A seasonal business is a type of business that is most profitable during specific periods or seasons.

Starting one is ideal if you already own a small service business and need some extra cash during your off-season. It may also be suitable if you’re a first-time entrepreneur or a college student looking for a part-time side-hustle. 

But whether you’re new to business or already have one, deciding what seasonal idea to pick can be tricky.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Here are 21 of the best seasonal business ideas and tips to get you started the right way.

The best fall and winter business ideas

1. Snow removal

Snow removal services is a common winter seasonal business, especially for landscapers, lawn care professionals, and window cleaners, whose work tends to slow down in November or December. 

With the industry set to reach $20.5 billion in revenue by the end of 2021, snow removal is a lucrative seasonal business to start.

It’s also fairly easy to start if you already have an existing business truck and driver’s license. Just expect to invest a little more for things like plowing equipment. 

Learn more about starting your snow removal business.

2. Holiday light installation 

There is good money to be made installing lights on Christmas trees and houses. One successful business owner reported making a $16,000 profit in just two months. There’s also the rewarding feeling of bringing holiday joy to your local community.

When getting started, it’s important to take into consideration the following:

  • Buying the correct inventory, lights, decorations, and supplies
  • Investing in proper training to install the lights
  • Purchasing general liability insurance to protect you if something goes wrong

Learn more about starting your holiday lighting business.

3. Chimney sweep

Many homeowners will have their chimneys swept at the end of fall or early winter in preparation for the winter season. Besides high demand during these periods, starting a chimney sweep business is an excellent opportunity because of low competition and low startup costs ($7,500).

To get started, follow this chimney cleaning 8-point checklist that covers the certifications you need, how to build your service list, the systems required, and how to plan for growth.

4. HVAC heating 

Extreme temperatures over the winter months generate greater demand for heating services. This means autumn is a great time to launch an HVAC business that focuses on heating and furnace repair.

Starting an HVAC business requires training and certification. Before launching into this seasonal opportunity, learn about HVAC certifications and what you need to start an HVAC business.

5. Home winter weatherproofing

During late fall and the early winter months, people hunt for ways to weatherproof their homes to keep in the heat. You could offer a range of handyman services for these customers like checking roofs for leaks and making sure they’re watertight, cleaning drains and gutters, and improving sub-floor ventilation.

Learn how to start a handyman business

The best spring and summer business ideas

6. Landscaping and lawn care

Low barriers to entry and high-profit potential make landscaping and lawn care a fantastic business opportunity in warm-weather months. 

For instance, a lawn care professional can expect to make anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 annually depending on their size, efficiency, and services offered.

The key, of course, is to remain strategic in building and growing this business. Choose who to target (residential or commercial), market your business with the right strategies (door-to-door, referral program, etc.), and hire the right staff.

Learn how to start a lawn care business.

7. Pool maintenance

According to IBISWorld, swimming pool services is a $6 billion industry. 

Although pools do require year-round maintenance, heavy usage by pool owners during the summer season means pool cleaners are busier and more profitable during those months. 

When getting started, be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s business licensing requirements. For instance, some states only require a business license, while others like California and Florida have extra requirements.

Learn how to start a pool cleaning business.

8. Tree service

Arborists are in high demand in nearly every region in the world, especially during spring and summer. This makes a tree care business a profitable seasonal venture. 

However, it can be dangerous, competitive, and relies on building trust with clients. 

Instead of viewing this all as a threat, view it as a chance to stand out from the competition. An easy way to do this is to become a qualified arborist—even though it’s not a requirement to get started.

Learn how to start a tree service business.

9. Window cleaning

Spring and summer are when many homeowners focus on general cleaning inside and outside the house, making window cleaning a lucrative seasonal business to start. 

It’s also an attractive opportunity because of low overheads and startup costs (roughly $1,000), a relatively shallow learning curve, and no expensive training.

Learn how to start a window cleaning business.

10. Painting

The warmer months also tend to be when homeowners are interested in starting their renovation projects. Take advantage of this opportunity by offering painting services. It’s also the perfect business if you love working with your hands, or enjoy painting as a hobby. 

A side gig in painting also has the potential to turn into something more permanent. Take Graham Audenart, for instance. He started painting because he needed a summer job. “I enjoyed it, and I found I could make $40 – $50 an hour as a subcontractor,” explains Graham. 

He now owns two residential and commercial businesses and three Painters Enterprise business locations.

If you want to pursue this business idea, it’s best to have some industry experience first and a great painting technique (if you plan to do the painting yourself).

Learn how to start a painting business

11. House cleaning 

There’s always a huge demand for residential cleaning services, with spring being one of the busiest periods. Low startup costs (roughly $700 upfront) and the ability to grow your business through fairly basic marketing strategies make this a superb seasonal business idea.

