Best small businesses in India

There are different kinds of rentals for varied needs of people. You can start a rental shop in several sectors. One of the most popular rentals shop is renting out cooking utensils and event needs. Cooking for big events require large utensils that people do not use every day. Therefore, the only way to get them is through renting out from utensil renting shops. The basic requirements for a utensil renting shop can be procured with little investment. You just need to invest the major part in buying the most popularly used kind of utensils from large scale manufacturers or wholesale suppliers. You can set up the renting outlet in a small space. Once you make a humble beginning, you can develop it eventually to great proportions.

In addition to cooking utensils, you can also include ready-made canopies to cover the event areas, tarpaulins, decorative festoons, hangings, background draperies and others. Once you set up your renting unit with the basic kind of items, you can expand your venture as you like in the long run. To run the renting business you need to know a few things. You need to take some advance from the people who rent out things from your shop. You need to make a proper inventory of the things that you supply and obtain their signature against the list of items supplied. It is always advisable to have your own transport arrangements to transport the goods to and from the event venue. However, to begin with, you can make some contractual arrangements with rental transport vehicles. You may also collect the transport charges along with the rental charges. Once you supply quality materials and good looking decorative items, people will come back to your for their recurring needs besides referring you to others too. Thus you have an opportunity to develop your business to phenomenal heights.

Best small scale business ideas in India

Stationery shops are in great demand in several places. Especially at locations where you find private offices, government offices, schools and colleges, you have a huge potential to sell stationery. Stationery shops can be started with little investment to begin with. You just need to make a list of the most popularly needed things to start your venture. You can source the materials from wholesale suppliers or even manufacturers so that you can have a good margin for yourself upon selling your goods. Children love colorful things for their school use. Attractively covered notebooks, fancy stationery boxes and fancy pens sell well day in and day out. You need to stay with the trend and constantly look out for the likings in people and procure them for your shop. There are also a number of other things you can sell in your stationery shop.

Students do a lot of projects and assignments for their school purposes. You may also supply materials required for doing a variety of academic projects. Some shops also undertake to do the project items, experimental set ups and exhibition displays for the use of children. These kinds of added services will attract more customers to your shop. Have a wide range of options under every segment, but also plan how well you will minimize the investment and put the investment to rotation rather than getting stagnant on things that do not sell much. You may also include some books that contain information and data required for daily use like table books, dictionaries, guides and study support guides like encyclopedias. Charts and displays also sell like hot cakes. It will take some time for you to decide which will sell more than others and eventually you can gain a good amount of experience in the arena enabling you do a better job on the go.

MadRat Games Raises Funding From Founders of Flipkart, Pine Labs and GlobalLogic

unnamedMadRat games, India’s most innovative & one of the fastest growing physical toys & Games Company has raised around 1 million in a round of funds from Sachin and Binny Bansal (founders of Flipkart) and Pine Labs and Globallogic. The amount will be used mainly for branding, marketing and expansion. Other investors include the founders of IT outsourcing firm GlobalLogic – Rajul Garg (Also Co-Founder of SunStone Business School), Manoj Agarwala, Sanjay Singh and Tarun Upadhyay.

MadRat Games provide innovative toys & games to engage kids and help in their overall development. Since inception in 2010, the company has sold over 275,000 units and has partnered with Nokia, Google, Intel, Cornell & Government of India for original game development.  They have launched 70+ game titles in last year. The company has earlier raised a round of funding in 2012 from Blume Ventures and First Light Ventures.

Expressing the company’s view, Rajat Dhariwal, CEO MadRat Games said

“The toys & games industry in India is pre-historic with no major product or business innovation since the last decade. The big global players dump age-old products in the country and the small local players sell cheap replicas. The game form factors have not changed, there is absolutely no use of new technologies and the focus on learning is extremely low. Hence, a huge potential of game-based learning market has remains untapped. MadRat games aims to tap this market and encourage a patient and joyful form of parenting.”

 

Commenting on the investment, Sachin Bansal, Flipkart said,

“Innovation is at the core of MadRat’s approach to disrupt the market and led by a team of very talented individuals they enjoy a strong competitive advantage in the industry. The whole industry is likely to benefit from this disruption.”

 

Rajul Garg, co-founder of GlobalLogic and Sunstone Business School, also an investor in the round said

Our country is in a dire need of innovations in education, in this case, through toys and games for children.  I am confident in the MadRat Games team’s ability to capture this space and build a formidable business.”

