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20 Best Seasonal Business Ideas

January 13, 2023 9 min. read
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A seasonal business is a type of business that’s most profitable during specific periods or seasons.

Starting one is ideal if you are a first-time entrepreneur, a college student looking for a part-time side hustle, or a small service business owner in need of extra cash during your off-season.

Whether you are new to business or already have one, deciding what seasonal idea to pick can be tricky—but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 20 of the best seasonal business ideas to get you started.

1. Snow removal ($5K/month)

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.

It’s a $20.5 billion industry that can earn $400 per residential client per season. Assuming a four-month season with 50 clients, that makes snow removal a very lucrative seasonal business to start.

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

READ MORE: 8 snow removal business tips for a profitable winter season

For more ideas on how to make money in the winter as a lawn care or landscaping professional, get advice from industry experts in this episode of our Ask A Business Mentor Series:

2. Holiday light installation ($4K/month)

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 starting your holiday lighting business, 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

READ MORE: Christmas light installation: 8 business tips for a profitable season

3. Chimney sweeping ($17K/month)

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).

It’s also highly profitable. In fact, this chimney cleaning business generated over $212,000 in its first year using chimney sweep software, with a team of just five employees.

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

4. HVAC ($4.1K/month)

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.

Hot summer months also generate greater demand for cooling. If you’d rather focus on cooling services, this could be an ideal business type for you.

Before starting an HVAC business, assess the startup costs, determine how much you can make, look into HVAC certification, and decide if this is the right seasonal opportunity for you.

READ MORE: How to run an HVAC business

5. Home winter weatherproofing ($4.5K/month)

During late fall and the early winter months, people hunt for ways to weatherproof their homes to keep in the heat. You can provide these weatherproofing services by starting a handyman business.

You could offer a range of handyman services to customers, like checking roofs for leaks and making sure they’re watertight, cleaning drains and gutters, and improving sub-floor ventilation.

READ MORE: How to become a handyman: 4 steps you need to take

6. Landscaping and lawn care ($8.3K/month)

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 up to $100,000 annually depending on their size, efficiency, and lawn care or landscaping services offered.

The key is to be strategic in starting a lawn care business and growing it. Choose who to target (residential or commercial), use the right lawn care marketing strategies (door-to-door, referral program, etc.), and hire the right staff.

READ MORE: How to run a successful lawn care business

7. Pool maintenance ($3K/month)

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. In fact, swimming pool services is a $6 billion industry.

Pool maintenance typically starts at $150 per month per pool, but this amount can be much higher. Even with, say, 20 clients receiving monthly service, you can still expect good revenue.

When you’re starting a pool cleaning business, 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.

READ MORE: How this pool service business grew 9x in under 5 years

8. Tree service ($4K/month)

Arborists are in high demand in nearly every region in the world, especially during spring and summer, and earn $48,772/year on average. This makes a tree care business a profitable seasonal venture.

However, starting a tree service business can be dangerous, competitive, and relies on building trust with clients. Instead of viewing this all as a threat, see 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.

9. Window cleaning ($3K/month)

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.

Starting a window cleaning business is also an attractive opportunity because of low overheads and startup costs (roughly $1,000), a fairly shallow learning curve, no expensive training, and a $36,970 salary on average.

10. Painting ($3.2K/month)

The warmer months also tend to be when homeowners are interested in starting their renovation projects. Take advantage of this opportunity by starting a painting business. 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—he started painting because he needed a summer job. “I enjoyed it, and I found I could make $40–50 an hour as a painting 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 and make $38,476/year on average, it’s best to have some industry experience first and a great painting technique (if you plan to do the painting yourself).

11. House cleaning ($4.6K/month)

There’s always a huge demand for residential cleaning services, with spring being one of the busiest periods. On average, a one-person cleaning business can make nearly $56,000/year.

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 start a cleaning business, you’ll need cleaning equipment, everyday cleaning products, marketing and office supplies, and cleaning service software.

READ MORE: Is it worth starting 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 dryer 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.

READ MORE: Best practices: how to start scaling your business successfully

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 ($4.8K/month)

The best time for a homeowner to have their home sprayed is spring, making pest control a highly lucrative business during this period. In fact, pest control business owners can earn $58,000/year.

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.

If you have that experience or know someone who does and can help you, then by all means, start a pest control business. If not, you may want to consider other seasonal business ideas.

READ MORE: Repelling pests and making gains: using tech to grow 1800% in 5 years

15. Roof repair and replacement (3.4K/month)

During spring and summer, two high-demand services are roof repairs and roof replacement. They can be profitable, too, with roofers making $41,246/year on average.

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. 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.

READ MORE: How to build a junk removal business: tech, culture, and careers

17. 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.

18. 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, build a customer referral program to get referrals from family and friends, and use online platforms to find house-sitting jobs in your area.

READ MORE: The best lead generation websites for contractors

19. 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.

It can also be a great cold-weather service for pet owners who can’t (or would rather not) walk their dogs during the winter.

20. 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.

READ MORE: 3 steps to make your marketing stand out

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 start your service business.

Originally published December 2021. Last updated on October 6, 2022.

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