India is a land of opportunities. You need to discern them and monetize upon with your gumption. Due to the seasonal nature of these business avenues, you need not invest significant capital or seek various licenses. You can take home substantial profits just by taking timely strategic decisions.
Seasonal Business Ideas
India is a land of festivities. People like to splurge on items they can use to flaunt their affluence status. The challenge lies in capitalizing on this trait of Indian populace successfully. This calls for choosing the most promising of seasonal business ideas that is compatible with your locality, budget, and sourcing capabilities.
Identifying the Business Potential
The primary question is which business to dabble in. Well, the answer lies in things that bring out spirited participation from different strata of society on a single occasion. If you are residing in North India, the upcoming Holi festival is rife with opportunities for minting quick money. In South India, Onam or pongal can prove to be your fortune changer. Similarly, west Indians revel in Makar Sankranti and east Indians celebrate Durga and Kali Puja with gusto.
Start by recceing your neighborhood to understand the financial status of residents. Once done, wait patiently for a particular festival to arrive. Visit the market to identify the seasonal businesses where people flock the most. The demographic equation should also be analyzed. If a younger population is to be targeted, you need to attach a zesty touch to enhance the appeal of your service. If middle-aged people are your prospects, too much glitz may drive them away. You can directly approach people to survey about their seasonal needs and the amount they are willing to shell out for particular items. Analyze the existing competition in the market to cautiously build up your plan.
Chalking Out the Plan
The answer for how to start a seasonal business lies in the business you plan to start. Accordingly, you can mobilize resources and also arrange for capital.
Prominent businesses that have proven record of providing rich returns in the short term are briefly summarized below:
Noise and light lift the spirit of Indians. Crackers are essential accompaniment of every festive occasion and any moment where the ebullience of soul has to be displayed. Profit margin on crackers is also high. Despite the fact that they come at a premium, people of all economic stature love to purchase them. Your best bet for short term can be cracker business.
Occasions for merrymaking by bursting of crackers come several times a year. This implies that if you are not able to get rid of the inventory in one go, you can dispose it off in tranches.
- Holi colors
Holi, or the festival of colors, is a manifestation of the dynamic nature of Indian psyche which fails to remain content with a monochromatic life. Colors or gulal can fetch you significant margin on investment as people love to smear colors on the faces of loved ones.
If the percentage of younger population in your locality is high, your profit curve would accordingly go up as the freewheeling nature of youngsters motivates them to enjoy more with peers.
Raksha bandhan is a festival which is seen as an occasion for strengthening the divine bond of love between brothers and sisters. People of all communities and economic classes actively believe in showing the affection between siblings through designer Rakhis which would dazzle at the wrists of brothers all day long.
More weightage is attached to the uniqueness of the designs and no one really bothers about spending a few extra bucks to get a hold of rakhis that have a distinctive charm of their own. This seasonal business is worth investing in as returns are rich and assured.
Kites once were a perennial pastime of Indian youngsters. After the advent of smartphone era, the appeal of kite has faded among younger masses. However, during the season of Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan, buying designer kites and engaging in competition with others is considered a status symbol with spiritual undertones. You can cash upon this habit of Indians by putting up a stall of eclectic kites that would make a style statement of their own.
- Cold drink stalls
Gulping down a bottle of cold drink recharges the depleted energy of visitors. Most people after enjoying themselves on festive occasion eagerly search for cold drink stalls to sip in a refreshing bottle. Putting up cold drink stalls can prove to be a profitable proposition.
- Ice cream vending
During Puja celebrations or other occasions falling in summer months, setting up an ice cream vending machine at strategic locations can promise steady income.
- Serving local gourmet delicacies
Each Indian is bon vivant in his or her own capacity. People love lip smacking tastes that usually are not present in home cooked dishes. As such, setting up a food joint where you can serve gourmet dainties depending upon the food preferences of the locality would prove to be a profitable venture. The skills of the chef would prove decisive in pulling crowds and spreading the word about your venture through mouth based promotions and evangelists.
