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Monday, 4 December 2017

How to start a Fresh Fruit Juice Business

Whenever we go to the adjacent super market, my younger son Peepo stops at the sugar cane juice counter and asks for juice. It has become a ritual for us to drink chilled sugar cane juice (chilling without ice, that's their speciality) when we do our grocery shopping.

Till recently, I had not realised that a fresh fruit juice joint is a decent profit making business. A school friend of mine, who did his engineering in electronics and then worked for good amount in IT sector started a juice and milkshake center in Dubai. One and half years back when I met him he told that he has quit his job and into full time business. Amazing right?

He was so humble to tell that his juice shop is earning bread and butter for the family. Knowing his lifestyle, it can't be a small business but he made it into a major one. Well, his life lessons made me realise that no business is big or small. It is all dependent on how you make it.

Starting a fresh juice business is a brilliant idea as fresh juices are considered as healthy food and is always in high demand. Let me share with you what all are required to start a fruit juice business.

How to start a fresh fruit juice business?

Fresh fruit juice business or setting up a juice bar is a low investment business in the food sector. You can setup a new juice shop with a capacity of 15-20 seats with a capital of 10  -15 lakhs.

The first and foremost thing to set up a juice bar is the location. You have to set it up in a place where people come often. Places like supermarkets, malls, offices, schools, shopping centers, movies, entertainment arenas etc are all filled with people who would like to get refreshed with a glass of fresh juice. Location is really critical because, if it is a remote place it will be hard to find customers.

Bring in a difference
Fresh juice is fresh juice. So to make your juice bar stand out, you have to bring in some difference from the normal juice shops. You can experiment with mixed fruit juices, new smoothie recipes, milkshakes with a twist to name a few. Say something like detoxifying Amla juice, strawberry-cucumber juice, tomato-vegetable juice are not regular juices.  Try out different recipes with your friends circle before you finalise the menu card.

Menu card
When the menu is ready, go for a design and  print out the menu card. Make it attractive as well as easily readable.

To set up a juice shop in India, you need to have a proper blenders for different types of juices. Citrus blender, juicer, filter and refrigerators are a must.

You need to work on a proper ambiance for the customers to relax and enjoy the cool drinks. Seating arrangements, wall furnishings, counter setup all has to enhance the experience of the customers. Special juice glasses that gives a rich feeling to the clients can elevate their mood.

Uninterrupted service
Once we went to a juice shop after shopping, unfortunately after they took the orders, power went off and they were in a fix. We waited patiently for half an hour or so till we finally got out juices served. But that experience remains as a bad mark in my mind regarding that shop and I will never visit that place again.

The quality of service takes above all other things. To ensure a supreme quality of service, equip your juice bar with uninterrupted supply of electricity, potable water and good refrigeration mechanisms.

You can't run the shop all by yourself, if you are planning for big returns. You have to employ people to take orders, make juice, clean the place and at the counter. Or you can do like KFC, Mc Donald's model by making it a self service juice bar to reduce the number of employees. On top of that, you can visit the shop every now and then and oversee the activities till it stabilises.

Look for tie ups
Instead of making it a stand alone juice bar, you can look for tie ups with running establishments. Say a gym, schools, colleges, workplaces to name a few. This can guarantee you regular customers. And overhead cost can be shared with the existing establishment.

Talk to the wholesalers
To reap huge profit and to procure freshest seasonal fruits, talk to the whole salers in your locality. they will give you at discounted rates, as you could possibly be their regular customers.

Work on the finances
Apart from the set up cost, you need to have operating cost to keep the juice shop running everyday. You have to do good share of marketing to increase the reach of your shop to newer customers every now and then.

Eco-friendly Measures 
Most of the waste from juice shops are green waste. You can run a side business by composting the waste and providing manure for the nurseries. That way your waste management becomes easier. Avoid using disposables like plastic straws to reduce the carbon footprints.

Legal Requirements to start a fruit shop in India

Every food manufacturing or processing entity needs a bare minimum FSSAI registration. For a moderate set up of juice bar, you need to get FSSAI license and register the shop as a private limited company. This will help you when you want to scale up the business with multiple outlets or using a franchise model.

