Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Need extra cash this holiday season or do you just want to dip your toes in the “own-your-own-business” pool? These three part-time holiday businesses are a great way to do both.
If you like to wrap presents, start a gift-wrapping service. Many people, such as this author, would happily pay someone to wrap presents. Instead of charging the $5 and up retail stores charge, you could charge a per-hour fee. Charge a few dollars per hour more if you supply wrapping supplies, but if you use their supplies, charge a bit less.
Your location will determine what you can charge for this service, but if I could find someone who would charge $15--$20 per hour, I would book two hours worth of your time right now, and that would take care of all my wrapping for Christmas.
To get customers for this business, print some simple business cards and/or flyers and distribute in your neighborhood, at your spouse’s place of employment, your children’s schools, community centers, shopping malls, etc. Also, put ads on craigslist and announce in any online or offline networking groups you belong to, such as Facebook. Wrap a present (or an empty box) and take a photo of it to demonstrate that you can, indeed, wrap gifts.
Holiday Shopping Daycare
Who doesn’t need daycare when they go holiday shopping? Try a Saturday-only daycare in your home and charge by the hour for moms who need to do their shopping without little ones tagging along.
You could be open from 9 until 4, charge a 4-hour minimum and of course, charge extra for anyone who’s late picking up the kiddies. Check with your local government to find out in-home daycare rules as they will vary by location.
Find customers the same way as above, and even try to get referrals from area daycares that are not open on weekends. They may let you advertise in their newsletter or put flyers out for parents. Of course, you may know enough parents who need this service already—just let them know you’ll do it!
Holiday Decorating Business
Another valuable service is holiday decorating. There are many ways to “specialize” here:
--Outdoor decorations. Nine out of ten women I know have to threaten, plead, cajole, beg, bribe and maybe even cry to get help putting up the outdoor decorations. So, save some marriages and offer to be the one to take care of this “honey-do”.
--Tree decorating: If you always have pretty trees and enjoy decorating them, let people know. You can do tree decorating for businesses or individuals. Most will already have supplies, but if you have to purchase decorations, charge more. Some people put up multiple trees, so just a few clients could turn into quite a bit of cash.
--Interior Holiday Decorating: Again, you can do this for businesses or homes, and in addition to or separate from tree decorating. You can use the client’s supplies or use greenery, flowers or even fruits, vegetables, pinecones, spray paint and maybe some fake snow to create inexpensive but lovely décor.
To get decorating jobs, use the same methods as already described: distribute cards & flyers, network and tell everyone you know, and posting in online venues and bulletin boards. If you have pictures of past decorating (even in your own home), they would be a plus.
For all these businesses, the time to start is now. Fortunately, they do not require a lot of prep work if you already have the ability. And, who knows, you might just turn this holiday part-time business into a full-time new venture!
This book will serve as a handy creative spark for all your Christmas business ideas:
And, this one will help you make gorgeous bows (and they really do make the package, don’t they?)