- Designer jewelry shop
During festive months, Indian ladies want to deck them up with ornate jewelry. It can be seen as a display of financial superiority. Modern women prefer minimalistic designs with precious stones studded alluringly whereas ladies holding conventional viewpoints prefer well-filigreed jewelry. Demand for imitation jewelry also experiences an upsurge. You can monetize on this trend by setting up a shop where jewelry, both original and imitations, from reputed brands carrying hallmarks would be put up for sale.
- Sweet and dry fruit shop
Festival means exchanging sweets among acquaintances and also consecrating sweets to gods and goddesses. This implies that your decision to set up sweet, dry fruit and chocolate shop would be abundantly rewarded.
- Bakery shop
Christmas is also a festival that is ardently celebrated across India. The warmth of the occasion is reflected through delicious cupcakes and bakery products which people love to eat and gift. During Christmas, setting up a bakery shop can help you make quick cash easily.
- Customized Puja Thalis
Karva Chauth and other pujas feature ladies dressed up in traditional attires fasting and then breaking the fast by consecrating Puja Thalis to gods and goddesses. Designer thalis that have all the requirements properly provided see their demand peaking during pujas. The intensity of one’s emotions is displayed by the beauty of the thali. Selling pre-arranged thalis can be your moment of the day.
There is no shortage of ideas. Once you have finalized the business that you would invest in, you need to execute your seasonal business plan meticulously.
Arranging the Capital
The first step in the direction of materializing your plan is to secure capital for procurement of merchandise. If you have readily available funds with you, start looking for a reliable supplier. Else, you need to register yourself as a small scale entrepreneur with Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. The process is simple with needful formalities detailed on the ministry’s online portal.
Registration would enable you to secure Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) from Indian government’s start-up fund. The ministry would provide a guarantee on behalf of you for getting loans from nationalized banks. The repayment period is long and interest charged is nominal. You can rent space and mobilize resources easily. Further, after registration, income from your business is exempted from tax for the first three years.
Taking Needful Licenses
Before setting up the business, you need to inform the local police station and the municipality ward in written about your professional intent. This is needed for securing clearances from these agencies. The clearance would serve as your seasonal business license for operating in the locality.
If you have PAN issued against your name, it is ok. But, if you have gotten yourself registered with Ministry for securing a loan, you need to get PAN and TAN issued in the name of your firm by filling out Form 49A and 49B and uploading needful documents on TIN-NSDL’s site.
You would also have to apply for GST (Goods and Service Tax) number. You can get your business registered for GST number on the site of Central Board of Excise and Customs (http://www.cbec.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/gst). If you intend to employ a number of seasonal workmen, you have to secure labor license and also comply with EPF and ESIC norms.
Marketing and Promotion
You need to be conspicuous after setting up the business. This calls for intensive marketing through all possible channels. The best way is to promote your business through local cable channel where your business and contact number would be flashed prominently on TV screens.
You can also build Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages and develop a loyal fan following for promoting your business among them. If any local newspaper or magazine is published in the area, grab your ad spot on it. You can also hire the services of public announcement agencies and spread the word about your business on microphones and through handbills.
Kick-starting the Business
On an opportune moment, get your business inaugurated by a prominent person of the locality. This would also help you grab more eyeballs. Have attractive discounts in place for early birds.
Remember to keep the seasonal business start-up cost competitive, buy only the stock that you would be able to dispose of within the season. Don’t have additional inventory stocked up with you. Enter into an agreement with the supplier to facilitate sourcing of products at a moment’s notice. Hire proficient seasonal workers who have prior experience in this domain.
Profits and Future
An investment of around INR 1-2 lakhs is mandated for any business. However, with proper planning and management, you can take home about 20-30% of your investment as profit. Seasonal businesses strategically carried out have always proved to be profitable and the same would happen in your case too.