Americans most dislike the cold winter months of January and February, a recent survey showed. But for the smart entrepreneur, the cold is just another opportunity to make money.
If you’re looking to start a winter weather business, you might consider greeting cards, a ski and skate shop, Christmas trees, or beautiful gift baskets.
Read about these and many other business ideas below.
1. Snow Removal
If you’re looking to make some extra money in winter, a snow removal business is a great option. It may be seasonal, but it can be lucrative — and you’ll be helping keep people safe.
With the pandemic winding down, snow and ice removal is on the rise. But when starting a snow removal business, it is important to comply with all legal and insurance requirements. It’s also a good idea to identify your target market and study the competition to find out what they’re offering and how much they’re charging.
Using the latest technology and equipment is crucial in optimizing efficiency, so you should monitor market trends. Snow removal requires heavy machinery such as front-end loaders to remove snow, especially those that have accumulated from plowing. With careful planning, your snow removal business could get off to a great start.
2. Gift Wrapping
There’s nothing like the excitement of a present wrapped in bright paper and ribbons. If you’re looking for a profitable venture that will make people feel good, why not a gift wrapping business? The US gift wrapping market is expected to double to $7 billion by 2025 as people get back out there to spend on gifts and wrapping for the holidays and other special occasions.
To get started, you’ll have to decide whether to provide only wrapping services in your home or set up a shop, preferably in a mall. You will need to unleash your creativity to be able to offer unique gift wrapping ideas. Be sure to keep up with the latest trends and techniques and offer specials to differentiate yourself and help your business succeed.
3. Gift Basket
It’s hard to go wrong with a gift basket, during the holiday season or not, and whether it’s for family, friends, or colleagues. It’s an excellent choice if you don’t know what the recipient likes or if you’re sending to several people.
The versatility of gift baskets has kept demand high over the years, especially from the corporate sector. The US corporate gift market is predicted to cross $300 billion in revenue by 2024. If you’re a thoughtful entrepreneur, why not grab this opportunity and start a gift basket business? It’s a great way to use your creativity and sell something people will love.
Before you get started, it’s to your advantage if you choose a niche and craft your marketing strategy. Having a strong online presence is crucial to your success, so it’s a good idea to start developing your website and social media accounts as soon as you decide on your branding strategy.
Who doesn’t love the smell of baked goods, fresh out of the oven? Particularly during the winter months, when everybody’s trying to stay warm and holiday meals are followed by cakes and cookies and other desserts.
If you often find yourself elbow-deep in flour, now’s a great time to take the next step and become an entrepreneur. Despite the anti-carbohydrates trend, the US baking industry has been growing for years and is now worth more than $12 billion. You could open your own bakery, or start a home-based baking business, and share your delicious culinary creations with the world while also making a good living.
You’ll need to nail down a handful of fantastic items that will keep people coming back. You’ll want to outfit your kitchen, or new bakery, with all the right equipment and ingredients. And of course you’ll need to pass health checks and government licensing required for food businesses.
After that, you’ll just need to start marketing your tasty treats and, with a bit of luck, you’ll soon have too many orders to fill!
5. Cookie Business
When I was a kid, the holiday season was all about two things: presents and cookies! I couldn’t wait to tear away the wrapping paper and gobble up my mom’s delicious cookies. These days, not much has changed.
The cookie and cakes market is huge and growing fast, in the US and around the world, so you could start your own cookie business, put smiles on a lot of faces and make a good living, all at the same time!
The key, of course, is being able to whip up fantastic cookies, preferably in a variety of unique and appealing flavors. If you can already do that, you’re halfway there. You’ll just need to outfit your kitchen for industrial-level baking and build a website showing off your baked goods and you’ll be open for business. And thanks to the internet, your potential market is billions of people!
6. Craft Business
Do you have a creative hobby? If it involves some sort of craft, you might want to consider turning your at-home pastime into a business and major revenue stream. The winter months, when more time is spent indoors, are the perfect time to expand and monetize your craft brilliance.
With people stuck at home for months on end looking for something creative to do or something interesting to buy, the arts and crafts industry has exploded since the start of the pandemic. In 2020 alone, the revenue of the leading online arts and crafts marketplace Etsy more than doubled, to $1.72 billion. That means right now is a great time to start your own craft business, provided people with wonderful products and ride this wave to prosperity.