Having said all these, in reality fresh fruit juice business in India is still in its nascent stage. It mostly covers the urban population. In rural places, it is a very small sector confined to road side sugar cane juice and lemon juice. In Chennai, I have seen people selling gooseberry juice especially in the early morning time catering to the morning runners and joggers.

But the increased awareness of fitness and healthy living surely is promising for fruit juice industry. Also fizzy drinks are getting slowly replaced by fresh fruit juices. Pre packed fresh fruit juices like Paper Boat are doing extremely well in this sector. It is indeed a great business to venture into.

Every business looks lucrative on papers. But only when you put your heart and soul into it, the real picture comes up. Fresh fruit juice business is an ideal business with less possible set backs. Just take one step at a time and do it right. In a period of time, everything will fall in place and the juice shop will run smoothly, reaping you regular profit. Isn't that a good way to create a pipeline of income for your family? So pull up your sleeves and get started! If you need any help, please email me or post it as a comment. I will help you with whatever information I have on fruit juice shop business.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

How to start a Cold Pressed Oil Reselling Business?

I had met Valli in a seminar around 5-6 months back. When I was browsing through my contacts on phone her name suddenly popped up and I thought of calling her. After regular hi hello conversation I asked her so what do you do? For which she replied:”I’m into reselling cold pressed edible oils. Not really to make huge profit, but we have benefited from the quality of oil and hence want it to reach more number of people”. The warmth in her conversation wanted me to book 2 bottles of coconut oil for my home use right away!
In fact, last couple of years have seen sudden increase in many people reselling these cold pressed oil citing the benefits of them over refined oil packets. It says refined vegetable oil is no more a healthy option for cooking. Nut and seed based oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, ground nut oil and mustard oil are the best for consumption. And the oil extracted right from the mill without refining is best for our body.

I had earlier written a post about How to start a Virgin Coconut Oil Business in this blog, as virgin coconut oil is regarded as a super food by the western world today. 
Well, it seems that during this decade all are realising what is good and what is not. Even without any bit of advertising these oils are picking up popularity with real testimonies from people who used it. And reselling such quality cold pressed oils is indeed a business for women who want to make some decent money and network with people. And Whatsapp groups are a boon for such resellers!
That phone call made me sit down and gather all the data to start a cold pressed oil reselling business. I am not planning to get into this immediately, but I have had a conversation with a friend in my apartment who has an oil mill contact and she is looking for a partner to start it.
Anyways, let me share how to start a cold pressed edible oil reseller business, in case you are looking for a decent business option, without digging a hole in your pocket.

How to start a Cold Pressed Edible Oil Reselling business?

The first and foremost thing to do is get in touch with oil mills that make oil in the traditional way. By traditional way I mean the cold pressed way – that is a wooden grind (or ‘marachekku’), or mechanical rotary grinding without heating the oil seeds. Let me explain one by one to make it easy to remember.
  1. Find the manufacturer
It could be there in the villages where raw materials are abundant and labour cost is very low. Talk to them and share your intention to get into reselling with them. With the advent of internet, you can find out many manufacturer contacts online via Alibaba, indiamart etc.
  1. Which cold pressed oil do you want to resell?
This actually depends on which oil is used for cooking by your local contacts. In general, oils in great demand are groundnut oil, coconut oil and sesame oil. But Flaxseed oil, avocado oil, etc. are also picking up. 
  1. Find the pricing
Also get the price for bulk order from them, say for 10L or 20L. Ask for a few samples or buy some 1/2L from them and try it out yourself.
  1. Transportation
Once you know the source, the next step is to get it transported to your business location. Get ideas from them on how to transport the bulk oil orders to your city. Probably they will be supplying to any nearby locality already. In that case, they will be able to deliver when you place the order in advance. Or the worst case, you will have to manage the procurement by yourself.
  1. Look for packaging options
Once you are confident with the quality of oil you can finalise on the individual quantity of oil that you can resell. Say ¼ L, ½ L or 1L. You can go for plastic or glass bottles or pouches for packaging them.  You can speak to the local vendors for these as well as look in to bulk traders selling them online. (Sample one: Stand Up Pouch from IndiaMart) . Once you are established to venture into bigger markets and your turn over is more than 12Lakhs per annum you can go for proper labelling.
  1. Fix your pricing
Now is the time to talk about money. There are three factors to consider while fixing the pricing – buying cost (this includes the cost of oil plus transportation cost), packing cost (includes packing material price, labelling, labour cost etc) and most importantly ‘profit’. If it is a business it has to make profit. Decide on how much profit you want, 10% or 25%.
For example, if 20L oil costs you Rs.2400 and your packaging cost per a litre bottle is coming to Rs.10. In total, your cost per bottle is coming to 130. To make 10% profit on cost you can fix the pricing to Rs.143 per litre (similarly for 25% profit the price per pouch should be Rs.162).
  1. Market your Oils in your circle
To get the first few sales, you can talk to your close family and friends. Just like how Valli did to me, talk about the benefits of using it at your home and recommend it to them. You can also talk to your colleagues, neighbourhood or put up a stall in a food exhibition. Also advertise about your oil in all the social media account including whatsapp groups.
Knowing the benefits of cold pressed oil will help you to speak to your circle of people effectively about the oil.

