10 Great Small Business Ideas in Pakistan for 2016

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to start with some ideas to help all the budding entrepreneurs out there get going. If you ask someone whether he or she wants to start a business, the answer is seldom ‘no’ – it’s mostly ‘yes’ or ‘at some point in the future’, or ‘if I get a great idea, maybe’ – well, today we’re going to look at 50 small business ideas in Pakistan for 2016 that can work with moderate to low investment and should appeal to men, women and students alike.

Before we continue though, please remember that these aren’t comprehensive business plans but mere ideas that merit further exploration and research if they appeal to you. You can however message me for more details or guidance about any idea you may have for a small business in Pakistan.

#1. Home tuition, scaling into a small academy

This is a very lucrative business opportunity if you put some time and effort into it. Look around you, your neighbours, their friends, friends of friends or even relatives often need tutoring for subjects like Math, Science and English.

If you are (or were) actually good at one or all of them, you can easily start a home tuition service for evenings. This is suitable for students as well, and females who want to work from home can set up classes in an empty room or their drawing room.

Even experienced teachers in top schools around Islamabad and Rawalpindi are running tuition academies in the evenings and the more successful ones earn in millions of rupees.

If you are just starting though, the proper way is to create a teaching plan and syllabus for yourself to follow so the process is streamlined and you are not just experimenting every day.

This idea has the potential to be scaled into a full-fledged tuition academy, but I will be discussing more on this topic later in a dedicated post.

#2. Home cooked food delivery for offices

This is not something new or unique, but it still works very well, even in 2016, and can be started off with a low investment. Home cooked food delivery is actually quite big in areas of Lahore, Karachi and even Islamabad.

You may think the market is saturated, but the thing about food is that there is always room for better. If you can cook or have someone cook top quality food, deliver good portions, make timely deliveries and charge affordable prices, you’ve got a recipe for success.

There are of course some marketing requirements, but that is where you will need to invest just a little bit to get going and then leave the rest to word of mouth.

#3. Grocery delivery service

This is another small business idea in Pakistan that can work, but it needs a little patience because it requires building trust among customers. I always recommend starting delivery services from local areas instead of claiming to cover whole cities because it allows you to properly service the few customers you do get instead of ruining your brand by providing poor service after being spread thin.

In this case you simply need to find a large wholesale store in your locality that sells goods at affordable prices and then mark up the prices just a little. You can market your items on Facebook if you don’t want to start a website and start with small, low-risk items to encourage people to try you out.

#4. Custom shirt printing

This is another easy idea to implement with a little investment. If you can find a local shirt printing contact and settle on a fixed price for repeat business, you just have to come up with simple designs, most of which are easily available via a simple Google images search.

Once you find a couple of trendy designs you think will do well, get them printed and start a Facebook page to upload pictures of the shirts and offer free home delivery in your own city.

This idea works as long as you have trendy designs, bright colors and good quality fabric. Once the volume of your orders increases, so will your profits.

#5. Guest house for students

This idea also works really well but needs considerably more investment than the other ideas. You don’t really need to own a property for this, you can easily rent a building and set up your hostel for students. Since most good universities in Pakistan are located in central cities, a lot of students travel from far flung areas to study and need proper living spaces for a couple of years at least.

Most of these students are looking for add-ons apart from just housing, like daily meals, laundry and other facilities. This means there is a good margin of profit if you can house a fair number of tenants and then hire cooks and cleaners to attend to their needs.

The only issue with this business is that it requires regular supervision in the form of visits to the property to ensure that things run smooth and the property is not misused.

#6. Snooker or pool club

Snooker and pool are popular games in almost all cities of Pakistan and if managed properly, running a snooker or pool club can be a profitable business. While this also requires initial investment to purchase snooker and pool tables (which can range from 50k to 150k each), you can look for second-hand or used tables and find fair deals.

Caution is advised here though, because if you are not familiar with these tables it is best that you take someone along who is, because the quality of the table’s fabric and the marble under it is of prime concern.

This business also requires constant supervision however and a proper system of check and balance.

