Shop Business Ideas: What are the best business ideas?

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If you are just starting out and looking for a retail shop business idea, then the world is your oyster. With an ocean of options, each seeming better than the other, it can get overwhelming to choose the right one for us.

What are the best business ideas? This is a very common question. But this isn’t an easy question to answer because there are many factors that influence the success of an idea, including your unique situation and industry.

Anupam Mittal from Shark Tank India revealed his 3 point criteria to evaluate a business idea for investing:

  1. Team – Is the team (in this case, YOU) aligned with the business goals and has relevant expertise
  2. TAM (Total Addressable Market) – Is the market big enough or mature enough for the business to be profitable
  3. Timing – Is it the right time for the business? What about seasonality?

Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to start a business that empowers you to focus less on logistics and startup costs and more on getting started.

Some low-investment business ideas are a great starting point for beginners, the self-employed, or those with a busy timeline who can take a side job without giving up on everything else. You still have to work on an idea that leads you towards your goal. With a solid idea, build your brand, put your marketing efforts into it, and provide excellent customer service.

But you can save on costs, such as initial investment, storage, and retail space. Here are some great easy-to-start shop business ideas you can start today.

Outlook of the Retail Industry in India

As per Kearney Research, India’s retail industry is predicted to grow at a slower pace of 9% till 2030 from USD 779 billion in 2019 to USD 1,407 billion by 2026. That is more than 1.8 trillion USD by 2030.

Revenue of offline retailers, a.k.a. brick and mortar (B&M) retailers, is projected to increase by INR 12,000 crore (USD 1.392.77 billion) in FY20. The direct selling industry would be valued at USD 2.14 billion by the end of 2021.

The Indian retail market is considered very chaotic. However, India’s organized retail market grew by around 50% between 2012 and 2020, accounting for nearly 12% of total retail in present value. India’s modern retail industry might grow 15.8% to 18% by 2025. Over 6% of growth would be derived from the Home and Living Sector.

Growth in the consumer goods (FMCG) sector has also reflected positively in the macroeconomic scenario, against the backdrop of economic opening and easing of quarantine restrictions.

Vocal for Local Campaign by the Indian Government

The vocal for the local campaign is reviving Indian brands in the current scenario. While addressing the nation amidst the lockdown, Prime Minister Modi announced an economic package worth INR 20 lakh core and focused on making India a self-reliant nation. To achieve this objective of a self-reliant country, he urged the citizens to support local and small businesses through the vocal for local campaign.

To achieve the goal of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, the government wants its products not only to be manufactured in India but also to promote local brands, production, and supply chains. The Vocal for Local campaign demonstrated the importance of propagating our local brand.

Retail Business Model

E-commerce brings convenience, accessibility, and affordability to consumers. India’s e-commerce is the world’s largest with an annual growth rate of 51% and is supposed to reach by 2020 from USD 30 billion in 2016. According to trends, it is apt that 65% of people their social media websites daily. Hence, it affects 30% of online retail sales.

Consumer preferences are shifting toward experiences rather than product ownership, and immediate satisfaction in favour of long-term value and variety rather than loyalty. So, retailers moving from a simple grocery delivery system to a customer service provider that helps consumers make better choices will have to be patient.

India’s retail industry accounts for about 11% of the value-added in total GDP. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, like slow down of cash flow, unemployment, medical hazards and a lot more. Finding a point of rapid growth will be crucial for the industry.

Some Examples of Retail Business Types

Producers are the first step in the retail mechanism. Once the product is made, it is sold to the wholesalers. Retailers can then purchase these products from wholesalers at a cost lower than the maximum retail price (MRP). Finally, the retailer sells these products to the end consumer at MRP.

There are numerous retail business types, and some of which are as follows:

  • Departmental Store
  • Specialty Store
  • Supermarkets
  • Convenience Store
  • Discount Stores
  • Warehouse Stores

Which Shop Business Is Best In India?

Retailers sell goods and services directly to end-users. Before starting a retail business you need to know these two points. The first factor is the area or sector of your business that you are passionate about. The second factor is how much you can invest in your budget or business. Once you’ve decided on these two aspects, you’re ready to dive into the retail world.