What makes cold pressed oil so good?

Cold pressed oils are made by pressing the oil seeds just as they are. This means that the goodness of the nuts or seeds are passed on directly to the oil. Their shelf life will be less as no preservatives are added. Since no refining is done, they carry all the qualities of that oil seed or nut.

This means all the essential natural vitamins and nutrients remain in tact in the oil. All natural flavour and aroma are present in these oils. Hence food cooked with these will definitely invoke your taste buds.

Please not that the hot pressed oils are highly aromatic as they have synthetic fragrance. Also, the cold pressed oil will look a bit misty as it is not refined and the suspended particles will be there.

Experience it and share your experience for a heart to heart conversation that could result in a sale. The best thing is that even if the profit margin is not so high, the customers will be buying it often and having regular customers means regular income and hence huge profit over a period of time.

Scaling up your oil business

Once you have a bunch of customers and you are liking the business, you can think of scaling up. Fix up a target or goal for your business, say 1 lakh turn over in first 3 months. Once that milestone is achieved expand your business – for example, if you were into gingely oil reselling alone, you can get into groundnut oil as well now. Talk to nearby grocery shops, restaurants, etc. And keep renewing your goals and targets every quarter, to keep your business growing. And do apply for the FSSAI license if you decide to make it big. 

I always feel that getting into a small scale food business is easiest of all business ideas. The good thing about food business is that the capital is small and easy to start. (Read on my blog post to learn about how to fund your food business from your savings at home)The bad thing about a food business is that it deals with perishable goods, and if business is taking time to pick up you have to look for smart options not to get into loss.

Since oil's shelf life is more than fresh foods, reselling good quality oil is a decent option to venture into your food business. Let me know how is it going. Wish you all the very best for your food venture!

Monday, 25 July 2016

How to start a Laundry business?

When I was in Mysore Infy, I found the coin operated washing machines so useful. Back then I was too lazy to wash clothes myself. But as the family expanded, it became more economical to wash clothes at home. Even now, I hate the laundry work for it requires utmost care.  For a countless times, I have turned Veeran's white classic formal shirts to pinks!

Often, at home we buy clothes of different fabric, yet unable to find the best way to maintain the newness of the clothes. How much ever mild detergent or fabric conditioner or whitener or whatever I put, clothes become life less after a few washes. It is definitely a tedious task to sort out different fabric and follow different laundry instructions by ourselves.

I'm sure 100% of Indian household feels the same. And this feeling paves the way for a successful laundry business.

So, How to start a laundry business?

A laundry business involves collecting clothes from customers, washing, drying, ironing  and folding them, and return it back to collect money for the service. Yes it is that easy to say. But the actual business involves more steps. Let me explain it with a proper business planning.

Make arrangements for Capital:

Setting up laundry business is a capital intensive task. You have to first analyse how much capital will be required. Depending on the amount you can think of a partnership model to raise the funds.

Decide on the operation model:

Before the work of setting up proceeds, you have to finalise on the operation model of your laundry.
(a) Coin operated - Ideal for locations populated by people who are ready to visit your laundry and do it by themselves.
(b) Classic - Ideal for locations where people prefer to outsource the entire laundry work. Here, you will have to look for facilities for pick up and drop of clothes.