#7. Dress designing and tailoring

What the old ‘master sahabs’ used to do years ago is now done by trendy designers at thrice the prices, and yet, there is huge demand for women’s clothing in Pakistan. This business idea is great for women with fashion designing degrees and courses because they can put them to use and create a small brand of their own.

If you can tailor clothes, you’re good to go. If you can’t, you just need to find a local tailor who is good at his job and follows instructions properly. After that, you just need to get orders and then have them made by your trusty tailor.

This business is also complimented by Facebook pages and your first few customers can be your own relatives or friends to get the ball rolling. Once you get more orders though, the profit margins become huge. You will however need to invest a lot of your time in this business.

#8. Event photography

Events like wedding have gotten very elaborate in Pakistan now and that means there is huge demand for fancy clothes, beauty salons and photographers. Gone are the days when photography was outside the domain of a layman, now with DSLR cameras in Pakistan becoming much more affordable, anyone with a little passion for the art can pick up a camera, take some online lessons and be snapping awesome shots.

Once again, you will need a Facebook page for this along with a readymade portfolio of events to show prospective clients. While it is difficult to get paid orders in the start, you can just take your camera along to any weddings you are attending and take your shots, post them on Facebook and label them under your brand – if you are good and quote reasonable prices, you are likely to get orders eventually.

#9. Reselling items on OLX

This is actually something a lot of people do and it doesn’t even need a lot of your time because you can manage it on the side as long as you know about the things you wish to resell. A lot of people resell mobile phones on OLX for a profit while others sell pets and other items.

There is room for good profit in this business but it requires more planning. As long as you can find a reliable source of items at affordable rates, you can try your luck on OLX and other portals to see how they sell.

#10. Imported accessories and jewelry

A lot of Chinese e-commerce portals are now delivering to Pakistan and delivery of said items usually takes between 10 – 15 days. Since most Chinese items are priced very low, it presents an opportunity for a business, where you can import accessories and jewelry for ladies from Chinese sites like Ali Baba.

Clothing items are also easily available, and you may want to try a few different items the first time to get an idea of the quality. After that you simply have to set up a Facebook page and sell your items at higher prices for a profit.

You will be surprised at how many people are doing this right now and making decent money.

For now, these are 10 great ideas for small businesses in Pakistan and you can pick any one of them depending on your own qualifications, location, connections and capital. Remember however, that every business requires patience, hard work and smart marketing. I hope these ideas were helpful for you – please feel free to comment below or contact me for any questions or concerns.

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About the Author Hunain Naseer

Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer, Mentor, Chief Editor, WordPresser, Creative Writer, Lawyer, Gamer, Graphic Designer, Left-Handed, Meat Eater, Almost Human. You can contact Hunain on Twitter, FB or via Email.

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Leave a Comment:

Iftikhar Siddiqi says June 4, 2016

I have a two kanal artistically built house constructed in 1939
in Abu Bakar Block, New Garden Town, Lahore that is partially rented out. It has two big rooms of 20’x20′ and a hall of 15’x30′. I want to use it for multiple business ventures like furniture-painting display, shared office space and much more. What do you suggest?

    Hunain Naseer says June 6, 2016

    Hi Iftikhar,

    Like any other business idea, I would recommend that you try and validate both your ideas first before investing time and money into them. For instance, you should assess whether there is demand and then consider the feasibility of supplying. Is there a demand by artists and exhibitors trying to show off their paintings and creations? Is your place near any art schools or colleges? Would it be convenient for art lovers to reach your place at all hours of the day?

    Likewise, for the office space idea, you will need to get 24/7 internet access and power backup apart from office furniture etc. Is there demand for such spaces near your area? I believe there are a couple of universities near Abu Bakar Block, do any of them teach IT or computer science?

    The best way to validate both these ideas with the least amount of effort would be to post an ‘available for rent in Lahore’ ad on OLX or other online classifieds sites. This way you can get call backs from interested parties and work out the other details.

    I would also recommend that you consider the legality of starting a business in your area if you want to do it the proper way. But, as I suggested, the first phase would be validation of these ideas to figure out whether they are worth pursuing – in summary, the best way to do that will be to talk to your friends, colleagues and post ads online.

    Please feel free to write back and share more of your experience with this. Goodluck!

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