Do you want to earn extra income this winter but you don’t know what business to start? If YES, here are 50 inexpensive small business ideas for winter season for 2016.
Starting a seasonal business is a great way at earning extra money especially as it might come in handy. This means that you can decide to run your business for a few months in the year, and then use the rest months to do whatever you want to do either personally or professionally. You could even decide to combine different seasonal business opportunities together, so that you could have a steady income for throughout the year.
As there are different seasons in the year, so also are their specific needs that come with the season, which means that this is a time for business opportunities and for smart entrepreneurs to identify and cash in on any business venture that will be specific to the season, and which the customers won’t be able to resist.
The winter season for instance usually has a huge demand for apparels that would ward of the cold and services such as snow clearing. The season also has the need to clear off the roads and other weather related phenomena. So, if you are looking to start a lucrative winter business, then you may want to consider some of these business ideas that are being listed below.
50 Best Small Business ideas for Winter Season in 2016
- Storage Facility Services
When it is close to winter, most people try to save space in their homes, by packing up summer clothes, decorations and other items that they won’t need during the winter. However, most times there isn’t usually the space in the homes of these people to store their items till they would need it, which is where the storage facility service business idea comes in.
Owning a storage facility will ensure that people have where they could store items they do not need and keep it till when it would be needed. You however would need to site the business close to a residential area so that it would be convenient for people to be able to travel back and forth and pick what they need, whenever they want to.
2. Ventless Fireplaces
While homes in some regions are blessed with the good old fireplace or hearth, most homes or apartments do not have this, because it can be hazardous to other tenants, and also most apartment buildings do not come with chimneys as houses that have fireplaces do. This is a good business idea for any smart entrepreneur.
Starting a ventless fireplace means providing a much needed service. The ventless fireplace can be installed in any kind of building and uses a fuel cartridge that will not heat up the home as a real fireplace, but will provide a little bit of heat and a nice glow. This business idea has to be approved by the fire department and department of buildings in the state where you would be operating in.
3. Snow Business
This kind of business is aimed at those who do not have snowy winters but would love to create one for themselves. This is the creation of fake snow, as well as real snow that can last for a while and used for whatever purpose even in the middle of summer.
The snow business service can be used for anything, from corporate events to film sets, winter themed parties and weddings, and children’s parties. You would need to carry out an in depth research into this field so as to be able to meet up with customers’ needs, on the type of snow and the duration it would last.
4. Winter Weather Baskets
This is like the standard gift basket that most people get during seasonal celebrations like the winter holidays, but this is another kind of business entirely. The idea behind this business is the provision of items that a family would need whenever winter storms hit and they aren’t able to go out.
The winter business idea baskets could be packaged based on the type of client, and where it might be used, for example, there could be a winter basket for offices, homes, and cars. The basket would have to contain the essentials that would be needed during the winter such as bottled water, canned food, drinks, first aid kits, warm hats, blankets etc.
5. Coffee Service
During the winter, people take more hot coffee than they usually would which is due to the fact that they need something that would keep them warm from within. Most people would love a fresh brew of their favorite kind of coffee early on cold mornings especially at their offices. You could go into the business of delivering coffee especially to offices.
First, you have to ensure that you are located strategically so that even though you would still be able to sell coffee to those that prefer to come and get it themselves. People are also more impatient during this period, so you would have to be able to deliver the coffee on time.
It is no secret that most cars develop problems during this season, either from incidents while driving or refusing to start on the highway, this is where you could offer your service. The good thing about this business is that you can earn all year round without depending on just the winter season to offer your services.
Ensure that people are aware of your business, by ensuring you have a functional website, cell phone and distribution of fliers and business cards. You would need to get a solid truck that should be able to tow heavy vehicles too, so that you could offer your services to a wide variety of customers.
7. Holiday Wreaths
Make holiday wreaths and sell them to families during the winter period. Wreaths are a traditional part of the holiday season, and as an entrepreneur, this is an area you can go into. Most wreaths last long after the holidays. You would need to have a creative flair, and also make many eye catching wreaths. You would need to ensure that people are aware of your business, and might have to partner with Christmas tree farms.
8. Ski Rentals
If you are an experienced skier or have a passion for sports, then you could comfortably start off this business. You would also need to have knowledge of ski brands and types and be able to help customers with their enquiries and decision as regards what ski to rent.
To start this business, ensure you check out what brands your competitors rent out more and why. Consider how to differentiate your business from others by offering packages and lower rates.
