Six Summer Home Business Ideas

Summer is around the corner and with it comes a host of home business opportunities.  While these ideas are not limited to summer, the summer months are ideal for getting started, as the need for these services increase.  Here are six great summer-time home businesses you can start.

House sitting

Summer time and vacations go hand in hand, increasing the need for house sitters. House sitting has a low cost of entry because you don’t need any special equipment or skill.

Your only expense is in advertising and getting to the home.  House sitting involves staying at a home to show it’s occupied to ward off would-be burglars, as well as collect mail and newspapers, caring for plants and possibly pets. I recently read a fiction novel about a house sitter who also took care of little home improvement tasks.

House sitters get paid $20 to $50 per night depending on what’s involved. It’s ideal as a side-business because you can work your regular job by day and house sit weekends and evenings. The challenge of running a house sitting business full-time will be in booking clients. Networking and referrals are the best ways to grow a house sitting business.

Pet Sitting

Pet sitting often goes hand-in-hand with house sitting. Kennels can be expensive and many pet owners don’t like the idea of making their pets live somewhere else while they’re gone. Pet sitters are the answer. They allow the pet to stay home and can exercise, play with and give affection to the pet.
Some pet sitters stay at the home, while others show up twice or three times a day to feed and spend time the pet.
Pet sitters charge $10 to $20 per day depending on the level of service. Like house sitting, it’s a great side-business because it can be done around a traditional work schedule.  Networking and referrals are the best way to find pet sitting clients.

Party Planning

Summer is high time for weddings and family reunions, making it an ideal time for starting a home-based party planning business.  Planning events requires organization, knowledge of resources, such as entertainment, and the ability to manage others. Party planners help people develop a theme and budget for their event, and then carry out tasks such as renting the event space, ordering invitations, booking entertainment, arranging decorations, hiring the caterer and more.

Depending on the clientele, party planners can earn as much as six-figures.  It can be started on the side, as long as you have day-time hours to contact other businesses who will be a part of the event. Referrals and networking are great ways to build your business.  Having a website and promoting your business in related resources, such as an ad on the engagement announcement page of your local newspaper, are other effective marketing strategies.

Catering

Weddings, family reunions and other parties usually serve food, creating a need for caterers. If you enjoy and are good at cooking for large crowds, catering is an ideal summer-time home business. Because you’re serving food, your state occupational agency may require a special food service license and you might be required to follow certain rules in the preparation of food.  For example, your cooking utensils may need to be used only with your business and not for personal food prep.

The average full-time caterer makes about $30,000 per year. Word-of-mouth is important for caterers.  It can help to partner with a party planner, who often need caterers.

Lawn Care/Landscaping

If you enjoy the outdoors and working in the dirt, starting a lawn care or landscaping business is ideal. If you have needed equipment already and can transport it, the cost of getting started is low. Otherwise, it can be high if you need to buy a mower and other tools.  Your services can range from lawn care (mowing and trimming) alone, to landscaping, bush/tree trimming, planting sod or seed  and more.

Basic lawn gardeners charge about $25 for mow and trim, depending on the size of the yard. Landscape workers earn $17,000 to $37,000 per year, depending on the services they provide.  Word of mouth and advertising in local publications are effective marketing strategies to start.

Tutoring

School-time isn’t the only time tutors are in demand. Many parents want to help their children catch-up or get ahead during the summer months. Some children are in summer school and need additional help.  A tutoring business can be started part-time and can fit around a traditional work schedule. Where you provide tutoring is flexible. You can visit students in their home, have them come to your home or the library, or tutor online via video chat.

Tutors can charge anywhere from $10 to $75 per hour or more depending on their expertise and the school level they’re dealing with. For example, a certified teacher can charge more than a non-teacher.  You can charge more tutoring college subjects versus high school or elementary school subjects.  Networking, referrals and advertising in local parent magazines are good ways to get the word out about your tutoring business.