As a woman entrepreneur aspiring to venture in to business or expand your scale of operations you should focus on areas that are high on potential, easy to set up, let you use your expertise and skills and in some cases permit you to work flexi-hours and from home as well.
Here are some ideas for businesses that you could set up…
The Food Business
Food is something that transcends geographical boundaries which is why setting up a venture that satisfies taste buds of the local community or even expats in your city will always have takers. You will have people eating out of your hands…literally!
I recently read an article on two expats based in one of India’s metropolitan cities who serve up bagels and croissants which have hit it off as great breakfast ideas among the local community and expats.
You could also establish an eatery that supplies specialty food products to take advantage of a great market opportunity. The good news is that you don’t need a lot of products; people are doing well with single food products like cupcakes, momos, chocolates and their variations.
Very often setting up a service that caters to the specific needs of the expat community is a good idea, for instance a catering service or restaurant for authentic French cuisine, Italian food or even a pub where they can meet up.
If running a restaurant or catering service seems overwhelming and too much for you to handle on your own then teaching people to cook can be just as exciting and profitable a venture. People from all over the world are eager to learn different cuisines and all you have to do is share your culinary skills with an eager bunch of pupils.
You could also supply your students with hard to find ingredients and spices to supplement your income. Compiling your recipes in booklet form and circulating it among your students is a value addition proposition that you can apply.
The internet has opened up several avenues for writers that too in various genres. You could become a travel writer or guide book author. Running your own website targeted at expatriates, business owners, tourists or any other niche of internet users is another alternative.
Opportunities to showcase your writing abound and you could write articles for websites like Connectture, the Tossed Salad, Reader’s Digest, Transitions Abroad, Travel Post Monthly, and Chillibreeze among others.
You could also set up a blog and vend your writing skills like Umm Yusuf (Kimberly Ben) of The Working Muslimah did and very successfully too.
This one is for those of you who don’t like the idea of working round the clock. A versatile option, consultancy is something that can be applied to different arenas…personal shoppers, educational consultants, counselors, financial experts and what not. Your experience and qualifications are the critical factor here.
The sky is the limit as far as creativity in consultancy goes. Take the case of Sunita Mohan, an Urban Gardener who is teaching well heeled city folk in India’s financial capital, Mumbai to set up their own garden. Sunita will help you get a customized garden in Mumbai on your terrace, balcony, kitchen or window sill. She will also throw in tips on maintenance and sourcing materials so you won’t be alone in your bid to acquire your own urban green thumbs.
Sunita’s venture also sells seedlings and plants of hard-to-find plants and trees – passion fruit, red ginger, and mangosteen – as well as seasonal produce. Her basket of organic produce holds broccoli, bok choy, dill, sage, thyme and more.
Does Sunita’s venture inspire you? It sure inspired me.
Wellbeing and Wellness
More and more people today are investing in their own well being so if you have expertise in anything that can make people feel good about themselves then you could set up a venture in that area.
Teaching people yoga, Reiki, meditation and imparting various forms of alternative healing and therapies are some ideas that come to mind.
Considering the general obsession with appearances the beauty business is something that most women often find rewarding. Be it hair, makeup or skin helping others look and feel good is a lucrative home based business. Some minimum investment in electronic equipments and other requirements is all you need to turn your dream of owning a business in to reality.
Having said that all you need to get your business up and running is enthusiasm, commitment and the energy to ensure that you succeed as a business woman.