Work on infrastructure requirement:

Once you have decided the operation model, you can zero in on the number of machines required. Washing machines, Dryers, Rollers and what all. Electronic companies like Electrolux provide provide commercial laundry set up solutions. (You can check out here: )

Look out for laundry set up space:

Laundry business requires huge space. So when finalising on the space, keep in mind about the volumes clothes and machines will cover. Think of having a front office space that can be the welcome and payment counter.

Pick up and Delivery options:

Most of the households, offices, hotels and restaurants would prefer pick up and drop facility. You have to arrange for a separate staff  and commuting options for the same.

Manpower Requirement:

Laundry cannot be done by one person alone if you are thinking of a big business. You need to invest huge on hiring good talent and training them. Apart from the know how of operating the machines and fabric knowledge, they should be customer friendly. Even one mistake from your employee, can affect your reputation badly. So hire with care.

Decide on the service portfolio:

A laundry business in India, involves washing of soiled clothes, drying them thoroughly, ironing with perfection and folding nicely. Apart from these dyeing, darning, dry washing etc can also be added to the service portfolio. Before you commence the operations you have to decide on the services you can offer.  For example you can offer two services like washing plus folding or washing plus ironing at two different rates per piece of cloth. Choose the offers after analysing customer needs and your monitory benefit.


Once all the overhead costs are known you can decide on your profit share and fix the pricing accordingly. The pricing can be per piece or per kilogram or per load. Also it can vary depending on the care required for the fabric.

Advertising and Marketing:

Laundry business is very competitive. Market your laundry business in such a way that it is different from the rest. You can think of options are: bulk pricing, 10+2 free,  offer for initial 100 customers, pay back guarantee etc.

For every enterprise you have to invest huge on marketing to get regular business. In case of laundry business you can work on creating a good customer base who could be your loyal customers for lifelong. You can really contact big or small housing societies in your shop's neighborhood for regular laundry work. Similarly, restaurants and hotels also have regular laundry jobs. You can talk to them and come up with an agreement. Similar is the case with corporate offices, the best thing about offices is that for neat work you can get paid higher while availing regular work.

Decide on Store details:

Once you have decided everything else about your laundry business, you should now decide on the store details. Things like working hours per day, how many days a week, leave policies and other HR related matters. You should also have a  dedicated phone line to answer the customers. Have visiting cards also printed so that people can visit your store directly.

Does it look too much of effort? There is a Plan B for you then!

Setting up any business is a Herculean task. And all the more, the worry of if it will be successful keeps haunting every aspiring entrepreneur. You can get rid of these worries by going for a Franchise model. The franchise businesses are already established business units who will help you to set up your store and teach you how to run it well to make profit. The bad side of franchise is that initial set up cost is much higher then doing it all by yourselves. So it is up to you to choose from benefits over cost. But one thing is sure, the number of franchise offerings are also too many these days which shows the potential of laundry business. (The franchise model itself is too vast and will come as another post. Please wait for a while till I am ready with the study of that. Will share the link here once I am done.)

One good thing I would like to add here before concluding. I read a post about a stay at home mom on how she started her laundry business at home. She became successful and she started helping others as well. Now she has set up a proper business model all by herself that operates at homes of people. You can read it here: . This proves that if there is a will there is a BIG way! Now what is your excuse for not getting started?

Food, Clothing and Shelter are the three basic requirements for human existence. So whatever business you start in any of the three vertical, there is a high chance of success. Coming down specifically to clothing, buying clothes is easy compared to maintaining them. In most of the households, laundry is the key area that needs some helping hand! So how about you being that Helping Hand?

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

How to become an Image Consultant?

I guess it was 3 or 4 months back that I heard (or saw) about image consulting. One of my friends in Facebook had shared about image consulting. I didn't bother to look into the link , as it appeared something technical like image processing (or like photoshop).

But, later on, I happened to see a video of a lady entrepreneur (Forgot her name). She was talking about her life to a crowd.

According to her, after having a successful corporate career, she was looking for something more. And she found her passion in image consulting. Right now, she enjoys helping people like her to be self employed through image consulting.

That video opened up my mind to a new world of a wonderful career called image consultant!!

I am sure that you must have watched some program on TV in which a stylist decks up a person resulting in a complete makeover. New hairstyle, Brand new clothes, Colours and cosmetics that lifts up her body contours perfectly and what all. The new look gives the person superb confidence and we feel - WOW!

