A substantial proportion of the working population in India, and across the globe, has faced employment-related challenges due to the long-term restrictions put into place ever since the coronavirus pandemic struck. In India, unemployment was reported to have crept up to nearly 8% in 2020 and for a significant chunk of 2021,  according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). India is, obviously, not the only country to face rampant unemployment and job loss, as practically every country is buckling under the economic pressure levied by the pandemic since 2020. 

However, 2020 was also estimated to have seen an impressive 12% growth in new online businesses compared to the previous year. According to a recent study, the pandemic resulted in more than 85,000 online businesses being established during the nationwide lockdown.  

Online businesses are very appealing because they do not have the traditional hurdles that most new ventures face. E-Commerce has grown up to 300% over the past few years and is expected to make up 17.5% of global retail sales by the end of 2022. With the development and growth of easy-to-use website creation tools and social media, everyone is connected together regardless of their income status or geographical location. As a result of this enhanced connectivity, it has become extremely inexpensive and very easy to get started for those looking to set up an online home business in India.

If you’re someone looking to start an online business from the comforts of your home, and wondering how to start an online business in India, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will outline the basics of starting an online home business in India.

Starting an Online Business: Pick a Niche

In today’s time and age, the internet has created new and lucrative opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs, particularly when it comes to starting an online business. With the ongoing pandemic in place, potential customers are spending more time online than ever before, and therefore, starting an online business right from the comforts of your home now is more practical than ever.

For many, running an online business is a dream that offers the promise of financial security and independence. One of the first steps while considering an online business situation is deciding the type of online business you want to run. Consider your skills, any industry-specific knowledge you have and your vision for your life as an online home business owner. Target the right people with the right offering, and you would be making money in no time. 

Popular Online Home Business Ideas

So, if you’re ready to get started on your dream of becoming an internet entrepreneur, here is the list of the top business ideas to get you started instantly. From running your own clothes line, to social media manager, to public speaking coach, to freelancing, to interior design consultant, the options are endless. 

Start with this list and find the one that best fits your talents and interests.

  1. Take up freelance writing: As long as you’ve got an internet connection, a keyboard, and are good with words, you are all set to become a freelance writer. The most important factor will always be your writing. If you’re confident in your writing skills, then this online business idea is ideal for you. 
  2. Consider online fitness training: If fitness and health is your passion, then serving as a fitness trainer to clients could be a fulfilling career. You must keep in mind that training people online is much more difficult than being right there with them. However, owing to the ongoing pandemic, this industry is booming with opportunities, and if you’re invested in online business ideas, then don’t overlook it.
  3. Start your own clothing line: If you are a person with a speck of imagination and an eye for design, this is for you. If you already own a Shopify store, you can set up your own clothing line using Oberlo, Printify, Printful, or a similar product sourcing app. They also handle every step of the retail fulfilment process for you, giving you the freedom to design and ship a wide range of pieces right out of the gate. The key here is to learn about print on demand, which forms the base for such businesses.
  4. Consider becoming an SEO expert:  The online world’s hottest profession at the moment, this business is a gold mine for the tech-savvy entrepreneurs. If you’ve got loads of skill and experience in getting websites to rank highly on Google, and you understand how to turn searchers into customers, then there are plenty of companies willing to pay handsomely for your help. 
  5. Sell your art online: If painting or photography is right up your alley, you can sell your work as prints, canvases, and framed posters using Printify or Printful. This is a fantastic way to turn your art into something tangible that people can take home and while you capitalize on your skills.

Apart from these lucrative online business ideas, listed below are some more ideas that you may consider when brainstorming what online business you want to start:

  • Launch a drop-shipping store
  • Become a college consultant 
  • Teach an online course
  • Flip your thrift store finds
  • Publish your own book
  • Become a skilled business coach 
  • Start a blog
  • Become a virtual assistant
  • Try your hand at being an influencer
  • Build apps and websites
  • Launch a podcast
  • Become an online personal assistant 
  • Sign up for affiliate marketing
  • Curate subscription boxes
  • Develop a niche product
  • Provide online therapy 
  • Become a PR Consultant 

How to Start an Online Home Business in India

There are plenty of benefits of starting a business online- you get global access, you are your own boss and you get to determine your working hours accordingly, you have the liberty to allocate time to focus on a niche you care about, and most importantly, avoid substantial start-up costs. Not just that, you could operate and manage your business from any part of the world- yes, even while you travel the world!

However, there are some things you must consider. Listed below is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you’re starting a business online:

1.Pick Your Business Module

The most important thing to do before you start an online business is to decide the type of business you want to create. There are a plethora of online business modules and niches, and before you take the steps to build an online business, you must figure out what type of business is right for you.

2. Identify a Market Gap

Once you know the type of business you want to create, it is a lot easier to lay out a strategy to bring that vision to life. Next, identify a need in your market— and create an online business that caters to that need. You can be at the top of your game by conducting regular competitive research, market surveys, and in-depth customer research. 

3.Have a Sellable Product or Service

You can’t have a thriving business unless you have a sellable product or service. So, make sure you put in enough effort, time, and resources into developing a unique and one-of-a-kind product or service. You must keep in mind that whatever product or service you are selling is something your customers are going to be excited to buy.

4.Create Your Unique Brand Identity

The only thing that is going to help you stand out and grab your customers attention is your brand. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to take time and put some serious thought into the kind of brand that you are trying to build. Some of the brand design elements include the logo, the brand colour palette, website, business cards, and other elements such as packaging, marketing brochure etc. All of these elements are what make up your brand identity.

5.Have an Optimised Website

As an online business, your website is arguably the most important of your brand identity.  Your website is what the potential customers will view and explore the products and services that you offer. So, it’s very important to set a website that is easy to read and navigate, and is SEO optimised.

6.Take Care of the Legalities

Starting a new online business entails a significant amount of legal work alongside the logistics of setting up a new business. You must devote enough time to take care of the legal side of forming a business. Before you launch your online business, it is important to tend to any necessary steps needed to ensure your business is legally compliant.

7.Have a Sound Logistical Strategy in Place

There’s a lot of logistics that go into running an online business. Therefore, it’s important to get a logistical strategy in place. From manufacturing, to shipping, to packaging, to digital platforms and lastly, to payment processing, make sure you got it all covered. 

8. Have an Efficient Marketing Strategy

Lastly, develop an efficient marketing strategy that will help you connect with your customers and market your online business. Consider advertising, email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing and partnerships while developing a marketing strategy suited to your needs. 

Keep these factors in mind when you plan to start your online home business in India, and you are already set for success!