9. Greeting Cards
Greeting cards are regarded as big businesses, as they are usually used for different countless occasions, from birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, death, graduations, as well as holidays. People usually buy greeting cards to attach to gifts too, so there is a whole lot of revenue for this business. If you have an artistic flair with the written word, and are good with basic designs, you can earn big from this business.
You would need to decide if you want to specialize in cards that contain funny messages, inspirational messages, comforting messages, or do all at once. The Christmas season is a time you can sell some of your greeting cards, as well as in other seasons too.
10. Winter Baking and Cooking
During the winter season, people often love the idea of hot food or pastries especially chocolate, especially those that cannot cook or bake; this is where your services could come in. You could simply start a business that will deliver these foods to people in their homes during this period.
Ensure that people know of this service by passing out fliers and handbills that have your information and the services you offer boldly printed on it. Remember your idea might not work in a residential area where most moms are stay at homes and are good in the kitchen, it would be better if you target corporate environments as you likely find more customers there.
11. Moving Company
During the winter seasons, most people like to clear away the clutter from their houses but are too lazy or busy to actually pack up their stuffs into a box and move them to where it might be stored. You could offer this service to this kind of people, by helping them pack and move their stuff to wherever they need it moved to.
Ensure that you advertise your business, close to the winter period by passing out fliers and handbills at residential areas and office organizations. Remember to bass out business cards too, or have your information printed on your flier.
12. Hot Soup Dinner Business
The winter is usually a period where the demand for anything hot sky rockets. Busy work executives and normal working adults, would appreciate a service where they could get home and have either something hot delivered to them or being picked up at a place that is easily accessible to them.
As an entrepreneur you could go into the business of making hot soups during this period, and either having it delivered to your clients or have them come and pick it up, whatever is convenient for them. You would really make an extra steady income during this period.
Eggnog is an egg milk punch which is traditionally made with milk, sugar, whipped eggs, and spirits. It is usually consumed during the Christmas seasons each year by people. This is a good business opportunity for an entrepreneur.
You could make your eggnogs and market it close to apartment buildings or where there are single adults. You could also deliver eggnogs as well or have them come and pick it up at a convenient location. Ensure that your eggnog business is well publicized.
14. Sleigh Rides
Sleigh rides are often a fun thing to do in the winter, especially as most sleigh ride businesses are offering add-ons to their services. You could start out this business to and offer different packages suited for different clients, with different prices attached to the packages.
You would have to compete with others to get your market share from this business, so ensure that your business comes with several extra add-ons like meals, dinner, and other attractions.
15. Chimney Sweeper
Owning a chimney is a great idea especially as it comes in handy during the winter season, but it is also a lot of work as chimneys can get pretty dirty. In addition to the ash that is usually left in the fireplace, a whole lot of soot usually gets stuck on the inside of the chimney. This means that it has to be cleaned regularly so that there won’t be any serious problem.
This is where a smart entrepreneur can earn extra income by offering to sweep the chimney. The work is dirty and strenuous, but it is one that you can earn well from, especially as you could ask to be referred to other houses as well.
16. Organic Lip Balm
The winter season comes with harsh conditions that might affect the lips of most individuals, from adults to children. Sales of this kind of balm which will also help in healing sores on the lips will highly move in this type of market. You would need to have carried out several testing before selling off your lip balms. You would also need people to be aware of your business, and might need to carry your products with you whilst marketing.
17. Christmas Retailer
This is usually general merchandise and Christmas related goods store that operates during the holiday season to customers in a targeted market. This is a seasonal business that is usually for at most four months, September to December. The good thing about this store is that it can also operate year round, stocking up on things that relates to the season it is in.
Starting this business might require more start up finances than most businesses in this list, but it is guaranteed to generate you a steady amount of money. For this business, your business plan and location are extremely important.
18. Ski Instructor
As a ski instructor, you get to teach individuals who want to learn for fun, amateurs and budding professionals on how to ski. This is a business that is guaranteed to bring in a nice income for you in the winter period. You would have to be around ski resorts and offer your services to visitors there.
You would have to be qualified to become an instructor though, and have insurance as well, as this is usually a sport where injury from light to serious can occur during lessons.
If you are looking for a profitable cash crop, then having a Christmas tree farm is usually your best bet. The trees are usually low maintenance, and can be done as a part time job or hobby, and yet pull in a good chunk of cash for you, year after year especially as the trees can be harvested and re-planted.