While exploring your options for business ideas, you would have come across several retail business ideas. If you are still unsure about which is the most profitable retail business to start, then this article will serve as a guide for you.

1. Tea Business Shop

India is the world’s largest tea producer after China and the world’s largest tea-consuming country. With such a huge market, there is enough room to make business for most people! Hence, a tea business shop idea could be profitable in both Metropolitan cities and small towns.

Take Chai Waale, for example, a well-renowned brand started by Mr. Vidur Maheshwari, a graduate of Kings College, London. Started in 2018 with a passion to make Chennai a place for tea lovers too, 15 cups were all he needed. And today, Chai Waale has expanded to over 40 outlets in Chennai and plans to open more outlets across India.

2. Handicraft Shop

Indian history is revered for its rich culture and heritage stemming from intricate astristry. Handicrafts are basically creating art from scratch manually using hands. Could be an earthen pot painted with artistic colours, or portrait of a mythical goddess on a beautifully knitted pashmina shawl or a soft carpet.

The handicrafts industry is booming in India at the moment. The main reason behind the boom of handicrafts industry is the increasing demand of the goods over the world and the increased awareness of the artwork thanks to widespread digitization. India is famous for its handicrafts goods, especially the colorful and unique pottery, furniture, paintings, textiles etc. The government of India has also undertaken a lot of initiatives to boost the handicrafts industry of India.

Ethnicpipe is a handicraft business started with the aim to conserve the heritage of India. It is a one-stop destination for incredible art forms.

3. Mobile Accessories Shop

India’s mobile accessories business is booming. India’s wireless subscribers surpassed 1 billion in 2020. The country’s smartphone penetration has also reached 42% in 2020 alone — that means almost half the Indian population owns a smartphone! For the same reason, the market demand for mobile phone accessories is humongous in India.

The mobile accessories market is growing at 10.5% annually. Analysts expect the market to reach USD 3.54 billion by the end of 2024.

That’s why starting a cell phone accessories business isn’t a bad idea. You can sell to a broader customer base where you can spend more of your disposable income. Mobile accessories are quickly becoming a fashion trend for the style-conscious young Indian consumer.

Legend For Mobile Accessories is a well-known Instagram page that sells varieties of mobile cases, adapters, charger wires and a lot more. Despite being a small business, they are very profitable.

4. Stationery Shop

Stationery shops are one of the safest and most reliable businesses that can even be scaled because of the ease of inventory management.

The safety of this business stems from the fact that people always need to buy stationery regardless of whether they are in kindergarten or pursuing a doctorate degree!

You may consider starting small and expanding after you have a foothold. You can then mix different themes and stock up on all kinds of stationery as your customer base grows. Once you have an idea of what you want to sell, create and distribute a sample portfolio. Now, this allows potential customers to know what’s in store before they visit.

Art Station is a stationery shop in Mumbai that started in 2010 with the intent that creativity exists in the world. They have a wide range of stationeries to offer in both their store and online website.

5. Beauty Shop

In general, women show a high interest in beauty and health products. Earn money with this element and open a brand cosmetics store. Working with an affordable brand can give you a solid return. Unbranded products may also be on sale.

Many people have their signature perfume from a  specific brand. Gifting perfumes is a popular concept nowadays. Open a perfume store offering multiple brands in different price ranges. The ideal location to set up your perfume store is in a shopping mall.

Aromatic Potions is a small business started in 2017 by two college students who were fond of perfumes and other beauty products and decided to start something of their own.

6. Resin Art and Resin Jewellery

One of the unique hobbies that have grown in popularity over the past couple of years is resin art! Resin work can create many beautiful results, such as shiny combs, handmade earrings, or even lacquered tabletops.

With a pair of gloves, a little resin, and a little creativity, resin art can become your next side hustle eventually turning into a flourishing 6-figure business!

There are four types of resins used to create artwork; epoxy, polyurethane, silicone, and polyester “fibreglass” resins. Epoxy is the best choice for making jewellery and other items from moulds and is easiest for beginners to use.

Ms Sherry is an art enthusiast who started her page sherrysimagination on Instagram. She works on the most amazing resin art and portrays her best work on the page.

