Selling Services Seasonally
Another option is to start a seasonal business selling services, which can be operated with a full- or part-time effort. But most are run full time to maximize revenues and profits over a normally short time span. Examples of seasonal businesses selling services would include snow removal in winter, yard maintenance in summer in northern climates, income tax preparation service in spring, and serving as a vacation property rental agent. Just about any business can be run seasonally or occasionally, but some are obviously better suited than others.
A seasonal venture will appeal to people who want the ability to earn enough money during part of the year in order to do as they please with the remainder of the year–travel, pursue education, or work a job in another season. The potential to earn a very good living operating a business only part of the year is a genuine opportunity, as proven by the thousands of people who are currently doing it. The main downside to a seasonal business, especially one that can be operated year-round, is that you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours promoting your business only to shut it down for half the year, sending current and potential customers running to your competitors while your business is closed. It may prove very difficult to lure them back when you reopen for business.
Selling Services to Supplement Your Retirement
The fourth option is to sell services to supplement your retirement income or just to have fun and stay active in your golden years. Retirement businesses have become extremely popular in the past decade, mainly because the cost of living has dramatically increased, often outpacing wages and retirement savings. The result is that many people head into retirement needing a little extra income to cover expenses and provide an adequate lifestyle or to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle.
People are living longer and much healthier now than in decades past, and because of this many are seeking new challenges; starting and operating a business is a way to stay active physically and mentally. Older people also have a proverbial ace up their sleeves when it comes to starting a business and selling services: a lifetime of knowledge and experience that can only be acquired by spending lots of time on this planet. Because of the value of these skills, many people are willing to pay big bucks for them. This is why many people who are reaching or have reached retirement age have chosen to start a consulting business selling their experiences, knowledge and skills for the benefit of their clients.
Before you decide to get into business for yourself selling services, there are two issues to consider regarding financial compatibility–income and investment money. First, when deciding what type of service to sell, you have to consider how much money you want to earn and how much money you need to earn. If you need to earn $75,000 per year to pay your personal expenses, there is little sense in starting a dog-walking service. Perhaps there are a few dog walkers earning this much, but it’s not a realistic expectation. How much money do you want to earn–that is, how ambitious are you? Again, you must be realistic and relatively sure the service you choose to sell has the potential to generate enough income to live on in the short-term, and the potential to match your income goals in the longer term. Income doesn’t have to factor into the business startup equation for everyone. If you want and need to earn only a little money from a part-time or retirement business, the income equation will not factor as heavily as other issues.
The second big financial compatibility issue affecting your decision about which business to start or purchase is the amount of money needed to start or purchase the business. Not only will you need to have or have access to the investment needed to get rolling, but you’ll also need extra money for working capital to cover day-to-day operating expenses until the business achieves positive cash flow. This can take a week, a month or even a year.
Ultimately, financial compatibility is important when starting a business and deciding what services to sell. If you cannot afford to start the business and don’t have the financial resources to pay operating expenses and your wages until the business can break even, you’ll probably have to look at alternative options, such as starting part time, choosing a different business to start, or waiting until you have acquired the money needed to get started.
To start looking for service business ideas, read the book 202 Services You Can Sell for Big Profits or the article ” 105 Service Businesses to Start Today .”
James Stephenson invests his fifteen years of small business, marketing and sales experience into his books. He has started and operated numerous successful homebased businesses, and is author of the highly acclaimed booksUltimate Start-Up Directory andUltimate Small Business Marketing Guide as well as the202 Series. James operates Stephenson & Stephenson, a consulting firm providing small business owners with creative, results-based marketing solutions.