Certification for entrepreneurs–ISO certification

While much fanfare is made about ISO certification, it is certainly a coveted achievement for businesses in the line of furthering their goals and aspirations. Let us first understand what this certification is all about. This certification is administered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), who is the largest developer and publisher of international standards on the globe. Most ISO standards are highly specific to a particular product, material, or process and more commonly adopted by manufacturers, where product quality control is critically needed for the supply chain management. Service firms are increasingly resorting to standardized quality management systems in an effort to bring additional value to their businesses.

The different components of ISO certification provide quality management systems and also quality assurance of a product, the ultimate goal being an enhanced customer satisfaction. Through the process of getting qualified for ISO certification, businesses can assess their own abilities to meet the customers in addition to complying with all the regulatory measures and the organization’s own quality aspirations. ISO 9001 standard can be described in other words as a process approach to applying and supporting quality management system. When the top management sets up some quality policy, objectives and goals, the ISO process ensures the quality goals are realized in reality, new goals are evolved and improvement is continuously enhanced on the go.

As a result of ISO certification, the clearly defined and completely documented procedures ensure a consistent output. The quality is constantly measured and enhanced. In case defects crop up, they are remedied on the go and the rate of defects is minimized. It is possible to correct defects in the early stages and rectified at lower costs. Even the new employees stay well informed of the various processes since everything is documented. The total result is increased sales and increased market share for the company.

ISO is the international certification given to products and services that comply with the established global standards and norms. ISO has more than 19 500 standards covering every single aspect of daily life. When a product or service is certified by ISO, the consumers have increased level of confidence that boosts up its marketability and sales. International Standards also offer some invaluable tools and guidelines to companies for solving some critical challenges connected to modern businesses. In the process of ensuring compliance with ISO standards, businesses can perfect their goods and processes by streamlining operations, improving efficiency, enhance productivity and maximize profits. In addition, guided by this experience they can easily venture into newer markets.

ISO certification process is rather highly complex. The auditor working for you considers factors including location, scope and experience of the business and performs an initial assessment audit. Thirty days before the audit, a copy of the audit plan is forwarded to the business by the auditor. Two weeks before the audit, a proper documentation must be submitted to the auditor. The audit takes place as per the plan. The audit process identifies non-compliance areas and generates a report. NCRs are entered into the Registrar’s online EQM system. The business works to resolve the NCRs. Once the review approves the closure of NCRs, the certificate of registration awarded and sent to the client.

ISO certification optimizes operations and improves bottom line thereby enabling cost savings. It significantly enhances customer satisfaction. It features environmental benefits and helps access new marts and grab more market share. ISO certification is a sure way to business development.

Best small business ideas from home

Wooden Furniture making is perhaps a small business that is in great demand. Wood has been one of the most widely used mediums for furniture, doors, cupboards, partitions, artistic products and others. With its wonderful applications and its amazing features as a material, wood has gained a very important place in the furniture world. Wood can be easily carved by hand or machine into a variety of products.

Since olden days, a greater number of things used in daily life were only made from wood and in this regard, wood is second to no other material even till today. However, one great concern is the availability of wood. Since the demand for wood has increased and the supply has shortage, the prices of wood have gone sky high and this fact makes it difficult for people to choose wood for their furniture needs.

There are a variety of woods. Each of them has its unique characteristic features. These days, a number of ply woods are available in the market that makes your job easier than ever. If you are interested in making and selling wooden furniture, you have a huge scope of finding a thriving business. To start a small business in wooden furniture making, you need not be an adept in carpentry. These days, there are machines for every task you will come across. Especially, wooden cutting, fixing, pasting, carving and designing are all done with the help of machines. Installing each of these machines will require some investment. Once you have a small space, have the basic training to operate these machinery and employ some assistant for you, you can really do a great job in this arena and make a good profit since there is a lot of demand for wooden furniture. Develop your own catalogue and source for the orders and make your way to success.

Best small business ideas in India

Though several applications and video shooting devices have come, digital photography always enjoys its unique niche in the industry. People wish to capture their memorable moments in photographs and for this purpose, they resort to photography. Photographs are nowadays processed and developed using a variety of photo editing software and artistically crafted in a variety of formats, layouts, backgrounds and designs. You can start your own small business in these lines if you love photography.

