questioning your corporate job. Is it worth to go into an office, work from 9 to 5 for a paycheck? What if you could instead be doing something that you love, right at home, and making more money?
For Vaishali Maniar, founder of Crumbs, a Bangalore-based home bakery, this realisation came after working for five years at a corporate. “I wanted to do something creative,” said Vaishali who then went on to quit her job and discover a passion for baking. Thanks to a good network of friends, her creations gained popularity through Facebook and she takes up to 20 large orders in a month.
Choosing your Passion
While you may not want to go full fledged into investing a lot of money and starting your own brand, there are plenty of small scale business opportunities that you can consider. If you are out of ideas, grab a pen and paper and write down your top five passions, or talents. Do you love art? Is writing more your thing? Have you always enjoyed organising events and making things happen? Once you have a list, you can then narrow down the possibilities for your home-based career.
Next, make a note of pain points that you see other people facing in your society or community and check if you have a ready solution to fix it. For instance, Jyoti Pahadsingh, founder of GreenBUG, came up with an innovative solution to the menace of non-biodegradable plastic bags in Bangalore. She designed newspaper based dustbin liners, and organised a whole team of women to make them at home and sell them for profit to homes and businesses.
Home based business ideas that are low on capital
For a lot of women, finding a sufficient amount of capital to be able to launch a business even on a small scale can be very difficult. Here are some ideas for businesses you can do from the comfort of home, which do not require a large capital investment.
Start a Shopnix store
If you are a creative person who has a flair for creating artsy products, opening up a Shopnix site is your best option. Shopnix is an ecommerce platform that allows you to set up a virtual store, choose an eye catching theme and then post images of your product along with payment options for customers. With Shopnix you will get all the features that you require to sell your products online. This is a great way for you to start a business related to:
- Sale of handmade jewellery
- Sale of paper quilled handmade products
- Sale of fashion garments like sarees, designer salwar sets
You don’t have to be an experienced artist to make handmade art products. A lot of home based handmade product creators are self taught, like Shilpa Mitha of Sueno Souvenir, a Chennai based entrepreneur with her own line of miniature clay food-based art products. Shilpa started out making clay miniatures of her favourite foods and turned this hobby into a business by selling her creations online.
Offer home-based services
For many women, the ease of doing business from home is a result of being able to find customers who prefer to use such services. One such service is that of homemade catering. If you have successfully cultivated a passion for cooking, it may be worth considering turning this into a lucrative home-based career. Mahajabeen Sheikh, a Bangalore based home chef, specialises in Arab food that she sells in her neighbourhood of Kammanahalli. Her home-based service has a lot of takers, especially during Ramzan.
Here are some other home-based services you could consider, depending on where your interests lie:
- Home salon services
- Tuition or coaching classes
- Cooking or baking classes
- Daycare services
Some of these services may require you to obtain prior permission from your residential community, especially if you live in an apartment complex. Make sure you have the approval and are able to meet the requirements of your business before you get started. For instance, for a home-based food business, a large kitchen should be available that is airy and regularly cleaned out for hygiene purposes. For providing daycare services, your home should be child-friendly with no dangerous objects lying around, and so on.
Home based businesses that are time intensive
As anyone who works from home knows – home based work can take up quite a lot of your time. If you have several hours in the day to spare for your business, you might consider these ideas for businesses that will take up a lot of your time and concentration.
If you are full of great ideas and have the ability to carry them out through until implementation, then consultation is certainly one avenue to consider. Home based consultants exist in a variety of fields, based on your specific interest. Interior design consultants make a lot of money for just a design specification, and then stand to make even more if a client likes the design and requests for it to be done at their home. For this sort of business, it is recommended that you have some prior knowledge of the field or experience having worked in it.
Here are other home based consultation services that you might consider:
- Event planning or wedding planning
- Sales consultation
- Financial consultation
There will be a lot of groundwork you will need to do to market your home based consultation service. This can mean hard work for you, expanding your social circle and meeting new people to make your great work known. Build a small but loyal client base and have them refer you on to other clients so you can start out right. As you grow, use the help of social media to market your services better.
