Starting a side business can be a great way to achieve financial independence and pursue your passions. Whether you want to supplement your current job or turn your hobbies into a profitable venture, the Indian market offers a wide range of opportunities to make decent money. In this article, we will explore some of the best side business ideas in India that have the potential to generate high income.
51 Best Side Business Ideas in India for Extra Earnings
Side businesses provide opportunities to explore diverse industries and leverage personal skills and interests. With the growth of technology and the increasing availability of online platforms, starting a side business has become more accessible than ever before. Let us begin our list.
1. Affiliate Marketing
One of the most trending side hustles that one can start without investment. All you need to do is sell or market other people’s products or services, and in return, you get a commission for every article you sell. There are numerous companies that are looking for affiliate marketers to run their businesses, to increase sales.
The best thing is that you can join any affiliate network for free and start sharing the deals; plus, the highlighting part is that you need not maintain any inventory; the company does all this. You just need to get the sales, take the payment, and the affiliate partner does the rest.
2. Online Tutoring
This is another business that can be started without any investment. All you need is expertise in any subject. There are numerous platforms worldwide that are looking for online tutors; thus, if you have expertise in any subject matter, you can register with any of the online teaching apps and begin your teaching career.
To become an online tutor, you need a computer and an internet connection. Furthermore, you can start this work at home at your convenience. The income will vary depending on your experience and the class you teach, but all in all, it is a great way of making money.
3. Content Writing
If you love writing and are well-versed in English, you can start a content writing business. The role of content marketers is to create informative and entertaining content that can help companies market their goods and services.
As the world is shifting to e-commerce and digitalization, the company of every size needs content to draw in more customers. Hence, the demand for content writing has been increasing tremendously over the last couple of years.
To become a content writer, one needs to have the ability to understand the subject in-depth, do the required research, and create content that is well-suited as per search engines.
4. Pet Sitting
If you are a pet lover, this can be a great side business idea for you, where you can earn a good amount of money every month. To begin a pet-sitting business, you need to have a big space to keep pets, some pet toys, and pet houses to keep them separately if required.
Thus, you might need a small investment to start a pet-sitting business. Keep in mind that this business is especially for people who love animals, as not everyone can handle and take care of pets in the right way. There are various platforms as well where you can register and get customers; in return, you just need to pay a small commission.
This is one of the best side business ideas from home that requires no investment. Let us understand how dropshipping works. You need to take orders, and the merchant ships the product for you. Thus, it is just an order-fulfillment process that does not require you to keep an inventory of the products you are selling.
Your role is to make sales and pass the order to the supplier. You can make a profit by taking the price between the suppliers and the selling price. The best part is that you can start without any investment, as you can market and sell the products on social media platforms or any other marketing channel.
Cross-reference: How To Start A Dropshipping Business In 6 Simple Steps
6. Graphic Designer
You can also start with a graphic design business as it’s in huge demand these days. The reason behind the high demand for graphic designers is that visuals are more effective in every field; thus, everyone wants good designs. The major work of graphic designers is to design websites and print layouts for a company. You require a little bit of technical knowledge to become a graphic designer. For this, you can take a short course.
To start a graphic design business, you need a small investment to buy photo editing software and to promote your business through paid social media services. It is a growing business, all you need to do is ensure that the graphics you create are unique and attractive and leave an impact on the customers.
7. Digital Marketing
Businesses nowadays are moving from physical to digital, thus, numerous opportunities are available in the digital marketing sector. It has become one of the most trending businesses in 2023, as every company that needs to take its company online needs digital marketers. The major role of digital marketers is to help increase conversions and create engagement with clients.
There are various sub-divisions in digital marketing, such as content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, YouTube video marketing, etc. You can even select one of them and start your business, and as your client base and demand increase, you can also provide other services.
8. Online Gift Shop
One of the best side business ideas in India is to start s customized gifting store online. You can create different kinds of gifts as per customers’ demand, such as cards, photo frames, handicrafts, key chains, etc. Starting this business does not require much investment as you just need some raw materials and can purchase more stuff per the customers’ demand. To start this business, you must create your own website and promote it well to get more customers.
This can be one of the best side business ideas for ladies who love cooking or baking. You can start this business from your home kitchen, sell your products to the local bakery, or create your own website. Once you see the demand for your products increasing, you can start your commercial kitchen later. It is one of the best low-investment business ideas with high profits.
