Each of the four seasons brings its own wave of pop-up businesses with fresh earning opportunities, but there's just no time like summertime. Consumer behavior shifts when the sun is out — kids and adults alike get to enjoy a well-deserved holiday, and that means folks are spending. Take advantage of this lucrative time of year with these summer business ideas for 2023.
Summer Business Ideas at Home
A dropshipping business involves buying physical products online and reselling them, and it's a great way to earn money without an office.
You can run a successful dropshipping business without actually receiving inventory, or you can hold and process products from your home. You can also use your home instead of renting a studio for product photography shoots.
When school's out for summer, the childcare industry drastically grows in an instant.
You can market yourself as a caretaker and create a babysitting, nanny, au pair, or home daycare business. With the right connections, you can even run a network of employees yourself.
Tutoring and Coaching
"The summer break often sees parents seeking tutors to help their children maintain academic momentum," shares Kumar. "Offering tutoring services in a subject you excel at can be a rewarding and profitable venture. This business can be conducted from your home or online, providing flexibility and convenience."
Kids on summer vacation aren't the only ones in need of guidance. Many adults seek a fresh start in the summer by seeking out tutoring and life coaching. Who knows — you might be surprised by how many people could benefit from your unique skill set.
Renting Out Your Home
Simply renting out your home is one of the easiest ways to make passive income during the summer, especially if you're traveling often for work.
You can put your property on a website like Airbnb or VRBO and ensure it's ready for short-term visitors. You can manage the property yourself or hire a maid service to clean up between bookings.
Got a crafty mind? Content creation is a demanding field, and you can craft content for just about any summer industry.
From swimwear to outdoor events, content creators get paid to make videos, images, pieces of writing, music, or a combination of each to help businesses build their marketing campaigns. To get started, create spec ads from home and confidently pitch them to the brands you're interested in.
Online Summer Business Ideas
You can launch a successful copywriting business from virtually anywhere. To start, all you need to purchase is a laptop (if you don't already have one), and then you can control how much you spend from there.
To make the most profit during the lucrative summer months, market your copywriting business to other summer startups.
Write an E-book
If writing is your thing, but copywriting doesn't scratch your creative itch, summer might be the perfect time to write an e-book. You can write on a specific topic and then sell it to a business to be used as a marketing asset. For example, a company that sells automated email advertising software could attract more customers with an e-book on the best modern digital marketing tactics — and you could be the one to write it.
You could also lean in a more creative direction and write a fiction or non-fiction book on any subject you want. Publish your e-book for free with Kindle Direct Publishing and handle marketing yourself.
Create Training Courses
Got a specific skill or valuable knowledge to share? Consider creating an online training course.
Online courses require little to no startup costs and can be tailored to any subject. If you launch your training course near the beginning of the summer, you can spend the rest of the season marketing your product with in-person events, then enjoy passive income for the rest of the year.
Flip Summer-Friendly Websites
Flipping websites is a popular way to earn money online this summer. Find desirable domain names, purchase them, and build strong websites around them. Then, simply sell those websites to businesses that could use them.
To capitalize on the summer season, consider flipping summer-friendly websites — i.e., domains with words around summer holidays, fashion, childcare services, etc.
"If you have expertise in the food industry, a food truck may be the perfect idea for you," says Carlos Barros, director of Marketing at Epos Now. "You can pull up anywhere with your truck filled with prepared meals and snacks on wheels."
In the summer months, people are outdoors all day long and festivals are more frequent — the perfect conditions for budding food trucks. Combine the right food truck business plan with an active social media marketing campaign, and you can create an incredibly profitable summer food truck business.
Once beach season rolls around, folks start looking to improve their physical fitness. Capitalize on this wave of health consciousness with a personal training business.
With little to no startup costs, you can easily grow your personal training business by advertising in wealthier markets, hiring trainers, and hosting outdoor fitness classes.
Mobile Apps for Kids
Developers working on a new app or SaaS venture might want to consider something more fun and simple for the summer months.
Launching, releasing, and turning a profit on an app is a big swing. However, it's possible if you go for a kid-friendly mobile app that features a game or puzzle simple enough for a free or low-cost development tool. Then, market your app to kids who have tons of free summer vacation time, and make sure to keep your app up-to-date.
Consulting is a great service for startups. For entrepreneurs with expertise in industries that blossom during the summer — i.e., events, childcare, pool cleaning — you can offer your knowledge as a paid service with lucrative results.
Want a more hands-off approach? Consider hiring and managing consultants across various summer-friendly industries, which can be your entire business model for the summer and beyond.
Cleaning and Fixing Cars
NerdWallet notes that rising car costs are inspiring more people to hold onto their vehicles for longer. They predict the carwash market will be worth over $20 billion by 2028 — compared to $14.7 billion in 2021.
Capitalize on this increase in car ownership with an outdoor summer car wash. Got a background in car mechanics? Help folks this summer by fixing broken ACs, replacing flat tires, and swapping out dead batteries.
Weddings, retirement parties, birthdays, and festivals all kick into high gear during the summer months, and people are willing to pay top dollar to have a planner handle all the details.