7. Customised Gifts Shop

How many times have you had to come up with a gifting idea for your close ones and cannot think of anything beyond the cliche? That’s a problem with millions of others all over the globe, not just India.

Offering customized gifting solutions is a great small shop idea that you can explore and start with a relatively small investment from the comfort of your bedroom!

Presents of Mind is a successful customized Instagram page run by women in Mumbai. She focuses on bringing in new products with her creativity and has completed three years in this field.

8. Pottery Shop

If you want to get rich quick starting a pottery shop won’t be the best option. But if you want to start a sustainable small business that will give you a steady income for years to come, then how about starting a pottery shop? Yes, it may not be as glamorous as other types of business, but it has a lot of advantages. For example, it doesn’t require a lot of startup capital and doesn’t require so much time to operate. If you look around, you will notice that pottery shops are making more money than most antique stores.

Above all, pottery is also sustainable. Hence, you may even be eligible for several grants and benefits from the government if you plan to scale!

Nitara India is a Make-in-India initiative started in 2019 with the motive of sustainability. An outlet based in Calcutta believes in giving the best products which are plastic-free.

9. Gifting Shop

A gift shop is one of the best business ideas. Customers are always looking for individuality in their gifts. Giving them what they need will benefit your business and increase your profits. There are different things you can step into and curate for different occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Festivals, and a lot more.

Gifting businesses have proven to be one of the most successful business types since the pandemic. Since it has no particular season, it is a highly profitable and fast-running business.

The Style Salad is a successful Instagram page run by women entrepreneurs. They pre-curate their gifting options and provide them at all given prices.

10. Healthy Drink Shop

Honest answer – it’s really hard to make money with a healthy drinks shop. You would be competing with Nespresso, Starbucks, and many many sugary drinks manufacturers.

However, starting a healthy drinks shop will become more and more popular in the future and is a sustainable option in the long run. We know that nowadays people pay more attention to health, so if you have the passion for it, you could take a shot (pun intended).

Interestingly, people are also willing to pay a premium to consume healthier food.

Ten Second Takeaway is a successful Healthy Drink Shop in Delhi. It is a one-stop solution for all your smoothies or protein drinks.

Small Business Success Stories

Chai Kings

Chai Kings was started in 2016 by Jahabar Sidique and Balaji Sadagopan in Chennai. All stores offer a variety of teas, including milk, black tea, herbal tea, and iced tea. Flavours like ginger, masala, Suleiman, doom, lemon, hibiscus, tulsi, and apple all compete for a place on the menu.

Given that the city already has a number of ‘chai’ shops, you might be wondering what makes the Chai Kings stand out. It is that their tea is made from minimal and sulphur-free sugar and no artificial flavours are used in the making of the teas. They started with four outlets and now are owners of 40 outlets in Chennai.

Resin Art by Poonam Shah

Poonam Shah is a talented young artist using her resin art skills to design and create beautiful works. She started her Instagram page poonam.shah_art and has over 28K followers. Glossy, smooth paintings in vivid colours that make patterns when its poured are what resin art describes. She is one of the few artists in India who practices this art. From different types of home décor to custom paintings and coasters, you can expect Poonam to create a masterpiece for anything. She is also expanding her business in the US and would soon start to deliver across the world.

What Are The Benefits Of Supporting Local Businesses?

Supporting local businesses is a win-win for all involved. Businesses and organizations that operate in your local area need your support. We know it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of shopping online or driving to the nearest big box store, but it’s very important to support your local businesses. Consumer demand for goods and services in your community will help to sustain and stimulate the economy, which in turn creates new jobs and opportunities.

  • Helps your local economy grow
  • Create more employment
  • Helps in saving taxes
  • Multiple product routes can be explored
  • Makes the best use of available resources


When it comes to starting a business, there is a seemingly endless number of options. As a beginner, this is both a good and bad thing. After all, you have many options to pick from, but you also have many options to sift through.

Our suggestion is that you start by looking at the best ideas for business. To find the best ideas for business, you should look for what is popular and in high demand.

This post is also available in: English Hindi


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