The demand for freshly baked cookies, cakes, and biscuits has increased tremendously over the years, making it one of the most lucrative businesses these days. To increase your business and retain existing customers, you must use high-quality ingredients and have an excellent presentation. To start this business, you would need to invest in the raw material required and purchase an oven.
10. Stock Photography
You can start a stock photography business if you are good at photography. It is a perfect job for people who wish to work from home at their convenience. All you need to do is click some good pictures and instead of saving them on your computer, upload them or sell them to stock photography sites.
Visitors on that website who like your work will be able to purchase or use that picture from the website, and you get paid for that. You can sell your pictures at various sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, etc. These sites usually pay a royalty for every download done on their platform.
11. Create an App
App developers are in high demand these days, making it one of the best side business ideas in India. If you have knowledge of coding and making apps, this can be the best profession for you, or you can take a short course to learn how to make apps. It is one of the most profitable side businesses, as many companies need an app these days.
The cost of starting this business has reduced immensely in the last couple of years because of the growth of tools and affordable developers. In fact, if you have an idea, you can start your own app as well. But, to start your own app, you will need to spend a lot of time developing, testing, doing market research, and marketing the app. Once you are able to transform this app into a real business, you will be able to make a good amount of money from it.
12. Sell Handcrafted and Homemade Goods
If you are good at making homemade or handcrafted goods, you can start this as a side business. It is a skill-based business in which you need to create products and sell them online or to a local dealer. Initially, you can start this business at a small level and expand as your product’s demand increases.
You need very little investment in this business. The major investment is of time, as every product should be unique and close to perfect. This can be a very profitable business these days as the demand for these products has increased significantly over the years. In fact, you can also purchase handcrafted items from the market at a cheaper rate and sell them at a good price on your website.
13. Virtual Assistant
You can become a virtual assistant if you have good organizational skills and can multitask. The main role of a virtual assistant is to manage the administrative work of the company or an individual. Some of the work roles include booking flights and hotels, scheduling meetings, responding to emails, attending calls, etc.
The best part is that these jobs can be done sitting at home at your own convenience. All you need is a computer and a good internet connection. The salary will depend on the services you offer and the number of clients you can handle. There are a lot of platforms where you can find a job as a virtual assistant, such as PeoplePerHour, FreeUp, Virtual Assistant Jobs, and many more.
14. Teach a Language
If you know any second language, you can use it to make money. It can be a great side business as many people like learning new languages, and you can benefit from it. You can either start teaching online or coaching from home by starting an offline batch of students.
The increased demand for this business is because of a rise in international trade, for which they need people who can translate. The market has a huge demand for languages like Chinese, Russian, French, and Spanish.
15. Travel Agency
India is a major tourist destination as it has numerous things to admire and watch, such as different kinds of architecture, palaces, monuments, languages, and much more. Starting a travel agency requires much less investment, but you should have good geographical knowledge to start this business.
People these days love traveling and need assistance in doing hotel and flight bookings. As a travel agent, your role would be to arrange a tour, do the bookings, and recommend to clients about the best places to visit in the city they are visiting. You can start as a small travel agency and expand as the client base increases.
Cross-reference: 5 Successful Tips To Start A Travel Business In India
16. Courier Services
It is one of the best side business ideas in India as the income is pretty good. Courier services are essential as almost every business needs these services to send products from one city to another. You can initially start as a small company and later expand as the business increases.
As a courier service company, your role would be to deliver packages, messages, and sometimes products from one city or state to another. As a courier service company, you need to take care of a few things, such as the safety of packages, speed, and a good tracking method. You can start this business by renting a small space so that people needing courier service can visit your office directly.
17. Event Planner
If you possess good organizational skills and love planning events, why not make it a business and earn money? The event planning business has a huge opportunity, and the profits are also pretty good. You can start this as a side business and plan weddings, corporate events, webinars, concerts, birthday parties, etc.
The price ranges as per the event for a webinar, you might get less money but can make good money by planning a wedding. You can offer complete packages for the event, such as renting the hall, lighting, music, decoration, etc., to earn huge profits.
18. Social Media Manager
The demand for social media marketing is increasing tremendously, making it a popular side business idea in India. In today’s time, almost every business, brand, professional, and celebrity use social media platforms to promote their products or to interact with their clients. Thus, they need people who can handle their social media accounts as they do not have much time or expertise to do that, and this is where the social media manager comes into the picture.
