'Tis the Season
The holiday season is well underway, and for the past week, Americans have been busy in stores and online, shopping for the perfect gifts. While consumers across the country are taking advantage of special sales events, you could be capitalizing on the increased need for holiday-related products and services. Whether you want to launch a part-time seasonal business or start something that you can continue throughout the year, you can get these 10 holiday businesses up and running in no time.
Ornaments and decorations
Small décor items, like Christmas tree ornaments and tabletop decorations, are big sellers at mall kiosks, so why not create your own and sell them on sites like Etsy? Holiday decorations are relatively inexpensive and easy to make, and people are often willing to pay extra for personalized ornaments with photos and text.
Wreaths and floral arrangements
Another great business idea for crafters is to make and sell holiday wreaths and floral arrangements. Purchase artificial branches, pinecones, flowers and ribbons from your local craft store, and turn them into dazzling home decorations.
Pies, cookies, fruitcakes and gingerbread are all staples of the holiday season. If your kitchen is constantly filled with the smell of freshly baked desserts during the holidays, why not get paid for it by packaging and selling them? People love giving and receiving candies and baked goods during the holidays, so you're sure to have a huge demand.
Santa Claus appearances
Taking children to the mall to see Santa may be free, but parents will pay big bucks for a home visit from Kris Kringle (or perhaps Mrs. Claus, if you're a woman). If you don't mind sacrificing a bit of time on Christmas Eve — or buying/renting a Santa suit — you could make arrangements to drop by the homes of friends and neighbors with young children and personally deliver a few gifts. Want to take this business past the holiday season? Try being the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy.
Many people stress over what to buy their friends and family members for the holidays. As a personal gift shopper, you could help your clients find the perfect gifts at the best prices. Meet with them to discuss their budget and gift recipients, and then research gifts at various price points for the individuals on their list. You can offer pickup and delivery of in-store purchases for an additional charge.
Are you an expert at creasing paper and curling ribbons? Does the sight of a gift bag stuffed with poorly arranged tissue paper make you cringe? Help people wow their gift recipients with beautifully wrapped presents. Charge by the hour or by the gift, depending on how complicated the packages are.
Knitted winter items
Knitting might seem like an activity reserved for grandmothers, but handmade scarves, hats and sweaters are popular during the holidays. Wholesale yarn is relatively inexpensive, and depending on how quickly you can knit, you'll be able to build up your inventory and spend more time marketing your store. Don't know how to knit or crochet? Sites like KnittingHelp.com are readily available to teach you.
Themed baskets are a popular gift choice for the holidays, but many ready-made baskets from retailers are expensive, and people don't often have the time to purchase individual items and create their own baskets. If you have some great ideas for a basket — cooking products, desserts, movies, bath products, etc. — you can make and sell them as holiday gifts. Arrange items in a decorative basket, wrap it in plastic and put a festive holiday bow on it.
Holiday parties happen throughout the month of December, and many offices and organizations find themselves in need of a great caterer to make their party a success. As a skilled home cook that can create delicious meals for a large group of people, you can help alleviate the stress of planning and preparing food for their holiday get-togethers. Make sure you have enough kitchen space to prepare the meals and the means to transport the food to your clients. Go the extra mile and offer to help clean up after the party for great customer service (not to mention the fact that you'll probably earn a nice tip). After the holidays, you can move on to other events, like weddings and Sweet 16 parties.
If you're good with Photoshop, you can design and print beautiful, personalized holiday cards for families to send out this year. Offering to create other customized stationery items — such as event invitations, thank-you cards and envelopes — can help you make this a year-round business.