Low-cost, high-profit Diwali business ideas for SMEs


The countdown to Diwali has begun, and the festival of lights is equally significant for individuals and businesses across India. Diwali marks a new beginning for many, and it is considered an auspicious time to start new ventures.

Consumers use this occasion to invest in their homes and businesses. SMEs across the country can use the festive season to connect with customers while also earning a higher profit margin.

Here are some low-cost ideas for small businesses to use that will increase their earnings during the ongoing festival season.

1. Sell Diwali decorations

Every year people across the country decorate their homes in the days leading up to Diwali. Depending on what state you’re in, people use string lights, diyas, candles, rangoli, flowers, and auspicious stickers to decorate their homes.

So, one simple and low-cost business idea is learning from past consumer patterns and selling these items. The cash required to purchase these items isn’t too much if you buy them from wholesale suppliers, and you will be able to recover your initial investment and turn a profit by selling these items this month.

Other items you could stock are related to religious rituals – selling Genda (Marygold) and Rose flower petals and idols of the gods and goddesses worshipped on Diwali.

2. Offer your customers a selection of festive traditional apparel

If you sell clothing, this is a good time to change up your usual stock for more festive traditional clothing that people are more likely to wear during the festival season. In addition to celebrating on Diwali, many people attend Diwali parties and family gatherings in the weeks leading up to the festival. So, this is a perfect time to stock items your customers are more likely to purchase, like traditional suits, saris, shoes and jewellery for women and traditional clothing and shoes for men.

Right after the festival season, we also enter wedding season in India. So if you have stock left over from Diwali, you may still be able to sell your stock as consumers will be looking to purchase festive clothing even in November and December!

If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, you could hire an on-site tailor who can alter clothing to customer specifications and make personalized items on order.

3. Set up a cleaning service

Diwali marks a new beginning, which is why people across the country also do a thorough cleaning of their homes and businesses around this time.

Deep cleaning your home is a time-consuming task, and right now, there are a million other things people need to get done, so not everyone will have the time to clean. That’s why this is an ideal time to set up a cleaning service.

The items required to set up the service require low investment, you can hire some part-time employees who will clean, and you can use social media and digital marketing to get the word out!

4. Offer custom gift hampers and corporate gifts

In addition to cleaning, decorating, and praying, people open their hearts and wallets around Diwali, taking gifts along to every celebration.

So, if you’re in the FMCG sector, you could offer your customers the option to purchase customized gift hamper options. The items that go in the gift hampers are items you already sell, and all you’ll have to invest in is baskets and gift-wrapping items, all of which you can purchase from a wholesale market at a low price. Since you’ll be providing your customers with a value-added service – gift wrapping and a curated gift option – you can charge them slightly higher prices, thereby increasing your profit margins at a low cost.

Another possible business idea is helping corporates prepare customized Diwali gifts. Every year, millions of businesses across the country give custom-made gifts to their customers and employees around Diwali time. If you’re an FMCG, F&B, retail, or printing business, you could offer corporates customized gift options that they can purchase in bulk at a lower price. This will bring in larger orders and more revenue while helping you develop your customer base.

5. Prepare curated Diwali menus and traditional snacks

If you’re a restaurant or just someone who enjoys cooking, you could also set up a temporary Diwali business catering to people hosting Diwali events and parties. The items you offer should include traditional Indian sweets and snacks (to consume and to gift), large portions of Indian food, and desserts to end the evening.

It’s common for people to visit the homes of relatives and friends around this time, so people prefer to have Indian sweets and snacks handy in case an unexpected guest stops by. If you live in a close-knit community, you could spread the word that you’re taking custom orders, and since the ingredients used in most Indian sweets and snacks are easily accessible and don’t cost too much, you will be able to make a good profit on the sales you make.

6. Set up a logistics and delivery service

Our last business idea for festival season is setting up a delivery service. While this may require more planning and higher investment on your part, the returns on such a business will also be higher.

Most businesses are still working from home. Corporates must courier their Diwali gifts to their employees and customers, businesses need to deliver their orders, and consumers may need delivery services to send things to their loved ones and families.

So, setting up a logistics and delivery service makes sense right now. Additionally, as we mentioned before, the festival season is followed by the wedding season in India. So, the demand for delivery and logistics services should remain constant until January at least.

These are just a few ideas to grow your profit margins around Diwali this year. No matter what you plan you do during the upcoming festivities, please don’t forget to procure the relevant business permits to conduct business so that you don’t end up getting fined during a time of celebration.

It is also important to remember that we are still battling COVID-19, so don’t forget to enforce all relevant COVID-related restrictions in your place of work to keep your customers, employees, and loved ones safe.

Other great ways small businesses can capitalize on the increase in demand during festival season are:

  1. Join an e-commerce platform like AmazonMeesho, and Flipkart.
  2. Set up a stall are local Diwali melas (fairs) which are a great way to showcase your products and get bulk orders.
  3. Accept cash-less payments like Debit, Credit, bank transfers and UPI, in addition to cash so that it is convenient for your customers to pay you. These payment options also generate reliable data about your finances that lenders use when making their lending decision if you apply for a small business loan.
  4. Using social media and digital marketing platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google to reach more customers.

While most of the business ideas listed above require little capital to get started, if you’re an entrepreneur who has bigger plans for your small business this festival season, CreditEnable can help you get the right business financing to carry out your plans before Diwali!

Learn more about CreditEnable’s loan eligibility.

Apply for an SME loan with CreditEnable.

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