Before going into this business, you must at least own or be able to lease an acre, so that you could plant up to 1,500 trees using the standard 5’ x 5’ spacing. You would also make a tidy sum If you keep your operating costs to a minimum, by carrying out most of the job like weeding and shearing the young trees.
20. Errand Service for Seniors
The winter is usually a hard time for seniors, as they are more affected by the harsh conditions that winter usually brings, and yet they like other people need some basic needs that would require that it be fulfilled, and would be willing to pay for someone that could run errands for them this period. This is where you could come in as an entrepreneur.
You would have to select a residential area that has more of the senior folks staying there, and inform them of your service. Ensure that you drop a business card with your number boldly printed so that they could get to you when they want. This is also a business that can be done in other seasons as well.
21. Winter Camp for Kids
Why winter might bring more tasks for an adult, it isn’t so for children as they are usually bored cooped up indoors all day and for a while, which is why this business idea is such a fantastic one.
You could come up with a winter camp program for kids that could be based on a theme or several themes so that they get to be free from boredom. You would need to convince the parents on your ability to care for their kids during this period, and also ensure that adequate arrangements are made to protect participating kids from the harsh effects of the winter.
22. Liquor Delivery Service
The liquor business is a high yield business and can be done any season, but the demand usually goes higher during the winter season, especially as liquors like brandy and the likes can provide warmth for the customer in this period.
Even though liquor delivery service especially to homes is a hot niche, it is also fair to note that the industry is a highly regulated one. It is also a controversial business as it is susceptible to abuse especially as it can be delivered to minors without detection. You would need to carry out a thorough research if you are going to be starting off this kind of business.
23. Gift Wrapping
Most people love giving out gifts especially as the winter period is usually a gift giving time, but aren’t too patient or skilled in wrapping the gifts to make it presentable to the recipient. This is where you could latch on to as a smart entrepreneur. You could first help out friends and family members in wrapping their gifts for free, before charging them later.
Those you have wrapped gifts for can help pass on the information to their own friends and family as well. You could also offer your services in stores where these gifts are bought. All you need in this business is in being smart, and you could earn those extra bucks this season.
24. Snowshoe Rentals
If you are serious about starting a snowshoe rental kind of business, you would need to go into it, fully aware of the pitfalls as well as the loopholes that you can exploit. You would need a business plan, a good location and massive publicity.
Also look for someone who is already in the business, and learn the ropes from them. It doesn’t have to be a direct competitor; it could be someone from out of town.
25. Christmas Tree Rental Business
Due to the increasing number of tree/nature lovers and environmentalists, some people are beginning to abhor the idea of cutting down trees every year to use for a once in a year holiday season. You could go into this business by renting out live Christmas trees in big pots, and then getting it back to your farm and returning it the next year when it would be needed again.
This is a niche market and would be a great idea especially if you find the right target market of those who abhor the felling of trees and nature lovers as well. You would need to carry out massive publicity online and offline.
26. Roller Skating Rink Business
Roller skating provides fun as well as exercises for families. If you intend to go into this business, ensure that you have fun activities lined up, so that this could be at the forefront while marketing it. You could offer classes for people to learn how to skate; the classes could be segmented into different age groups, so that adults and little ones do not mix.
When starting this business, apart from a good business plan, you will also need to ensure that your rink business is in a place where there is a huge parking lot available, and if you can get to use a previous roller rink, then that would be better.
27. Sale of Used Snowboards
Since snowboards are seasonal equipment used only in winter, not all stores will carry the sales of the used snowboard business. Even though this market is not as profitable as it used to be, this doesn’t mean that you cannot make some nice change during this period, especially as you would be selling used snowboard, which would be easier to buy and sell off than a new one.
Be careful when going into this business, and carry out a thorough research, so that you are aware of your target market before starting off the business. Carry out aggressive market, and you could also rent out the snowboards.
28. Skate Sales and Rental Business
A skateboard is a type of sports equipment that is primarily used for skateboarding activity. It is usually a small piece of wood in the shape of a surfboard with four wheels attached to it.
Before starting this kind of business, it is imperative that you determine how you will fit into the competitive landscape. You also need to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business, perhaps one in a different city, so that he or she will be comfortable enough to divulge information, that you would not have necessarily gotten if you had approached one in the same city or region.
29. Christmas Tree Delivery
Christmas tree delivery is a business that aims at helping people save the long and tedious drive to farms to pick up a Christmas tree. More and more businesses are now considering taking this off the shoulders of busy people and even those who do not want to go far to pick a tree and would instead prefer it delivered to them.