As a social media manager, you need to use your expertise to assist businesses or people in scaling up their business and increasing conversions. To do this, you will have to post content regularly and publish ads and various promotional offers frequently on their social media platforms.
You can also become a proofreader if you have an eye for detail and good command of the English language. The role of a proofreader is to check the document for errors, such as grammar, spelling, sentence formation, etc. You can also start a proofreading business online; you can either make your own clients or apply as a proofreader on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, etc.
You can fix your charges and provide your services in the form of a package for editing and proofreading. As a proofreader, you need to give honest feedback to clients so they can publish the right content on their websites. It is one of the best side business ideas you can start as it can be done sitting at home, plus the income is also pretty good.
If you love kids and spending time with them, why not make it a business by opening a crèche or providing babysitting services? There are a lot of couples these days who are out of the house because of their jobs and are unable to take care of their child. They need people who can look after them when they are out.
You can take advantage of this opportunity and start a babysitting business, initially, you can start from your home and later scale up the business as the number of kids increases. This is a great business requiring a very small investment, as you might need to buy toys, chairs, tables, blackboards, etc., for kids.
Cross-reference: Child Care Industry a Boon for Indian Working Women
21. Buy and Sell Domain Names
Domain flipping is a lucrative home-based business idea that is currently trending. By purchasing domain names and selling them later, you can generate substantial profits. However, it requires patience, time, and initial investment. Given the competitive nature of the industry, thorough research is crucial before investing in any domain name.
22. Print on Demand
This is yet another exciting business for creative people. In this business, you need to sell your own custom designs; you can get these designs printed on t-shirts, mugs, calendars, cases, cushion covers, etc. You can print designs and sell them online or offline or collaborate with a third-party supplier to print them and ship them for you.
This is a great business idea as you do not have to invest much, plus the income is also good, and the risk is minimal.
23. Pet Sitting
Starting your pet-sitting business can be great if you love animals and spend time with them. To start this business, you will need some basic knowledge of animal care and some tools and toys for pets. The demand for pet sitters has increased significantly over the years, as when people go out for a vacation or outstation, they need people who can take care of their pets.
The price you charge will depend on the services you offer, but overall it is a profitable business.
24. Scented Candles and Incense Sticks
This is an excellent side business ideas for ladies as it can be started from home and can be done online. This business has great demand as incense sticks are daily-used products in India. In fact, the demand for scented candles has also increased significantly in the last couple of years. Thus, if you have a fair idea of making scented candles and incense sticks, you can start your business sitting at home.
In fact, there are various training centers where you can take a course on making different types of candles and then start your business. You can either create your own website or can sell the candles to local vendors.
25. Online Bookkeeping
With the increased digitalization, bookkeeping has also shifted from paper to online. Many businesses look for people who can manage their accounts. So, if you are into bookkeeping and looking for options, this can be a great business idea for you. Online bookkeeping can be done sitting at home at your own convenience.
Accounting software has become simple, and numerous online tools have made bookkeeping easier than ever before. All you need is a laptop, software, and a good internet connection to start this business.
Cross-reference: Is accounting a good occupation to choose in the coming year?
This can be a perfect business idea for you if you seek a more traditional side business idea. Everyone likes clean homes, but not everyone has time to maintain them. Thus, they look for people who can do it for them. You can start a housekeeping business where you can send household help to people who require it and get paid for it. All you need to do is target the right audience to succeed in this business.
This can be a great business idea for stay-at-home moms or anyone looking to make money from a side business. You can charge the money as per the size of the space and the amount of work required.
27. Fitness Center
Staying fit has become almost everyone’s priority nowadays as people want to be physically fit. Many people have sedentary jobs, hence, they prefer joining fitness centers to stay fit and do some regular exercises. The demand for gyms and fitness centers has increased over a couple of years as a large number of people are joining them.
If you are a fitness freak and can train people, this can be a great side business for you. This business requires a lot of investment as you will have to rent a huge space plus purchase a lot of gym equipment and machines. If you do not want to spend so much money, you can start by becoming a fitness trainer and providing online classes.
28. YouTube Channel
This is a trending business idea that does not require any investment. All you need is a good idea to start your channel. You can start a YouTube channel on any niche that you like, such as cooking, dancing, reviews, makeup tutorials, fitness, comedy, etc. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and has more than 200 crore users, and this number is increasing every day.
