Weigh these 25 seasonal business ideas to see if you can turn your hobbies and interests into a viable part-time side hustle and boost your income.
25 Income-Boosting Seasonal Business Ideas
With inflation climbing ever higher, the number of people opting to open a seasonal business is skyrocketing. As home prices and the cost of living go up, and automation and AI loom large, having a multifaceted career path looks firmly set to become the norm.
For many, setting up a part-time business isn't about necessity at all. It's driven by passion, purpose, and self-actualization — and the opportunity to turn a hobby into profit. Check out the 25 seasonal business ideas below for inspiration.
Ready to turn your hobby into a money-making venture? Get started with CraftJack today and we'll handle lead generation so you can focus on growth.
Who Should Consider Running a Seasonal Business?
Seasonal businesses are appealing to a wide range of demographics and are growing increasingly acceptable among employers.
Traditionally, students, stay-at-home parents, and retirees had the monopoly on side hustles, and there are even more options to consider thanks to the rise of e-commerce and social media. Stay-at-home parents can capitalize on school hours by starting a seasonal business, while retirees can supplement their pensions by putting their skills and experience to use within the community. Students can harness their digital savviness to set up a website and sell just about anything using social media alone.
In today's diverse and dynamic economy, new players have entered the seasonal business arena. One of the biggest shifts comes from nine-to-five workers looking to escape the daily grind and turn their hobbies and pastimes into profits. More people than ever are setting up YouTube channels, selling tasty holiday treats, and moonlighting as personal trainers on the side when seasonal demand is high.
The feast-or-famine nature of freelance work means self-employed creatives and gig workers often pick up seasonal side hustles to balance out leaner periods. As the world becomes increasingly connected and technology continues to evolve and become easier to use, the number of opportunities for practically anyone looks set to keep rising.
How to Decide on a Seasonal Business Idea
Here are the most important considerations when choosing a seasonal side hustle.
The most fundamental element of selecting a seasonal business idea is your skill set. While you don't have to be the best to start a business, you need relevant skills and experience. Remember, work can turn something you love into a menial task — so make sure you go for a business idea you can stick with.
This was once the most crucial consideration, and it's still highly relevant for many businesses. Unless you can sell your product or service online in a 100% remote operation, you must ensure local demand is there. For example, if you live in an area where older adults are the biggest demographic, making kids' Halloween outfits may not be the best choice.
Can you afford to start a seasonal business? Some have high start-up costs because you need to purchase equipment and invest in high-level digital marketing to find an audience. Others might have no overhead at all. You may be able to start as a lean operation and invest more as you grow.
If you have five kids, three dogs, two cats, and two jobs, becoming a food truck vendor for the festival season might not be viable. It's important not to overwhelm yourself or you could face burnout. Select a seasonal business that fits your existing lifestyle.
Before making any financial or time commitments, create 1-, 5-, and 10-year forecasts to see if your side hustle has staying power. Being passionate and loving what you do is critical, but you can't pursue something that might lose you money long-term.
Keep in mind that, like any entrepreneurial endeavor, there are risks associated with starting a seasonal business — especially if you do it as a sole proprietor. You could struggle to secure financing, face sky-high start-up costs, hit a brick wall with marketing, or face legal repercussions for noncompliance with regulations.
Do you have the energy to sustain your business long-term? Put thought into whether you want to do this for the long run. As a seasonal operator, you may not recoup your initial investment for 2 to 3 years. It's vital that you're committed to your business idea for more than a few months or you'll lose money.
Passion & Purpose
Last but by no means least are passion and purpose. For some, a seasonal business can be invigorating. Spending time doing what you love — and profiting from it — can inject meaning into your life and motivate you even when you're facing hard times. Being passionate about what you do is one of the biggest drivers of success.
Pros & Cons of a Seasonal Business
Let's break down the pros and cons of starting a seasonal side hustle.
Advantages of seasonal businesses:
- This flexible business model allows you to operate during peak seasons and slow down or stop entirely during off-seasons.
- Shorter operational periods slash overheads and decrease overall expenses compared to a year-round business.
- Knowing when demand is highest and concentrating your efforts on these periods enables swift revenue generation with relatively predictable outcomes.