You’ll be your own boss, working at home at times that are best for you. You’ll be able to embrace and express your creativity, producing goods that could be sold around the world. But you will need to decide which products to focus on. This could be anything from crocheted blankets and clay jewelry to embroidered handkerchiefs and knit hats.
Whatever you choose, be sure to research what’s already out there and offer a unique twist on existing products. Building a strong brand will be key to the success of your craft business.
7. Towing Business
Winter weather means more engine troubles, slippier roads and more accidents — all of which means more business for the local towing company. Cars breaking down is almost as inevitable as death and taxes, which explains why the US vehicle towing industry has expanded by more than half in the last few years and is now worth more than $11 billion.
If you have a penchant for driving, and for public service, starting a towing business may be a perfect fit — and now is a great time to get in a growing market. The biggest hurdle to getting started will be finding an affordable, reliable tow truck. You can’t tow vehicles with your car, or bicycle, so you will need to get a real tow truck. A new one costs as much as $100,000, so you might want to find a new one for $25,000 and pay about half that for a down payment.
Once you’ve got your truck, you’ll need to get a commercial driver’s license and light duty certification from the national towing association. After that, you’ll be ready to hit the road, start helping people and making real dough. Keep in mind that towing is always in high demand, but especially when the temperature drops!
8. Christmas Tree Farm
Do you want to spread holiday cheer? A Christmas tree farm is a great way to spread the joy and let people pick from real pine, spruce, and fir. Up to 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the US every year, and they’re grown in all 50 states.
Real trees are renewable and recyclable, whereas fake trees contain non-biodegradable plastics. The reported shortage of live trees due to the global supply chain crunch presents an opportunity for you.
The location of your farm is important. It has to be accessible to your potential customers. It’s also to your advantage to come up with a business plan, including an effective marketing plan. Once your Christmas tree farm is up and running, you’ll be making money real fast.
9. Delivery Service
For obvious reasons, the US’ couriers and local delivery industry was among the few sectors that expanded during the pandemic, as people stuck at home ordered more and more stuff.
The industry has grown more than 5% annually since 2017 and is predicted to expand to nearly $135 billion. To top it off, package deliveries spike every year from Thanksgiving through early January, which presents a serious business opportunity.
A delivery service can be run from your home, but you’ll likely need to invest in a van if you don’t have one yet. You’ll be competing with heavy hitters like Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart, so it’s a good idea to come up with a sharp, creative business plan.
Once you’ve established a strong brand and service promise, your delivery business can be highly profitable.
10. Personal Shopper
Everybody knows winter is shopping season, particularly November to January, when there’s always a gift-related surge in shopping. In addition, the rise of online shopping has created new opportunities for personal shoppers.
If you love shopping, why not turn your passion into income and start a personal shopper business? Personal shoppers make money by shopping for other people. They usually shop for clothing and accessories, but they can also shop for groceries and other essentials. In the US, there are more than 33,000 personal shoppers and the number is increasing.
Before you get started, it’s important to do some research and identify your target market. Some personal shoppers provide services directly to their clients while some work for stylists, department stores, or supermarkets.
More and more Americans are turning to personal shoppers for their needs, so now is a great time to brush up on your shopping skills and make some real money.
11. Party Planning
Ready for good times? As the pandemic recedes, parties have come back, big time. And the best time for parties is always holiday season!
The US party and event planning industry is worth more than $3 billion and growing as more and more people plan the big blow-outs they’ve been delaying for so long. Graduation parties, weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday bashes, holiday gatherings, and much more. If you’re well organized and know how to have a good time, you could start your own party planning business and ride this wave to a major payday.
With minimal investment, you can run your business from home to keep costs low, and charge 15-20 percent of the total budget for the event. The biggest hurdle will be getting those first few clients, and for that you’ll probably want to set up an appealing website and launch a strong marketing and promotional campaign. Once you’re able to provide those early customers with excellent service and unforgettable gatherings, you might want to start partying yourself, to celebrate your future success.