To get started, you’ll need cleaning supplies, everyday cleaning products, marketing and offices supplies, and cleaning service software. 

Learn how to start a cleaning business.

12. Laundry service

You can also choose to find a niche within a cleaning business by offering laundry service only. 

Busy parents with full-time jobs and kids will happily pay for the convenience of having their laundry cleaned and folded—especially during the summer months when families may be on vacation and kids are playing outdoors. Bonus points if you’re able to pick up and drop off!

The startup costs will depend on how much you want to invest and make from this business. You can technically just use the washer and drier you have at home if you’re going to keep things small. But, if you plan to scale, you’ll likely want to buy a few extra units.

13. Fencing 

The current upswing in demand for fences and residential construction makes starting a fencing business a profitable opportunity.

When getting started, it’s important to consider the following:

14. Pest control

The best time for a homeowner to have their home sprayed is spring, making pest control a highly lucrative business during this period. 

Pest control can be much more complicated than other seasonal business ideas. There are front-end (operations, customer service, etc.) and back-end considerations with any business. But the back-end considerations can be very complex in pest control. They include regulations, chemicals, biology, and so on. 

So, if you have that experience or know someone who does and can help you, then, by all means, go for it. If not, you may want to consider other seasonal business ideas.

Learn how to start a pest control business.

15. Roof repair and replacement

During spring and summer, two high-demand services are roof repairs and roof replacement.

When pursuing this seasonal business idea, make sure you don’t underbid on jobs—something that 90% of contractors in the industry do.

Learn how to price and bid roofing jobs the right way.

16. HVAC cooling

This business idea mirrors the HVAC heating business mentioned under winter seasonal business ideas. Hot summer months generate greater demand for cooling—making an HVAC business that specializes in cooling services a perfect business to start.

Before starting this type of business, assess the startup costs, determine how much you can make, and decide if it’s a career path you actually want.

Learn how to start an HVAC business.

17. Junk removal service

Junk removal is a growing industry with opportunities if you’re willing to work. It involves picking up and moving people’s junk or unwanted items. You’ll also likely be scouting the area for local recycling solutions.

An excellent place to start may be to partner with a moving service during the busy summer months when homeowners are getting rid of unwanted items.

18. Moving service

The busiest months of the year in the real estate market are the summer months as people move into new apartments and homes. 

A moving business can be hugely profitable for anyone with a keen eye for organizing and some muscle (though you can always just hire the right staff).

To get started, you’ll need a truck, moving equipment, supplies like boxes and tape,  and transportation permits and insurance.

19. House and pet sitting

House and pet sitting are in high demand when families head out for summer vacations leaving houses unattended. They may also have pets that need to be looked after while they are away.

House and pet sitting have among the lowest startup costs of any business idea on this list. You don’t have to invest in any heavy equipment like you do when starting, say, a landscaping, HVAC, or even snow removal business.

To get started, ask for referrals from family and friends, and use online platforms to find house-sitting jobs in your area.

20. Dog walking

Dog walking is another low-cost business idea perfect for the warm weather.  

You can target families who go on vacation and leave their pets at home or really anyone who’s busy and may not have time to walk their pets. 

21. Boat cleaning and maintenance

In the same way people pay someone to service and clean their cars; they also hire businesses to maintain and clean their boats to ensure their longevity. 

Consider cleaning, detailing, and servicing boats at the end and the beginning of summer.

To get started, plan your business, create a legal entity and market your services (discussed next).

How do you set up a seasonal business? 

There will be small differences in starting each of these seasonal business ideas. But for the most part, you’ll have to do the following:

  • Plan your business by writing down your business plan. 

It doesn’t have to be formal. Start by taking out a notebook and writing down the skills and expertise you’re offering, your why, what customers want, and who your competition is.

  • Get clear on your financials

Understand your startup and overhead costs, how much you will pay yourself, and your income expectations.

  • Register your business and choose your legal structure 

Choose between LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

  • Build your team

Do you need employees? Will you have a partner? Will it be just you?

  • Market your business

When starting your small business, keep things simple by focusing on a few strategies. For instance, ask family and friends, use online classifieds or social media, ask for referrals, or go door-to-door.

  • Implement proper systems early on so you can scale

Invest in systems to close deals, schedule work, and communicate with clients. This may mean having a system to automatically send a follow-up email after each job is complete to gather feedback and improve the service you provide.

Learn more about how to start your service business this season.

Embrace the seasonality of service businesses

Whether you’re a new business owner or an existing one looking for extra money in those slower periods, there’s no shortage of seasonal businesses to choose from.

Just be sure to review what’s most in demand in your area at certain times of the year and follow the right steps to get your business set up.

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