- The nature of a seasonal business is dynamic, so you can regularly refresh your product or service offerings to keep customers interested.
- Having a seasonal business offers the autonomy of being your own boss while providing the convenience and work-life balance of part-time work.
Potential hurdles in seasonal operations:
- You're not making profit year-round, which could be stressful and put too much pressure on you to make money.
- It takes a strong operational leader to manage the rapid up-and-down scaling of a seasonal business.
- Seasonal trends or unexpected economic downturns could cause sudden changes in demand, placing your side hustle's longevity at risk.
- Engaging long-term, loyal customers can be more difficult for a seasonal business since it isn't sending out marketing communications year-round.
- For most businesses, it takes a long time to break even following the up-front investment required to start up. This is even more pronounced with seasonal businesses since liquidity must be managed even more carefully to stay viable long-term.
25 Seasonal Business Ideas
Below are 25 seasonal business ideas to help you earn more money and feel a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.
1. Tax Preparation
January to April is tax preparation time, and there are hundreds of thousands of people and businesses throughout the United States that require help. Tax preparation services can be provided in person at a local office or your own home or to remote clients, depending on your preference.
Who's best suited to tax preparation?
Individuals with backgrounds in finance or accounting are best suited to becoming seasonal tax preparation specialists. A CPA license, knowledge of tax software, and meticulous attention to detail put you in a great position to operate a successful part-time business.
Average income per hour:$20.62
2. Seasonal Content Creator
If you love being in front of the camera, why not take your seasonal career online and be a content creator on TikTok, YouTube, or Twitch? Whether you love Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Eid, Diwali, or any other holiday, you can record related videos, upload them to your channel, find an audience, and monetize your passion.
Who's best suited to being a YouTube creator?
Having qualifications or experience in video production, editing, cinematography, or content creation is useful, but anyone with a passion and equipment can do it. You just have to be confident, creative, and a captivating storyteller.
Average income per hour:$23.79
If you've got a green thumb and live in an area where people earn enough to pay for someone to take care of their yard, being a seasonal gardener is ideal. It's a great way to stay active, spend lots of time outdoors, and interact with your local community.
Who's best suited to gardening?
Even if you don't have experience working with a professional landscaper or a tree service business, you can tend people's flower gardens. A love for botany, patience, a keen eye for beauty, and physical stamina will hold you in good stead for this seasonal business idea.
Average income per hour:$18.07
4. Affiliate Marketing
Many people moonlight as affiliate marketers in the lead-up to Christmas to help offset the costs of the holiday season and cash in on the glut of economic activity. All you need to do is set up a website and promote another company's products or services using unique links.
Who's best suited to affiliate marketing?
You can excel at affiliate marketing if you have a good understanding of business, digital marketing, and e-commerce. It's easier than ever to set up a WordPress website, so you don't need to be a tech genius to build one anymore. The ability to write well and be persuasive are essential.
Average income per hour: $29.80
5. Swim Instructor
Come spring and summer, kids and adults alike are ready to hit beaches and pools nationwide. You can take advantage of this seasonal uptick by becoming a swim instructor.
Who's best suited to being a swim instructor?
If you love the water and meet the training and certification requirements in your locale, you can become a swim instructor.
Average income per hour:$25.90
Stay-at-home parents, retirees, students, millennials, Gen Z, Gen X, Boomers, and just about anyone else can make money in e-commerce. Whether you make your own cushion covers and sell them on Etsy or buy and sell goods on Alibaba, it's a viable side hustle you can pick up when necessary and put on the back burner whenever you need to.
Who's best suited to e-commerce?
Anyone with a business mindset can make money in e-commerce. A background in retail or digital marketing would be useful due to the enhanced knowledge of inventory, sales, and analytics gained in such roles.
Average income per hour: $17.50
7. Snow Removal
If you live in a snowy state like New York or New Hampshire, there's a good chance you've called in snow removal services before. Cash in on your local climate yourself and pick up snow removal clients during the winter months.
Who's best suited to snow removal?
Snow removal is a great seasonal business idea for practically anyone. All you need is a shovel, a warm personality, and the ability to sell your services.
Average income per hour:$23.13
As the old saying goes, content is king. Although video is the most popular medium on the internet, people love to read something while commuting or eating breakfast. As a seasonal blogger, you can share your passions and opinions with the world whenever you choose and get paid for it.
