Ever since e-commerce went mainstream, naysayers have been expecting the retail industry to collapse. But what happened was something completely different. New retail business ideas cropped up and existing retailers adapted to the increasingly digital world.
Today, the retail industry is extremely resilient and is ready to accept newcomers with open arms for a successful future. In other words, if you plan to enter the retail industry, the timing cannot be more right.
What Is Retail Business?
Before you start to plan for your retail business ideas, it is important to know what is a retail business. A retail business is a type of business where a person sells either products or services for the customer’s use.
In a retail business, the product is sold at a higher price than in a wholesale business.
How To Start A Retail Business
Starting a retail business can be a challenging but rewarding venture. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Develop a business plan: Determine your business goals, target market, products or services, and financial projections.
- Choose a location: Consider factors such as foot traffic, competition, and accessibility.
- Register your business: Choose a legal structure, register with the appropriate authorities, and obtain the necessary permits and licenses.
- Secure funding: Determine your start-up costs, and explore financing options such as loans, grants, or investors.
- Build a team: Hire employees who share your vision and can help you execute your business plan.
- Source and stock inventory: Research and select quality products that appeal to your target market.
- Market your business: Develop a marketing strategy that includes a website, social media presence, and other advertising methods.
- Launch and grow: Launch your business, and continually assess and adjust your strategies to ensure growth and success.
Retail Business Ideas in India
To help you even further, we have listed down ten retail business ideas that you can embrace right now.
Did Macklemore & Ryan Lewis make the Thrift Shop oh-so-cool? Maybe. Gen Z and millennials, driven by platforms like Instagram, are following the trend of being mindful shoppers by thrifting.
Not only do thrift shops take unwanted items off of people’s hands, but they also refurbish and resell them at a reasonable price. One of the biggest advantages of this business is that most items will come to the store in the form of donations.
This means that no money needs to be paid to middlemen or manufacturers.
Aspiring thrift shop owners can start by selling items from their own wardrobes and asking their immediate circle of friends and relatives to pitch in. Once there is a large enough client base and the revenue is satisfactory, they can start scouting for second-hand vendors to build inventory.
And once you have the required inventory, there is free software for inventory management that make the job hassle-free.
Art Supplies Store
High-profit margins and additional income streams will always follow an art supplies store that provides popular and high-quality products.
This is one of the best retail shop business ideas for people who are genuinely passionate about art and is knowledgeable about the market. But before choosing an idea, you should know how to sell online in India.
In addition to selling art, the business can also conduct classes at the store, host events/private parties, and art exhibitions, or even integrate a coffee bar into the store.
If the store is in a populous part of the city or town, the business can even cater to a niche. For example, the store can specialize in Mural art.
Speciality Food Store
We have all at one point seen something online or on TV, checked around every supermarket only to come home disappointed. This is a problem people are increasingly facing with exotic and specialty food items.
Large stores simply may not procure such items in bulk because it makes no sense for them to do so. If an area’s grocery selection is limited to such big box stores, it is a lucrative option to start a niche business offering imported food, gourmet items, and gift baskets.
You should be a knowledgeable foodie who can source unique specialty items and can guide customers about the finest details about food and drinks. The business can also offer catering for small events with party trays, beer, and wine selections.
Organic produce and healthy food is other specialty food that is under-served in many small cities and towns. People are becoming more selective about their diet, and this makes it one of the best retail business ideas for small towns in India. Clicks on the link, if you really want to know about the top food business ideas in India.
In recent days, craft beer has risen in popularity in India and fueled the growth of microbreweries here. The beer market was valued at 5533.73 Million Liters in 2020 and is expected to reach 9004.74 Million Liters by 2025.
People seek out craft beer because it is perceived to be of better quality and of different flavors. The young urban population with higher disposable income makes up a large section of the customer base.
Another reason is that microbreweries are places where people come to relax after a week of grinding work. Ambiance, flavor variety, location, etc., are some of the factors that determine success in the craft beer business.
This one is for non-alcoholic beverage lovers out there. Not everyone drinks alcohol, but they would still like to hang around at a place that is just as fun as a bar.
This is exactly the demand that a coffeehouse aims to meet. It is pretty evident that Indians love freshly brewed cups of coffee. According to Statista’s reports, the coffee industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2020 to 2025.
This is why a coffeehouse can turn out to be an extremely profitable business idea if done right. The market is a lot more evenly spread out – smaller cities and towns included. Entrepreneurs can either build a new brand from the ground up or open a franchise of an already established brand.
Another option is to buy out a struggling coffeehouse and fix the parts that were weighing down the business. Starting your own microbrewery is definitely one of the best retail business ideas.
Investment- INR 10 to 20 lakh
Profit Margin- 20% to 80%
Vehicles are prized possessions, and owners like to keep them clean even if they can’t find the time to do it themselves. That is why the car/bike wash business has been a productive one for a long time.
If the business gets efficient, net revenue can reach around 50%. This business has taken a huge leap, especially in recent years, owing to the increase in automobile ownership and due to technological innovations.
