Small Business Ideas In Small Towns

Posted: December 5, 2013

In this edition of the Q&A for working women in India, life coach Jaya Narayan helps a woman constrained by her small town location explore business ideas leveraging the internet and her talent.

Dear All,

My name is Namrata. I did my post-graduation in English and for the last 5 years I have been into teaching forcibly. I used the word “forcibly” because I really do not like teaching. I have realized that I need to change my job. No more teaching.  But I am stuck because I am unable to get any idea as what I should do? The place where I reside along with my husband is a very small town, thus very less opportunities for experimenting.  I want to start a business. I have thought of starting a play school. 




It will be really kind of you to suggest business ideas. What can I do – any business, any field.

Hope you can understand my situation. Thanks in advance

Dear Namrata

Thanks for writing to us. I can understand your frustration in engaging in a career that is not driven by choice. As a first step, I would encourage you to read about finding your career strengths before you decide on the immediate next step.

On a parallel note, I am wondering how running a play school would be drastically different from a teaching role. Unless you plan to focus on the operations and someone else would do the teaching.

I do hear ‘loud and clear’ the constraint of staying in a small town.

Here are some business ideas for you to explore –

– At the outset, think about a broad list of activities that you enjoyed doing. Out of these, which could be converted into a fulfilling career option or a business idea? Be it a craft or hobby that you are particularly good at or a creative field that you may be trained in. There are so many examples of women building a strong career foundation – be it music, dance, storytelling, writing, baking, fashion etc. There is no dearth of opportunity as long as you have a talent, you enjoy it and can productise it to an audience who is willing to buy.

– Even though you stay in a smaller city – we are all connected via the World Wide Web. Is there something you can do, leveraging the internet that does not isolate you. Please research on career options that can be managed virtually. Out of the list you make, ask yourself – Is there something that seems particularly exciting or fits your profile?

– There are so many people getting into tourism by setting up a home stay or offering an authentic cultural experience. If your place has such a potential, I would suggest building a concept around it.

If you initiate research, you will find many ideas that can trigger your thought process. I would suggest you work with the mind set of “anything is possible”. Else you will narrow your options based on where you live and the constraints that you know of.

I look forward to hear what opportunity you created based on your talent.

Best Wishes

Have an issue at the workplace? Want to work on your people skills? Find networking daunting? Need help with appraisals? Wondering what you should do to move up the ladder? Not sure about switching jobs or careers? Click here to send us your questions and get them answered by the experts!

*Photo credit: blacknight (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

Jaya Narayan is a Life Coach and HR consultant.

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