Who's best suited to blogging?
There's a lot of competition out there, so you'll need to be an excellent writer with a strong grasp of trends and SEO. If you can drive traffic to your blog, you can monetize it by showing ads to visitors.
Average income per hour:$19.37
9. Farmers Market Vendor
Got a passion for produce? Turn it into a seasonal career as a farmers market vendor. Whether you make your own jam, cure your own yak meat, or prepare baked goods, take them to market in the warmer months and make a profit.
Who's best suited to being a farmers market vendor?
People who produce artisan products are best suited to this role, and having prior experience selling and interacting with customers also goes a long way.
Average income per hour: $17.39
10. Personal Training
If you have a passion for fitness and want to make some extra money post-December, consider being an in-person personal trainer or selling personal training courses online.
Who's best suited to personal training?
Personal trainers should have a formal qualification from a recognized association, a keen understanding of exercise and movement, and expert knowledge of form and injury prevention.
Average income per hour: $26.77
11. Food Truck Operator
Love food, festivals, and the great outdoors? Operating a food truck in the summer months could be the perfect seasonal business for you. The overheads are relatively high for this job, but demand and the markup on products are typically very high.
Who's best suited to being a food truck operator?
Individuals with experience in hospitality management would excel in this role, but anyone with a passion for food and business can learn the ropes.
Average income per hour:$18.88
12. Holiday Card Maker
Arts and crafts enthusiasts can rejoice in the opportunities the internet has brought when it comes to making holiday cards.
Who's best suited to making holiday cards?
Whether you're a digital or print artist, demand for cards is always high during the holiday season.
Average income per hour: $17.51
13. Halloween Costume Maker
For people with adult children who miss making Halloween costumes for their kids, starting a seasonal business can be highly rewarding. Cosplay is more popular than ever, so there's a big market out there to tap into.
Who's best suited to Halloween costume making?
Whether or not you've made money from it before, if you're able to design and sew costumes, you've got a viable seasonal business.
Average income per hour: $17.36
14. Virtual Event Planning
If you've got a combination of skills and experience in events and digital communication, why not try virtual event planning? All you need is a website and a phone to get started, making it a low overhead seasonal business option. You can charge a healthy hourly rate and pick up clients around your schedule.
Who's best suited to virtual event planning?
To succeed as a virtual event planner, you'll need a background in public relations, event management, and networking. Knowledge of a wide range of multimedia platforms and strong organizational skills will put you ahead of competitors.
Average income per hour:$22.32
15. Canning and Preserving Classes/Courses
If you're good at making jams, compotes, and preserves, consider hosting in-person or online classes — or prerecording courses and selling them online.
Who's best suited to providing canning and preserving classes?
If you're a great communicator and can produce delicious preserves, you can make this your seasonal business.
Average income per hour:$15.56
16. Online Game Organizer
Develop and host online challenges, games, and tournaments tailored to specific holiday seasons and make money through entry fees or sponsorships.
Who's best suited to being an online game organizer?
Any lover of board games, video games, or any type of game can make money in this way, provided they understand technology and are good at promoting their events.
Average income per hour: $20.38
17. Seasonal Workshop Instructor
When the holiday season comes around, you can become a seasonal workshop instructor, covering courses such as crafting, photography, or gift wrapping.
Who's best suited to being a seasonal workshop instructor?
As long as you're an expert in your workshop topic and know how to operate Zoom or Teachable, you can do this seasonal job.
Average income per hour: $24.20
18. Creating Seasonal Gift Baskets
Do you enjoy filling and decorating delightful gift baskets? Simply purchase the supplies needed and sell your baskets at a markup, either locally or online.
Who's best suited to making seasonal gift baskets?
Practically anyone can do this job, provided they're neat, organized, and savvy enough to buy and sell at the right prices.
Average income per hour:$13.08
19. Firewood Delivery
If you have a truck and some spare time on your hands during the winter months, why not deliver firewood? It's a noble cause that helps people who need it while boosting your annual income.
Who's best suited to firewood delivery?
As long as you have a vehicle and good customer service skills, you can make it as a firewood delivery driver.