There are three dimensions to a business in photography talking of the gadgets required for the business. The first thing is the camera that is used to capture pictures. The second aspect is the software installed in a computer to work on these photographs. The third part is the printer that delivers prints in hard copy format. Once these three segments are procured to your budget and liking, you are now on your own to start a small business in photography.

Apart from the events photography, there is a huge demand for instant id cards. For a variety of purposes and for applying for a number of documents, people need passport size photographs. Such a need creeps up all of a sudden for some requirement and under those circumstances, most people would not like to wait. If you have a camera and a printer, then you can shoot pictures and instantly print them. Your name board can read, ‘instant passport size photographs’. This business is very easy to start and you can find a thriving prospect for one that is located in a central space in the city, especially near the government offices where people visit and apply for documents. This business rather requires a very small space and you can get instant money upon delivering the prints. Once you plan this properly and give a nice shape to it, you can probably find a lucrative business in digital photography.

Interview with Anandra George–Mantra Yoga and life coaching

Anandra GeorgeMantra is no more an esoteric word that has some secretive essence hidden in the far-off Himalayas with saffron clad or un-clad saints. Mantra is right there in your breath and in every thing that you do. It has its appeal to everyone who is sentient enough to listen to his/her own inner voice.

We present Anandra, who lives on Kaua’i island, Hawaii, and teaches mantra workshops and intensives worldwide, in an email interview with us telling her story how she developed the love for mantra.

For nearly 20 years, she’s been on “the path” and has been teaching and seeing private clients since 1999. An internationally respected mantra teacher, she is frequently invited to teach and lead chanting/kīrtan at the world’s largest yoga festivals. Her students from online meditation groups, workshops, and teacher trainings speak highly about their experiences.

You can visit her website here: TrueFreedomCoaching

Q1. What exactly is mantra yoga?

Mantra yoga is a vast and fascinating subject which spans the most intimate, practical connection between thought, word and deed… to the mystery of creation emanating from silence to sound, and sound to form. I’m sorry I can’t reduce my reply to a simple answer; it would be disrespectful to the Infinite to try!

I can say that everyone has a different entry point of experiencing the magic of mantra. Some grasp the practical benefits immediately, and some fly directly into esoteric expansion. The best way to understand it is to try it yourself, and let the vibrations of the sounds speak to you personally.

Q2. Coming from the West, how did you feel the connection with something that is apparently oriental?

All mystics must seek the source of the soundless sound…  so mantra yoga is very definitely universal.

Whether my body was born in the East or the West has little relevance. I appreciate, with awe and wonder, that we’re all given the meat suit that best serves our purpose for a particular incarnation. Mine just happens to be a “Made in America” woman’s body this time! How handy! How fun!

You might wonder how I made my way to India? I was quite surprised to be called to India when I was 18, by Satya Sai Baba, on the inner planes in meditation. He made the arrangements, shall we say, and I came. I knew when I first heard the sound of mantra that I had a very strong previous connection. I learned the Sāvitrī Gāyatrī first, and could remember it very easily.

I kept up a practice and learned many more mantras over the years. It was always when I practiced regularly (either silently or out loud) that I felt the most myself. So, when my father died an early death in 2008, with many unfulfilled dreams buried with his ashes, I vowed to spend my life doing what most inspired me. I’ve been focusing on mantra ever since; deepening my own practice and sharing the gift with others. I’m so inspired by the deep transformation in my international students and clients, I keep going!

Q3. What’s the benefit that a modern person can get from mantra yoga?

At the most basic level, the mantra can be like a life jacket to help us from drowning in negative thoughts, especially during tough times in life. Then, with regular practice, it helps us distinguish between the thinker and the thoughts, giving us the power to create/generate our life experience rather than react as victims of our family/societal conditioning. Eventually, we reach a point I like to call “divinely drunk” when we feel everything within and without pulsing in harmony… I wrote a lot more about the benefits of mantra practice in my free e-book – check it out!

Q4. What kind of clients do you get and what’s their response?

I have worked with all types of people over the past 15 years, but these days I coach mostly leaders, change-makers, teachers of teachers, and others who are really working to refine their service to humanity. It’s such a privilege to help them unravel their stubborn inner obstacles, see new perspectives on issues they’ve struggled with for years, and break through to new vistas of potential. Their response is overwhelmingly gratitude, and I delight in seeing them thrive.