12. Repo Business
Nobody likes to think of their vehicles, furniture and valuables getting repossessed, but unfortunately it happens often, when people are unable to make their payments on time. And a lot of repossession happens in winter, just before taxes are due.
The US repo industry is worth $2 billion and expected to see steady growth in the years ahead. It can be difficult work, going to people’s homes and reclaiming their goods, but if you have the stomach for it there is real money to be made.
Many folks have faced financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and related economic downturn. Now, as a result, some are defaulting on payments and unable to meet their financial deadlines. As a result, demand for repo services has increased. At the same time, the value of used cars has increased sharply, which means repossessed vehicles have greater value, making banks more likely to seek to reclaim them.
Add it all up, and repo could be your recipe for success.
13. HVAC Business
You can’t survive the winter without reliable heating, which is just one reason the US heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) industry is worth more than $120 billion. We all need to heat our homes, and many of us rely on air conditioning as well, and these massive appliances often break down. It’s no surprise that heating and cooling businesses rank among the 20 most common small businesses in America.
If you’re handy with tools, you could start your own HVAC business and help people live more relaxing domestic lives while also making a good living. Even if you’re not an HVAC technician, there are countless classes out there and you could get certified in a matter of weeks.
But you should know that the industry is extremely competitive, which means drawing clients and building a reputation will take hard work and dedication. But with the right tools and resources, not to mention the relevant licenses and permits, you can make your dream of running a successful heating and cooling business a reality.
14. Coffee Shop
Who doesn’t like to snuggle up with a nice cup of coffee when the weather outside is frightful?
Nearly 200 million Americans drink coffee every day, which is why you’ll find a coffee shop or cafe on just about every street. Like many industries, coffee shops took a hit during the pandemic, but now it’s on the rebound and expects to steady growth in the years ahead.
\You could take advantage of this trend by starting your own coffee shop and providing a nice pick-me-up to countless people everyday while making a good living. Of course, opening a coffee shop will take some real work. The best coffee shops offer excellent pastries and other foods, and create a comfortable atmosphere for people to linger and enjoy.
So you’ll need to make smart choices in terms of your product offerings, furniture and overall design, as well as your location. You’ll also want to be careful in choosing your coffee source, to make sure it’s eco-friendly and fair trade. But if you’re passionate about coffee and have the drive to see your business succeed, it can be an incredibly rewarding and profitable experience.
15. Greeting Card Business
Although it’s more convenient now to greet family and friends with e-cards, many Americans are still buying and sending traditional greeting cards, particularly during the holiday season!
Cards are still one of America’s popular forms of communication. If you are creative and have a way with words, starting a greeting card business may be the perfect opportunity for you! Demand may no longer be as strong because of digital cards, but the greeting card industry in the US is still worth around $7 billion. It’s a huge market that’s packed with opportunities.
You can start a greeting card business from scratch. To minimize your overhead costs, you can start off with online sales and follow up with a brick and mortar store once your business has grown big. Branding is important, so it’s important to develop your own brand personality and be consistent with the quality of your cards. A greeting card business can be rewarding and lucrative if you are willing to put in the work.
16. Fitness Business
Americans love to work off all those holiday pounds, and we’ve never been more concerned about health, which is helping drive interest in fitness. The US gym and fitness industry is worth $36 billion after years of strong growth. As the pandemic recedes and people get back out there, that market expansion is expected to continue. Even if you’re not a fitness junkie, you could start your own fitness business and help people live healthier, happier lives while earning a solid income.
You don’t even need a physical location. If you have some experience in fitness, you could begin by offering online classes, such as in yoga, Zumba or pilates. Then, once you’ve built up a brand, you could open your first location and start building your fitness empire. Just be sure to get all the required licenses and permits as well as a strong insurance plan — you don’t want your new fitness business to be sidetracked by a customer injury.
17. Personal Training Service
More and more people prefer to work off those holiday pounds in private, which is why personal trainers are more popular than ever. The US gym and fitness industry has been growing for years, and personal training has expanded more quickly than the industry as a whole.
On top of that, with more people staying at home, online personal training — providing instruction virtually, over an internet video connection — has absolutely exploded and is forecast to expand 10-fold from 2019 to 2027, hitting $60 billion.