To make money from YouTube, all you need is to create good videos and post them on YouTube. They pay you after 1000 views. The best thing is that you can start a channel sitting at home and it does not require any investment.
29. Makeup Artist
This can be a great profession if you have the skills and love doing makeup. This can be a nice business idea in India, as people here love beautifying themselves. In fact, to promote your work, you can make video tutorials and upload them on YouTube.
The investment in this business is not that high. You can initially start from your home or as a freelancer, and as the clientage increases, you can expand your business.
The returns are pretty good in this business. Therefore, if you have the right skills, it can be one of the best side businesses.
30. Men’s Clothes Store
The apparel industry is growing significantly worldwide, and the men’s apparel industry is among it. This is the perfect side business for you if you have the right clothing knowledge and a great fashion sense. You can either start this business online or can also start an offline store as well.
To make your business successful, it is important for you to sell high-quality clothes and stay updated with the latest trends.
Cross-reference: A paradigm shift in the Indian fashion industry
If you are fluent in multiple languages and don’t want to spend time teaching, you can become a translator. You can consider starting a small business where you can monetize your skills. The demand for translators is quite high and is expected to rise over the coming years because of the increased trade between countries.
A lot of businesses require translators when they trade internationally in different languages to create marketing materials, for negotiation, to create a website, etc. Thus, it is a low-investment business with huge profits.
32. WordPress Developer
If you are looking for the best side business ideas from home, this can be the perfect choice for you. One of the most popular options in website creation is WordPress, which is used by millions of countries worldwide. Because of its increased usage, the market for WordPress developers is pretty high. As a WordPress developer, you can work for big WordPress brands or can also commence your own development firm.
To become a WordPress developer, you need to familiarize yourself with WordPress, should learn at least one programming language, and become a member of the WordPress community.
33. Women’s Products and Accessories Shop
Women use a lot of accessories and products worldwide, making it a huge market. It can be a great business for you if you have good knowledge about these products and a great fashion sense.
It is a vast market, and to succeed, you must stay updated with the latest trends. You can start an online business by creating a website or a page on Instagram or starting an offline store.
This business would require a lot of investment as you will have to purchase the stock, but the profits are also pretty good.
34. Grocery shop and General Store
This is a great side business idea as everyone needs grocery items, and the demand for these items is always there. You can open a grocery store, and along with that, you can also see other items as well, such as personal care, daily use products, and much more.
The major thing you should keep in mind is opening the store in the right location, it requires a lot of research. To become successful in this business, it is important for you to keep good quality products and maintain good relations with your customers.
35. Instagram Influencer
If you have a good follower base, becoming an Instagram influencer can be a great side business option. All you need to do is create videos and post pictures on any niche, such as clothing, makeup, travel, cooking, etc. The more views, the more money you will be able to make.
Instagram influencers make money through affiliate marketing, ads, promoting different products, etc. It is a nice way of making huge money sitting at home.
Cross-reference: The Shopping Tech That Helps Influencers Make Money
36. Freelance Photography
If photography is your passion, you can use it to make money. You can start a freelance photography business wherein you can take the projects on weekends or after your work hours.
You can take photos for business events, birthday parties, portfolio shoots, or any small get-together. To start this business, it is important for you to have a good camera, a computer, the right software, and an internet connection.
37. Flower Business
This is one of the best side business ideas in India, as it has a huge market. Flowers are required for decoration during marriage, events, ceremonies, festivals, and other celebrations. This can be a perfect business for you if you own land, as you can cultivate your own flowers and sell them to the dealers. If not, you can become the middleman, take the flowers from farmers and sell them to the retail market.
38. Real Estate Agent
This is yet another trending business, especially after the boom in the real estate market. If you wish to start this business, you must know about property rates and taxes. As a real estate agent, you become the middleman between the buyer and seller of the property.
You get a commission as the deal gets finalized, the property rates are pretty high, so even a little commission can help make good money. To become a real estate agent, it is essential for you to have a valid license.
You can become a driver in any car renting company, such as Ola, Uber, Lyft, etc. You can drive cabs on the weekend or after your office hours. To become a cab driver, you need to have a valid driving license, and there should be no criminal background. The best part about this job is that you can schedule your own time as per your availability.
40. Yoga Instructor
Yoga has gained a lot of popularity among health enthusiasts these days. If you have knowledge of yoga and associated asanas, this can be a great side business for you. You can start a batch at home or give online classes in your free time or on weekends. Remember, to become a yoga instructor; you need to know everything about yoga properly.