It really looks like a great art work. But, have you ever wondered what happens to the person once the program is over? Now she has to do the styling herself and so she will go back to her normal grooming. And so the new look will be lost sooner or later.

How wonderful will it be if the makeover lasts for the entire life time? That is what image consulting is!

Still wondering what image consulting actually is? Here it goes:

What is image consulting?

Image consulting basically means helping  a person to improve the appearance. To make a long lasting effect, an image consultant evaluates the client and understand her lifestyle, social circle, professional goals and almost everything.

This involves spending time with the person, understand her personal and professional life. Also, analyse her skin tone and body shape to decide on what appearance will suit her the best. Once the evaluation is done, now it is shopping time. Most of the time the image consultant accompanies the client for shopping. Usually cluster shopping is done so that, the client has a clear idea what to wear when.

By enhancing the appearance or image, the client will be more confident and will do better in her life.

Image is much more than mere physical appearance. The way she talks and behaves also leaves an image about her. An image consultant also helps to improve her body language like posture, handshakes and eye contact.

Image consultant also works on her vocal communication by reinforcing her vocabulary, grammar and voice. All the more, client will be perfected in her etiquette, so that the new image helps her to leave a better impression on the people she deal with.

The image consultant enables the client to carry her self image high in every walk of her life. In a nutshell, an image consultant empowers the client to get out of the rut and live a life that she urges to.

Isn't that a very good profession to be in? You get to work on people, spend time with them, understand them and help them in all ways you could to give her a better life. And how wonderful it will be to receive appreciation from them for changing their life!

Okay, that sounds fascinating! So how to be one?

How to become an image consultant?

Image consultant is a field that doesn't require any academic degree requirement as such. People from different backgrounds like IT, Banking, Aviation, beauty, fashion or housewife have become successful image consultants. Yet, I must say that if you have a flair for fashion, grooming and love helping people grow, this profession will work magic for you.

To start off you can attend an Image Consultant training offered by different institutions. The training involves understanding of fashion,  body types, colours and cues as the basics.  The image consulting course can be in anyone or mix of these: styling, wardrobe consultation, wardrobe management or soft skills.

What are the image consultant courses?

Image consultant course are offered online as well as classroom training.

Many online image consultant training are found on the web. As a sample, you can check out:

In India, ICBI (Image Consulting Business Institute) is the pioneer in giving image consulting industry a breakthrough. I guess, the video I mentioned earlier in this article is by its co-founder Suman Agarwal.

You can check out the courses offered at ICBI :
The course fee ranges from 90,000 to 7 Lakhs in ICBI.

Before embarking on the course, to have a know how of the course you can try attending workshops conducted by the institutions or individual image consultants.

How much does an image consultant earn?

An image consultant in India charges anywhere between 1500 to 10000 per hour for individual consultation. For corporate group consultation the charges could be anywhere between 15000 to 50000 per day. Isn't that a good earning for you?

In fact the earning of an image consultant depends on her market and experience. Which means that if your clients are the people in glamour industry or high end corporate people looking to boost their career, you can bill them heavily. On the other hand, if your clients are college students hunting for a job or somebody looking for a makeover, your earning will be less.

As you keep working, you will discover your niche of clients and that will be your market. There is actually no limit for the earning if you love your work and put your heart and soul to help your clients. It is all a matter of dedication and perseverance.

I read in a survey that grooming and training industry will be the most opted out profession by 2020. Image Consulting is surely in its nascent stage in India and if you get established in next 2-3 years, your life will have the Midas touch! Can you see that this is the thing that will make all your dreams come true? That too at the comfort of working from home!

So, just get started! Look out for the image consulting workshop nearby and get a fairer understanding to launch your career in this!

If you have any queries or feedback do post it as a comment below. I will help you with my understanding of the industry :-)!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How to become a Zumba instructor?

For 3 months I joined Zumba to open up to the world of dancing and weight loss with fun. I had no idea about Zumba till I joined. Thanks to Yashu, my Zumba instructor who told us that I don't need to worry about the dance steps as such. But just need to keep moving with the rhythm.

As an intro, she talked about herself. She was working as a software engineer and quit job once she started with family. She was sharing that motherhood is fun, enjoyable and fulfilling. But less creativity and minimal appreciation turn women after motherhood low on confidence. Ultimately, we need a push to do simple things which was easy earlier. This very much echoed with me. 