Average income per hour: $18.46
20. HVAC Technician
As a seasonal HVAC technician, you can choose between installing and maintaining air conditioners or heat pumps and furnaces, depending on the time of year.
Who's best suited to becoming a HVAC technician?
To be a HVAC technician, you need a formal qualification and experience in the field. Excellent problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and a strong work ethic will help you become profitable.
Average income per hour:$26.93
21. Gift Wrapper
What better way to contribute to the holiday season than by helping people make their lovingly bought gifts beautiful?
Who's best suited to gift wrapping?
If your gifts are always met with gasps and recipients rush to post pictures of their wrapped presents to Instagram, this job is for you.
Average income per hour:$17.98
22. Fall Leaf Removal
Fallen leaves create a perfect environment for slugs on the lawn and mold on the decking, making fall leaf removal an essential service and a great seasonal business idea.
Who's best suited to fall leaf removal?
There are some up-front costs involved in starting this business, so it's important that you can afford them. Stamina and the ability to provide great customer service are important skills as well.
Average income per hour: N/A
23. Christmas Tree Service
Why not become the Santa of Christmas trees every winter in your local area? Ask people for their budget and preferences, offer to find the best tree, deliver it, and decorate it.
Who's best suited to operating a Christmas tree service?
If you love tackling Christmas preparations and have a keen eye for decor, this is the ideal seasonal side hustle.
Average income per hour: N/A
24. Social Media Manager
Social media is one of the most successful marketing tools ever invented, and virtually every business needs a social media manager. If you're adept at gaining clicks, views, and followers, you could offer social media management services on a freelance basis.
Who's best suited to social media management?
Digital marketing or social media management qualifications can be advantageous, but the ability to grow social media profiles and promote your services are even more important skills.
Average income per hour:$31.50
25. Pet Sitter
If you're passionate about dogs, cats, and other furry, four-legged creatures, you might think about becoming a pet sitter.
Who's best suited to pet sitting?
If you genuinely love animals, can create a strong profile, and are meticulous and trustworthy, you'll make a great pet sitter.
Average income per hour:$14.85
How to Plan for a Seasonal Business
Once you've selected a seasonal side hustle and you're confident you have what it takes to make it last long-term, it's time to get planning. Follow the steps below to ensure you're prepared to run a profitable and reputable seasonal operation.
1. Research Demand
The first step is performing a thorough and informed market analysis. Identify your target audience, research their purchasing behavior, study competitors, and anticipate when market fluctuations are likely to occur. Using online research tools and social media analytics can help ensure you refine your business to match market demands.
2. Consider Budgeting and Finances
As a seasonal business operator, you need to make careful financial projections and preparations for on- and off-peak periods. Create a budget that accounts for initial expenses, emergency funds, and potential revenue. Conduct regular financial assessments — with the help of an expert if you're not confident — to mitigate the risks of unforeseen challenges.
3. Cover Marketing and Promotion
Because more people are starting seasonal businesses, there's more competition. A marketing strategy that combines both traditional and digital methods is essential for reaching a wide audience. Consider using a website, social media profiles, flyers, decals, merchandise, and lead generation websites to connect you with customers and promote your brand.
4. Optimize Tools and Supplies
To be competitive in your chosen industry, you need the right tools and supplies. For example, if you're planning to make baked goods and treats during the holiday season, make sure you have a high-tech mixer, scales, and decorations to ensure your product is worthy of making a profit.
5. Plan for Off-Season Management
Just because you're a seasonal business owner, it doesn't mean the work stops when this season ends. To maximize success, you'll need to strategize, plan, train, and keep in touch with customers to stay viable for the next season.
What to Keep in Mind When Starting a Seasonal Business
Keep the following in mind as you move forward with your plan to start a seasonal business:
- Perform market research when preparing to start your seasonal company.
- Make sure you're in a strong financial position, with enough money to start an emergency fund and the ability to access credit.
- Get to know your industry's market fluctuations and plan your schedule accordingly.
- Use downtime for tackling strategy, research, and customer segmentation.
- Invest in marketing methods to help you find clients who are searching for your services in real time.
At CraftJack, we provide you with verified, vetted leads, helping you get your seasonal business idea off the ground. Get in touch today to learn more.
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