If you’re a fitness nut, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this trend. You could launch your own personal training business from the comfort of your own home and help countless people in your city and beyond get the fitness instruction and insight they need while making a good living. You’ll need to get certified as a personal trainer and decide exactly which services you’ll offer. This might include weightlifting, yoga, pilates, stretching exercises, and dietary and nutritional guidance.
Once you’ve got all this nailed down, just start advertising your services on the leading online fitness platforms and you’ll soon be sweating your way to success.
18. Skating Rink
Are you thinking about opening a skating rink? It’s a fun way to start a business and it can be profitable too. Skating rinks offer ice and roller skating activities. Ice rinks alone are a $500 million industry. The market is expected to post steady growth as Americans are able to spend more on discretionary products and services.
To get started, you’ll need to acquire or rent a space where you can build your skating rink. You can put ice and use it as an ice skating rink during winter, then convert it into a roller skating rink for the rest of the year. It’s important to adhere to government standards and install safety features to minimize the risk of accidents. It’s a good idea to provide protective gear like helmets and knee pads. You can also rent out equipment and lockers, and sell food and beverages. With careful planning and a strong marketing campaign, your skating rink can provide a steady source of income. As soon as you’re ready, strap your skates up and earn some cash.
19. Self Storage
What to do with all stuff that no longer sparks joy but you’re not ready to let go of? This is where a self storage business comes in. The US self storage industry has been growing steadily, with self storage facilities increasing to nearly 48,000 in 2019. As more Americans move into cramped apartments and office spaces to save on rent, demand is expected to increase. Starting a self storage business can be a great way for you to earn a regular income.
You can start small and convert an idle space at home into a self storage facility, or you can invest in a property and build a structure with self storage units. You’ll need to apply for the necessary permits, comply with zoning regulations, and install a security system. It’s wise to research the market to find out what other companies are offering and how much they’re charging. Once you have an effective marketing campaign in place, you can just sit back, relax, and collect storage fees.
20. Party Decorating
As concerns about coronavirus infection diminish in some states, people are resuming preparations for holiday gatherings, birthday celebrations, weddings, festivals, and other events, raising the demand for party supplies. So if you’re looking to start your party decorating business, now is the time to put your plans into action. According to data analyst Allied Market Research, the global party supplies market is expected to grow 9% annually through 2027, and North America accounts for the biggest market share.
Before you start your party decorating business, it’s a good idea to scope out the competition and see what they’re offering to determine what kind of products and services you’re going to provide. Identifying a niche is also important. After you comply with the regulatory requirements of starting a business, developing your website and social media presence is to your advantage, especially if young adults are among your target markets. With careful planning and creative marketing, your party decorating business can be very successful.
21. Home Cleaning
Countless American homes need a good cleaning after the holidays, so if you have a knack for organizing and making things shine, you might consider starting a cleaning business. It’s one of the easiest businesses to start, and cleaning is a $76 billion industry that has seen steady growth in recent years, so the opportunity is there for the taking.
You just need some cleaning equipment and supplies and you could start offering your services on a popular app like TaskRabbit, until you set up your own website. You could offer a maid service, end-of-lease cleaning, carpet and upholstery service, or all of the above. You also have the option of working part-time at first to see how it goes before you jump in completely.
Keep in mind, cleaning is often a dirty business involving demanding work, so it’s not for everybody. But if you enjoy making things look great, this could be the entrepreneurial niche for you.
22. Food Delivery
The US food delivery industry experienced a boom in the past two years, thanks partly to the stay-at-home orders issued as a preventive measure against covid-19. During winter, when people spend much more time at home, deliveries boom.
German data analyst Statista predicts revenue in the online food delivery segment to reach $66 billion in 2022 and grow around 10% annually through 2026. So if you’ve been thinking about starting a food delivery business, now’s the time to act.
As this is a fiercely competitive industry, you’ll have to carefully research the market in your chosen business location and decide on a niche. Once you’ve complied with the regulatory requirements, it’s a good idea to put together a digital marketing plan, develop a website, acquire the software that best fits your business, and pass the word around. With a good marketing plan, you’ll soon be receiving bookings for delivery and well on your way to success!