Going into this business will require you having a sit, where customers can pick the kind of Christmas trees they want and the size too. You simply have to provide a reliable service of delivering what the customers want at fair and affordable rates.
30. Winterizing People’s Homes
People engage in certain tasks when winter is fast approaching so as to enable them prepare for the season. The certain tasks are putting lights around the home, wrapping their pipes, closing up tiny open spots in the attic or basement or in other places, as well and so on. Starting this kind of business of helping people prepare their homes for the harsh winter months, will earn you extra bucks.
Ensure that people are aware of your services by telling those in your neighborhood, and also posting fliers with your information on it, so that people could call you when they need your services.
31. Home Holiday Decorating Service
The winter is another season just like the summer that comes with holidays and this leads to a number of people decorating their homes during this period. The only problem most people have is that of time, and so even though they would love to decorate their homes, they might not have the time to do so.
You could provide this service for those who would need it, and earn extra cash. This would need you creating awareness for your business by passing out fliers with your information printed on it, so people could use it to get in touch with you when they would need your service.
The delivery business is one that can be started by anyone that is smart and business savvy. During the winter period, people are usually holed up in their houses, and like things delivered to them but most especially seniors need certain things delivered to them and for them. The startup cost for this business is usually low, and you would need not only a cell phone but a reliable truck that can drive through affair amount of snow.
It will be good if you can carry out a thorough research, and know also the risks involved in this kind of business as you would be exposed to the harsh weather, while others are inside. You could decide to deliver to your neighborhood, so you aren’t far from home.
33. Hand-Knit Christmas Stockings
Everyone knows the significance of stockings, and how it is a part of every Christmas celebrations. Stockings are always stuffed with delicious treats. If you are good with your hands, then this is the perfect business opportunity for you.
You’d have to knit several stockings especially those with Christmas colors before the winter season so that you can comfortably sell them without being overwhelmed by demands during the winter.
34. Makeup Artist
During the winter, the kind of makeup needed is always different from that of other seasons, and a professional makeup artist knows this. You could help people attending occasions and special events during this period by giving them a make-over.
You would need to ensure that people knew of your services before hand, but if you are just starting, give tips to people and ensure that your target market knows of your services.
35. Fashionable Winter Accessories for Women
No female wants to wear bulky coats and dreary sweatshirts to work, also even if they have to wear hats and caps, they’d prefer it looks tasteful. This is a huge business opportunity for any smart entrepreneur. Even though this is a niche market, ensure that your target market is aware of the unique service you offer and will be available to patronize you during this period.
36. Winter Accessories for Men
Accessories aren’t a typical part of a menswear wardrobe, but exceptions are usually made for winter periods. These accessories are usually necessary in battling the freezing cold temperatures. You could as a smart entrepreneur go into this niche, and carve a market share for yourself.
You would need to ensure that you create the much needed publicity for this business, by handing out business cards and fliers at offices, schools, and other places where the males dominate.
37. Snowboards Manufacturing
Snowboards are a new sport that has rivaled skiing in terms of appeal and popularity. In manufacturing snowboards, you would have to ensure that the design and composition of the snowboard is top notch. The business is best suited to individuals with a manufacturing and designing background
As an entrepreneur, you could tap into this snowboard market and ensure that you manufacture snowboards with catchy designs that will make your brand stand out. You could sell your snowboards to individuals directly or to wholesalers and retailers. Use a famous sportsperson, as part of your aggressive marketing strategy.
38. Party Planning
As a party planner, you get to assist a range of customers by planning, organizing, and facilitating medium and large sized events. The event can range from weddings, corporate gatherings, to large family reunions which mostly occur during the holiday season.
You could provide a niche service by offering your clients a winter themed party. The good thing about this business is that if you are creative enough, you could make money from this business all year round. Ensure that your target market is aware of your business by carrying out extensive publicity.
39. Christmas Cookie Delivery
Christmas cookies are a great delight during the holiday season, however you can use your skills at making different cookies that would cater to the different tastes of everyone. As an entrepreneur, you could partner with those that stock gift baskets and have them include your cookies amongst the other items in the basket.
To start off this business, your cookies have to be extremely good so much so that it can be ordered independently of the gift basket. Ensure you come up with different cookie collections. You could let people become aware of your services by taking your cookies to schools and trade shows.
