If you were planning to start a business in 2022 but you’re still not quite ready to launch, you might feel like you missed your window now that summer is on the wane. Don’t psyche yourself out; entrepreneurialism is a four-season sport.
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“Winter may not seem like the ideal time to start a business, but there are actually several advantages to starting a business in the winter months,” said Oscar Rodriguez, founder of OssieRodriguez.com. “First of all, there is typically less competition during this time of year, as many businesses choose to close down or operate on reduced hours. In addition, winter can be a great time to start an online business, as people are often spending more time indoors and may be more likely to do their shopping online.”
Fall is just around the corner; so, if you plan to launch this winter, you’d better get busy. Here are some ideas to get you started, straight from founders who know just what you’re going through.
Offer a Weather-Specific Service
Harsh weather is the hallmark feature of winter — and snow, ice and freezing temperatures have a way of making people reach for their wallets.
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“I have found that small businesses that thrive during the winter are service companies,” said Tim Prescott, founder of the automotive site Certainly Cars. “If you can develop a service that can leverage your customers’ unwillingness to go out in the cold weather and also advertise it as a specialized winter service, then you can gain a competitive advantage compared to more generic year-round businesses.”
Prescott started a tire service business that helps people select tires and have them installed.
“While the business operates throughout the whole year,” he said, “the majority of my clients come during the winter to get snow tires fitted.”
Prescott is an automotive industry vet, so tires are a natural fit. The trick for you is to match something that fits your own background and skill set to the weather. Several experts who spoke with GOBankingRates mentioned installing attic insulation and selling Christmas trees as top winter business prospects.
Start a Snow Removal Business
The oldest and most common winter business is also one of the most accessible — just about any able-bodied person can make money in snow removal with a minimal upfront cost.
“Starting a snow removal company is a great small business idea for the winters,” said Aviad Faruz, CEO of Faruzo New York. “The best part is that you don’t need to invest much money for this venture. All you need is proper equipment, such as a snow blower cab and a salt spreader.”
It’s also the type of venture that’s easy to start small and scale up.
“You can simply start by removing the snow in your area,” Faruz said, “and then slowly expand the business to other regions.”
Get in on the Gift-Giving Action
Winter is the holiday season — and with the holidays come people looking to spend money on gift baskets. If you’ve got a flare for creativity and crafts, this might be the winter business for you.
“The winter months encompass a range of holidays — like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, St. Lucia’s Day and more,” said Kevin Huang, CEO of Ambient Home. “With people busy and stressed during this season, a significant demand for gift baskets arises because they are a fast, simple yet thoughtful solution to gift-giving. It takes a lot of decision making out of gift giving even with personalized options, making gift baskets an attractive option, especially if you offer delivery.”
From indoor fireplaces to outdoor chimineas, winter is the season of wood crackling and popping on the fire. Luckily for the people who sell it, firewood is something you can use only once and have to keep buying over and over again.
“Selling firewood is one way to make money in cold, snowy winter areas with a small setup,” said Dan Farrant, CEO of Hello Music Theory. “During the winter, firewood is in higher demand.”
Farrant recommended partnering with a tree removal company, but you can also buy firewood wholesale. Just Google wholesalers in your area, buy in bulk and break it down to sell in small bundles at a profit.
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