Q&A library

I run a proprietorship firm registered under the name, Archimedes Caliber India (www.meltmeri.com). I would like to start my own small-scale women clothing manufacturing unit. Please guide me
Questioned by Lalita Dahiya, Haryana
You will need to create a business plan which covers the following points - investment you need to make, no. of women you can include in the unit, your range of products, potential target customers, a marketing plan, additional resources and so on. You can find out about small business loans too especially if it is for women entrepreneurs and how to access them. Plus, you can join networks like SHEROEs through which you can gain mentoring as well as visibility as a business owner.

How can a small business make a customer your own brand endorser? How can you make him refer and review?
You can attract more customers by getting reviews from people who have already purchased from you. Your existing customers’ testimonials can be ensured by providing store discounts and promotional offers. Customers may walk-in to your store more often if they are awarded with perks and incentives to encourage repeat business, instead of solely attempting to find new customers. You can put your customers’ reviews on multiple places, so potential customers are sure to see them. You might have a dedicated testimonials page where customers review your products or on your social media pages–business’s Facebook and Instagram page. You can even direct customers to the locations where you want them to leave reviews. You can prompt them with an email or a social media post. If you talk to customers in person, ask them to write a review. Most small businesses thrive on word of mouth publicity so make sure to keep your customers delighted in all situations. Keep your social media account information updated and accurate. Post fresh content incorporated with the reviews of satisfied customers. Do this regularly, which will keep you relevant to customers.

How important is it for a small business to understand a customer when developing a new product?
The major thrust should be on: 1. Initiating ideas: Factors to be considered are the design, ease of use and performance benefits and technological feasibility of the product. 2. Match products and services to market needs: New products and services have to offer benefits that meet your customers' needs. You need to discover using techniques such as surveys and focus groups. 3. Competition Factor: Meet your customers' needs in a way that is better than the alternatives offered by the competition. The new product or service needs a unique selling proposition - a feature or property that makes it stand out in the marketplace. 4. Pricing the proposed product: Maintain price at a competitive level. 5. Investment and Cost control: You must plan any investment carefully and strictly control your costs. By reviewing a project at the end of each phase or stage of development, you can identify products or services that are unlikely to be successful before resources are wasted.

Currently we are running a boutique at our home. We are planning to shift the boutique from our home to a shop with tailoring and designing. Please guide us.
Questioned by Rishi Yadav, Punjab
It will be good to do so, but you would need to be mindful of the increase in expenditure if you plan to hire a space and how you can follow the current guidelines of safety due to the pandemic. If you want to set up a shop you will also need to plan the layout, how to showcase and store merchandise and also ensure that you market the new shop, especially digitally. You could think of having a small store front and focus on selling more online.

I would like to start a business of women's nighty manufacturing. Please suggest a site or place where I can buy cloth rolls for stitching nighties.
Questioned by Deepa Mondal, Andaman and Nico.In.
You can consider looking for a wholesale market in your city/town or even small cloth makers who can directly sell to you rather than through retail. IndiaMart can also be considered as online options for purchasing raw materials.

I have recently started my online business. I would like to get inputs regarding online sales, marketing strategies and product promotion to develop my online business. Please advise
Questioned by GoINFI enterprises, Madhya Pradesh
The most effective way to reach out to potential customers right now would be on Facebook/Instagram. Create ads and run these ads targeting your customer. You can potentially reach a 1000 people for as low as 50 rupees. It’s the most effective way to increase your customer base and get your product to reach a huge audience.

I am a home baker and want to increase my business. I am not able to generate the amount to fulfil my daily expense. Please do help & guide me in this regard. Hoping for the best. Side by side I am also selling clothes, footwear, etc from home.
Questioned by Mohammed Azam Syed, Maharashtra
You need to identify if your products have any differentiating features or are the same as the rest. They need to have some unique features for clients to buy those bakes. Also conducting special online classes for baking of specific goods such as breads, biscuits or even cake decoration can generate income. Apart from that, try to find corporates or schools who can regularly order from you. That will result in a stable income over a period of time. You should also consider creating a social media presence such as an Instagram or Facebook page for your products. A separate page for food and other goods. This is how all the successful home businesses are reaching their markets. It also helps to display a variety of products to your prospective customers.A few things to keep in mind when you begin to go digital: Display good photos, be active on WhatsApp ad other social media apps, respond promptly to queries and be consistent. These will help you reach a mass audience within a short time. For more information, you can also refer to the marketing and branding answers which were already published on the website

I am a fashion designer and have been running a boutique for past 5 years. I want to expand and take my business online. Could you guide me please.
Questioned by Chandrakala, Karnataka
Yes that is a good step forward. The first step is to create a proper website with payment options. Some free or low investment resources to do that are wix.com or wordpress too. You can also have a presence on all social media platforms which need to be active for your brand to remain one that is recalled immediately. A few things to keep in mind when you begin to go digital: Display good photos, be active on WhatsApp ad other social media apps, respond promptly to queries and be consistent. These will help you reach a mass audience within a short time. For more information, you can also refer to the marketing and branding answers which were already published on the website.

I am running my own business in Kerala travel and tourism industry as a package tour operator. I do Kerala tour packages and caravan packages in the early times. But as a start up company I struggled a lot to convert the enquiries into business. Now a days my business is getting down. I wish to start a small scale business in my office space rather than tourism business. I wish to start an innovative small scale business. Kindly give me the ideas and guidelines to start.
Questioned by Nithin R, Kerala
If you have a large space in your office, an idea of Workation can be explored. A workation is an alternate work from home opportunity with resort facilities and having a scenic beauty. A small restaurant can also be opened in addition to it so that a mix of both workation and restaurant can help earn a good amount of revenue. Proper staff management and hygienic working conditions will help in levelling up the business. Staycations is also a good option i.e where people can spend their weekends and enjoy the scenic beauty. There are many schemes and options available in India for MSMEs and start-ups. Not only does the government have loan options but several banks also offer competitive financial support. However, at the very starting stage of a business, it is advisable to keep loans and other liabilities to a minimum. If you can ‘prove’ your business for the first 3-6 months without a loan (or by availing small loans from family members), that could be the best for you. To apply for a business-loan anywhere, you need to have your business idea drafted on paper. Such a document is called a ‘business plan’. In this plan, you need to clearly mention what business you intend to do (what product or service you intend to sell), who your customers are, how you intend to make money out of your business, and by when. This Business Plan will not only help visualize and explain your idea to others better; it will also help the Bank or Micro-finance company or Investor make a sound assessment of your idea and offer you the loan with confidence.

I want to start my own clothes store, need help with the process. Where should I wholesale ladies clothings and how much profit I can make.?
Questioned by Punam purama, Andhra Pradesh
It depends on which city you are located in. It is best to try and find local wholesale markets there as well as connect with small weavers etc. from across the country if you plan to have clothes of different kinds. Many of them are going through tough times due to the lack of access to a bigger market and the current economic crisis. Ensuring that you collaborate with them on a fair-price model can be beneficial for you and them. The extent of profit is difficult to determine without understanding your expenses as well as the scale of operations. But ensuring that you expand your market to suit different age groups as well as cultures, in terms of clothing might help.

#RestartIndia Response Network
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