Due to the harsh weather conditions that come with winter, people usually demand for wears that would protect them from harsh weather conditions, especially apparels like snow coats, sweaters, hats, snow pants, gloves, shawls and scarves. This means that starting a winter apparel store would be a fantastic idea.
The good thing about this business is that you could still make sales during other seasons for some of the apparel in your store. You would need to carry out a thorough research before starting out. After starting out, you would need to create awareness about your store so that you get a share of the market, as you have stiff competition from others in this field.
41. Snow Shoveling Business
Shoveling snow is an activity that most people despise because it is very tasking; while some people might despise this activity, others do not have the strength to carry put this task, like the elderly and those that are bed ridden.
You could go into this business and offer your services for a fee especially if you live in an area where snow falls heavily. You would need to ensure that people are aware of your services, you could go round knocking on doors and telling them about your service, and leave a number by which they could contact you with.
42. Winter Auto Mechanic Services
Cars usually are problematic during the winter season, due to the harshness of the weather. If you have a good background in mechanic services, then you could offer your service during this period to those with problematic cars. You would need a strong alternator system that can provide a good jump start.
Ensure that people know of your services by using your family and friends as a referral service. You could also employ word of mouth direct marketing tactics to ensure that people know of your new business.
43. Holiday Shopper
Most people love to shop for the holidays but do not really have the time which might be due to various reasons such as a busy schedule, wanting to avoid the stress related to shopping, or health restrictions. As a holiday shopper, you will be bridging the gap for the people who would need your services, by helping them out in getting the stuffs they need for a fee.
You could make a tidy sum from this business by handing out business cards and fliers so that people could be aware of your business.
44. Hand Knitted clothing
This is a great business for this period, especially as this means you could go into casual knitting and still make good extra bucks during the winter by knitting mittens, caps, shawls and so on.
The great thing about this business is that you can knit before winter, thereby taking your time, and then sell off all you have knitted during this period. This means that you would need to ensure that your target market knows about your business by engaging in aggressive marketing tactics.
45. Professional Organizer
After clearing out clutter for the winter, once it is ending, people usually need those who would help in cleaning and organizing their spaces. If you are professional organizer, you could help people out with this. Just ensure that people know about your business, and that your rates are affordable, and you would be in business in no time. You can become a professional organizer for all seasons as well.
46. Furnace Repair
When temperature starts to fall, people like to ensure that their furnace is ready for a cool winter season. You could learn about furnaces and become an expert at repairing shot furnaces or replacing them for a cool amount of money. You need to ensure that people are aware of your services, by placing posters in the target community where you hope to offer your services, and handing out handbills and business cards.
47. Yule log cake
The Yule log is a traditional dessert that is served during the winter season, close to Christmas and usually resembles an actual miniature Yule log. It is usually a form of sweet roulade. They are usually served with one end cut off and set on top of the cake, or protruding from its side to resemble a chopped off branch.
This is a great business idea that can bring in a good extra income, especially as it is sort of a nostalgic cake especially for the older folks.
48. Mulled Cider
This is usually referred to as a winter warming drink, even though it can be taken hot or cold. You could offer this service to especially busy people who do not have time to make theirs, and want to get warm.
You could provide an added service by providing spices for the cider, where they could take home and add to either the hot or cold cider. You would have to be located in a strategic location, where customers can reach conveniently and pick up their orders. You will also need to be able to deliver orders to people in their homes.
49. Exercise and Fitness Instructor
The winter is usually a period where people huddle up and are less active, preferring to stay put in one spot. You could make extra income if you set up a winter and exercise program that would ensure that people are motivated to stay fit during the winter.
You would need to find out the requirements and licenses that would be required for you to start this business, and also get qualified instructors to help with this program. Ensure you create awareness for this business by getting promotional materials such as a branded flier and also posters that can inform people of your service.
50. Snow Plowing Business
This is another business that can fetch any savvy entrepreneur extra bucks during the winter season. This is because many individuals have long driveways where they reside, and would require the services of someone with a snowplow. Also, there are privately owned businesses that would require this service as well.
To ensure that you start this business for this period, you would need to pass out fliers and business cards so that you could offer the service to those that would need it during this period.
In conclusion, to start off any business will require that you carry out an in depth study about such a business, especially as the business is going to last for just a few months and you need to have recouped your investment, when the season comes to an end. If you feel, you aren’t prepared enough, you should hold off, and continue your research till the next winter season. Even though the winter season is one that comes with many harsh conditions that forces most people to stay indoors, there are still endless business opportunities, for any smart entrepreneur.