Most car washes today also provide basic automobile care, including coating, rebuilding, applying tints, etc. Yes, the competition is high, but what percentage of the competition is actually raising the bar in terms of quality of service?
It will most likely be not as high as one would expect it to be. If a car wash business over-delivers on its promises, they are well on its way to retaining a large percentage of its customer base and also getting new ones purely based on referrals.
Investment- INR 25 lakh
Profit Margin- 40%
To most people, a flower shop may look like something that earns the owners the bare minimum. After all, it is just flowers, right? Most people won’t even be able to comprehend the big money that flows through an average flower shop.
The ones who do would have definitely thought, “Why didn’t I think of doing this for a living?”. There is huge money to be made in this business.
People buy flowers for special occasions – be it for greeting someone after being away for a long time, on valentines’ day, or for more extravagant events like weddings and betrothals. The demand for flowers is almost constant, with a sharp rise during festive seasons like Diwali.
Florists not only need to know a lot about flowers and decorative plants, but they should also be skilled in detailing and building an aesthetic appeal around the products. Sourcing supplies from the right suppliers is also important. The stock should arrive at the store as fresh as possible.
The modern flower shop owner cannot expect the business to succeed without building a strong online presence. In fact, a lot can be done for the brand using one platform alone – Instagram.
If the store owner has a decent smartphone camera and knows how to create posts (including reels), that’s all that’s needed to get started with marketing. Hence with low investment and great returns, this is among the best great retail business ideas that you can opt for.
Investment- INR 50,000
Profit Margin- 60 – 90%
Indians are prioritizing their health more than ever since the events of the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand and market value of medicines have shot through the roof. It would not be the worst of ideas to make a lot of money by getting into the pharmacy business, now would it?
According to the Indian Economic Survey 2021, the domestic pharmacy market is expected to reach $65 billion by 2024. The pharmacy business is also one of the few evergreen businesses in India, almost unaffected by economic cycles.
A drug license is necessary to start a pharmacy business. The licenses are controlled by the Central Drug Control Organization and The State Drugs Standard Control Organization. A minimum floor space of 10 square meters is recommended.
Since people are so used to buying online, it would be a great small business idea to partner up with a delivery partner too.
Investment- INR 3-4 Lacs
Profit Margin- 20-25%
Running a salon can be a very rewarding business opportunity. The Indian market, in particular, is said to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The Indian beauty industry is expected to be worth over $20 Billion by 2025.
There are different business models to choose from depending on what aspects of the business you would like to take up and the kind of services you plan to offer to customers.
Some of the most preferred business models include Spa centers, Wellness centers, hair and skin clinic, and traditional beauty parlor or salons. This is an industry that accommodates small retail business ideas as well as large-scale ones.
Therefore, it is essential for owners to freeze on a business model, scale, and ownership structure.
There are lots of successful franchises like Naturals, Lakme, and Green Trends to choose from if you decide to go ahead with a franchise model instead of setting up an independent brand.
Investment- INR 15 lakh to 30 lakh
Profit Margin- 10% to 20%
Tea is right up there, with coffee as India’s favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Tea shops have taken up a different persona in the recent past.
They are no longer a place just to have the same tea. The modern tea shop offers an array of flavors, including masala tea, herbal tea, dum tea, etc., along with light snacks like Poha and Biscuits.
A tea joint located next to high traffic areas like schools, colleges, and IT parks can bring in moolah and make the business profitable in no time.
Investment- INR 10,000
Profit Margin- 30%
To start this business, you do not require any specialized knowledge or anything like that. Fruits are the primary product in the Indian market as India has the largest agricultural market. You can easily start your business in fruits and maybe also specialize in fruits.
Investment- INR 35,000
Profit Margin- 40%
Other Retail Business Ideas
Some other retail business ideas are:
- Pet Store
- Plant Nursery
- Fabric Store
- Kids Store
- Banquet Hall
- Food Truck
- Pizza Store
- Coaching Centre
Also Read: 12 Business Ideas in Assam you must See before Starting
Types of Retail Businesses
There are three types of retail businesses that you should know about as you begin to think of retail business ideas for yourself.
Low Investment Business
Low-investment businesses are the ones that require very less investment. They are perfect for people who need a side hustle with their other job. Some examples of low-investment retail businesses in India are stationary, Kirana, Tea stalls, fruit stores, etc.
Medium Investment Business
Medium investment businesses are basically small-scale businesses that have flourished over a period of time. To start a medium investment business you would require slightly more money but not a lot. When it comes to medium investments, Medical stores, Saree shops, Cosmetic stores, and Gift shops are the best example.
High Investment Business
High-investment businesses are the kinds that need a lot of money to run. Today, one can get business loans to start such a business in our country. Coffee shops, Ice Cream parlors, Car Wash, and Two-Wheeler showrooms are the best example of high-investment retail businesses.
How to Start a Retail Business
Here are the top retail business tips for a new business that you need to follow:
Write A Business Plan
Every business needs a full-fledged plan. There are several businesses that are launched each year but only a few of them get successful and that is because they lack proper planning. You must work on a concrete five-year plan for the business that covers all aspects of it.
