NRI Tips: Common Businesses to start overseas!
There are many ways to make a good living abroad, business is one of them. A business operation and ownership is not for everybody, you have to have an aptitude for ventures, willingness to take risks and understanding of different aspects of operating a business. Depending on your ambitions and circumstances, it may become an around-the-clock run that comes with huge rewards and big downsides. Along with the day-dreams of prosperity to follow, you and your stakeholders – family, partners, and investors – should also understand the possibility of losing your shirt.
For those, who have done their homework and understand the pros and cons of opening a business, here are some of the most common ones to consider:
1. Indian Grocery store: In the USA, Canada, England and other courtiers with Indian diaspora, there is quite a bit demand for Indian stores that carry common grocery items used in Indian cooking. This kind of business is ideal for the area with high concentration of Indian population.
2. Convenience store: A convenience store -a small store or shop that sells a little bit of everything- is another option for business. Depending on the location and demand, it could sell basic food items, ice-cream, candy, soft drinks, lottery tickets, along with any other groceries items on a small scale.
3. Gas station: Quite a few Indians are known to be in this business. Many times, a gas station is combined with a convenience store. Good location, high vehicle traffic, proximity to shopping area can add to the appeal and demand.
4. Liquor store: Many of us struggle with the morality of this business, as drinking conflicts with Indian religious beliefs. Discuss with your family and partners to make sure that you can operate a liquor store without any guilty conscience or feeling. If you cannot, then move on to something that is more rewarding to you and your soul. But, if you have no problem with moral aspect, then pick a busy location with lots of shoppers/traffic and make sure not to ‘drink and work’ at the same time. !
5. Hotel/Motel business:There is a common joke among the Indians from Gujarat that some of them prefer to buy a motel than a sofa-set. Some of the high-end hotels are affected by the economic slow down. So, make sure to check out the market conditions and location of the motel/hotel before you give up on a sofa !
6. Import/export: There is no shortage of demand for Indian products in America or Europe. Similarly India is hungry for American brand names. Pick something that you understand, look into the import/export laws and then make sure to evaluate the business aspect.
7. Taxi or limo business: This is another common option to consider. You can easily start small –say with one car or limo- and then add more vehicles and drivers as the operation grows. However, with the rise in gas price and slow-down in economy, this business is also hurting along with the rest.
8. Technical Consultancy: This one needs lots of connections along with demand for the kind of technical consultancy you are considering. Also, the understanding of ever-changing technology is a must. The competition is cut throat; however, there is always a demand for ‘good’ consultants who know their stuff.
9. Fast-food store: Many Indians invest in Pizza hut, subway or other fast-food chains. It does require a significant investment, but fast food places thrive in all economic conditions.
10. Art and craft: If you are into art and craft stuff, and if you can find a niche in this area, this is a good small business to look into. However, most of the bigger stores carry arts and craft items, so you need to carry a product line that is unique and has demand.
And here are 10 most uncommon on non-traditional business ideas for overseas as well.
A word of caution: Keep in mind my warning in the start of this article. Lots of businesses fail soon after they start due to lack of planning, poor business operation or flawed execution. It is no walk in the park by any means. A thorough investigation of overall business plan, efficient operation, evaluating the competition and understanding of market conditions always help toward a successful and fruitful business.
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