A freelancer is anyone who works at their own pace, on their own clock. Freelancers enjoy a lot of flexibility in terms of working hours, the kinds of jobs they take up and how many jobs they take up in a given time frame. If you are good at performing certain types of jobs thanks to your prior work experience or talents, you may want to consider signing up on a freelance website and taking a look at available jobs. There are many jobs that you can apply for under various categories like Writing & Editing, Graphic Design, Database Admin, Project management and so on.
Here are other freelance professions you may consider taking up locally:
- Digital photography or candid photo / videography
- Trainer or fitness instructor
Making your mark as a freelancer can be difficult. While you do have the benefit of added exposure if you sign up to be a part of an agency, you are wholly dependent on user reviews to get more clients. The best way to get started is to be patient, keep applying and encourage your clients to leave positive feedback so that you can attract more customers.
Home based business ideas that may require small to medium sized investment
The more daring entrepreneurs really want to make a difference in people’s lives. They are not content with starting out with ‘safe’ enterprises that most customers would buy. They prefer catering to a niche audience with the intent of disrupting the norm and even transforming society as we know it.
Working towards a social cause
When the founder of Menstrupedia, Aditi Gupta, graduated from design school, her first thought was to use her powers for good. She came up with the idea for Menstrupedia – an empowering online comic that could teach young girls about menstruation and bust the myths around this natural biological process. Her efforts have seen sales of Menstrupedia comics increase and has elevated her to the top under 30 list of Forbes India.
Selecting a social cause is important to some people who truly want to make a difference in people’s lives. It also helps to draw attention to the product you are selling. Make your product or service ‘cool’ with your customer base by drawing out its social message. For instance, if you sell homemade premium pickles, tell people about the goodness of using all natural ingredients instead of prepackaged foods.
Disruptive ideas that positively impact society
Lijjat Papad is a familiar household name in Indian homes, particularly among fans of the crispy gram flour-based treat. Lijjat was started by a group of women who decided to take their careers into their own hands. Back in 1959, much before any such venture was heard of, these enterprising women bought a papad making business out and then used it to start their own papad business, right at home. Today, the Lijjat brand is a Rs. 6.5 billion business with several products to its name.
Disruptive businesses are flourishing everyday – there’s Uber for taxis, Swiggy for food delivery and so on. While the services they provide have been around for ages, it was the on demand nature of the service that helped get them a wide following from users who want more control over what they buy, and are willing to pay for it. You can come up with a business idea from home that can revolutionise a certain space, but be prepared to make a sizeable investment. Fortunately, there are several angel investors who specifically provide funding for women startups, as long as you are able to articulate a clear business model.
Possible challenges you can encounter
Along with the amazing success stories of women entrepreneurs, there is also the reality of the hardships they have faced when starting out.
In the case of Chumbak founder, Shubra Chadda, the only way she could upscale her business of selling funky fridge magnets was by selling her three bedroom apartment. Thanks to her tireless efforts and that of her husband, Chumbak today retails over 100 categories across stores all over India. Putting together a capital investment, finding investors, securing business loans can be incredibly difficult. Never lose heart as you keep sight of your end goal.
Believing in yourself
Every business requires a whole lot of courage and heart. Several women entrepreneurs have confessed to feelings of self doubt. They were always inhibited by society and taught to follow the path set for them by their patriarchs. Breaking free from this mould can be extremely difficult but rewarding as well. Draw strength from your family, find a supportive bunch of friends and take inspiration from the tall female leaders who went before you.
A home based business opportunity for women can be your key to an independent life. To be your own master. Begin planning for a financially secure future for yourself where you can call the shots instead of having to depend on a lousy boss. Take a look around at the opportunities that your immediate environment provides for you to start your own successful home based business.