Q5. Can kids be initiated into it?

If you can think, you can do mantra.

The term “initiation” requires further clarity, however. I don’t claim to be a guru or have supernatural powers. I’m simply teaching the practice of mantra for the benefit of all. With sincerity and dedicated practice, the brilliant word-sound-power behind the mantra (which is the guru principle itself) will initiate the practitioner.

One could argue that children — who generally have less covering and conditioning and more purity of heart — are already more tuned in to mantric consciousness than adults. Just observe their natural creativity and joy! Encouraging them to chant their favorite mantra to themselves could help them maintain their inherent brightness throughout their lives.

Q6. What’s your goal as an individual mantra practitioner?

My goal is to harmonize my life inside and out with the infinite love that is otherwise known as God. My own practice has a cyclical pattern, wherein sometimes I’m absorbed in bliss for days or weeks at a time and everything is very expansive and joyous. At other times, I can feel the mantra penetrating my inner membranes of out-dated belief systems, and it’s not necessarily fun to squirm as they get burnt away. During those times, I swallow my own medicine and stick with it. I’ve learned to relish tapasya because I value Truth=Love beyond all else. I keep going because the more pure I am, the more I can inspire and serve others.

Q7. A message to our audience.

Love your meditation! Savor the pause between breaths, the silence after the sound of chanting mantra.

In that magic space, your Self shines unimpeded, and your whole life can begin to project from that pure space.

Most of us chase after that feeling of fullness and peace outside, which we attempt to get from material things, food, relationships, job promotion, etc.

Give yourself radical permission to savor what’s already within you, shining as your very Self! You can access it daily, at will, in your meditation. Then, enjoyment of those temporary material experiences can evolve from craving to a magnificent celebration of abundance!

 

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Tax Saving Tips for Entrepreneurs

As is the case of individuals, businesses that are sole proprietorship are also eligible for tax exemption under some conditions. If you own more than one business as a sole proprietor, you can pay the taxes of all the firms together as a single assessee. There are some procedures to calculate the total income of the individual. Total income refers to the net profit made by all the businesses and sole proprietorship firms run by you. Net profit in this case will mean the gross receipts or the total turnover minus all the expenses incurred in running the business and related to business. In other words, computing of the total income of an entrepreneur is arrived at by adding up the net profits of all the proprietorship businesses of the individual. The method of administering the accounts can prove to be highly useful for tax calculation. You can choose to maintain your accounts either on cash basis or on accrual basis.

While looking forward to minimize the tax liabilities, first identify all the expenses related to your business. For instance, if you run a sole proprietorship business from your home, it makes sense to calculate the rent to be given to the owner of the property though you pay it for your living. Always make it a point to handle the personal and business related expenses separately from each other. Besides the direct expenses, there are some common expenses that every business will incur, which you must know for proper account management.

  • Rent payable to the owner of the place where the business is run even if it is from your home. Know that proprietor cannot accept rent for the place that is owned by him
  • Expenses towards running and maintaining the business, finance expenses and depreciation of the vehicles used for the business
  • Expenditure towards maintaining the office furniture, computers and equipment, the interest cost and the depreciation
  • Expenses towards telephone, internet, communication, power generator and telephone and the running and maintenance cost of all these items.
  • Salaries and welfare expenses of the staff, travelling and conveyance expenses
  • Stationery, books, newspapers, magazines and periodicals, computer and office consumables, cost of advertising, business promotion and website expenses

There are a few points you need to note with regard to maintaining the accounts with special reference to taxation. Support all your expenses with proper evidence; never make cash payments beyond a certain amount; and always deduct the TDS applicable and deposit the same.

Under different sections of the laws of taxation, tax deductions are applicable for investments in insurance, mutual funds, PPF, education, and housing loan up to one lakh. Also, check the deductions applicable for investment in infrastructure bonds, mediclaim policies, rent paid for residence and donations given to charity organizations.

You may also check the special provisions available for small businesses, provision that gives room for adjustment of losses, and the advantages given for setting up business in special economic zones. By working on several aspects in the lines specified above, you can hope to make considerable saving on the taxes payable. Once you probe your auditors, they can suggest you with more tax saving tips.

