Are you looking for a fun way to earn a little extra cash this holiday season? Despite what a lot of people might think about “everything winding down for the holidays,” it’s the perfect time of year to start an at-home business.
Here are 14 holiday home business ideas that allow you to put your skills to work meeting the unique needs of the holidays, and then — if you like it — continue into the new year.
Create and Sell Gift Baskets
With a little craftiness and creativity, you can create unique gift baskets for people to give as gifts. To help your business succeed, here are a few ideas:
- Brainstorm themes for your gift baskets, such as college survival, pet lovers, and gardening gurus. If you want this to become a year-round thing, you can really do some fun things.
- Buy in bulk to lower your costs, but make sure none of your included items have a “not to be sold individually” label.
- When deciding on prices, add up the costs of all the goods inside, plus your basket and wrapping supplies. Make sure you’re making a profit. Don’t forget to factor in your time! If it takes you two hours to make one basket and you make $10 from it, this might not be a worthwhile venture.
- Many people buy with their eyes. Make sure your baskets are appealing visually. What can you do to make yours stand out?
- Market your baskets locally. Try the Facebook Marketplace, ads on grocery store bulletin boards, and setting up a display at local craft shows and vendor fairs.
Everyone wants their house cleaned before family and friends gather together, but not everyone has time to make it happen. You can offer a holiday house cleaning special as a way to launch your new business.
In addition to searching for residential clients, you could consider approaching businesses. They may need help cleaning after their office parties.
Do you have an eye for detail and enjoy planning parties? Go into business as an event planner and help everyone make their dream parties come to life. You can plan the event, send invitations, decorate, bring food, organize the games, and take care of all the cleanup.
As you create invitations and games, you can add another income stream to your business by selling your printables online. That way people who want a DIY party or who live out of your area can purchase your materials to use.
Sell Homemade Food Items
From airy divinity to cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, this is the season for cookies, candies, and other homemade goodies. If you’re a pro in the kitchen, you can take orders for your treats and sell them to individuals or businesses. For maximum success:
- Check your local laws to see if you need to use a commercial kitchen or if you can use your own kitchen.
- Pick a couple of items to specialize in your first year so you can really perfect your offerings.
- If going to a craft fair, offer free samples so people can taste how good they are.
- Offer a variety of sizes for people to purchase – individual, family, large group, etc.
- Package your products nicely, while still protecting them from breaking. You might use tins, boxes, or seasonal paper plates with colorful wrap.
- Include the ingredients on your label so people with allergies can know what’s inside.
Creating Holiday Cards
Combine your design skills with some attention to detail, and create holiday cards for clients. They can send you a picture, the wording they want, and a list of who to send them to. You create the card, get it proofread by your client, and take care of printing and mailing.
If you enjoy writing, you could add a customized family letter to your offerings. This is perfect for people who want to write a letter but have no idea how to go about it. This would require an interview from the family, and you could take their answers and weave them into the perfect letter.
Personal Shopper or Errand Service
Everyone’s to-do list is a mile long between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Help them out by taking tasks of their plate. People can hire you to help them have a less stressful holiday season. You could offer:
- Shopping and delivery
- Gift wrapping
- Deal-finding (look for coupon codes for free shipping or the lowest price on a must-buy item)
- Addressing envelopes for holiday cards
Think about the needs of people around you, and market your offerings accordingly. You can either charge hourly or by the project. Make sure you include gas if you need to drive anywhere, plus any supplies you need to purchase when setting your rates.
If you love decorating for the holidays, you can earn money helping other people decorate. You can provide indoor and outdoor services. Here are a few of the options your decorating packages could include:
- Hanging lights around the eaves of the house (just make sure you have a good ladder and aren’t afraid of heights!)
- Christmas tree setup
- Decorating a mantle and hanging stockings
- Yard decorations
You can also offer a secondary service to come “undo” the decorations after the holidays. Then you can help your clients pack their ornaments and things so they can store them until next year.
Write Thank You Notes
By collecting a list of gifts and givers from clients, you can create beautiful, personalized thank you notes. People who are time-strapped, but really want to send a note of thanks will love this service. You can take care of everything from creating the cards to mailing, and let people get a time-consuming task crossed off their list.
Who is going to watch the children while the adults are shopping or attending holiday parties? You, that’s who, because babysitting isn’t just for teenagers! In fact, many parents prefer to leave their children with adults, just in case there’s an emergency. If you can provide references and a clean background check, you’ll probably have more opportunities than you can take.
To help keep the kids engaged while you’re in charge, consider bringing along some fun holiday-themed crafts or coloring pages. With their parent’s permission, you could even work with the kids to decorate cookies, make shaped rice crispy treats, or another kid-friendly treat. This way they won’t feel as left out for missing the fun their parents are having.
Travel increases during the holiday season, so many people are leaving their pets behind. This means they need someone to provide pet care. If you enjoy pets, you can earn good money this season by walking dogs, cleaning litter boxes, and petting animals.
Live in a rural area? Think about the farmers who may enjoy getting out of town. If you know how to milk a cow or slop the pigs, your animal care opportunities increase greatly. Especially once you get the reputation as an honest, reliable substitute farmer.
The downside? Pets and livestock need to be cared for on holidays too, so you won’t get those special days off for celebrating. Many of the pet care professionals enjoy spending time with their furry friends, though.
Gift Wrapping and Delivery
Do you enjoy tying up paper packages with string? There are lots of people who don’t want to wrap presents and will happily pay someone to do it for them. In addition to wrapping services, you can offer delivery. This could either involve personally delivering a package or arranging to ship non-local items for your clients.
Direct Sales Rep
From children’s books to specialty makeup, direct sales companies offer plenty of potential gifts. You can book gift-centered parties to help make it easy for people to shop. Parties can be held online or in-person, depending on the host.
Prepare for the party by having a way to show off the uniqueness of your products. You can have physical samples for people to look at or take time to create videos allowing potential buyers to really check out the products. Before the event, create a list of recommendations for various age ranges. You want to make it as easy as you can for people to know what they want to buy and see why it’s such an awesome gift.
People traveling for the holidays will need their sidewalks and driveways cleared. If you’re looking for a side business that can last throughout the whole winter, snow shoveling is a good one. By finding multiple clients in the same neighborhood, you can cut your travel time down significantly.
Make sure you check out the job site before providing a quote. You want to check for any obstacles that’d make your work more difficult. It’s also important to see for yourself how large of an area you will be responsible for.
Drive People Around
Have a safe, reliable car and some extra time this holiday season? As an Uber or Lyft driver, you can shuttle people around to and from special events and get paid for it. With so many parties and gatherings this time of year, many people will need rides. If you find you enjoy this type of work, you might specialize in a specific driving service, like taking people to and from appointments or to the airport.
Driving people isn’t the only way to earn money with your vehicle. You can also deliver food or goods. In fact, there are lots of great ways to put your car to work for you.
Do you want to start a business this holiday season? Hopefully, this post inspired you to take the plunge.