Nov 16, 2010

Five Businesses You Could Launch This Christmas Season

Christmas is coming fast, and if you can't feel it yet in your bones, trust me on this: you will feel it soon enough on your pocketbook.

Now's the time a lot of us are thinking of ways to earn more; fortunately, Christmastime also comes filled with great business opportunities.

Here are five of them:

1. Cake/cookie selling. As Christmas approaches, bazaars are mushrooming all around, and these are the perfect places to launch small businesses like homemade cakes and cookies. The foot traffic in these places are great, and these people will be tired, hungry, and needful of quick energy that a sugar rush provides -- the perfect victims to your sweet desserts.

What's more, cakes and cookies are terrific, foolproof, and inexpensive ideas for office gift exchanges or Christmas desserts.

2. Babysitting. As parents have to go out to more Christmas parties, there will inevitably be times when they will need to leave the children with somebody they trust. A neighbor -- like you -- could be the perfect candidate if your kids are already playmates with their kids. But they won't come knocking if they're not sure how you'll feel about watching over their kids. Imagine their relief and joy when they find your flier on their gate, letting them know that their kids are welcome at your house, even if you charge a set fee per hour!

And once they know your doors are open at Christmas, they'll be more likely to come knocking the rest of the year too!

3. Pet lodge. Christmas time is vacation time, and not all pet owners can or want to bring their pets with them. Let them know you're open to housing and feeding their pets while they're away! It will free their minds, and your kids will have a Christmas playmate.

4. Catering or cook-for-hire. We all love to eat, but we don't all love to cook, and believe it or not, some of us would rather hire somebody than be forever indebted to our more culinarily-talented relatives.

So if you're a good cook, spread the word that your services are available. If you send out fliers, clarify if you would include shopping for ingredients in your charge. You could include your menu suggestions too, and get their mouths watering!

5. Gift wrapping. This one is highly seasonal work, but it could help with your highly seasonal expenses. Simply post a sign in front of your house that you offer gift wrapping services and wait for the Christmas crammers to come calling. Stock up on tape, boxes, and wrapping paper. In any case, these are non-perishable, and if you don't get to use them up, you certainly will next Christmas!

One thing you could do to extend the lifespan of this side job is by informing your gift-wrapping clients that you will also offer book wrapping (with plastic cover) come start of the coming school year. (Then, of course, if you told them you would do it, you really ought to!)

Incidentally, if your kids are big enough, it would be wise to "volunteer" them too in this activity. You're going to need lots of hands!

None of these ideas work for you? Here are fifty more ideas you could  look at: 50 Side Businesses You Can Start On Your Own.

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