Set Your Goals And Objectives
A plan without a goal is of no use to anyone and would not take you anywhere. One needs to define strategies and tactics to work on various things in a retail business like deadlines, key dates, cash flow, and budget. You must have short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans with you.
Define Your Uniqueness
There would be many businesses just like yours in the market. There would be some that would be older than your business and there would be some who would be new. What is important is for you to define how you are different from each one of them. Define what is it that you have and they don’t.
Analyze The Industry
Analyze everything regarding your business like who are your competitors, who are your target audience is, how much money you would require etc.
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How Can Lio Help With Your Retail Business?
To make your dreams come true of having a business of your own and managing it nicely, Lio App can help you big time. The app lets you keep all sorts of data together in a more organized manner. You can keep records, and create tables and lists while working solo or with a team.
The many features of Lio would help you with your retail business as you would be able to maintain all data on a track that you can use at any time. If you want to upload a document, then you can do that. Know the money transactions, cash inflow, profit and loss you are making, Udhaar, list of products, services, and even the teammates and clients that you have all in one place.
Your retail business ideas will certainly become a successful business if you go on this journey of managing your business with Lio.
Step 1: Select the Language you want to work on. Lio on Android
Step 2: Create your account using your Phone Number or Email Id.
Verify the OTP and you are good to go.
Step 3: Select a template in which you want to add your data.
Add your Data with our Free Cloud Storage.
Step 4: All Done? Share and Collaborate with your contacts.
How Lio Automation Can Help You Business Process
Business automation is used by not just big businesses but all entrepreneurs and start-ups. It is something that has really helped companies run a smoother process and learn from their mistakes. Companies who have adopted automation have really made a mark and have from 10X faster with the best possible results.
Lio Automation gives you many amazing features that make your work super simple and effective. There are very many features that will help you and your business in various aspects. From connecting and staying in touch with your customers, to working together as a team, and everything in between, Lio Automation will truly make your business run smoothly and make it reach new heights of success.
If you are using Lio Automation for your business processes consider all your data safe and secure all the time. Not only is the data saved in the cloud, but it also offers a data versioning feature in which you can actually see the many changes the document or file has gone through and who has made those changes. You can save the version of the file as required by you.
You can create dashboards for each file which would give you clear details of your company’s operations, marketing campaigns, sales, and other analytics. This is one useful feature that would truly make a difference to your business and help your see all the processes clearly so that you can make well-informed decisions.
Lio Automation also makes working in teams very easy with their Task feature. you can not just assign tasks to your team efficiently. You can set the priority of each task along with the due date. Your team will get a notification about the task automatically, even on Whatsapp, they can see their assigned tasks in the app, mark them complete, and you will get a notification on Whatsapp!
Not just this, Team management and work allocation are made super easy with Lio Automation. You can also work with teams in real time and see all the changes happening.
Lio also makes collecting valuable reviews from customers very easy with its automation process. Along with this, you can also manage leads very easily with the help of automation. Now no lead would be missed and can be responded to the minute you receive them.
There are several other amazing Lio automation features that are made so that you and your business can benefit from them. Excited to know more about it? Start with your Lio automation process for your brand and start your journey to success.
The retail industry in India is booming. Entrepreneurs should choose from the many retail business ideas that align with their interests and has the potential for scalability.
No matter how small the establishment, proper tracking of all the aspects of the business, including payments, attendance, and credit, is important for long-term success.
Entrepreneurs need not spend money on expensive software when they can simply download templates from Lio on any smartphone or tablet to keep track of their business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the Eligibility Criteria for a Loan in a Retail Business?
The eligibility criteria are:
– Business must have existed for 6 months
– Business should be profitable
– Age criteria are a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 65 years
– Annual turnover to be a minimum of 24 lakhs
– Good CIBIL score. 700 and above
– The applicant should be a citizen of India with no criminal record or with loan defaults.
Is the Retail Business Profitable?
Retail business is definitely profitable in our country and it also needs very low investment.
What are the details of loans that are offered by the banks?
The loan details are as under:
Interest rate – Up to 21% p.a.
Loan amount – Up to Rs. 75 lakh
Loan tenure – Up to 5 years
Processing fee – Up to 6.5% of the loan amount + GST
What is considered a Retail Business?
Businesses like grocery, departmental, and convenience stores, drug, rental places, and beauty salons, all come under retail businesses.
Are the retail businesses covered under MSME in India?
No, both retail and wholesale are not categorized under MSME.
Very informative article. Got to learn so much about the retail business. Please keep sharing more business ideas like these.
Thank you for your kind words! will surely share more articles related to retail business ideas in the coming weeks. Stay tuned !!
Liked the fact that you have mentioned the profit margin as well as investment amount of each retail business ideas very clearly.
Thankyou so much for taking your time out to read this. Means a lot.
Is it possible to make a good amount of profit from a thrift store or should I just stick to it as a hobby?
Thankyou for the question. Thrift store definitely helps in bringing profit as it is a lucrative business. Make sure that you offer the right products with right etiquettes in an organized manner along with a good marketing strategy. You’ll do great!