And the extra kilograms make matter even worse, For her, she had put on weight massively and tried out different things to get back to shape. And, she being a good dancer fell in love with Zumba! And soon became a Zumba instructor - teaching people like me, boosting our confidence and much more. 

When I heard her story, I felt if you love dancing and likes being fit, you can be a Zumba instructor! Yes, it is a fun way to earn good money, help many people and enjoy the independence.

How to become a Zumba instructor?

Life of Zumba instructor is like having party everyday. And you lead the party :-).

Zumba is a high energy dance-workout originated in South America. This trade marked dance fitness program was founded by Colombian dancer Alberto Beto Perez.

Basically, Zumba is an aerobic fitness workout featuring Latin American music. Zumba incorporates the flavours of various dance forms like salsa, samba, tango, soca, belly dance, flamenco and bollywood and much more.

To become a Zumba instructor you have to receive training under certified Zumba Education Specialists (ZES). ZES are very specific people (chosen by Beto Perez himself) to train the Zumba teachers and duplicate Zumba culture perfectly across the world.

You can sign up for a training in your locality at the Zumba official website. (Put the location option as "India" and you can see the upcoming training session in major cities of India.)

To start off you need to sign up for the basic Zumba level or B1 training.

So is there anything required from your side to attend the Zumba training and be a Zumba instructor?

There is no qualifying criteria to attend a  Zumba training. But having the following qualities will make it easy for you to be a successful Zumba instructor after your training program:

  1. Love for dance: Yes, this is all about mixing and matching various dance forms and choreography. So if you love dance, you will love Zumba too. 
  2. Basic know how of Healthy body: As a Zumba instructor, you should be able to estimate the effect of different dance moves on human body. This will help in choreographing specific work outs and managing clients with different physical health. 
  3. Good communication skills: Talking to clients in a friendly manner, clearing their doubts and being there for them always will gain you trust. This bonding will exist for post Zumba time too, thus helping you to make new friends. 
  4. Confidence: Clients will always look up to you for inspiration. Confidence always shows on your face and your moves. Always let it be on the high.
  5. Energy: You have to be high on energy all the time to keep your class moving with you. And when you give energy you get energy as well. It is always wonderful to be surrounded in a positive energetic environment. 
  6. Smile: A smile is the easiest thing to connect with people. When you teach with a happy smile on your face, it will reflect on your class as well :-).

Well, these were more of the soft skill requirement. Apart from these, you should be ready with the training cost of $250-$300.

What happens after the Zumba Basic 1 training?

Once done, you will be ready to take Zumba classes on your own. You will be a licensed instructor authorised to take Zumba classes. You will also receive DVDs that will help you to recall music and practice the dance moves learnt.

The Zumba training equips you to identify parts of song and choreograph them resulting in effective dance-fitness workout. This is the much needed skill to be a successful Zumba instructor.

Once you are done with your training you are eligible to sign up for ZIN or Zumba Instructor Network. ZIN is provided by the Zumba company to ensure that Zumba fitness is standardised across the globe. With ZIN, you will always be updated with latest skill moves and new choreographies that you can straight away teach your class.

The ZIN account comes with a monthly cost of $30 which also retains your Zumba teaching licence, which otherwise has to be renewed at $200 every year. ZIN also qualifies you to attend advanced level training and buy Zumba gears at discounted costs. (You can read about advanced Zumba training in the official Zumba website.)

How much money can you earn being a Zumba instructor?

The earnings from Zumba classes is completely upto you. Zumba gives you the freedom to choose your own rates and classes. The average monthly earnings for a Zumba fitness instructor can be anywhere from Rs.15000 to few lakh rupees.

Isn't that a good way to earn quite a good money along with keeping yourself fit? Some of the leading women Zumba instructors in India are Sucheta Pal and Swetha Jairam. They are already very well recognised and are big fitness experts for Bollywood actors too!

Zumba is easy and fun! Because of which people of every background are opting it for healthy living. To become a successful Zumba instructor, you have to be up to date with your skills and invest time and energy for self learning too.

So have you decided to give your life nitro boost with Zumba? Rock On! Life is all yours!!!