"If you're an organized individual with a penchant for planning, an event planning business could be your calling," says Kumar. "This could encompass a wide range of tasks, from coordinating with vendors and venues to managing invitations and decorations."
Host a summer food festival to build camaraderie in your local restaurant community.
If you're a restaurateur, hosting a festival for your neighborhood can make you money in the short term while helping you invest in your long-term brand identity.
Throw a weekly or monthly farmers market this summer to foster connections with your local food suppliers.
Introduce consumers to proprietors in a friendly outdoor space. Your farmers market can also help generate relationships with growers and farmers that could benefit your food-and-beverage business down the line.
Do you already run a cooking business? Consider offering summer cooking classes.
You can start a cooking class out of your own kitchen, or if you own a restaurant, you can take advantage of your building space by offering in-house classes.
Wine Subscription Service
The summer is a great time to drink outdoors. For those who understand wine and have access to quality vintners, creating a wine subscription service can be a great way to start a successful summer business.
Spend the season meeting producers, collecting email addresses from folks at wine tastings and events, and setting up a wine network. From there, you can curate a wine subscription service based on your personal tastes.
Are you an entrepreneur with authority in the restaurant world? Consider becoming a restaurant consultant.
Launch a summer consulting business by reaching out to event producers, restaurateurs, and food festivals to sell your expertise. Take advantage of your preexisting connections to grow your business rapidly via word of mouth.
When kids are out of school for the summer, every single market gets affected. Families travel more, kids spend their allowances, and parents pay for babysitters and new tools to keep their little ones occupied. Don't forget graduating high school and college students who are ready to join the workforce or find a summer gig. This is the perfect chance to build (and staff) your summer business around vacation time, giving you access to new demographics.
You Get More Foot Traffic
Not only are kids out of the classroom, but adults are also out of the office and looking to enjoy the summer weather. Whether you're selling apparel, food, event tickets, or even tech, you can center your business around the great outdoors to capitalize on summer's high foot traffic.
You Can Easily Identify Hot Markets
In the summertime, retailers up-sell sundresses and bathing suits, restaurants prioritize seasonal produce and fresh seafood, and event coordinators head outside to draw bigger crowds. You can earn more by identifying these common summer shifts before forming your business.
You Can Elevate Your Current Brand
Your new summer business can be an extension of your existing brand. If your regular business is less seasonally driven, or if it's busier during the fall, winter, or spring, you can start a summer-focused venture that can improve your brand's recognizability, increase cumulative profits, and expand overall reach.
You Can Throw Events for Summer Traditions
From the Fourth of July to Labor Day, summertime is filled with fun traditions. This exciting time for shoppers and sellers is your chance for sales, promotions, and events across all industries.
Your Chances of Getting a Loan Increase
For the banks, a strategic summer-based business that capitalizes on the busy season could appear stronger than an evergreen startup. Planning your LLC launch in the summertime could give you access to a better business loan than you'd get another time of year.
Your Summer Startup Can Expand Into Autumn
Launching a small business in the summer can help you prepare for the fall. Head into September with a few months of earnings in tow to establish your infrastructure, which can give you time to develop strategies for holiday shopping.
You Can Test Your Business Idea
Sumseet Kumar, the founder of MoneyFromSideHustle, says a summer business can be a great way to test out the waters for a season before fully committing to your business idea.
"A summer business venture offers invaluable insights into the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. This experience can serve as a stepping stone if you aspire to launch a larger-scale business in the future or pursue a career in the business realm."
FAQs About Starting Summer Businesses
How Much Does It Cost to Officially Start a Small Business for Summer?
Research shows that it costs about $2,000-$5,000 to start a small business, but if you focus on online businesses that require little equipment or overhead, you may be able to start one for less.
Some of these startup fees include state filing fees to legally form your business entity, the taxes you'll be expected to pay, and any investment needed for inventory, payroll, marketing, etc. Do your research to make sure you secure all the necessary business licenses and permits required to conduct your service or sell your products.
What Business Is Best in Summer?
The best businesses to start in the summer are online or outdoors.
For example, if you're working out of the house already, you can start a dropshipping business from the comfort of your own home. Tech-focused professionals might start their summer business by developing an app for kids or flipping websites. Entrepreneurs in the restaurant space, on the other hand, might benefit from starting a food truck or hosting a local food festival outdoors.
What Businesses Make the Most Money in Summer?
Summer businesses that make the most money tend to have the least overhead while capitalizing on seasonal behavior and trends.
For example, we listed personal training above because it requires minimal equipment, there's a wide-ranging market, and the demand is high during the summer months. We also listed: opening a food truck, developing a mobile app for kids, event production, and cleaning and fixing cars.
What Business Can I Start With $500?
There are many business ideas you can start for less than $500, such as building websites for clients, running social media accounts for various brands, establishing an e-shop, etc.
Incfile helps you keep costs low by cutting business formation fees and offering a free Registered Agent service for your first year.
Start Your 2023 Summer Business Today
The summer is a great time to test out your hottest business ideas, and we're here to help you get started. For fast and seamless business formation in any summer industry, start an LLC with Incfile for just $0 + your state fee.
Brandon is a freelance writer and editor focused on writing SaaS, technology, and finance content.