If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start your own small business in Hong Kong, here are the 11 business opportunities you can start with little capital and minimal time.
1. Healthcare products
Have you ever been to any parts of New Territories in Hong Kong? If you’ve been to Sheung Shui, you were probably surprised by the number of pharmacies in this area. If you ever walked into one of those pharmacies, you’d discover most of the customers speaking in Mandarin (Note: Hong Kong locals speak Cantonese).
So why do mainland Chinese people buy daily health-care products from Hong Kong? The reason is simple. Mainland Chinese don’t trust their local health care products. They want to use products made in Hong Kong or Western countries, so setting up an online health care store today can be a smart option!
2. Online Tutoring
Have you ever thought of online tutoring? In Hong Kong, some teachers are so popular that students will pay and sit for video-recorded classes at tutorial schools. It shows that education need not be in person anymore. You can teach Chinese, English, Mathematics, any other subject online now. While talented teachers have no specific nationality, ask yourself if you’d rather learn Spanish from a Chinese national or a native Spanish speaker?
Moreover, you can also teach yoga, cake decorating, candy making, cooking, dancing, flower arranging, jewelry making, kids crafts, painting, photography, furniture restoration, gardening, anything you can think of. All you need is just a computer and a stable internet connection.
3. Security Company / Virtual Security
Due to the shortage of land, most people live in apartment flats in Hong Kong. These flats usually have 24-hour security to protect the safety of residents and their properties. In fact, most of these guards have already reached their retirement age. The younger generation is also reluctant to join the industry due to long working hours. However, progress waits for no man.
Infrastructures and buildings are still continuing to be built in the coming years. There will be a severe shortage of human resources in the security field. Launching a virtual security company could be an excellent idea to solve this issue. For example, you can help install security alarm systems, camera, glass break detectors, smoke detectors, thermostat, and temperature detectors.
4. Translation Company / Virtual Translator
There are many translation programs online. However, when it comes to important official documents, people still need a human translator. With the growing global community, there are more chances to deal with people from different countries and backgrounds for business. It’s not easy to look for a translator in a short time while business opportunities can always be time sensitive. A virtual translator can serve customers 24/7. You can join teleconference from home, on your computer, and get paid for it.
If you’re the proactive type, you can even approach business owners to offer your service. Many websites only have Chinese or English versions in Hong Kong. Therefore, you can provide translation service to company websites in order to expand their customer base and create win-win business opportunities.
5. Baby Formula
The 2008 Chinese milk scandal was a widespread food safety incident in China . Sixteen babies in Gansu Province were diagnosed with kidney stones. The babies were fed infant formula produced by Shijiazhuang-based Sanlu Group.
Ten years after the incident, consumers are still not convinced. Chinese customers still have strong demand for safe baby formula and they prefer foreign brands. If you could create a channel to sell baby formula to Chinese customers, it is a huge business opportunity! Just be reminded that there may be regulations at your place of residence which export quota may apply. For example, you can only export a maximum of 2 cans of formula per day from Hong Kong. Hence, you have to do a little research before you start your business.
6. Online Food Store/ Homemade products/ Eco-friendly products
Hong Kong is a fast-paced city. People are busy, and some don’t even have the time to buy groceries from the supermarket. Because of this, supermarkets set up online stores – HKTV mall, Wellcome, ParknShop, etc. However, almost every shop sells the same products. If you have some homemade brands or snacks which you like, you can promote it via your online platform. You do not need much stock to start. All you need is a good website or mobile application.
Moreover, Hong Kong people have more awareness of environment protection these days. More young people are supporting eco-friendly products. For example, recycled handle toothbrush, LED Bulbs, ecoflow low-flow shower head, compostable cutlery (forks, spoons, knives, and tasters), reusable shopping bags, recycled toilet tissue, stainless steel drink bottles, stainless steel straws, or clothes made from recycled fabric. You can sell all these products online and ship to your Hong Kong customers.
7. Therapy equipment
According to a survey of UBS, Hong Kong employees have the most extended working hours among 71 countries in 2017 . It turns out that many workers have developed a different level of muscle pain. However, making a massage appointment is not something workers can do and afford every day.
This can be an excellent business opportunity. Self-massage devices can be favorite selling items. For example, you may have heard of branding like Theragun or Hypervolt. They allow for convenience and regular repetition of massage therapy. They also have significant additions to wellness and health benefits.
8. Fitness Boot Camps
Everyone cares about healthy living and the fitness industry is booming in Hong Kong today. However, getting a monthly gym membership seems to be dull. Many times, people agree to pay much money in the name of wellbeing. After the first month, they don’t feel as determined, or they have a whole packed schedule that they may want to skip it. However, there are many options out there other than the gym when people wish to more directions when exercising.
Starting fitness boot camps business can offer people the incentive to continue working out by giving them a support structure, and the set-up won’t burn a hole in their wallet! You can make use of parks and outdoor locations to keep your cost low. At the same time, it ensures flexibility to your clients. All you need to start a group like this is a Facebook page or a website business page
9. Korean Cosmetics Products
Cosmetics and skin care products have always been the most popular items bought by both Mainland Chinese and international tourists. This is due to the range of brands available, service quality, the authenticity of products and the competitive pricing in the market. Apart from tourists, 96% of HK local female consumers purchase cosmetic or skin care products and spend an average of HK$4,000 every year on said products .
The wave of Korean popular culture and TV dramas also become the catalysts that boost demand for Korean cosmetics. Its global success has obliged many Western cosmetics companies to become innovative. Potentially, Korean cosmetics will be the next beauty giant. If you are a fan of the beauty sector, starting a business with Korean cosmetics products will be a good idea.
10. Errand Services
We now live in the era of “on-demand.” Residents in Hong Kong are often so consumed with their jobs that they have trouble finding time to take care of personal errands. So errand services can make their daily lives far easier. Errand service is now a growing business in Hong Kong. People need professional help to transport goods or handle their to-do lists. If you have logistics experience, errand service is a good start.
Some successful examples in Hong Kong are FoodPanda and Deliveroo. Hong Kong locals want food delivery even the restaurant is only 10 minutes away from the office. There are also errand companies like Gogovan, LaLaMove. They have drivers, and they help deliver products based on customer’s demand.
11. Cleaning Service
In the fast-paced Hong Kong city, many families (both husband and wife) need to work to cover the household expenses. Because of this, they often have no time for housekeeping, and full-time helpers are costly. Seeking part-time home helpers has become an ideal and cost-effective option.
The helpers can help them to tidy up their places, prepare some home food and take care of their babies for a couple of hours. Launching a cleaning service company can be a good idea but be careful to respect the labor law.
Thank you for reading. I hope the above passage gives you some ideas about the type of business you can start in Hong Kong. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share with us so we can share it in our next article.