Taxation and Entrepreneurs

Every entrepreneur must be aware of the basics of taxation. Knowing tax laws and the basics of accounting is rather a crucial necessity for entrepreneurs that cannot be overlooked for the good of their business. Every business run in any part of the world needs to pay taxes in some form or the other to the central, state and the provincial government as per the formats and laws applicable in the country of doing business. As entrepreneurs, if you know how the taxation works in your country and the basics of accounting, you can plan your budget and business properly. Tax laws are rather highly tricky and it might not be possible for you to master the whole gamut of this arena. Also, different sectors in a country are governed by different kinds of taxes. Taxes significantly vary across products and geographies. While learning about taxation in a country, you must gain a specific industry and sector related knowledge that you can directly apply in your business. While there are auditors and finance experts who can assist you with taxation and accounting, entrepreneurs can ensure the financial and legal health of the organization by acquiring the basic knowledge of taxation. The benefits of strictly complying with the tax laws and paying the necessary taxes are noteworthy. They can secure the future of your business and put you at peace at all times. In addition, properly paying all the taxes applicable is an important corporate and social responsibility of businesses and can help improve your brand image.

While tax evasion is a serious offense, with proper planning you can significantly reduce the tax payable. There are several types of taxes categorized under direct and indirect taxes with the well known types including income tax, sales tax, and service tax. Individuals and businesses need to be aware of the various statutes, procedures and processes regarding taxation. Tax filing is a crucial necessity to run businesses. Non-filing under the applicable status will invite heavy penalties. Tax planning and IT return preparation is a cumbersome process which expert auditors can simplify for you through their able assistance. They can assist you with the various processes including preparing the application and support documents, coordinating with the tax officials, and obtaining your tax registration certificate.

Through their knowledge and insight into taxation in the Indian context, qualified auditors can offer effective tax consultation services under challenging scenarios. They can closely work with your business process and financial statements to give you the right direction and course with regard to tax planning. The approach they give can be of significant help in tax planning and developing your business. While choosing the auditor for your tax planning, look into factors including whether the experts can offer expert assistance personalized for your specific situation; whether the fee charged is nominal; whether they can give complete assistance from planning to paying; whether they have ready-made documentation; and can quickly process documents. Good auditors must be able to coordinate well with your finance department to prepare the necessary documents and get your IT returns filed on due date to avoid complexities and losses.

Understanding Certification – Food Safety certification

If you are into food products manufacturing in India, your business can be immensely benefited by getting food safety certification. Food Safety certification applies to packaged food products and is administered by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) instituted under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The organization lays down scientific standards for food products and aims at regulating their manufacture, storage, and sale in a way ensuring the supply of safe and wholesome food to the consumers. The awareness regarding the benefits of purchasing certified foods is fast increasing among the consumers. Businesses into food products arena need to get their products certified under this clause to ensure they effectively compete with the other products in the market. While it is mandatory for certain classes of food products to get Food Safety Certification, other classes of packaged food products can get immense marketable benefits by getting certified. We offer proven assistance for businesses to obtain food safety certification.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been instituted by the Government of India under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. This act consolidated all the various kinds of food safety acts passed during earlier times. While the earlier acts were letting the food related matters handled by different departments and ministries of the Indian government, the FSS Act 2006 brought in the total control of the food products regulation activity under the purview of the FSSAI. The principal responsibility of the FSSAI is to evolve scientific standards for the articles covered as food and regulate the various processes including manufacturing, storing, distribution, selling and importing food products in India in a way giving room for wholesome food to be available for human consumption.

While a product is approved by the FSSAI, it is attested that the ingredients and additives used in the manufacturing meet the standards laid down by the regulations forming part of the said act. If your product contains those ingredients and additives whose standards are not notified by FSSAI, then you will need to apply for and obtain product approval. Thus, there are two distinctive sets of rules and regulations applied for food products detailed in the FSS Act and those that are not.

The list of documents you need to submit for getting product approval include filled in application form as found in the department’s website, typed application form for each of the products to be approved if you are seeking approval for more than one food product, Certificate of analysis issued by the National Accredited Board of Laboratories (NABL), data sheet pertaining to the shelf life of the product, copy of the original or prototype label, list of ingredients and additives with information on their proportions, nutrient profile studies, risk assessment reports, toxicological studies, and clinical trial reports of the given product in human beings, safety evaluation data, copy of agreement signed between the manufacturer and marketer, an affidavit by the manufacturer as per the format found in the board’s website and others. The benefits of getting your product approved by the act is rather crucial and can determine the marketability and competitive worth of your product.

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