Cross-reference: How a career in yoga will help you make money
41. Ladies Clothing Shop
Starting a ladies’ boutique is profitable if you can fetch a good clientage. Ladies’ clothing is a massive industry comprising a range of clothing items and fabrics. Once you know your target audience by defining the age group you are making clothes for and the type of clothes you want to sell (casual, formal, or semi-formal), you can make this side business your primary one.
42. Electronic Franchise Store
Struggling to find a sought-after plan to take an edge over the competition? Then, why not establish an electronic franchise shop as a side hustle and boost your income?
Setting up a franchise store rather than opening a local electronics shop is preferred as you do not need to build brand credibility. Additionally, studies have revealed that the franchisee business’s success rate is more than 95% compared to the success rate of startups, which is 15%.
There are speedy advancement technologies, and the electronics sector is upgrading at a fast pace. Therefore, the electronics business is profitable.
43. PR Consulting
PR consultant enables clients to build successful relationships with their prospects. You can establish your career goals and pursue your ambition by learning more about the career of PR consulting.
Simultaneously, it can be an incredible side hustle that can increase your income. All you need to do is make great use of your learnings and skills and make money by charging a handsome amount for sharing your expertise with others. Furthermore, working as a PR consultant also widen your network, and help you make influential contacts such as public influencers and journalists.
44. Mobile Retail Shop
Are you thinking of a side business idea with a decent income? You can make your dream come true by setting up a mobile retail shop, as a mobile business is one of the booming businesses worldwide.
The mobile business offers a lot of flexibility and convenience. It is one business where you can get a lot of customers in a day and incur a lot of revenue as the demand for mobile phones is consistently increasing. An excellent-performing mobile shop makes an average of 20% net profit daily.
45. Organic Farming
Searching for a sustainable business idea that also contributes to society? Look no further than organic farming. This excellent business idea enables your customers to maintain their health by eating safe, chemical/pesticide-free food you grow.
The demand for organic food is increasing with the rise of health-conscious people, specifically in big cities. You can directly sell organic produce to consumers online and even sell it to retail outlets.
46. Advertising Agency
Advertising agencies help businesses save a lot of time by increasing their brand awareness with an advertising campaign. All your clients (companies) need to do is focus on high-value activities, while you (the advertising agency) will take care of the rest.
Starting an advertising agency is a lucrative idea that has a bright future. Businesses of all sizes are hiring advertising agencies today, leading to an increase in demand. So, why not make the most of this opportunity by establishing your side business as an advertising agency?
47. Caterer Business
Unlike many other businesses, the best part about the caterer business is that it does not require high initial investments. The catering business can be enjoyable and fulfilling if you can please your clients while indulging your love for food and people. Ensuring you deliver the same what your clients ask for can make you thrive in this industry.
48. Website Flipping
This is yet another best side business ideas in India these days. Website Flipping is an excellent side business for people looking for something that can be done from home. In website flipping, one needs to purchase an already existing website, design it better, improve the content, and can sell it for a profit.
49. Paper Bag Making Business
Since plastic bags have been banned, there has been a huge demand for paper bags in the market. In fact, many people are becoming aware of environmental issues and prefer using paper bags. You can make use of this opportunity are create eco-friendly bags. You need to ensure that you provide paper bags at a relatively cheaper price to earn good money.
50. Car/Bike Washing and Detailing Service
The automobile market has gained a lot of popularity over the years in India. Car and bike users are increasing, and the need for servicing and detailing is seen. This is a huge business, and you do not need any minimum education requirements to start this business. This is a low-investment business, wherein you just need a space on rent and a few tools for cleaning and detailing of the vehicles.
Cross-reference: Why Professional Car Detailing is Lucrative Business Today
51. Driving School Business
If you are a pro at driving, this can be a great side business. A lot of people seek driving schools to learn to drive a car; you can start a school and charge a fixed fee for providing complete training. You can teach students before your office hours or at weekends.
The best side business ideas in India cater to various sectors and leverage personal skills, interests, and market demands. Whether it’s freelancing, e-commerce, specialized services, or digital marketing, there is something for everyone to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.
However, success in a side business requires careful planning, market research, and effective time management. It is crucial to understand legal and tax requirements, create a solid business plan, and continuously adapt to changing market dynamics.